We can look at the steps in the evolution of intelligence to see what is common and what would be likely on other planets. I won't deal with the steps up to a sheep like intelligence.
Predators of sheep such as lions need a certain amount of intelligence more than the sheep. Omnivores such as monkeys that must be able to remember a very changing food source need a certain intelligence. Animals that must wander far, such as elephants, need a greater intelligence, especially to remember where to go in a drought that last happened 50 years ago.
One of the strongest drives for even higher intelligence is the ability, such as dolphins or killer whales to develop different food sources. This develops different cultures. Another driver of intelligence is living in packs and the need to cooperate in things like hunts. Now, communication is essential.
It is these particular forces (and others I haven't mentioned) that would drive intelligence on other planets. What, though, drives the intelligence the last steps that enable the beings to develop a civilization that enable them to leave the planet? Fire? tool making? Looking at these systems that explain parrots and pigs intelligence would give us the rules for ET.
Notice that if birds and mammals and octopi have all developed a moderately high intelligence, the package doesn't matter too much.