The study looks at cortical neurons, the cells associated with thinking, planning and complex behaviors that act as a measurement of intelligence, Vanderbilt's research arm wrote in a November 29 blog post.
The study examined and compared the size of their brains.
Vanderbuilt neuroscientistSuzana Herculano-Houzel, who developed a method for accurately counting the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of brains, refers to these as "the "little gray cells" associated with thinking, planning and complex behavior".
They might chew your shoes, occasionally pee on the rug, or snarf down your entire dinner the minute you turn your head, but it turns out your family dog is measurably smarter than your cat.
Which is smarter: a cat or a dog?
Dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons; cats have about 250 million, the researchers found.
It's important to remember that this number of cortical neurons is merely an indicator of cognitive ability.
According to the school's website, in a new study, researchers counted the number of neurons in the brains of cats and dogs.
Humans, for comparison, have 16 billion.
Researchers expected the brains of carnivores would have more neurons than herbivores. Brown bears have larger brains, but only about as many neurons as cats.
Prof Herculano-Houzel of Vanderbilt University in the United States, added: "I would bet money on a large dog over a cat any time".
Even so, as Herculano-Houzel noted in a press release, the results can surely "factor into their discussions" over feline vs. canine intelligence. They found that dogs have many more neurons in the cerebral cortex than cats do. An interesting 2010 Oxford University study suggests highly social animals need more brain power than ones that live more solitary lives. The arguments are always intense between cat lovers and dog lovers and it really makes one think how there are barely any service cats or bomb sniffing cats either, for that matter. Maybe it's just that cats are smart about cat things and dogs are smart about dog things.