At least that is what an investigation published at the end of last year established. This study, led by Professor Suzana Herculano-Houzel of Vanderbilt University (United States), and reproduced in the prestigious publication Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, showed, at least at the quantitative level, that dogs have twice as many neurons as cats. The result was found after analyzing the neurons of the cerebral cortex (associated with thinking, planning and complex behaviour) of ferrets, mongooses, racoons, cats, dogs, hyenas, lions and grizzly bears.

In this way, it was possible to calculate that in particular dogs have around 530 million cortical neurons, while cats have about 250 million, almost half less. Although neither of the two species is compared with the 16,000 million cortical neurons present in the grey mass of the human being. Because it is the part of the brain that allows complex and flexible cognition, the findings reveal that dogs have better cognitive abilities than cats. Although Herculano-Houzel herself confessed to belonging to the group of canine fanatics, she defended the rigour in her study: "Our findings mean, in my opinion, that dogs have a greater biological capacity to do things much more complex and flexible with their lives than cats.

At least, now we have some biology that people can take into account in their discussions about which is more Intelligent: the cat or the dog.

They need to “talk”

Many times we have heard dog owners say that their pets "just need to talk". The above, thanks to their ability to identify them, to wait for them at the time of arrival at the door of the house and for their ability to make themselves understood and demonstrate feelings.

For the famous 'dog charmer' César Millán, there are three types of dog intelligence: adaptive intelligence (or ability to learn and solve a problem), instinctive intelligence and working intelligence or obedience. The first two ones -describes the expert and television presenter- are individual specifications for each dog, while the third one can be applied to an entire race.

A puppy daily stimulated with walks to exercise, which is taught new orders and games that allow him to develop his canine instinct of hunting and grazing, becomes an intelligent pet, according to Millán.

While coaches and animal owners often agree that dogs seem to learn more easily, learn more commands and be better than cats at solving problems, the controversy remains open. Maria Salazar, lover of dogs and away from these scientific discussions, believes that they can be more easily trained. "Dogs can be trained as blind eye guides to detect epilepsy attacks, such as support from firemen and police. In addition, they can learn a large number of orders and give their lives for their owners," he reflects.

Another study carried out at the University of Kyoto (Japan) and published by the Infobae portal, inquired into the ability to remember cats compared to dogs, based on three variables. Some have said that dogs are more sociable; others, that cats are more independent. But there was one issue in which the groups became antagonists: Who is smarter?

Research procedure

The Japanese researchers decided to end this discussion and for that they studied 49 domestic cats to see if they could remember which dish they had eaten in a time of 15 minutes and, communicate, that this was already empty. The results revealed that cats could answer questions related to what? or where? of a past event, as is the case of determining in which dish they ate.

In addition, the researchers said that, like dogs, they could understand human gestures and facial expressions. "The ability of cats to understand helps to understand more deeply how relations with humans are gestated," said Saho Takagi, a psychologist at Kyoto University and author of the study. "Cats can be as smart as dogs, as opposed to people’s opinion who say dogs are much smarter," he said.

Sonia Perilla, for whom cats have been a part of her life and who calls herself the "human" of Leo Segundo and Felix Primero, does not doubt that dogs are more intelligent and more easily trained than cats. "I like cats not because they are more or less trainable, but because they have a fascinating behavior; They are enigmatic, easy to care for and maintain; In addition, they somehow find the way for me to do what they want, to communicate with me with purrs, different meows and caresses, when they want.

For me, that's enough. I do not expect them to bring me the newspaper, to solve mathematical problems or to come running every time I call them. " Anyway. If dogs and cats are already caught fighting each other, it is not worthwhile for humans to discuss which of them is smarter. Ultimately, everything depends on tastes and choices.