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Dogs Smarter Than Cats . . .

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Cats outsmarted in psychologist's test -Strings experiment shows limits of feline intelligence

It will cause outrage among some cat owners, but research suggests the pets are not as clever as some humans think they are – or at least think in a way we have yet to fathom.

Psychology lecturer Britta Osthaus says cats do not understand cause-and-effect connections between objects. She tested the thought processes of 15 of them by attaching fish and biscuit treats to one end of a piece of string, placing them under a plastic screen to make them unreachable and then seeing if the cats could work out that pulling on the other end of the string would pull the treat closer.

They were tested in three ways, using a single baited string, two parallel strings where only one was baited, and two crossed strings where only one was baited.

The single string test proved no problem, but unlike dogs (which Osthaus has previously tested) no cat consistently chose correctly between two parallel strings. With two crossed strings, one cat always made the wrong choice and others succeeded no more than might be expected by chance.

Osthaus, of Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, said: "This finding is somehow surprising as cats regularly use their paws and claws to pull things towards them during play and hunting. They performed even worse than dogs, which can at least solve the parallel string task."

The study helped show the limits of feline intelligence, said Osthaus, who conducted the research while a teaching fellow at Exeter University. "If we know their limits we won't expect too much of them, which in turn is important for their welfare. I am not trying to say cats are stupid, just they are different. We are so anthropomorphic we can't see the world through their eyes."

There is just one consolation. Humans don't understand string theory either.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/jun/16/psychologist-test-outsmarts-cats

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I've kept dogs and I've had cats, (though never at the same time), and they are both great pets. The following quote is true though:

If you own a dog it sees you as part of the family.

If you own a cat it sees you as staff.

We now own two cats, who would not hae fared any better in the Guardian pet intelligence test, though they are clever enough to dig a hole in the garden before having a cr@p.

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My dad (who is totally blingd) had had guide dogs for the last 30 years. When they're not working they' your typical stupid, greedy but lovable Labrador. When they're working though, my god, their level of awareness, understanding, feeling and connection they have towards their blind owner is incredible.

Recent example from my dad:

He was walking down the road to the pub and the dog sat down in the middle of the pavement and just wouldn't budge. Dad tried to coax, coerce and pull him, but she wouldn't budge. So dad let go if the dog and started feeling around with his stick and hands and found just a couple of metres in front of him, a gang-plank running at head-height from a wall to a skip.

Amazing. It's like the dog had foresight to see/feel the consequence of walking on. I think this is beyond training, and shows a level of intellegence in dogs that we don't fully understand.

Family dogs are kept and seen as useless babies. I think if you have a dog, it needs to have a job and a purpose and be treated like a dog and not a child.

Cats are smart, but I doubt they have they have the intellegence of a working dog.

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Guest X-QUORK

Cats are just expensive lap warmers, at least dogs give you a reason to take some exercise.

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A cat thinks for itself, a dog just dogs what it's told/trained to do. To some people that could make it clevier but if you left the animals on their own, a cat is clever enough to go out and catch it's own dinner, the dog would just eat the sofa :lol:

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A cat thinks for itself, a dog just dogs what it's told/trained to do. To some people that could make it clevier but if you left the animals on their own, a cat is clever enough to go out and catch it's own dinner, the dog would just eat the sofa :lol:

That's because the cat has had a cat flap built for it. You are judging the dog in the wrong environment. If there was a collapse of civilsation then the dogs would collect together in packs and hunt and scavenge together.

Cat owners say that dogs are stupid because they don't own dogs themselves and therefore just see dogs doing what we want of them, to be fun, playful and loveable family pets. That's not the dog's fault, that's our fault. The earlier post about working dogs really hits the nail on the head. If we are to judge the intelligence and ability of an animal we should see it performing in the environment that it is intended for. With dogs that means working together in packs, even if that pack consists of only one other human.

Dogs can understand commands that you have never given to it before. For example, when I was a child, we were all going out for a walk as a family and my brother was falling some way back. So my parents pointed to him and managed to communicate to the dog to get him back with the pack which the dog eventually did. A Great Dane I once owned managed to figure out how to open a closed door using a door handle on her own accord, this shows that a dog can learn by observing others. The dog rested her muzzle against the door handle to pull it downwards and bounced the door off the frame so that it would open. She then pushed her muzzle between the door and the frame and opened it.

