Gary the Snail is a snail and SpongeBob SquarePants's pet. He usually can only say, "Meow", while sea worms in the show bark, which indicates that snails are the ocean equivalent of cats and worms are dogs. In some episodes, Gary has said something other than "meow" but this is rare. Gary is the sixth or seventh main character of the show, but he has the fifth most appearances in the SpongeBob series.
Personality and Traits
Since he and his fellow snails are meowing, his species is equivalent with real-life cats in the series, though he had royal blood. In "Rule of Dumb," the royal family tree proves that Gary and Patrick are cousins, as their fathers were brothers. His mannerism and affinity for the finer things in life in previous episodes foreshadows his royal blood, with only exception being his dislike for baths. His disliking of bath proved to be troublesome for both Patrick and SpongeBob.
In many episodes, it has been indicated that Gary is very intelligent, the biggest hint of which was in Sleepy Time, where Gary spoke in his dream (that SpongeBob was interrupting) and sounded very old and wise, warning his master that dreamwalking to other people's dream is not a good thing to do. Also, Gary is implied to capable in human speech, but is prefer to speak via meowing, roar, or screeching like cat. However, in episode Opposide Day, Gary can also barks like a dog. Other things that Gary can do in displaying his intelligence and problem-solving skills as he know how to pay electric bills, excels in driving far better than SpongeBob due to capable to go through the most dangerous road in Bikini Bottom with no issue whatsoever (except the cops stopping the boat), and possesses skills as musicians that excels in various musical instruments. He had an extensive library, which is a possible metaphor for intelligence. This is not true in early episodes, where Gary acted no more mature than a real animal. But this could perhaps be a plot device initially seeking to mollify the viewer with the basic description and behavioral traits of a simple house cat only later going on to disclose a wealth of rich cultural and intellectual traits, same with Karen Plankton's presence that initially kept secret in her husband (Plankton)'s debut in the titular episode.