After reading the article by Pawnation along with the essay from the Wall Street Journal, I have drawn the scientific conclusion that…wait for it…you really can’t tell. It would seem that dogs would fall under the category of Idiot Savant, whereas cats refuse to participate in any kind of nonsense where you try to test them.
While dogs are not above eating all sorts of yuck off the ground or drinking from the toilet, they have been found to be able to infer the meaning of words based on prior knowledge of a situation and current context. That said, in one study, when dogs were put in a maze and had to find food, they had a hard time. All the rats in the experiment beat the dogs every time. That doesn’t scream “super brainy” dog-wise.
The Wall Street Journal article leans towards the idea that dogs are smarter. While cats are independent, sly, regal and curious, their solitary nature is why they don’t have as much brain power as dogs. WSJ cited a 2010 Oxford University study which essentially said that animals who are more social develop bigger brains than animals who are less social.
Who do you think is smarter? Cats or dogs? Why?