Or is my cat smarter because she just doesn't care?

...and I still feed her.
Cats are smarter because it doesn't necessarily take a pack of them working together to survive.
And since when was brain size an indication of intelligence? Men on average have larger brains than women, does this make them more intelligent than women?
I stopped reading at "analysed." If they can't fucking spell, I'm not going to read it.
@2, well duh.
@3 -- Non-American Spelling. Oxford University.
Cats didn't need to evolve.

I watched this documentary called "Decoding Dogs" (from PBS, available in full on Netflix) which had some cool info on the difference between dogs and wolves. Genetically they're almost identical (coyotes too), but instinctively dogs know how to look where you point and are less aggressive. This makes them able to work with and live with humans.
But dogs aren't even smarter than cats when it comes to socialization. Dogs have a fairly simple pack structure, and their body language is all about avoiding conflict (when possible) and communally defending territory. Cats, even feral cats living in groups, have an incredibly complex system of etiquette for interacting with other cats, and they're always thinking cynically about how to get ahead.
But Charles, socialism means you don't have to keep track of others, since they present no danger. It's the freaking-out capitalist's brain that has to get bigger. Socialism is the regression.
I refuse to believe that cats even have brains. I've met some pretty stupid dogs in my day (we had one that took two years to learn how to climb stairs), but even the dumbest was smarter than a thousand cats.

Brains aren't that important, anyways. Marsupials are almost brainless (saves loads of scarce energy), and they're adorable. Everybody runs on instinct, anyways; brains are just for fun.
Charles, I dig your schtick in that you look for commonality in two seemingly unrelated things but to say brain advancement due to "social" interaction somehow equates to "socialism" is totally ridiculous. In fact, the complete opposite would be true in this case since socialism doesn't require anywhere near the amount of social interaction that free-markets require. In socialism all your interactions have already been decided for you. What group are you keeping track of if you are a socialist where the goal is for everybody to be the same?
@8 - Yeah, you beat me to it.
@5: Yeah, that was my point.
@6 I loved that doc.

@8 Indeed, incredibly socialist insects like bees and ants flourish on just a few neurons and a dream.
hey charles, for once i agree with your post. especially the last line or two.
it is easy to focus on the "survival of the fittest" nasty stuff in our nature, but what really sets humans apart are all our characteristics associated with uber-sociality. and a lot of that is being aware of and looking out for others.
Dogs had to get smarter in order to more effectively suck up to humans and be more effective servants. Somehow I think cats have still come out ahead.
@2, it's not the brain size alone. It's the brain size to body size ratio. Men are larger on average and will have larger brains on average. It doesn't mean, however, that their brain/body mass ratio is bigger on average.
@9 - they vary just as much as people, or dogs, do. I've known individual cats too dumb not to fall off the back of the couch. I had one that understood spoken English - not the tone, the words. And everything in between. I have one now, my three-legged boy, who could probably change your mind on that. He's a smart little fucker. His brother, while beautiful, is dumb as a bag of hair.
...and cats haven't really needed to change much, evolutionarily speaking. They're essentially a perfect predator. That's why there is so little variance, other than size, between felid species.
@18, that word "felid" gives me the willies.

It makes me think of Arnold Schwarzenegger grabbing your hand and putting it on his thigh -- "feel id, feel id".

I think I need lunch or something.
@19 LOL!
To those of you opposing the article: Are you kidding me?

Look, I prefer cats to dogs immeasurably. For no other reason than they are cuter, lower maintenance and don't fucking lick faces and sniff balls.

But the idea that cats are smarter because they are independent or it takes less of them to hunt is absurd.

Cats are ambush predators who lack the capacity to organize socially. Dogs are pack hunters who can coordinate as predators and they organize themselves into social structures.

Your cat doesn't love you. It would eat you if it found you dead. Your dog might just actually feel for you. It would quite possibly seek help for you or go into depression if it found you dead.

The only thing with regard to intelligence that the domesticated cat has on the domesticated dog is dogs have been so conditioned to dependency, if you disappeared your dog would die of starvation before it would hunt. Your cat wouldn't.

But I still prefer cats. Dogs are fucking annoying.

My cat gets jealous when I spend too much time with my boyfriend. That may not be love, but it's also not indifference.
My cat is dumb as a rock, but it's smarter than my previous cat.
16: I admit, I was being a shit with the male / female comparison. And the study was actually comparing increases in brain size to body size ratios over time.

But the study seems to make several assumptions. It (reportedly) assumes that an increase in brain size to body size ratio is due to social activity (possible), that social activity causes a need to think more (possible), and that thinking more is a sign of intelligence (debatable).
I'm of the opinion that quality of thought is as important than quantity, and that social hierarchies tend to negate the need to think well (as an individual). Not every member contributes to the group equally. Sure, having ADDITIONAL brain functions in a social hierarchy might make you better at surviving in social hierarchies, but if you don't live in one, there's no need for those functions or the brain mass that they seem to require. Maybe cats have followed a different evolutionary path, becoming better able in their niche as a solitary hunter?
@2 and 24:
We learned in school (Neuroscience, U of WI) that the average IQ of men is several points higher than that of women. This seems to have held true over time and in many kinds of studies. So don't feel bad about your example; it's actually true. The range of IQs is also greater with men, as well. And their brains are actually almost 25% bigger; so, developmentally constructing that bigger brain leads to problems, sometimes. Autism is the most obvious example of a problem with the big-brained male phenotype, but also, the lower levels of connectivity across regions leads to attentional problems more often in males.

Humans make a big brain that is politically-astute and geographically-gifted or a small brain that is really just as smart, but more empathic, interconnected, and multi-attentional.

Of course I'm agreeing with you. And thank you for mentioning that point. I would add that elephants and almost all whales and dolphins have brains bigger than ours, and yet we are quite a bit more intelligent, it would seem.
@6. I loved that program. I've incorporated some of those ideas into my research on Theory-of-mind and autism (some autistic children don't understand "pointing" either).

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