Average Cat IQ | Intelligence Compared to a Dog or Child

Cats and dogs are the true companions of humans from prehistory, some scientists claim that they have been with us for more than 12,000 years. The thing that evokes curiosity about these lovely pets is their ability to understand human emotions and independent decision-making. Sometimes, their actions leave us in a condition of wonder where we are unable to comprehend how these small animals can act similarly to us.

Research has proved that both cats and dogs are intelligent beings, they can not only understand our emotions but also can react independently. It also makes me wonder whether a human child is more intelligent than a cat or dog.

All these questions seem interesting; however, a depth lies within them yet to be understood, so let’s explore the IQ of cats, compare them with dogs, and find out the similarities and contrasts between these animals and human children.

What is the IQ of a Cat?

When it comes to the intelligence quotient (IQ) we have multiple misconceptions. Firstly, we should understand that IQ is a score made to estimate the intelligence of humans but not animals. It does not directly measure the intelligence of a being but estimates by relatively comparing his cognitive and working memory, problem-solving and thinking skills with others.

Because it is designed for human beings, we cannot apply the concept of IQ to animals like cats or dogs. However, we have different ways to measure the intelligence of these animals based on their species. Still, some sources claim that the value of a cat’s IQ ranges from 1 to 1.71 while the human IQ value ranges from 7.44 to 7.8.

There is a list of myths related to the IQ of cats we need to discard. Some people claim that cats are stubborn; therefore, their IQ is low while others say that cats are not as intelligent as other mammals. Reality lies beyond these statements, cats have the ability to make independent decisions and once they find a decision rewarding, they are more prone to choose that particular decision whether you stop them or lock them.

It does not mean that cats are not intelligent or that their IQ level is low, but it means that their ability to make independent decisions based on their circumstances and their will to achieve the goal is greater than that of other pet animals, like dogs. It not only defines their cognitive abilities but also helps us understand that cats are good at observation because most of their decisions are based on the observation that expands their experience zone.

Additionally, cats have some strengths and weaknesses similar to all mammals, so we cannot compare their abilities with other animals. Cats possess advanced spatial and decision-making skills, their memory is sharp, they learn quickly and independent thinking indicates that cats have exceptional cognitive skills. However, cats are not obedient, they are not good at long-term training and cats cannot follow complex commands, so we can conclude that cats are sufficiently intelligent but lack some cognitive features.

Can You Do a Cat IQ Test? If Yes, How?

As we have discussed, IQ is a score that estimates intelligence and is designed for humans so we cannot apply the IQ studies and scales on the cats. It raises the question: can we develop a scale or check the IQ of our cat or do we need to visit a cat expert? We cannot measure the IQ of the cats because there is no standardized test used to understand cats’ intelligence; however, we can test our cats and understand their intelligence level by testing their cognitive abilities.

Simple Ways To Check Cat’s IQ

Hide a Toy

Cats love to play with particular toys. Hide the toy beside a thick wall or a folder in front of your cat. If it goes back to the wall or tries to see the other side of the folder to explore and understand where the toy disappeared, then it has a high IQ.

Use a Mechanical Mouse

Cats are good at predicting the position of hidden rats if a cat have observed a rat before it disappears. So, use a mechanical mouse in front of your cat and she will start observing the position of the rat. Then, take a mechanical rat under a piece of furniture and if the cat demonstrates accurate predictability from where the rat comes out, it has a high IQ.

Cat Intelligence Compared to a Child

Human intelligence is based on a list of features, some humans have high cognitive abilities while others demonstrate sharp working memory that we measure in the IQ test. But if we compare human intelligence with a cat, we should understand that both have unique skills and some weaknesses. If we observe similarities between a cat and a human child, both have problem-solving skills, demonstrate quick learning abilities and sharp short-term memory.

However, a human child has some extra features that a mature cat does not possess. For example, human children have unique cognitive skills including complex reasoning, understanding of emotions and one of the most important, language. Additionally, the attention span of a child is more than a mature cat, and a human child is more prone to follow instructions compared to a cat so we can conclude that a child is more intelligent than a cat.

Cat Vs Dog Intelligence

People often compare cats and dogs as some claim that cats are more intelligent, while others argue dogs seem more smart. However, both cats and dogs evolved in different environments and possess various traits based on their survival needs; therefore, cats and dogs demonstrate contrary intelligence traits. As I have mentioned above, cats possess spatial abilities, can make independent decisions and are good at problem-solving.

On the other hand, dogs have more social intelligence as they like to live in groups, can effortlessly follow commands of their human partners, recognize a wide range of faces, are good at long-term training, and have advanced scent detection. In the context of these traits, we can claim that dogs are more intelligent, but we should understand that both cats and dogs are unique in their own ways.

Final Thoughts

People have different kinds of affection for cats as Egyptians used to worship them, ancient Chinese depicted them in art and literature, and nowadays cats are known for companionship, emotional support and beauty. The importance of cats in the past and present is due to their exceptional intelligence and cognitive skills that make them unique. I hope this information will help you in future, thank you.

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