Are cat owners smarter than dog owners?

27th October 2021

An article published in The Independent has been doing the rounds on social media. The piece discusses some statistical indicators of intelligence. Amongst factors like birth order, body weight and height, they put forward a 2014 study which suggests that cat owners might be more intelligent than dog owners. But is this true?

Friendship of cat and dog

The study, which took place at Carroll University, Wisconsin, questioned 600 people, asking them whether they considered themselves to be “cat people”, “dog people”, “both” or “neither”. The first point of note is that 60% of participants self-categorised as “dog people” and only 11% considered themselves to be “cat people”. The remainder said they either liked both or neither animals.

The participants then answered questions determining their personalities, including their intelligence, and the results were certainly interesting!

According to the survey, dog owners were found to be more energetic and outgoing, as well as having more respect for rules and regulations. This makes sense when you consider the nature of a a dog/owner relationship; going for walks can be a sociable activity, and responsible dog ownership requires discipline and rules which a cat has notoriously little respect for.

Cat-lovers on the other hand tended to be more introverted, sensitive and pragmatic. This could correlate with the fact that owning a cat doesn’t generally require a person to leave the house, and cat owners often feel more like their pet’s butler than their friend!

The most contentious finding was that cat-lovers scored higher on intelligence tests than the dog-lovers. So does that mean cat owners are smarter than dog owners?

Well, not necessarily. The study involved university students, and it follows that the cat-loving group, who were found to be more introverted, would be more studious and the outgoing dog-lovers. That doesn’t mean that the findings would apply on a universal basis. Besides which, tests only determine certain types of intelligence, which means that someone who scored highly isn’t definitely “more intelligent” on the whole than someone who doesn’t score as well.

Ultimately, we choose the pets that suit us best, whether that’s a cat, dog, lizard or bunny! As long as we take care of them as best we can, we shouldn’t worry!

Read our cat blog!

If you found this article useful, why not visit our cat blog for more news, insight and opinion pieces?


Need cat insurance?

Cat insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your cat gets injured or falls ill.


We know pets

Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
As one of the UK’s largest pet insurance providers, Animal Friends works with vets, veterinary professionals, and partners pioneering the latest veterinary technology & healthcare advancements to achieve our vision.
Our policyholders have helped donate over £8.5 million to more than 800 animal charities worldwide and by educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends is driving positive change for animal welfare and conservation.