Are Horses Smarter Than Cats? You Might Be Surprised!

Did you know that a horse remembers its owner’s feelings and changes its behavior according to its moods in response to emotion reading?

It’s a long debate about the more intelligent animal, but horses also learn and respond to some complex commands quickly like cats.

Are Horses Smarter Than Cats

Are Horses Smarter Than Cats? Comparing a horse to cats and dogs isn’t fair, as cats canines have a sharper memory and problem-solving ability. But horses have a better power to lead through the passages and depict the weather. So it’s difficult to conclude who’s smarter.

Let’s start to discuss the article for the intelligence race between equines and felines.

What Defines Intelligence?

Before getting deep into the studies, let’s see what’s the basic meaning of intelligence.

“By intelligence, we mean the ability to solve some complex problems through which one has not been through”

It would be even better to describe the animal’s intelligence as their ability to adapt and survive in their respective environments by developing skills.

In this blog post, I will be restricted to equines and their comparison with cats.

While making any assumption, I would say that an animal’s intelligence would be depending on some factors, and then we may rank them according to their intelligence.

Factors To Consider While Defining Intelligence

How do you measure intelligence in animals? We consider multiple factors while depicting human intelligence like social interaction, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, and logical reasoning.

The same implies to horses and cats. These four factors must be considered while measuring an animal’s intelligence:

  1. Linguistic Abilities
  2. Logical Reasoning Power
  3. Social Interaction
  4. Emotional Capabilities

Let me briefly explain these points and how they depict the horse’s and cats’ intelligence.

1. Linguistic Abilities

Linguistic abilities mean when animals learn some verbal clues and actions from their owners.

Cats and horses would be giving a tough challenge on this. Consider an example in which you were angry on your horse and cat to prohibit it by verbally saying the word NO.

A cat, a prey animal, cannot respond because it gets used to the angriness, but a horse would always stop doing it the first time.

So verbally, a horse’s more intelligent than a cat.

2. Logical Reasoning Power

Logical reasoning would require an animal’s genetic to search for the solution to a problem.

I would give this round to the cats because cats are predators. You would notice that wild cats will kill the mice or other animals and feed upon them. Hunting is tough, and horses have no taste for this.

Thus, cats are more intelligent than horses when it comes to logical reasoning.

3. Social Interaction

Who do you think interacts and bonds in the social environment more? The answer would be the horses!

Horses love to live in groups, and they learn many other things while living in the herds. In comparison, cats would enjoy their own company. A horse learns to read the emotions, sense how its other friends are feeling.

Thus, a horse would be more gentle with its owner and sense if its master is sad, angry, or even happy.

4. Emotional Capabilities

Upon searching that, What animals are capable of emotion? I was stunned to know that cats and horses were listed among rodents, elephants, and honeybees.

Dynamic capabilities develop when an animal is living in a social group. It learns to interact with other’s feelings and also feel how to respond to them.

Thus, horses have more excellent emotional capabilities than cats.

As we can’t decide, What is the most intelligent animal in the world? But we can conclude that horses may be a little faster in getting emotions and interacting with the social circles.

IQ Level of a Horse Vs. Cat

I wondered if it could be easier to decide the smartness of a horse and cat if I knew about their IQ levels. Let’s discuss the IQ level of both.

What is the IQ of a cat?

According to Wikipedia, a cat has intelligence points of 1-1.71. If we compare it to human intelligence, that’s 7.44 to 7.88.

What is the IQ of a horse?

An IQ of a horse would be slightly less than that of a cat because of the less-developed structure of the brain.

But scientists say that horses may have an intelligence quotient resembling a three-year-old kid. It would be amazing to know that horses can depict the behavior and emotions like a small kid.

How Smart Are Horses?

Horses belong to an equine family, which is only prey as it grazes on grass and doesn’t hurt other animals.

So how smart are horses is the answer itself, as horse studies about their behavior have disclosed that they easily understand the verbal (linguistic) and logical reasoning tasks and can tell the weather conditions? A horse can even guess the mood of its master through its intelligence.

Which Horse Is Most Intelligent?

Two of the horse breeds are the smartest of all horses, and these are:

Arabian horses are considered superior to all the horses because of their highest IQ and ability to learn every tactic in riding without even the need to be taught twice with the highest speed ever.

So, horse intelligence is beyond what it seems like and is full of adventures.

How Smart Are Horses Compared To Other Animals?

Comparing a horse’s intelligence with other animals would require a lot of research.

Studies have suggested that horses are pretty intelligent, and they resemble the intelligence of a three years old baby. A horse would quickly get your emotions, read your body language, and learn complex problem-solving techniques.

A horse also easily depicts the weather condition and makes noises when unpleasant rain or storm is near. It makes it one of the best animals for farming.

Now, let’s compare some animals with the horse’s intelligence.

Are Horses Smarter Than Cats?

I would always make a clear group of characteristics that helps me define the intelligence of an animal and compare it with other animals.

Are horses smarter than cats? Being a canine and predator, a cat knows well to hunt, which requires many skills and intelligence. A horse is also brilliant but may not be that intelligent to do complex things like a predator.

