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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 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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