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Cat Lovers vs. Dog Owners: Who Does Science Say is More Intelligent?

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Are you a cat person or a dog person? Cats…either you love them or you don’t. Dogs, well, they are known as man’s best friend. Of course, you can like both, but whether or not you actually admit it, you probably have a preference. The truth is that there has been quite an intense rivalry between cat and dog lovers since the beginning of time, which is likely to intensify when you learn the results of a recent study.

Which One is it?

Are you more a fan of the aloof, independent, curious, and occasionally cuddly and playful cat? According to stereotypes, you’re probably female and known for being a bit judgmental, snooty, hard to read, and destined for a life of loneliness. Maybe you prefer to spend your time with a high energy, highly affectionate dog who is always trying to please. According to stereotypes, you are athletic, the life of the party, and as easy to read as an open book. Now, there’s just one question? Who is smarter?

Research Says…

For all of you die-hard cat lovers, you’ll be happy to know that what you’ve always claimed to know is the truth. Research shows there is a quantifiable difference between people’s animal preference, but here’s what you’ve been waiting on. Studies suggest that cat lovers are more intelligent than dog lovers.

At the 2014 Association for Psychological Science Meeting, Denise Guastello, a researcher and associate professor of psychology at Carroll University in Waukesha, WA, offered a presentation on the characteristics of pet owners, based on a study researchers at the university had recently completed. It seems that not only can do you see different personality traits in cat lover or dog lover, but they also have different intelligence levels. Cat lovers scored higher on intelligence than dog lovers, although this is partly due to the types of environment they prefer.

According to Guastello, “It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog.” On the flip side, “…if you’re more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.”

A Look at Different Traits

Cat lovers usually prefer to spend more time alone and adopt a nonconformist attitude. This time alone is often used to engage in intelligence boosting activities, such as reading or learning to speak a new language. According to Live Science, a reputable online site, the introversion and sensitivity cats are known for may be due to the more than 300 million neurons they possess. Dogs, on the other hand, have half that many neurons. This difference is crucial because it results in anything from an enhanced visual memory to an increased ability to survive in the wilderness.

You’ve heard the old saying “curiosity killed the cat.” Well, that’s not really true. Their natural curiosity has allowed cats to fine-tune their communication skills. For instance, they can easily indicate to their owner that they are hungry and in need of food. On the flip side, dogs are more likely to follow their owners’ cues and eat when told to do so.

It’s true that dogs can be trained to sniff out drugs and detect cancer, among other diseases, but cats are able to demonstrate sophisticated and expressive vocalizations. In fact, it has been determined that a wild cat can easily ambush his prey because they have the ability to mimic their prey.

Dogs are, overall, considerably more dependent on their owners than cats. This is largely due to evolution. Dogs were domesticated more than 20,000 years before cats, which is why they are often notoriously obedient. On the other hand, you’ll never see a cat training school. Why? They are more like their owners in that they prefer autonomy and independence, which some believe are the hallmarks of intelligence and success.

When it comes right down to it, you can make plenty of generalizations about people based on whether they prefer cats or dogs. However, there is one thing that applies to both. You can judge the heart of a person based on how they treat animals. When it comes to character, very seldom does intelligence trump surpass love and the ability to show compassion.

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