Are Cat People Smarter than Dog People?

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“Dogs have masters; cats have staff” is a thought provoking phrase with which all cat lovers are familiar.

In fact, this phrase is so accurate that it makes me believe that cat people are smarter than those who hang out primarily with dogs. The word “master” is frequently used to describe someone who is an expert. But in my humble opinion, one needs special qualifications as well, to be hired as staff. It does require the boss’s recognition of the applicant’s intelligence. After all we all know that cats are very choosy about whom they hire.

Dog lovers, please don’t get defensive and get your hackles up about my hypothesis before you read further. Since I am an inquisitive person and do considerable research to back up my suppositions, I always fact-check extensively and spend considerable time researching my topic before I publically express opinions that may be highly controversial.
So, when I ran across an article in Gizmag by Tannith Cattermole I was gratified that my opinon was validated by the author.

In a 2007 study, the characteristics of dog and cat owners were identified through random telephone calls with 2,980 pet owners. It was made by Dr. Jane Murray and her colleagues from the Department of Clinical Veterinary Science at Bristol University. In addition to other results, they found cats were more likely to be owned by households with gardens, semi-urban or rural households, households with someone qualified to degree level, females and people aged less than 65 years. Cats were less likely to be owned by households with one or more dogs. But even though the researchers discovered some similar results in the interviews with dog owners as they did with cat owners; undaunted by their discovery I pushed further on to back up my theory.

According to an article in the Telegraph:

“People with cats are more likely to have university degrees than those with dogs. Cats require less time per day than a dog, so they are more popular with educated people who work late and have long commutes” (extrapolated from the Murray study by author Matthew Moore).

However, to give both sides equal consideration, I felt compelled to dig a little deeper before I felt justified that my opinion was right on the money. So to validate and justify my assumption, I found a few illustative quotes attributed to a host of witty authors, poets, philosophers, scientist and comedians that get right to the heart of the matter.

  • “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” – Dr. Sigmund Freud
  • “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” – Robert Heinlein
  • “Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” – James Heriot
  • “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” – Mark Twain
  • “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – Ernest Hemingway
  • “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” –  Leonardo da Vinci
  • “There are no ordinary cats.” – Colette
  • “What greater gift than the love of a cat?” – Charles Dickens
  • “The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats …” – Albert Schweitzer

Last but most importantly:

“Time spent with cats is never wasted “intelligent, peace-loving, four-footed friends- who are without prejudice, without hate, without greed- may someday teach us something.” – James Mackintosh Qwilleran

Of course, this is a mainly tongue-in-cheek article, but that said, I am sticking to my guns.

What do you think about my hypothesis? Share your thoughts in a comment.


  1. Photo credit: Flickr User Lollypop Farm
  2. Cats vs Dogs

44 thoughts on “Are Cat People Smarter than Dog People?”

  1. Adding to what Michael just posted- I am thrilled to see that more and more cat people are doing tons of research on how to better feed their kitties- how to better care for them. Books like Pam Johnson-Bennett’s “Think like a Cat” is a best seller- and Jackson Galaxy’s outstanding Television show “My Cat From Hell” is a blockbuster.

    And- sometime purosely allowing our cats to “outsmart us” can be an excellent strategy in our relationship with our kitties, IMO.

  2. Your assumption, no matter how tongue-in-cheek it might be, completely fails when you consider how many cat-owners are outsmarted by their cats that escape their safe confinement. Proving, without a shadow of a doubt, that the vast majority of cat-lovers are far more stupid than their pets. Not recognizing, comprehending, realizing, acknowledging, nor accepting this fact being further concrete proof that cat-lovers are far more stupid and ignorant than their cats.

    But then, I guess you can’t comprehend or know what is beyond your mental capacity.

    • Hi Brad, just because a cat escapes from “their safe confinement” (presume you mean an indoor life) does not indicate that the cat is smarter than the human – obviously. It also does not mean that dog people are smarter than cat people or vice versa. It has no bearing on anything.

  3. Maybe the quote above the one listed for Hemingway actually is Hemingway, not Twain. It’s about never saying a word too much. Hemingway would approve of that. Thank God, because his books at least weren’t too terribly long when I was forced to read them in college.


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