Dog vs. Cat – Which One is Smarter?

A pet has been a part of a family for years. And the most common pets that a lot of homeowners have are cats and dogs. These two animals are often loved and spoilt by their owners. This is because they were like babies when they were little. They require feeding, attention, training, and a lot more. But once they grow older, they become smarter and more intelligent. But the real question is, who is more intelligent? Is it the cat or the dog? This is the most commonly asked question many people to those who own a cat and a dog at the same time. But the answer here is simple; dogs are smarter than cats. 

Why are dogs smarter than cats?

The reason why dogs are smarter than cats is because dogs have more brain neurons than cats. The cerebral cortex is the most significant part of the brain. Even for us humans, we make use of this part of the brain to think, analyze, feel, be aware, storing memory, and many more. The cats and dogs use this part of the brain pretty much the same. Dogs have 530 million cortical neurons, which makes them more intelligent than a cat that has 250 million cortical neurons. And if you compare the number of neurons of us humans and the dog, of course, we are a lot smarter because we have 16 billion cortical neurons.  

Since the dogs are smarter than cats, it is also the reason why they are used as K9 units by the police and the military. Their strong sense of smell, taste, recognition and their ability to be trained is a lot easier compared to cats. Although cats are also smart, they excel in something that dogs can’t. Cats are known for their hunting skills. They can catch a lot more mouse and other creatures faster than dogs. 

What is the common ground when it comes to the intelligence of a cat and a dog?

If you are wondering what are the common things when it comes to the intelligence of a cat and a dog, they are both at navigation. They both use the sense of smell to help them recall where they come from. But o course this will develop as they grow up. But they also need some practice to hone their skills in navigating, and pretty much the other skills that they have as an animal. 

Both cats and dogs can be trained despite their intelligence difference.

Both animals can be trained, but cats need a lot of time compared to dogs. Naturally, in the wild, dogs usually gather in a pack, and they look up to one dog who they see as the leader or the “alpha dog.” Being in a pack and having a leader to look up to makes a dog a lot easier to train and can adapt to different environments. They are ready to accept change, such as travelling, moving, and having a new owner. However, it will be harder for them to be left alone since they are often dependent on their leader (their human parent/leader). And this is the reason why whenever you come home after a while, they will greet you as if they haven’t seen you since forever.

 Cats are somehow entirely different from the dog when it comes to their natural wild-life living. They are more independent and can find their way out of danger. Their independence may seem they are aloof, but it rest assured that they love their human parents and show their affection when they want to. But training them to play fetch, sit, and other stuff, it will be hard and close to impossible. They have their way of entertaining themselves by hunting stuff (mostly their toys). But being independent is one good trait of a cat, this means they know exactly where to pee and poop as long as you provide a litter box in your home. But when it comes to potty training for dogs, it is a different story. Dogs are harder to potty train; it takes a lot of repetition and positive reinforcement for them to get used to it.

Choosing Between a Cat and a Dog

There is a considerable debate about which pet is better; a cat or a dog? Both animals are equally good as a pet; it will always depend on your preference or your lifestyle. There are some cats and dogs who prefer to lounge and be lazy at home. And some are very active to a point they require you to spend a few minutes of your time with them. 

One thing that you need to consider before getting a pet is the space you are willing to give them in your home. Every breed of a cat and dog may require you to have a larger space because they tend to run around and be hyperactive. Some are happy with the small corner and do their own thing. And another thing you need to consider is the amount of time you are willing to give them to tend their needs, most notably for kittens and puppies. They need your guidance as they grow up and also, they need physical activity to keep them active, even for the lazy breeds.


“Asking which species is smarter is like asking if a hammer is a better tool than a screwdriver” – Brian Hare

Both animals are intelligent in their way. Dogs can be trained easily compared to cats. But cats are more independent and require less tending by their human parents compared to dogs. They are also affectionate to their human parents by showing it in their different ways. Intelligence will always depend also on their environment and how well you raise them. If you treat them well, they will surely grow as smart and loving pet. And also, a cat can never be a dog, and a dog can never be a cat. They have their exceptional intelligence that makes each of these animals extra unique.