Are tigers smarter than cats? What about dogs?

Or to broaden the subject a little. Are any of the bigger felines (lions, tigers, panthers, pumas, etc.) smarter than your typical cat?

And as an aside, has it been established that dogs are smarter than cats? I would think so but this is a subjective opinion.

Here’s what Cecil says on the cat and dog issue.

Tigers and lions are big and dangerous and this bigness and dangerousness makes them less than ideal research subjects. That said, people who train animals for movies and TV shows and stunts and the circus consider them similar. I’d guess that Lions, who live in groups, are easier to train than tigers and housecats, who like to play solo, but that’s just a hunch.

Dogs and cats want different things out of life, therefore, it’s difficult to compare their ability to get the things they want.

Cats will not work very hard to figure out what you want, because they are not as social as dogs. Additionally, cats don’t do as much as dogs. Cat’s basically scavenge hunt, mate, and, if they are female, raise families. (Cats sort of maintain territory, but the boundaries often have overlap –either because cats are tolerant or because they don’t pay much attention or because of some other reason that doesn’t make sense to a human mind.) That’s it. Dogs do all that, have clear territorial boundaries, maintain social order, and find or dig dens. Because they are built to do more things, they’re probably smarter than cats.

By the way, teaching a cat to do tricks isn’t complicated, it’s just time-consuming.

Since you mentioned it:

The only thing that has been established is in general dogs are easier to train then cats which has nothing to do with intelligence as it could be said:

1 Dogs are more intelligent because they can be trained
2 Cats are more intelligent because they are not duped so easily as to be trained.

Also dogs are much ‘more’ domesticated then cats so it seems like dogs will be easier to train.

Have to disagree here. Male cats will have absolute territories and will not allow another male cat to enter but territories are time sliced as well as having geographic boundries. They will enforce this to the best of their ability (females are somewhat more willing to allow a territorial violation).

I once heard an NPR blurb that tigers are easier to train. The subject was biological inaccuracies in the movies, and it was stated as a reason that tigers were often used for “large cat” parts even when the action is supposed to be taking place in Africa, where they don’t live. The guy being interviewed claimed that trained tigers were much easier to find and cheaper than trained lions.

Most domestic animals, including cats and dogs, are not as smart as their wild relatives, because they don’t have to be. A cat or dog that is cute and cuddly, or just dumb and lovable, may well live to a ripe old age and have offspring because humans will give it food and shelter. A stupid wild predator will not do so and its smarter littermates will have more living offspring. Think of the number of dog and cat breeds that are known more for some quirk of appearance than for brains. In some cases, we even select for such traits at the expense of intelligence. Some Siamese cats bred for a long pointy head are numbskulls, whereas the old-fashioned “apple head” Siamese were often quite clever. Ditto for some collies (although not the true working border collie).

One effect of breeding for domestication on many species has been prolonged juvenile state. I.e., adult dogs are somewhat similar to their adolescent wild ancestors. Ditto cats. Most adolescents aren’t as smart as the adults (although they like to think otherwise).

Cecil is a Dog person!

We all trust Cecil with most facts but how can we listen to someone in this dog vs. Cat argument who is so blatantly biased.

Please do not strike me down oh glorious leader for finding imperfection in your being.

Dogs are more readily trained than cats, but don’t forget: MOST of the time, when we train dogs, what we’re really doing is getting them to produce natural canine behaviors on cue.

That is, it would be a MAJOR sign of canine intelligence if we could teach dogs to do things that wolves, coyotes and other wild canines aren’t already predisposed to do. But typically, that’s not the case. For example, all canines KNOW instinctively how to sit- so, when we teach our beagles or poodles to do it on cue, that’s not an intellectual breakthrough.

So, since cats don’t naturally flush toilets in the wild this proves that cats are smarter than dogs? :smiley: