We all know the stereotype: clever, aloof cats looking disapprovingly at dogs who are loveable but daft as a brush. However, a recent study has just turned that around: according to the conclusions of researchers across six universities in several countries – Denmark, US, Brazil and South Africa – a dog’s cognitive capabilities are actually superior to those of a cat.
Researcher came to this conclusion after using a newly-developed technique to count neurons in the brains of cats and dogs. The principle is simple: as neurons are the cells that process information, the more neurons are found in the brain, the higher are said brain’s processing capabilities.
When the researcher went to examine the cerebral cortex of dogs and cats, they found that an average cat has 250 million neurons, whereas that of a mixed-breed dog weighting 15 pounds has 429 million neurons. The difference was even bigger when observing the cerebral cortex of a Golden Retriever: the count was of 627 million neurons.
Suzana Herculano-Houzel, associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, says, “It is fair to say, then, that dogs have about twice as many neurons as cats in their cerebral cortex, and this implies that dogs have more cognitive capabilities than cats.”
So, there you have it: according to science, dogs are smarter than cats. But as neither is quite smart enough to understand this study, we can say as much without hurting Felix’s feelings.