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Which is Smarter: Dog or Cat?

A Parade Magazine article (i.e. a definitive research journal!) recently argued the pros and cons to this question. And, I am sure that both dog owners and cat owners read the article differently...and reached different conclusions.

Yet, the article concluded with these two words "WINNER: DOGS." That is ample evidence for me....

As part of the argument, the article noted:

  • The average dog can learn 165 words, which is equivalent to the vocabulary of a two-year-old child
  • The average cat can learn 35 words
Now, I know everyone's dog or cat is above average...so test them out. Does you dog know more than 165 words....or your cat more than 35 words? Devise an experiment to test the above claims. What words fit for dogs beyond, fetch, sit, stay, heel,...or for cats...sorry, I cannot think of a single word any cat I know would react to!

But, when forming your experiment, first consider what does it mean "to know" a word? For example, I can say "blah...blah...di...dah" to my dogs and they look at me with a twist of their head and ears raised. Did they realize that I had spoken gibberish to them...or did they decipher my code and actually realize that I had asked them to integrate e-x2.

Source: Parade Magazine, July 31, 2011, pp. 15-16.