When we had our first Great Dane we also owned a springer spaniel. We'd give the lead to the Great Dane who clenched it in his mouth which saved us from having to hold two leads. Dogs will also recognise the emotional state of the owners.

I recognise that cats cannot be judged in this way because they are not pack animals. So it is quite possible that there are some mental tasks that a cat might be more suited to. But it has to be said, the article is surprising when you consider quite what squirrels can do when trying to get past the defenses of a bird table.

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A cat thinks for itself, a dog just dogs what it's told/trained to do. To some people that could make it clevier but if you left the animals on their own, a cat is clever enough to go out and catch it's own dinner, the dog would just eat the sofa :lol:

Having owned both...my dog is perfectly capable of catching it's own dinner, and my cat was rather prone to trying to pounce at birds in the garden and bouncing off the closed patio doors. I'm going with the dog on this one.

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Most people assume cats are stupid, whereas in fact they mostly cant be bothered. Check this out (Moscow Cat Circus):

As to cats vs dogs: Apples and pears, and who cares?

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I've kept dogs and I've had cats, (though never at the same time), and they are both great pets. The following quote is true though:

If you own a dog it sees you as part of the family.

If you own a cat it sees you as staff.

We now own two cats, who would not hae fared any better in the Guardian pet intelligence test, though they are clever enough to dig a hole in the garden before having a cr@p.

The Egyptians treated cats as Gods, cat's never forgot this!

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There's two reasons why you can't really compare dogs with cats with respect to intelligence.

The first is that dogs are pack animals which are utterly dependent on co-operation for their survival. They need to be able to learn things like how their pack communicates and works together as a team to bring down prey. The only cats which do this are lions - the rest act as individuals. So dogs start out mentally better conditioned for learning novel skills.

The second is that some species of dogs have been artificially selected by humans specifically for their intelligence. The best example of this is the border collie, which has been selected over hundreds of generations specifically for its cognitive abilities. As a result, you can train a border collie to do almost anything. In fact, they need to be trained to do something, and they need to actually be allowed to do it, or they go mad. Can you imagine how intelligent humans would be if for hundreds of generations only the most intelligent were allowed to breed? Nobody has ever bred cats for their intelligence; they were bred for thick, pretty coats or docility, etc...

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well i feel i must come in here and have my say

cats are more intelligent because most of them are bears

and you can leave a cat with food and a catflap and it will be happy enough

however dogs can't be left for more than 8 hours without it being cruel to the animal

cats are more self sufficient and more likely to survive if it were a stray, by hunting down mice

mine brings one a day home, if it didnt get fed it would eat it,

and if this credit crunch continues much longer it will lol

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Can you imagine how intelligent humans would be if for hundreds of generations only the most intelligent were allowed to breed?

Nobody has ever bred cats for their intelligence; they were bred for thick, pretty coats or docility, etc...

Quite. Except we seem to be going down the opposite path now, with the dumbest doing the most breeding. Doesnt bode well....*

Cats have primarily been bred (except maybe in the last 50 years) for their single-minded psycopath tendencies. My female is the evolutionary pinnacle of cat-breeding....

*There is an old saying: 'The total level of human intelligence in the world is constant. The population is growing.'

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Hmm. Lets do a test. We'll compare creatures on an activity, we'll say doing this activity is a sign of less intelligence

Lets pick an activity cats are well known to do for fun. Then compare it to dogs - who are less well known for doing the activity for fun. Then lets claim we've discovered something.

Is this really the level of ability researchers have nowadays?

FFS Kittens chase string, puppies chase sticks.

I plan to repeat the experiment by seeing who chases sticks - on the assumption that chasing something for no rewards shows a lack of intelligence. When I demonstrate the opposirt of these people's results I will write it up, and await my nobel prize.

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Cats don't just control vermin they kill birds, not their fault as that's what they do, but it is a real problem.

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So you two here's the deal guys, we train you up and then you spend the rest of your life working for this blind dude. You need to take him every where, get his paper that sort of stuff.

Dog...

"Yeah yeah, when do we start, can't wait, do I get any time off, no.. no.. of course not silly me, well all the same to me".

Cat...

"You know what, I'm pretty happy napping all day, coming and going as I please, if the dogs up for it let him go for it, I'm off out for a bit don't wait up I got my own entrance".

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So you two here's the deal guys, we train you up and then you spend the rest of your life working for this blind dude. You need to take him every where, get his paper that sort of stuff.

Dog...

