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Pet Intelligence Face-Off Sparks Debate

In the perennial battle of wits between America's favorite pets, new research throws a curveball into the dog vs. cat intelligence saga.

dog vs cat intelligence


  • A recently published study from Hungary suggests that not only are cats unwilling test participants, but unlike dogs, they also show little interest in following human pointing gestures to score treats
  • Just 7% of the cats followed pointing gestures at least half the time and were above chance; the remaining 93% were guessing rather than gathering information about which container held the treat based on where the experimenter was pointing
  • An earlier study produced different results — this group of cats understood pointing gestures at least 75% of the time, performing significantly above chance
  • Further exploration is necessary to understand the underlying mechanisms of the cats’ behavior; is it possible the process of domestication has resulted in cats with social-cognitive abilities that allow them to communicate better with humans?

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