We all have that friend with the little dog who doesn’t obey at all. Then there’s the friend with the cat who has been taught to sit down, lie down, and fetch. Dog and cat owners have been arguing for centuries about which animal is the smartest. Can it be that the pet who does the most tricks is the smartest?
If we compare pets to humans then the smartest animal would be the one who learns quickly, retains the information the longest, and understands when to obey. It’s been proven that both dogs and cats can learn and retain information, and act on command as necessary.
Have you bought your pet a special can of food, only to discover that it doesn’t have a snap top lid? As soon as you pull out the can opener, your pet gets excited, yet you may not have used it for years.
Both dogs and cats can also remember positive and negative events in their lives. A dog may be excited when you pull out that doggy carrier for a trip to the vet clinic, while a cat may run and hide under the bed, even though neither has been to the vet in years.
Both dogs and cats use all their senses to remember information, perhaps better than humans do. They use their sense of taste and smell, their vision, and their ears, and even touch objects with whiskers or paws. Perhaps in this sense, they’re smarter than humans who usually only rely on vision and the occasional smell or sound to remember things.
Most people with cats agree that they can be taught as easily as dogs. Cats are trained to keep off the countertops and tables, not to scratch the furniture, and to not bite or scratch their owners. Many owners may be surprised to discover that cats often teach themselves tricks first.
If you have dogs and cats and are training your new puppy, you may see your cat watching. Then one day you say “sit” or “lie down” and the cat does it too! The cat has seen how the pup got a treat afterward, so they’re going to imitate your pup to get a treat too.
And with cats, often you must be careful what you teach them. There are naughty cats who have learned to how to open the fridge and cupboards, jump up and turn on lights, open doorknobs, and even turn deadbolts!
A dog loves to obey their human as they want to make you happy and pleased. If you’ve ever trained your cat to do tricks, they are just as eager to please you, even if there are no treats involved.
One thing is certain though. A dog will almost always obey you when receiving verbal or signed commands, while a cat will think for a bit and have to decide whether it’s convenient for them to obey.
If you’re a pet care professional on our Simple Puppy site you’ll understand how both dogs and cats are smarter in their own ways.
Featured image from Pexels