Who is Smarter - Dogs or Cats?

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The longtime question: Who is smarter: Dog or Cat?

As long as I can remember this question has been posed. Most cat pet parents will tell you their cat is smarter than a dog and most dog pet parents will tell you their dog is smarter than a cat. 

There is a recent study that states both dogs and cats are equally smart. 

There tends to be more research done on dogs so having a study now that indicates both dogs and cats have similar "smarts" is a good thing. However, I don't suspect a cat pet parent or a dog pet parent need a study to tell them how smart their cat or dog is.  

The study showed cats (like dogs) respond to the facial expressions and physical gestures of humans.

For me this indicates cats are as sentient as dogs. That both dogs and cats can relate to our feelings and express their own feelings. If you live with a dog and a cat or even two or more dogs or cats you will also notice them expressing feelings to one another. One of the most endearing qualities of a dog or cat is their ability to relate to our emotions and to express their own emotions. Even more remarkable is their ability to express empathy for humans as well as each other.

Have you ever been very sad and perhaps crying when your dog or cat approach you to comfort you in some way? 

That demonstrates empathy. We see many species of animals demonstrate empathy for each other all the time. That they empathize with humans is especially remarkable.

Episodic memory is related to introspection, and according to the lead study author, it could be that cats “may enjoy actively recalling memories of their experience like humans”. Dogs have also been proven to have episodic memory. 

This kind of recall and memory contributes to building relationships among other things. This allows humans to build a bond and long term relationship with a dog or a cat. We know our dog or cat sniff us to learn about who we are. They know our smell and now we know they relate to our facial expressions and physical gestures and those experiences can become episodic memories. This all contributes to building a relationship. The love between a dog and a human parent  or a cat and their human parent is a remarkable thing to observe and see in action. 

When any relationship is built on love and respect the relationship develops a deep and trustworthy bond. 

If you are so fortunate to share this kind of a bond with your dog or your cat, consider yourself a super pet parent. May you experience many years of enjoyment together!