Well, I always thought dogs were supposed to be smarter than cats! This article proves that this may not indeed be the case. Interesting read. Diana Davidson, Westside Dog Nanny
Here are some good reasons for you to geek out about the awesomeness of this essential part of feline anatomy, your cat’s brain.
1. Cat brains are comparatively smaller than ours
In terms of the ratio of brain mass to body mass, a cat’s brain takes up 0.9 percent of total body mass. Humans’ brains occupy about 2 percent of total body mass, and dogs’ brains occupy about 1.2 percent. But when it comes to intelligence, size matters a whole lot less than other factors.
2. Structurally, cats’ brains are more complex than dogs’
The cerebral cortex is the area of the brain responsible for thinking and rational decision-making. Cats’ cerebral cortexes are much more complex than those of dogs, with almost 300 million nerve cells compared to about 160 million in the dog.
3. Cats have better short-term memory than dogs
In an experiment in which cats and dogs were tested to find out how well they could remember where food had been hidden, cats’ short-term memory lasted about 16 hours, whereas dogs’ only lasted about five minutes.
4. Researchers don’t know which species has better long-term memory
Although cats don’t store a lot of information in long-term memory, the people and places cats choose to bank in long-term storage can stay put for many years. Since the cerebral cortex is responsible for storing long-term memory, it could be argued that a cat’s more complex cerebral cortex may lead to better long-term memory.
5. Cats learn by observation
If your cat watches you open the cabinet enough times, he will, like my refrigerator-opening feline housemates, figure out how to do it by himself. Kittens learn by watching their mothers hunt, eat, groom, and so on, and then repeating the behavior themselves until they get it right.
6. Cats’ brain function can decline as they age
Elderkitties can develop a condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome is caused by deterioration of the brain and can lead to symptoms such as disorientation, depression, inappropriate elimination and antisocial behavior. But just as with humans, not all cats develop this disease.
7. A cat is a lot smarter than an iPad
You may think your new tablet is awesome: so much processing power, so much storage space, so much speed. But don’t gloat too much, because your cat’s brain can smoke your iPad. A typical iPad has 60 gigabytes of data storage space, but your cat’s brain has about 91,000 gigabytes. In terms of processing speed, your iPad does about 170 million operations per second. Your cat’s brain, on the other hand, does 6.1 trillion operations per second. Unfortunately, your cat doesn’t have wi-fi and 4G data access.
Jane A Kelley
Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny
310 919 9372