"Yeah yeah, when do we start, can't wait, do I get any time off, no.. no.. of course not silly me, well all the same to me".

Cat...

"You know what, I'm pretty happy napping all day, coming and going as I please, if the dogs up for it let him go for it, I'm off out for a bit don't wait up I got my own entrance".

:lol:

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So you two here's the deal guys, we train you up and then you spend the rest of your life working for this blind dude. You need to take him every where, get his paper that sort of stuff.

Dog...

"Yeah yeah, when do we start, can't wait, do I get any time off, no.. no.. of course not silly me, well all the same to me".

Cat...

"You know what, I'm pretty happy napping all day, coming and going as I please, if the dogs up for it let him go for it, I'm off out for a bit don't wait up I got my own entrance".

:lol::lol:

So true. My dads dog gets really excited when he gets the harness out. She loves it.

Can you imagine being that enthusiastic about a job?! :lol:

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Hmm. Lets do a test. We'll compare creatures on an activity, we'll say doing this activity is a sign of less intelligence

Lets pick an activity cats are well known to do for fun. Then compare it to dogs - who are less well known for doing the activity for fun. Then lets claim we've discovered something.

Is this really the level of ability researchers have nowadays?

FFS Kittens chase string, puppies chase sticks.

well that's an easy test.Cat's win hands down.

you throw the stick and say "fetch" to the dog,he will duly oblige and fetch it back.

do the same thing with the cat,the cat will just look at you and you can tell what it's thinking!!!!

it's saying "well YOU bloody threw it,YOU go and bring it back you lazy git!!"

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:lol::lol:

So true. My dads dog gets really excited when he gets the harness out. She loves it.

Can you imagine being that enthusiastic about a job?! :lol:

Huskies take first prize for this one. Get up, have your breakfast, then pull a sled for ten hours across snow and ice in freezing temperatures. Running, running, running, running, running. Have supper. Sleep. Get up...

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Get up, have your breakfast, then pull a sled for ten hours across snow and ice in freezing temperatures. Running, running, running, running, running. Have supper. Sleep. Get up...

Don't laugh. That's pretty much what we'll be doing for the next 20 years to pay for the debt we've accumulated

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Cat owners say that dogs are stupid because they don't own dogs themselves and therefore just see dogs doing what we want of them, to be fun, playful and loveable family pets. That's not the dog's fault, that's our fault. The earlier post about working dogs really hits the nail on the head.

I don't dissagree with you but for the record, I've lived with dogs all my life when growing up, owned my own one for a few years although at the moment I have 2 cats. I like both types of animals equally.

And to throw a curve ball in, a friend of mine is a proffessional animal communicators, yep a real life Dr. Dolittle, despite what you think (I still struggle with the concept of what he does) the results and stories he comes up with are too amazing to not be real (Channel 4 even did a documentary on him, check out www.reikicare.co.uk if you fancy).

The one thing that always crops up though is that a cat thinks for itself, now whether that makes it more intellegent or not is a different matter. I would say I was more intellegent that that pratt HalfWit on Big Brother because I can common sense where as he has a degree from Oxford, although the fact that I watch BB kind of ruins my case :lol:

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Guest Skinty
The one thing that always crops up though is that a cat thinks for itself, now whether that makes it more intellegent or not is a different matter.

People can have quite a narrow view of what intelligence is because they take their senses for granted. Most people think that intelligence is just the part that reacts to their sensory input. But if you break down all the processing that is required for making sense of the data from a video camera for example, you start to realise quite how much is involved. For example, the brain has to recognise the same object regardless of whether it has shifted in position, blurred, rotated slightly, obstructed by something else, a different colour or moved a distance away etc. Speed is also a consideration.

Because cats have to rely on their own for hunting they probably need sharper senses and sharper reflexes then dogs, who instead need to be able to judge what others in their pack are doing or are likely to do next.

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People can have quite a narrow view of what intelligence is because they take their senses for granted. Most people think that intelligence is just the part that reacts to their sensory input. But if you break down all the processing that is required for making sense of the data from a video camera for example, you start to realise quite how much is involved. For example, the brain has to recognise the same object regardless of whether it has shifted in position, blurred, rotated slightly, obstructed by something else, a different colour or moved a distance away etc. Speed is also a consideration.

Because cats have to rely on their own for hunting they probably need sharper senses and sharper reflexes then dogs, who instead need to be able to judge what others in their pack are doing or are likely to do next.

Yeah, for real, but dogs is brighter innit?

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