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Study Finds Cat People Are More Intelligent Than Dog People

Study Finds Cat People Are More Intelligent Than Dog People

We’ve all heard the sayings before: Must love dogs. Time spent with cats is never wasted. Man’s best friend. There is no one more loyal than a cat. And for those of the Tinder set: Don’t like dogs? Swipe left.

Indeed, the rivalry between cat lovers and dog lovers has existed since the start of time, and the answer to that seemingly innocuous question—are you a dog lover or a cat lover?—carries with it either open arms or the death of a friendship. If we were to go by stereotype, cat lovers are, by nature, isolated creatures, usually of the female persuasion, who are haughty, judgmental, and destined for loneliness. Dog lovers, on the other hand, are affable, athletic, and energetic—the life of the party, readily pleased, and as easy to read as an open book.

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Well, that rivalry is about to intensify: Recent research demonstrates quantifiable differences between people’s preferences for pets. And, as any die-hard cat owner will claim they’ve known all along, these studies suggest that cat lovers are more intelligent than dog lovers.

Cat got your tongue? Read on.

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At the annual Association for Psychological Science meeting, researcher and associate professor of Psychology at Carroll University Denise Guastello found that the personality differences between cat people and dog people aren’t just an economical way of judging character. In part because of the environments they prefer, cat lovers scored higher on intelligence than dog lovers.

“It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog,” Guastello said. On the other paw, “…if you’re more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you’re at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.”

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If you’re like your cat—a nonconformist, prone to spending a great deal of time alone—you are probably also more prone to using that time in solitude effectively, whether it’s reading or learning a new language. Such sensitivity and introversion may be because cats have 300 million neurons, while dogs have roughly half of that, Live Science reports. And that difference is significant, from the ability to survive in the wilderness to increased visual memory.

Turns out, it wasn’t satisfaction that brought back the curious cat, but knowledge—and a keen sense for how to use it. Cats—mercurial, mysterious, and savvy—have, over time, fine-tuned their communication skills with humans to persuade their owners to feed them when they’re hungry, accounting for more than one chagrined morning of interrupted sleep, whereas dogs are much more likely to follow their owners’ cues. And while dogs have the ability to sniff out drugs and detect cancer, among other illnesses, cats demonstrate more expressive and sophisticated vocalizations: It was found that a wild cat can manipulate an ambush to its advantage by possessing the ability to mimic the call of its prey. Further, dogs are, by and large, much more dependent on their owners than cats, for which evolution is largely responsible—dogs were domesticated 20,000 years before cats, and are notoriously obedient because of it. Cats, meanwhile, are much like their owners: Icons of independence and autonomy, which, according to some, are the hallmarks of intelligence and success.

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Bark or mewl, pounce or purr, whether you prefer a pup to join you for runs around the park or a cat to sit on your lap as you read Chaucer; are an extrovert or an introvert or somewhere in between, one generalization is irrefutably true: We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. And when it comes to character, rarely does intelligence trump love and the capacity for compassion.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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