There is no denying that some creatures are much smarter than others. Over the years, several studies have been conducted to determine the level of intelligence of several kinds of animals, some of which we consider pets. We’d be looking at the 10 world’s smartest pets in this article.
Intelligence is ranked by assigning IQ tests, problem-solving skills, and asking of questions. But this applies to humans only.
How then can we determine what animal is smart?
It’s quite easy if you think about it. Animals have been exposed to a variety of tests, mental exercises, long-term studies, and comparison of one species to another to help determine the level of smartness or intelligence of many animals.
In-depth studies have been conducted on birds, and some have proven to be more superior to others, especially in the area of intelligence compared to other bird species.
An example of such a smart bird is the African grey parrot. This famous pet bird has displayed how smart pets can be. Through a variety of tests, Harvard University has demonstrated how smart the African grey parrots are.
We are aware that some smart birds have the ability to talk. Still, the African greys are capable of identifying objects, distinguishing between different colors, discern quantities, and do a bit of calculation.
“Alex,” a well studied African grey, was thought to possess the intelligence of a six-year-old human. African grey parrots aren’t the only birds that show this exceptional smartness. Other parrots, as well as crows, fall into this group.
Chimpanzees are very closely related to humans. Not only do people share 99% of their DNA with this animal, but they also have similar levels of high level of intelligence.
Chimps have long been studied and are known to have emotions such as empathy and regret; to make and utilize a number of tools in order to hunt and get food; they have long-term memory; recognize themselves in the mirror; can learn to identify colors, shapes, and objects; and even use sign language in order to communicate with humans.
Chimps and other primates definitely do not make good pets, though, due in part to how much time and space they require because of their high intelligence.
There is a rise in popularity in pigs kept as pets. More people are starting to see just how smart pigs are. Pigs are very social animals, and their level of intelligence is outstandingly surprising.
Their ability to recognize other pigs and humans, long-term memories, and being able to influence other pigs, sets the record for them as one of the smartest pets.
Most dog owners would agree that dogs are indeed very smart. Most canines can quickly master basic commands and some house rules.
One of the smartest breeds of dogs is the Border collie. They are able to follow different hand signals and verbal commands and make amazing herding dogs. They’ve also been shown to understand more human words than other dogs. You might as well get one and name him Albert.
5. Rats and Mice
Don’t be fooled by their tiny size; the intelligence level of rats and mice is just off the charts. Rats and mice kept as pets make great companions to owners who prefer active pets.
They are affectionate and would tickle and scratch at their owners. They are very clean and social creatures that can recognize their owners and anyone familiar.
They are often studied in laboratories, and studies by neuroscientists have shown how smart rats and mice are.
Their facial expressions, the intricacy of how they communicate, and response to several stimuli have shown just how smart pet rats and mice are.
Some people may not readily link high intelligence with cats, but it may come as a surprise to find felines displaying some level of intelligence.
Cats are able to recognize names, learn tricks, understand basic commands, and they even have long-lasting memory than canines. According to some psychologists, cats are less patient and more impulsive than dogs. This explains why we can’t find cats repeating tasks as often as dogs.
There is no doubting that horses are able to learn things and solve problems quickly. Several horses have been able to figure out how to escape from their enclosures, avoid troubling situations, and buck people of their backs.
Their long-term memories are high, and they are able to understand human words and different tones in which humans communicate with them. Horses have mental abilities that allow them to communicate with people in ways that humans can understand.
The intriguing part? This isn’t something every other animal is able to do.
You probably have a skeptic look on your face, especially with the fact that raccoons are notoriously known as trash bandits. But there is more to these trash thieves than one might wonder.
Raccoons are very innovative, creative, and are smart problem solvers. A research carried out over a century ago made a comparison between the high intelligence of primates and raccoons.
9. Monitor Lizards
Reptiles wouldn’t readily pop up in your mind when the subject of smart pets is raised. The intelligence of monitor lizards is highly underrated; maybe that is why having them as pets is challenging.
Monitor lizards are able to recognize their owners, work together in groups, and they are also able to count.
Squirrels may have earned the lousy reputation of crossing busy roads, but these nutcrackers are smarter than people would imagine. Squirrels such as the flying squirrels have been able to adjust to city life.
To give a clearer picture of how cunning squirrels can be, they have been known to bury fake food in grounds to trick other rodents as to the whereabouts of their food. Squirrels are also able to communicate with other squirrels and to warn them of any dangers around them.
So what do you think? A rat, maybe? Perhaps a raccoon? What pet do you think is the smartest? Share your thoughts in the comments below.