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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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