Those that side with dogs over cats have touted the capability and complex flexibility of dogs over cats and a recent study continues to affirm the dog over cat anecdote. Oxford research, in the past, have claimed that the brains of social animals such as dogs tend to grow at an accelerated rate than reclusive animals such as cats.
Adding to the never-ending match of dogs versus cats, it looks like dogs have scored another point. Researchers have discovered that dogs contain twice as many neurons as cats; neuron density is associated with intelligence and overall cognitive function such as thinking, strategizing, and other complex functions. During the study, many animals were examined, particularly mammals considered canny enough to outwit their prey in the wilderness. The survival instincts of those mammals brought about a theory that they may comprise a prominent amount of neurons than expected.
Dogs were found to have outnumbered cats in cortical neurons around the ballpark of five hundred thirty-million to two hundred and fifty million. A golden retriever had six hundred and twenty-seven cortical neurons-more than any of the other animal subjects. Surprisingly, brown bears held about the same amount of neurons as cats, while raccoons stunningly had far more neurons than their small physical brains would some researchers think.
Although this study helps the narrative of dog-lovers in the ongoing trivial discourse of pets, neuroscientists at Vanderbilt University would like for their findings to be taken with a grain of salt until further research is done.
For the meantime, cat lovers shouldn’t feel so bad, as the pet domestication debate has gone to the length of comparing owners. In 2014, “cat-people” were considered smarter than dog owners; the 11% of cat lovers scored higher on IQ tests than the 60% of self-identified “dog people,” and were found to be more likely to have a college degree. The study suggested that cats were more independent and required less attention, while dogs were needy and may not be the choice of pet for an intellect- or introvert, which cats owners tended to fit under in personality tests.
Until further compare and contrast are done, cat owners can stay out late knowing they don’t have to hurry home to walk their cat and can go to sleep knowing they’re smarter than dog owners. Meanwhile, dog owners can go to sleep knowing their dog’s companionship will extend to protection from harm, and that their dog is more outgoing than a cat and cat owner combined. THERE! Everyone wins in the end!