According to one new study, the answer to the question: who’s smarter? has been answered. BUT — if you’re not convinced — and you shouldn’t be — check out This vs That’s 1-hour episode “Dogs vs Cats” — found at the end of this post, where your favorite pets are run through a series of cognitive development experiments, overseen by the chair of UCLA’s Animal Cognition Lab.
Reprinted with permission. © Algemeen Dagblad, 2013. (Rotterdam’s Daily Newspaper)
Rotterdam (September 20, 2013) – Assisting the blind, sniffing for drugs, rolling over and playing fetch were just a few of the experiments conducted whose results revealed with absolute 100% certainty that dogs are smarter than cats, according to a 10 year longitudinal study by a team of zoologists, scientists, cognitive researchers and animal behavior experts certified by the European Union of Animal Intelligence at the University of Rotterdam’s Zwijndrecht campus. With one scientist adding,
“There’s no way around this… cats are stupid.”
The explosive findings – certain to cause outrage – are set to be reported in the forthcoming edition of the Journal of Animal Behavior, Cognition and Intelligence, based upon the assessment of cognitive abilities, behavior and social interaction of more than 1200 dogs and 1200 cats, from 2002 to 2012.
While numerous animal intelligence studies previously have determined an individual animal type’s empirical intelligence, using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale — “This is the first study in which animals literally faced off against one another — gladiator style,” added lead scientist, Dr. Henrick Stommerik,
“In nearly every head to head battle, it was clear from the outset that the dogs were more intelligent. In fact, a few times, It was so sad watching the dogs just crush the cats. Literally run circles around them. During one experiment in particular, I thought that the dogs would have faced stiffer competition from a toaster.”
In addition to determining that the dog is much smarter than the cat, the researchers concluded:
- At abstract problem solving, cats are abject failures.
- At analogical reasoning, cats are total failures.
- At concentration and mental control, cats are unambiguous failures.
- At visual perception, cats are total failures.
- At visual motor coordination, cats are uber-failures.
- At comprehending abstract social convention, cats are unmitigated failures.
“To put this into context,” added Dr. Stommerik, “Rats are better at solving problems than cats, pigeons do better at reasoning and mental control, and the common garden slug tests higher in comprehending social convention.”
Scientists conducted more than 30 head-to-head experiments in the course of their work. Here are but three examples.
In this experiment, designed to determine how quickly an animal is able to learn, food bowls are placed at both ends of the “T”. However, only the bowl on the right contains actual food. The dog and cat are placed simultaneously at the bottom of the “T”…. a loud horn blows and then the animals are instructed to “go find the food.” 98% of the time, the dog found the food first. “50% of the cats did absolutely nothing. I might as well have been talking to the plants,” said Dr. Stommerik after he instructed the animals to find the food. “The other 50% of the cats – after the horn blew – leapt out of the enclosure and hid under a nearby couch.”
In this next experiment, toys are placed in the center of the arena, the first is a toy the animal got to play with for a few minutes before the experiment began. The second toy is brand new and the animal has never seen it before. Once the dog and cat are simultaneously placed into the arena, the lid to a crock pot is dropped in order to get the animals to focus… at which point, the owners shout from the opposite side of the fence, asking their pet to fetch the name of the new toy. The animal is charged with using intellect and reason to determine that their owner wants the new item in the arena, because it’s NOT the old toy, which they had previously played with.
“Asking the dogs to fetch a new toy was like asking them to breathe… or fart,” said Dr. Stommerick. “Fetching and retrieving are woven into a dog’s DNA.” According to the research, of the 1200 cats tested be the scientists, only 87 exhibited a behavior other than standing sill — almost paralyzed – after the pan lid was dropped. That behavior was: leap out of the fenced in arena and hide under a nearby couch.
In this next experiment, a man enters the arena with both the dog and cat. He plays and bonds with both of them animals for 7 minutes. At which time, he climbs the ladder and when he reaches the top, he slams his hand on the ladder, falls the ground, and shouts “Help. Help me! Get a doctor!” “This experiment is designed to determine what level of compassion or anxiety the animal is able to exhibit,” said Dr. Stommerick.
According to the team’s findings, 57% of the dogs exhibited behavior they would classify as indicative of anxiety or compassion. Some of the dogs barked, wagged their tail and ran around in circles – an atypical behavior, indicative of anxiety. And some of the dogs raced over to the injured man to provide comfort by licking his face. And the cats? “When the man fell and shouted for help, 93% of the cats leapt from the arena and hid under a nearby couch.” As for the other 7%? What did they do in response to the falling and shouting man? Dr. Stommrick says, almost with glee: “They experienced a sudden miocardial infarction. (He pauses, then adds) They dropped dead.”
In an address to reporters outside his office at University of Rotterdam’s Zwijndrecht campus, Dr. Stommerik concluded with:
“Anyone who owns a cat is a moron. You will get more reciprocal companionship from a box of hammers and a richer and deeper social bond with a turd. Plus, neither the turd or the hammers will attempt to scratch out your eyes like a f*cking cat will.”
This article is reprinted by permission from © Algemeen Dagblad, 2013.
If you love dogs & cats, you’ll love This vs That’s unique experiments to determine which of your pets is really smarter. Overseen by the Chair of UCLA’s Animal Cognition Lab, dogs and cats are tested for their ability to 1. map human language, 2. demonstrate empathy and 3. their ability to learn from their errors. See how our tests compare to recent studies and your own observations.
Plus, we also reveal the best method to remove blood stains from carpet.
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