There was recent study that said dogs are smarter than cats, based on having more of the sort of brain matter that signifies intelligence. I think cats make up for it with cleverness. However, based on observation I don't think our Las Vegas cat $hitty is very bright.
He is a neighborhood cat, abandoned by owners at some point, and he does us the favor of spending part of most days inside our house, especially in winter or when it's windy outside. He has the softest fur, soft like a bunny, and likes to be brushed.
He's got to be resourceful in order to survive on his own, especially in the summer when we're not here, but when it comes to skills related to house things, he's not too sharp.
We might not have noticed this, cats being notoriously independent-minded, but we've got this other cat for comparison. It took $hitty about 10 days to learn how to use the cat door, including several coaching sessions. The Colorado cat, Eloise, figured it out in less than a day, on her own, with no encouragement because we don't want her to leave the house.
For awhile we thought we had a good plan with the door set to allow Mr. Las Vegas to come in whenever he want, but the door didn't swing to let Eloise out. But when the wind blows, the flap flops in and out, and she figured out how to catch it and escape.
The other day I was watching $hitty thinking about exploring an open closet, but he'd have to go around a box to reach the opening, and he couldn't figure out how to do that, so he gave up.
$hitty's name comes from the TV series Trailer Park Boys. The park manager referred to cats as $hit rats, and when this cat first started coming to our house, he lurked around on the patio upsetting our inside cats and ran every time we looked at him. Eventually he warmed up to us, but the name stuck.