Yes, it is true that dogs have some naughty qualities to them, like peeing on your expensive rug, or chewing up your favorite pair of loafers. They may even annoy you by always grabbing your food off your plate when you aren’t looking, but despite their misbehaviors, it has actually been proven that dogs are smarter than cats.
There are researchers at Vanderbilt who decided to run studies on the number of cortical neurons located in the middle of the brains of a number of different animals, and what the results showed, was that dogs actually have a great number more than cats. What they discovered was that dogs have approximately 530 million neurons compared to about 250 million in cats. Compare both of these to humans, who have about 16 billion, which puts both into perspective.
According to Suzana Herculano-Houzel, the associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt, who oversaw the study, said this, “I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially 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.”
The paper with the research findings is set to be published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy (and you can expect it will ne found on Reddit, which happens to be the Internet’s haven for cat lovers), discusses how the physical size of the brain is not what determines intelligence. For one example, a large bear who is known to have a brain that is nearly 10 times as large as a cat’s, was found to have about as many neurons as a cat’s brain. Another animal that is similar in intelligence levels as a cat, is a Raccoon.
According to Herculano-Houzel, she says that you can expect that this debate will not bee dissolving anytime too soon. Although the study was completely objective, she did admit that she, herself, is a bit biased. She is quoted as saying, “I’m 100 percent a dog person,” she says, “but, with that disclaimer, our findings mean to me that dogs have the biological capability of doing much more complex and flexible things with their lives than cats can.