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What is IQ of a cat?

Cat IQ vs. Dog IQ: Who’s Smarter?

Cat IQ vs. Dog IQ: Who

There has been much research done to try to address the question of whether or not your cat is intelligent. According to the consensus, most people who own pets believe their dogs are more intelligent than their cats.

On the other hand, it’s possible that we don’t give our feline companions enough credit. Tricks are harder to master for cats than they are for dogs. Although they do not help the blind or sniff out bombs, they do not run agility courses at the request of their owners, and they do not sniff out explosives. However, cats can be pretty bright in a variety of other ways.

Over the years, numerous investigations have been conducted to determine the level of intellect cats possess. It can be challenging to get to know a cat’s perspective. However, many individuals believe that their cat possesses some level of intelligence. Most of us can recall funny or exciting things our pets have done. It would appear that many cats have a strong capacity for analytical thinking and finding solutions to problems. Is it possible that these people are just projecting too much of themselves onto their cat’s behavior? Or, could your cat be a genius?

Assessing certain aspects of animals, such as their level of intelligence, can be challenging at times. There is not just one method for determining an animal’s level of intellect, the same as there is with human beings. The best way to gauge someone’s intelligence is to compare it to ours and see how it measures up. This can make life more difficult for certain animals, such as cats. It’s not accurate to say that cats are less intelligent than dogs; instead, they have a distinct kind of intelligence. Even while cats do not possess the same level of brightness as humans, this does not indicate that the cat you own is not a clever animal. The only way to determine whether or not your cat is intelligent is to investigate how cats put their intelligence to work for themselves.

Which is Smarter? Dogs or Cats?

It would be simple to determine if your cat is intelligent by comparing it to a dog. Dog and Cat owners have long debated about which pet is the most intelligent. This is shown in the research cited previously, which directly contrasted cats and dogs. While each pet owner has their idea of their furry companions, according to scientific assessments, which are the most intelligent?

Is your cat clever? Or are they not just as intelligent as dogs? Researchers have discovered that dogs are slightly more intelligent than cats. They are far more teachable. This is primarily dependent on their capacity for interpersonal interaction. Dogs are capable of learning significantly more complex tricks and talents. They also have heightened senses compared to humans, which they use to perform duties for their owners. This is most typically observed in canines with a keen sense of smell. They can also be trained to execute sophisticated jobs like seeing-eye dogs.

As we have seen earlier, dogs may be slightly smarter than your cat. This intelligence can be attributed to the fact that dogs have been domesticated significantly longer than cats. Due to their closer biological resemblance to humans, dogs are easier to evaluate by having them do predetermined activities. As they are unwilling to undertake arbitrary activities for humans, cats are more challenging to test. It is possible that cats, like dogs, may use their heightened awareness to perform tasks for humans. However, it would not be easy to convince a cat to do so. Your cat may still be intelligent, but not in a way that is comparable to a dog’s intelligence.

Do Fewer Neurons Imply That Your Cat Is Not Intelligent?

Numerous cat academics have sought to address the question, «Is your cat intelligent?» Recent research has sought to quantify the number of neurons your cat possesses. The study concentrated on neurones, perceiving their quantity as a valuable indicator of general intelligence. The experiment determined the number of neural connections to the cerebral cortex. This region of the brain is responsible for the majority of mental labor. It is fundamental to the intelligence of humans and many other organisms. It is a good starting point for determining whether your cat is intelligent.

A study shows dogs have twice as many brain connections as a typical cat. Does this imply cats are less intelligent than dogs? They do not necessarily lack intelligence, but they lack the connections between regions of the brain that generally allow for intelligent behavior. It does indicate that their brains are less similar to ours than those of dogs. However, this is not entirely unexpected. Researchers have discovered that early canines evolved from wolves with brain structures that intuitively seek social interaction, much like early humans. This makes it easier to compare them.

These neurons have nothing to do with brain size. The brain size does not correlate with the number of higher processes occurring therein. A little dog will continue to possess more neurons than a giant cat. Despite being smaller than dogs, cats have fewer neurons. This does not fully answer the question of whether your cat is intelligent. This study provides only one perspective.

Does Brain Size Matter?

Because the brain relies on neurons to process information, the greater the number of neurons in an animal’s cerebral cortex, the greater the amount of data it can likely process and the greater its mental capacities. To begin with, dogs, having larger brains, possessed more than twice as many neurons in their cerebral cortex as domestic cats, with approximately 530 million cortical neurons compared to 250 million for the cat. (In comparison, the human brain contains billions of neurons.) This suggests that canines are capable of more sophisticated and adaptable behavior than cats.

