Why Do Some Cats Act Like Dogs?

Dogs and cats have different personalities and behavioral patterns, respectively. Although cats are sometimes thought of as independent and aloof, some of them can surprise their owners by acting like dogs. These unusual feline companions’ exhibit characteristics usually associated with dogs, such as item retrieval, obedience, and loyalty.

This article we will explore the reasons behind these dog-like behaviors in cats and their benefits, as well as provides tips for encouraging and nurturing such behaviors.

Why Do Some Cats Act Like Dogs
Why Do Some Cats Act Like Dogs

Why Do Some Cats Behave Like Dogs?

Due to domestication and evolution, cats and dogs have different personalities. While dogs are pack animals and have a more sociable and cooperative disposition, cats, as independent predators, have preserved some of their feral instincts. The spectrum of behaviors seen in cats and dogs, however, is a result of individual variances within each species.

Here are some Common Dog-like Behaviors in Cats

Playing Fetch and Retrieving Objects

Some cats have the predisposition to chase and recover items, similar to the traditional dog game of fetch. They may run after balls, toys, or even crumpled pieces of paper in an effort to return them to their owners. This behavior can be amusing and unexpected since it defies the common misconception that cats are uninterested in playing interactive games.

Following Commands and Tricks

Some cats may be trained to respond to verbal signals and perform tricks, however, dogs are frequently lauded for their loyalty and capacity to follow instructions. To demonstrate their intellect and versatility, these feline “dog-trick” fans can learn to sit, shake paws, or even leap through hoops.

Greeting Behavior

Some feline friends with dog-like traits welcome their owners enthusiastically when they get home, in contrast to the conventional aloof cats. They could mimic the enthusiastic greeting that dogs frequently display by running to the entrance, wagging their tails (if they have them), and purring loudly.

Loyal and Affectionate Nature

While dogs are known for their undying devotion to their humans, certain cats also display traits that are akin to this. These feline friends may decide to follow their owners around the home, sleep next to them, and make demands for attention and affection. Their friendly behavior fosters a sense of friendship and deepens the human-animal link.

Reasons Why Do Some Cats Behave Like Dogs?

Socialization and Environment

A cat’s behavior may be shaped through early exposure to different situations and appropriate socialization. Through observational learning, cats that were reared with dogs or who had favorable encounters with them may pick up certain canine-like traits. Regular exposure to dogs can affect a cat’s behavior and encourage them to replicate some dog-like behaviors.

Human Influence and Training

Like dogs, cats are very flexible and may learn new behaviors via training. Some cat owners intentionally educate their feline friends to carry out particular tasks, such as locating toys or complying with directions. Cats’ ability to think and behave like dogs may be improved with consistent training, incentives, and positive reinforcement.

Genetics and Breeding

Due to their genetic predispositions, some cat breeds are more prone to exhibit behaviors similar to those of dogs. For Example, the Abyssinian and Maine Coon breeds are renowned for their gregarious and lively natures, frequently behaving like dogs. Selective breeding for particular features may help some cat populations develop canine-like behaviors

Benefits of Dogs Like Behavior in Cats

Increased Bonding with Owners

The relationship between cats and their owners may get closer when they act like dogs. A deeper emotional bond may be formed between cats and humans via interactive play, obeying directions, and displaying love. This improves the whole companionship experience.

Improved Trainability

Similar to dogs, cats who exhibit dog-like behaviors may be easier to teach and more receptive to orders. This can make management simpler and aid in addressing behavioral difficulties. Training sessions may develop a feeling of structure and regularity, stimulate the mind, and promote beneficial behaviors.

Enhanced Social Interaction

Cats that behave like dogs may be more likely to engage with people and other animals. Their friendliness and capacity for obeying orders may make them more accessible, facilitating pleasurable social interactions. In families with several pets or in circumstances where socialization is crucial, this can be very helpful.

Adaptive Survival Skills

Cats may benefit practically from some canine behaviors, such as retrieving stuff. These actions might be a result of a cat’s innate desire to seek and catch prey. Even in a home environment, cats may improve their hunting abilities and maintain their mental and physical stimulation by partaking in these activities.

Why Does My Cat Like Being Pet Like a Dog?

While each cat has its own preferences when it comes to petting, some cats like it much as dogs do. This behavior may have a variety of causes.

It could be brought on by personal preferences, socialization experiences, or just the fact that certain people find comfort and relaxation in particular kinds of touch. Every cat is unique, and developing a good and happy human-cat relationship depends on knowing and respecting their preferences.

Tips for Encouraging Dog-Like Behaviors in Cats

Positive Reinforcement and Rewards

Positive reinforcement training methods should be used to foster cat behaviors that resemble those of dogs. Giving cats praise, attention, and rewards anytime the desired behavior is demonstrated might encourage them to repeat it.

The probability that the behavior will be repeated rises as a result of this beneficial association, which reinforces the link between the behavior and the reward.

