There’s no doubt that cats are smart. They are quick to learn and have evolved for thousands of years to observe the world and make intelligent decisions. A cat’s brain structure is actually about 90 percent similar to a human’s.
According to Psychology Today, cats have around 300 million neurons while a dog has around 160 million. Cats also have more nerve cells in visual areas of the brain than humans and most other mammals. In plain English that means that they have a well developed center for rational decision making and complex problem solving. This area of the brain is involved in planning, interpretation of communication, and memory.
If cats are so smart, why don’t we have service cats leading people with impaired vision, or police cats finding hidden drugs?
Cats find motivation in discovering personal benefit. “What’s in it for me?” They base decisions on what to do and when depending on what it can get them. They are more impulsive than dogs, and less patient. If something doesn’t reward them, they’ll move on and do something else.
Dogs are more socially adapted and will work for a treat or to make their human happy. Cats can solve more difficult problems, but only if they feel like it.