Thus, a cat and a horse are both intelligent but have unique characters representing their smartness.

But horses and cats have one thing in common; they can easily sense human emotions and respond to them quickly, making them emotionally intelligent.

Are Horses Clever Like Dogs?

Dogs are the man’s best friend for their loyalty, intelligence, and other cognitive learning skills that are not found in horses.

But are horses clever like dogs? A horse has the best emotional intelligence with a great intuition that the dogs lack, but dogs are very adept and quickly learn complex skills when taught.

That’s why it’s difficult to say which one’s more intelligent, but I could say with a bottom line that:

Horses are more intelligent emotionally, and dogs are more receptive and adept logically when learning a new skill.

Is A Horse As Smart As A Dog?

Comparing the smartness of an animal is not easy as humans. Human intelligence is determined by a series of tests, which tells us who well humans do in certain conditions.

But animal intelligence has no meter, and we can physically acknowledge their intelligence through some of their learning and logical abilities.

Dogs and horse smartness are not meant to be compared. Both share equal importance and have some of the abilities that others do not have. That’s why dogs are horses. Both are smarter.

Are Horses Smarter Than Donkeys?

Are you also pondering that Is a donkey more intelligent than a horse? Let’s look for its answer.

Studies show that donkeys have a better-developed brain with a complex grey matter present in abundance compared to the horses; that’s why they don’t get frightened.

So, with an expert vet intuition, I would say that donkeys have better emotional and social interaction, so they behave stable even in the strange environment, so they are more intelligent than horses.

Are Horses Smarter Than Cows?

You have listened to the famous proverb: casting pearls before the swine. Well, it means you don’t make any effort in front of a useless person.

Cows are the dumbest organisms, and their intelligence should not be compared to horses, as the horse learns new skills very quickly, while cows are relatively slow learners.  

A cow’s brain weighs 480kg, and a horses’ weigh 580kg, thus making it a more functional and more brilliant brain than a cow.

So horses are more competent than cows in verbal, nonverbal, logical, social, and emotional intelligence.

Are Horses Smarter Than Humans?

Isn’t it a bit awkward to compare humans with horses? I mean, we all know that an organism whose brain is the most developed will be more intelligent.

But Are Horses Smarter Than Humans? No! horses are never more intelligent than humans because two humans have the most complex and highly developed brains with extra abilities, making them the smartest of all the animals in the world.

But comparing the animals and horses, we could say that a horse has an intelligence level of a small kid of grade 3 according to some studies and research conducted on horses by some vets.

How do horses read humans?

Horses read a person from head to toe. Whatever your behavior and emotions are will reflect the basis for horses to respond towards you.

A recent study has shown that how horses read humans.

(i) Body Language

A horse’s body language reading ability is awe-inspiring. In 2017, a group of horses was taken to study how they respond to people having dominant and submissive postures.

Thirty horses were selected, and many persons feed those horses and stood in front of them with a submissive and a dominant posture. Horses responded and went to the submissive-posture persons.

So, that’s how do horses read humans.

(ii) Facial Expressions

Horses also respond differently to the facial expressions of a person. A study in 2018 from the students of Sussex and Portsmouth University showed results from horses reacting towards a person’s emotions.

Twenty-four horses selected for facial expressions revealed that they get aggressive with angry-looking photos and were calmed during happy images of persons were shown.

It concluded that horses memorize the person’s behavior and take it as their primary stimulus, thus reacting to it accordingly in the future.

(iii) Reading the Mind

Can a horse read your mind? What if your horse read your mind?

Let me tell you a horse’s story who could analyze a person’s emotions and movements standing next to him and answer the questions accordingly.

Clever Hans was a horse in the history of Germans who could even solve complex mathematical problems using cognitive powers by analyzing the owner’s behavior and movements in front of him.

It is believed that he didn’t know maths but used the person in front of him to depict the correct answer.

The Top 10 Smartest Pets In The World

Although horses can outsmart cats, dogs, and owns somehow, they can’t be the most intelligent animals. Some other animals could be wiser than the horses as well.

These pets have great IQ, which even competes the humans in some ways, but not clever than humans undoubtedly.

Thus, the top 10 most brilliant pets are:

  1. Orangutans
  2. Dolphins
  3. Chimpanzees
  4. Elephants
  5. Grey Parrots (African)
  6. Octopus
  7. Pigs
  8. Crows
  9. Pigeons
  10. Rats

The most intelligent animal is still debatable, but Orangutans are the smartest animals that live on the earth. The reason is that they have 97% similar DNA as humans do.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Final Thoughts

Horses have a good brain, making them on the list of one of the most intelligent animals in the world. But intelligence depends upon several factors such as verbal or nonverbal abilities and logical or socio-emotional behaviors.

That’s why, in conclusion to horses are more intelligent than cats. I would say that horses and cats have different kinds of intelligence and have equal importance in society.

But canines may be more intelligent than equines because they are predators and often learn new hunting tactics.

That’s all about the smartness of horses. If there’s anything you would like to say, please comment below!

23 thoughts on “Are Horses Smarter Than Cats? You Might Be Surprised!”

Comments are closed.