Training and Playtime

Cats can benefit from routine training sessions that are similar to those used with dogs in that they can learn new instructions and skills. The secret to keeping cats interested and motivated throughout training is consistency, patience, and brief sessions. The use of puzzle feeders or retrieving toys during interactive play can also promote canine-like behaviors.

Environmental Enrichment

It is crucial to give cats a stimulating environment in order to support their instinctual tendencies and promote behaviors that resemble those of dogs. Cats may be kept intellectually and physically active by providing scratching posts, interactive toys, and vertical places. Toys that involve problem-solving can mimic the hunting process and broaden their range of possible behaviors.

Interactions with Other Pets

Giving cats the chance to engage with other animals, such as dogs or other cats, can have a favorable effect on how they behave. During playtime, adopting specific canine characteristics might happen through watching and mimicking dog behaviors. However, it is crucial to make sure that all pet interactions are safe, monitored, and managed.

Can You Train a Cat Like a Dog?

Even though cats and dogs have distinct temperaments and inclinations, cats can be trained to some extent to behave like dogs. Cats are clever animals that can pick up new skills and react to praise.

Cats may be trained to comply with orders, carry out tricks, and participate in interactive play with the use of persistence, consistency, and training techniques that are reward-based.

Cats have distinct personalities and motivations, therefore it’s vital to remember that training methods should be adapted to each cat’s particular requirements and preferences. When done correctly, training may help cats and their owners develop a closer link while also giving these intelligent feline friends something to think about.

Are Cats Loyal Like Dogs?

Although loyalty in cats and dogs is expressed differently, cats may show loyalty to their humans. While cats may not display devotion in the same overt and passionate ways as dogs do, they frequently develop close relationships with their owners.

Cats are devoted to their owners by being around them, showing them affection, and wanting to be close to them. They might show their distinctive and specific methods of exhibiting loyalty by offering consolation, company, and a sense of security.

Why Does My Cat Act Like a Human?

Cats are quite adept at observing and imitating human behavior, which causes them to occasionally behave like people. Their socialization and intimate contact with their human companions may have influenced this behavior.

Cats may mimic their owners’ behaviors, movements, and even facial expressions. Cats can detect human emotions and signs and are also very observant. Their capacity for human-like behavior is facilitated by their intellect and adaptability.

Is My Cat Breathing Like a Dog?

If your cat is breathing fast or heavily, similar to a dog’s respiratory pattern, it may be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Even though each cat has a different breathing rhythm, heavy or labored breathing might indicate respiratory discomfort, stress, or an infection of the lungs. Consult a vet to identify the cause and administer the necessary treatment if you observe your cat breathing differently.

Why is My Cat Panting Like a Dog?

Unlike dogs, cats don’t frequently paint, so it might be concerning when they do. If your cat is panting, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition like stress, heatstroke, or respiratory problems.

Cats pant to release heat, but it’s not something they often do. In the event that you see your cat panting excessively or for an extended period of time, it’s crucial to keep an eye on their respiration, maintain a cool atmosphere, and visit a veterinarian.


While cats are frequently thought of as being independent and distant, some feline friends challenge these perceptions by acting more like dogs than cats. Playing catch, obeying directions, displaying devotion, or giving cuddly welcomes are just a few of the behaviors that cats and their owners may engage in to develop a special and fulfilling relationship.


Can all cats be trained to exhibit dog-like behaviors?

Even though they are intelligent and adaptable, not all cats will behave like dogs. While some cats could be predisposed to certain behaviors by nature, others might not be as interested in or receptive to instruction. It’s crucial to keep in mind that every cat has its own personality.

Are dog-like behaviors in cats a sign of a problem or abnormality?

No, The presence of canine traits in cats does not always indicate a problem or an anomaly. Cats are individuals with a variety of behaviors, thus showing some behaviors that resemble those of dogs is not a sign of any health problems. But a veterinarian should always be consulted if there are any unexpected changes in behavior.

Can dog-like behaviors in cats be discouraged if they become problematic?

Cats’ canine-like behaviors can be changed by training and behavior modification approaches if they become a problem or disrupt the home dynamics or the cats’ well-being. Unwanted behaviors can be managed and modified with the help of a trained animal behaviorist or veterinarian.

Are there specific cat breeds that are more likely to exhibit dog-like behaviors?

Even while individual cats can behave differently, several cat breeds, such the Maine Coon, Abyssinian, and Ragdoll, are renowned for being friendlier, more engaging, and more likely to exhibit dog-like behaviors. However, because each cat’s personality is distinct, breed preferences shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when picking a companion.

Can dog-like behaviors in cats be taught from a young age?

Yes, Cats may learn dog-like behaviors if training and positive reward methods are introduced early on. These behaviors can be adapted by early socialization, exposure to various situations, and regular training. It’s crucial to keep in mind that certain cats nevertheless could have their own distinctive characteristics and preferences.