London – It’s a topic pet owners can never agree on – are dogs cleverer than cats?
And, while dog lovers may disagree, a study has found that felines really are just as clever as their canine friends.
Scientists tested the memories of cats with bowls of food – and found they could equal the performance of dogs.
In the Japanese study, 49 cats were shown four bowls – two of food, another with a non-edible object and a fourth that was empty.
The cats were allowed to eat from one bowl, before a 15-minute delay. They were then significantly more likely to go back to the bowl they had not eaten from.
The authors of the study, in journal Behavioural Processes, said it meant cats, like dogs, remembered not just the bowl and food they ate, but the useful information that there was an uneaten bowl of food as well.
Saho Takagi, of Kyoto University, told BBC News: “Cats may be as intelligent as dogs, as opposed to the common view of people that dogs are much smarter.”