However, it was not simply the case that the dog was smarter than the cat. The brain of the Golden Retriever contained more cortical neurons than those of the African lion and brown bear, even though the lion and bear had far larger cerebral cortices than the dog. In other words, the dog’s brain was more densely packed with neurons. It appears that thousands of years of domestication have not diminished the intelligence of our canine companion.

Before dog lovers tell their cat-loving friends, «I told you so,» it is crucial to remember that the sample size was extremely small. In the study, there was only one cat and two dogs. The neuron counts were too disparate to be explained by individual variation alone. However, it is almost clear that the tendency would remain the same despite adding more animals.

Importantly, the scientists did not conduct animal IQ testing on living dogs and cats or watch the animals’ behavior. The findings are based solely on brain cells. Even though dogs are more intelligent than cats, there is little evidence that they utilize their total mental capacity. In reality, no animal is better at being a cat than a cat, and no animal is better at being a dog than a dog. And which one makes the ideal pet? It varies entirely on whom you ask.

Is Your Cat Intelligent in Various Ways?

The brain anatomy of a cat is around 90% identical to that of a person. This may not seem like much, but this 10% difference is significant. Although cats have fewer neuron connections to the cerebral cortex than humans and dogs, they surpass us in other areas. Cats have significantly more developed visual regions of the brain than dogs. These regions are more developed than those of the majority of mammals, including humans. This indicates that your cat has superior visual intelligence to ours. This enhanced sense can provide kids various benefits, although it may be difficult to observe when they play with toys all day.

This is why comparing cat intelligence to human intelligence is somewhat flawed. To determine whether or not your cat is intelligent, you must understand that they are intelligent differently than humans. The intellect of cats may not appear advantageous to humans, but it is essential for cats. If your cat were evaluating your IQ, they would deduct points for your lack of hunting prowess! Cats live a different lifestyle and have other demands than humans. Thus it is only logical that their intelligence differs.

When comparing cats and dogs, domestication levels must be taken into account. Cats are substantially less domesticated than dogs, according to experts. A dog’s mind and daily activity are entirely focused on social interaction with people. In contrast, we do not share the same relationship with a cat. While we can determine a dog’s intellect based on how well it performs on human-created tests, this is not the case for cats.

Related: The 10 Highest IQs Cat Breeds In The World


  • [1] ^ American Kennel Club: Are Dogs Really Smarter Than Cats?
  • [2] ^ Which are smarter, cats or dogs? We asked a scientist

How Clever Is Your Cat? – The Omlet Cat IQ Test

Cats are famous for several things. Independence, hunting and purring, for example. But intelligence? That’s a word more commonly handed out to dogs and parrots.

But that doesn’t mean cats aren’t smart. It’s simply that they don’t show off or shout about it. Under that cool exterior, there may be a lot of brain power.

So, do you have a feline Einstein, or more of a Tired Tom?

To find out how your pet’s grey matter measures up, we’ve put together this fun Cat IQ test. Put puss through her paces and see how she compares to the other brain-fit felines out there! Add up your results in the points column and share them with your friends!

The Omlet Cat IQ Test

1 . How old is your cat?

Less than 1 year

The years of peak feline fitness are matched by peak brain power.

2 . Does your cat respond to its name?

No zero points here, as a cat that knows its own name may sometimes simply choose to ignore it!

3 . Does your cat sit in the middle of the street?

Basic knowledge of what constitutes a dangerous place is key to cat intelligence.

4 . Does your cat run out in front of cars?

Awareness of danger sorts the smart cat from the not-so-smart.

5 . Does your cat stalk and kill small animals?

For a cat, a hunting brain equals a clever brain.

6 . What is your cat like around people?

A cat that can differentiate between people is a smart puss.

7 . How does your cat react when you come home?

Pleased to see you, rubbing and meowing

Bright cats will be pleased to see you.

8 . How does your pet respond to other cats in the neighbourhood?

In a friendly way

Clever cats need to work out their place in the feline hierarchy.

9 . How does your cat respond to strange dogs?

A smart puss knows an enemy when it sees one, and also knows when a fight isn’t worth it!

10 . Present your cat with food she’s not tried before. How does she react?

Refuses to eat it

Not everything is edible, and a sensible cat will show a certain amount of caution.

11 . At feeding time, put an unopened tin of food next to the food bowl. What does the cat do?

Sits and looks at the tin, and then at you

Interaction with the tin suggests that the cat knows it contains food.

12 . Hold one of the cat’s favourite toys in front of her for a few seconds, and then hide it. Make sure your pet is watching as you do this. What does she then do?

Look for the toy, and find it

Cats don’t always want to ‘play ball’, so it might be worth trying this one a few times before deciding on the result.

13 . Place a windup toy on the floor and let it ‘run’ under a chair, sofa, or other piece of furniture. What does your cat do?

