They say there are cat lovers and dog lovers out there, but the truth is that many people love them both. People love dogs because they’re loyal and typically happy. And while plenty of cats are nice, we doubt there’s a feline out there who doesn’t torture their owner to some degree from time to time.
Cats aren’t like dogs. It’s rare to find a cat who’s been trained to acknowledge commands. You tell Fluffy to sit, and Fluffy goes on about his day as if nothing happened. Fluffy the cat doesn’t fetch. He’ll never help you hunt or be employed as a seeing-eye cat. The most you’ll get from Fluffy is a series of mood swings that flip within seconds from “pet me” to “tell your hand goodbye.” This might come as a shock to all the cat lovers out there, but Fluffy isn’t actually an adorable demon from hell. He’s just smart because his brain is similar to ours.
How similar are our brains exactly?
To begin with, objectively, cats’ brains are smaller than human brains — about 1/20 of our size — but they’re also smaller on a relative basis. Their brains only make up .9 percent of their body mass, whereas a human brain takes up nearly 2 percent. This is one of those rare times where size doesn’t matter. If you ever wonder why cats seem to delight in annoying you, it probably has something to do with their brains being 90 percent structurally similar to our own, according to Psychology Today. We’re jerks, they’re jerks; it’s a good time. But their brain is similar to ours in ways that are known to improve function — primarily the surface area created by folds in the external brain matter and the complexity of their cerebral cortex.
The cerebral cortex is primarily used for cognitive processing. It’s responsible for planning ability, language processing, and advanced reasoning skills. You wouldn’t know it, since your cat cries to be fed when their food bowl has been half emptied, but those reasoning skills are somewhere in there. That’s how they know to lay on your keyboard while your working or push your coffee cup off your desk. It’s the reason why they don’t listen. They’re too smart to be your personal circus act.
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