About authors

Image of partner

Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

First of all, one thing must be made clear: Dogs and cats are both among the most popular pets in our circles. It’s hard to say which animal tops the popularity scale and which pet is stronger, smarter or even more lovable on balance. By the way, your own pet is always the best, right!? 😊. Both captivate with their individual character and their heart-warming nature. However, there are big differences in their abilities and strengths. Which pet will probably “win” in the individual disciplines? 

Dog and cat – Who is smarter?

People have been dealing with this question for like an eternity. Numerous experiments have been conducted so far to measure the intelligence of dogs and cats. Even who is the smarter animal has been researched several times. 

A rather difficult undertaking, it seems, especially since we are dealing with two different species, which of course also have a wide range among themselves. Among dogs, for example, the poodle is considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds, although the size of the brain is of little importance.

Experts have come to the conclusion that dogs, in comparison, have twice as many neurons in their brains as cats. These neurons are said to be significantly involved in cognitive processes.

It looks like this point goes to our beloved dogs (in terms of the number of neurons, at least). However, this does not mean that cats generally lack intelligence and that there is a little genius in every dog. On the contrary, some cats even seem to be clearly ahead of some dogs. 

Dogs and cats are both very clever and social creatures that never cease to amaze us humans when it comes to finding independent solutions to problems. 

Dogs, however, are probably one step ahead in this duel. 

Who is the better hunter?

When you think of cats, you have to mention of their remarkable hunting skills. With elegance, ambition and sheer unbridled passion, they catch the smallest prey. Cats usually hunt alone, unlike wolves, for example. They  usually hunt in a pack, which is comparatively just as promising, however, since cats usually hunt smaller prey, which they can manage well on their own. 

Domestic dogs, on the other hand, seem to have “lost” some of these skills as a result of domestication, even though some dogs have a great hunting motivation. Hunting for prey is simply no longer necessary in most dogs.

Of course, cats are also largely fed by us humans, but the hunting behaviour seems to be even more acted out in cats. Their physical prerequisites, such as climbing trees and the like, are also more decisive for hunting success. 

As far as hunting success is concerned, cats can probably make a point here.

napani Knabber Zeit - Hühnerleber gefriergetrocknet für Hunde & Katzen, 150g

Gefriergetrocknete Hühnerleber, Belohnungshappen für Hunde & Katzen, 150g

Who has the better senses?

Dogs and cats have a much stronger sense of hearing and sense of smell than humans. As far as the sense of taste is concerned, we humans are in the lead. The sense of touch is probably better developed in our beloved pets. In terms of the so-called 6th sense, both are probably a nose ahead of us. 

But who “wins” the duel between the senses?

The question of who can smell better is answered by the number of olfactory cells present. The more olfactory cells there are, the stronger the sense of smell. Humans have about 5 million olfactory cells, dogs up to 200 million and cats up to 70 million. Of course, this depends in each case on the breed and the physical conditions. This point probably goes to the dog. 

The situation is different with the sense of hearing, where the frequencies to be heard play a role. Dogs can hear up to 50,000 hertz, cats even twice that. For us humans, the highest range is around 20,000 hertz. Here, the cat wins the competition.

Compared to humans, the sense of sight is much weaker in both cats and dogs, at least as far as recognising certain colours is concerned. Dogs and cats lack certain “cones” in their eyes that are responsible for recognising the colour red. Where both of them beat us by a long way is in their ability to see much better in the twilight. The field of vision is also larger in both. In this respect, it is probably a draw between the dog and the cat. 

In the duel of who has the better sense of touch, the cat will probably win. It is able to perceive even the smallest vibrations. Their tactile hairs also play an important role. But dogs also have a very fine sense of perception. 

The sense of taste is much less developed in both than in humans. However, the so-called 6th sense, which seems to be equally strong in both animals, beats us both by a long way. Here, the duel ends in a draw. 

In summary, it can be said that cats do a little better when it comes to senses. 

Who is the better helper in an emergency? 

Apart from the fact that all pets have the miraculous power to cheer us up in sad hours and much more, dogs have a much greater “benefit” for humans. In our society, dogs are used in the most diverse areas. Be it as assistance dogs, companion dogs, guard and protection dogs, tracking or search dogs, and many more. Dogs therefore make a contribution that is sometimes underestimated and we can hardly imagine life without them as helpers in times of need. 

But some cats are also known to indicate illnesses and try to cure them by purring

However, it seems that the dog wins this discipline.

Do the “better” pet excist?

It is a real religious war for some dog and cat owners when it comes to the question of which animal makes the better pet. Of course, this question cannot be answered in general terms, especially since every living creature is unique and has its own special characteristics. 

Rather, it is a matter of individual preferences. Some owners appreciate the independence and gracefulness of cats, others the affection and loyalty of dogs. Of course, there are also affectionate and loyal cats and vice versa. 

So it’s more a question of personal expectations of a pet and how these can be reconciled with your own circumstances. 

katze und hund kuscheln


So who wins the duel? Summing up, you can say that there is probably a draw. Cats are a leap ahead in terms of their hunting skills and have a slight advantage in terms of their senses. Dogs, on the other hand, seem to have a greater social benefit for humans and are also said to be a touch more intelligent, at least if you compare the number of neurons in their brains. Nevertheless, generalisations should be discouraged, as all dogs and cats are individuals. And as already mentioned in the introduction, let’s be honest for once, your own beloved pet is definitely always the most beautiful, smartest and best.