Anticipates were it will emerge, either by moving there or simply watching the space

A bright puss can deduce where the toy will emerge. But she might just not be in the mood!

14 . Put your shoes and coat on, as if you were about to leave. What is the cat’s reaction?

Meows or rubs against you

Observant cats will recognise the clues that mean you’re about to leave the building.

15 . Has your cat learned to – or tried to – open doors, cupboards, windows, etc?

Clever cats watch and work it out, soon learning that things can be opened.


The smartest cats are thought to have an IQ equivalent to a 2- or 3-year-old human. How did yours do?

5-10 – Not-So-Cool Cat – Your pet barely has a claw on the IQ scale – less catnip and more training required!

11-19 – Tired Tom – Maybe your cat was feeling a bit lazy today… and every other day, come to that!

20-28 – Purrfect Puss – nothing wrong with this score, although if your cat keeps on looking and listening it might learn even more.

29-37 – Moggy Mastermind – your pet is well above the average when it comes to knowing how the world ticks.

38-42 – Feline Einstein – only a tiny percentage of cats are this clever!

This entry was posted in Cats

Feline Intelligence: How Your Cat’s Brain Works

Ivan, my 12-year-old Siberian, is a brainiac. It’s a challenge sometimes to stay one step ahead of him. When he was about four months old, he learned to open a cabinet door to get his favorite toy. He then transferred that knowledge to other cabinets and various types of closet doors not only in our home but also in our pet sitter’s home. One day I heard a slam-bang noise and discovered Natasha, our diva cat, opening the original cabinet, under Ivan’s tutelage. Ivan’s behavior is the definition of intelligence in action, and many cat parents tell similar stories.

Feline intelligence—no, it’s not oxymoron. Cats are among the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom. They often get short shrift on the perception of intelligence, especially when compared to dogs, but not because dogs outsmart them. There are simply a greater number of studies about intelligence, memory, and cognitive abilities in dogs, and that research doesn’t transfer to cats. Much of the information about feline intelligence comes from cat owner anecdotes, plus the few studies designed for cats to give us a glimpse into the unique feline intelligence.

Intelligence is defined as the ability to learn from an experience, retain that knowledge, and use it to solve problems in a new environment. Intelligence is seated in the brain, but while a cat’s brain measures about two inches, weighs between 0.9 to 1.1 ounces and occupies about 0.9 percent of their body mass, it is surface folding and brain structure that are most important in assessing intelligence, not brain size. The feline brain’s structure and surface folding is 90 percent similar to that of humans. In humans, the cerebral cortex, the region of the brain that controls thinking and rational decision-making, contains 21 to 26 billion neurons, or nerve cells. Cats have 300 million neurons compared to dogs with 160 million neurons. This high-octane brain power fuels feline intelligence.

The cerebral cortex not only governs higher functions of rational thought, but also problem solving. It’s also the storage area for short-and long-term memory. Memory is how the brain stores, recalls and uses information learned from past experiences. Episodic memory is specific to an individual; it’s long-term memory of “what,” “where” and “when” experiences and specific events from an individual’s life. A new study has shown cats can recall and use information of “what” and “where” from a single experience.

Like humans, cats learn by observation and doing. Examples include opening doors, ringing bells and turning on light switches. This is procedural memory, and cats excel at it. Research shows these memories last 10 years or more. Cats associate the memory of an event or place with the emotions they experienced in the surroundings or locations. They will remember experiencing traumatic stress, pain or fear in the veterinarian’s exam room. Fortunately, they remember positive experiences, too, especially when food or play is involved.

Based on several studies, behaviorists believe an adult cat’s intelligence is comparable to that of a 2-year-old human toddler. Studies have shown cats have object permanence recognition, an awareness of objects that aren’t directly visible. That is, out of sight doesn’t mean vanished forever.

Human babies progress through the concept in six stages within their first two years and reach a true understanding of the fifth stage when they are approximately 12 months old. Studies show that cats mastered Stage 5, in which they saw a desirable object such as tasty food, and then it disappeared behind a box. The cats searched for and found the food. Studies of Stage 6 have shown mixed results. In some, cats were unable to reach Stage 6, invisible displacement, in which the object is hidden without the cat seeing it moved. Other studies found cats capable of Stage 6 object permanence when a different, more species-relevant methodology was used.

Cats are able to hold an object in mind and reason where it may be. Stash toys in a cabinet or treats in a drawer where your cat can’t see them? He still knows they’re there.

Cats clearly have a superior ability to learn new information, mesh it with existing information, recall it, and use that information in other situations. This cognitive ability makes them card-carrying members of the highly intelligent class. We may never know the full depth of feline cognitive abilities, but their keen aptitude continues to surprise us.

This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT

Published February 6, 2018

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