Vet Blog

Is Your Cat Really Smarter than Your Dog?

March 14, 2019

A research team is about to publish the finding that dogs have twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes that cats have.

Their research suggests that dogs have an intelligence level similar to raccoons and lions, whereas domestic cats have an intelligence level closer to that of bears. The primary researcher on the project explained that they believe that the absolute number of neurons an animal has, particularly in the cerebral cortex, determines the "richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience."

While dogs possessed about 250 million neurons, one of the most intelligent non-primate animals studied by the team was the elephant, with a whopping 5.6 BILLION neurons.

(While we don't find a comparison to a bear much of an insult, we refer protests by our pro-feline readers to the American Animal Hospital Association, the accrediting organization for top ranking veterinary medical facilities. We know of plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest cats are quite capable of matching wits against their canine housemates.)*

For details, see the February 2018 notebook entry in the AAHA Journal.