Puppy Cats: 21 Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on May 4, 2021

While felines aren’t known for sharing much in common with canines, there are some cat breeds that act like dogs, which means you just might have the best of both worlds if you have a puppy cat on your hands!

The idea of doglike cats certainly surprises some people as many believe cats to be aloof masters that look upon us as servants rather than loyal buddies. Cat parents know this isn’t always the case with cats though! Our kitties certainly love us and enjoy a good snuggle, but some felines crave together time with their people far more than others, making them quite like a dog in their needs for affection.

Cats can also exhibit doglike personality traits in their need for mental stimulation. All cats require activities to keep their brains sharp, but there are some breeds that crave extra engagement in the form of learning obedience commands and even walking on a leash.

Remember though, just because your cat acts like a dog, doesn’t mean they should eat like the dog, so don’t feed the cat dog food. Sure, the kitty may steal a bite or two from the dog bowl and that’s fine, but felines have a specific set of nutrient needs they can’t get from dog chow.

But just because you can’t give the kitty some dog chow doesn’t mean you can’t teach your feline best friend how to sit, stay, and roll over. All you need is patience, a sack of treats, and a clicker. To get an idea of how to start into clicker training, check out Clicker Training Cats: How To Teach Your Kitty Clicks Equal Rewards.

And if your kitty is one of these cat breeds that act like dogs, your trick-teaching task may prove that much easier!

21 Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs

#1. Abyssinian

Ever ask yourself, “Why does my cat act like a dog?”

If you have an Abyssinian, it might be genetics making your cat act doglike. Exotic and most decidedly feline in appearance, the Abyssinian desires high perches and enjoys climbing to fulfill their cat side, but their inner dog craves lots of attention, exercise, and mental stimulation as a bored Abys will likely destroy the house.

cat breeds that act like dogs

#2. American Bobtail

Not only is the American Bobtail a cat with loyal and loving tendencies, VetStreet says, “He is easygoing, affectionate and adaptable.” Plus, this cat with a dog personality will be fast friends with the hounds of the house. Together, they can learn tricks and enjoy long walks on matching leashes!

#3. American Curl

A cat with a distinct look, the American Curl wears her ears curled back, keeping her looking like the kitten she is, The International Cat Association calling them “the Peter Pan of cats.” A cat who loves to please, these cute cats adjust to new situations with ease and courtesy. As a doglike cat, you can expect the American Curl to be involved in everything you do at home.

cat breed doglike personalities

#4. Balinese

Another cat who exudes feline at every turn, it might be a surprise to learn the Balinese actually shares some traits with dogs. A Siamese with long hair, the Balinese bonds strongly with family and plays well with other animals. Loyal and loving, teach your Balinese to walk on a leash, so you can go everywhere together.

doglike cats

#5. Bengal

The Bengal is a highly-recognized cat breed with their striking appearance of rosettes and wild ways, but they certainly deserve their spot on the doglike cats list. Check these traits out: high energy levels, requires social time with the family, loves to learn, and doesn’t mind a swim every now and again. Sounds like a dog, right? Yep, but in this case, we’re talking about the Bengal cat.

#6. Birman

As the ‘Sacred Cat of Burma,’ one wouldn’t expect the Birman to be a doglike cat, but there are certainly some similarities between these blue-eyed companions of a goddess and the noble canine. Take for example, their love of play and eagerness to be with the family. Birman cats want to be a part of everything you do, just like the dogs in your life.

cat breeds that act like dogs

#7. Bombay

Beautiful black cats with amber eyes, the Bombay can be considered another cat breed that acts like a dog as they enjoy a good round fetch and might even stroll on a leash. Though he’s a cat, your ‘parlor panther’ may be doggish enough he really has a good time hanging out with the family dog. Careful though, Bombay cats can be bossy kitties!

#8. Burmese

Another cat breed that acts like a dog, the Burmese is not only intelligent, but also possesses a high emotional awareness, allowing them to read the mood of their families, according to Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH, head of New York City’s Animal Acupuncture practice. Dogs also possess this ability and, like the Burmese, often work to make their people happy too.

Another shared trait between the Burmese cat and dogs? The Burmese “also love to be the center of attention.”

cat breeds doglike personalities

#9. Chartreux

One of the rare cat breeds, these silvery-blue cats with velvety fur hail from France, their first mention in literature appearing in the 1500s. Short and muscular, these cats are excellent hunters and form strong bonds with their families. These bonds are so tightly formed, Chartreux cats prefer to spend time in the company of their humans and, much like a dog, will follow you throughout the house as well as enjoy time with kids and other animals.

cat breeds that act like dogs

#10. Maine Coon

Big like a canine, cunning like a feline, the Maine Coon cat might just be a cat-dog hybrid! These gentle giants don’t fit the aloof cat ideal most people have and quite enjoy lavishing their family with love. They like to play, go on walks, and even enjoy a good swim! Plus, you’ve got a guard dog on your hands in the protective Maine Coon.

doglike cats

#11. Manx

The Manx is known for being tailless, but did you know they’re also another of the cat breeds with a doglike personality? Hailing from the Isle of Man, the Manx has been around for centuries, mastering tricks and endearing their families with their need for affection and play, making them purrfect puppy cats.

cat breed doglike personalities

#12. Norwegian Forest Cat

These monster fluffy cats might just look like a wild wolf emerging from the deep forests, but as the creature comes into focus, there’s no mistaking the Norwegian Forest Cat as anything but feline. The Skogkatt, as the Norwegian Forest Cat is called on their native shores of Norway, are social cats who “adapt readily to change,” according to The Cat Fanciers’ Association.

#13. Ocicat

Need a guard cat that puts you in mind of a tough dog? The Ocicat might be the doglike cat you need. While domesticated, Ocicats sport a wild look, which lends well to look like a tough cat nobody wants to mess with! Truth is, these spotted cats will talk your ear off with their friendly chatter. Because of their athletic and intelligent nature, they do require a healthy amount of attention.

VCA Hospitals recommends, “Set aside time to teach your Ocicat basic obedience commands and some dog-like tricks.”

If a cat acts like a dog, does that mean the cat will get along with a dog? Stands to reason, the pair might wind up the best of friends and that thought is purrecious.

#14. Ragamuffin

With a name like Ragamuffin, you’d expect this cat to look like a big mess, but it’s actually quite the opposite. A lovely fluff that wants all the attention, the Ragamuffin will go limp in your arms and stay there. A cat breed that acts like a dog, these nosy cats want to paw through all your business and stay true at your side.

#15. Ragdoll

Big. Beautiful. Blue-eyed. Ragdolls are adorable cats who will always be your baby. Like the Ragamuffin, these darlings turn to a puddle of fluff in the arms. Think a dog wants to be the center of your world, the Ragdoll will make your pup look aloof!

cat breeds that act like dogs

#16. Savannah Cat

The Savannah is a silly trickster whose feline for sure, but this cat breed takes to training as well as any dog. An exotic cat who looks like the wild brought inside, they’re quite well-behaved when properly exercised and entertained, a need they share with many dog breeds. Savannahs are smart cats too, Wildlife Waystation explaining, “They can learn their name and can be leash trained if started young.”

Tricks, swimming, and nosiness, this cat breed acts like a dog for sure!

#17. Siamese

While the chatty catty Siamese isn’t often thought of as a doglike cat, these fine felines are friendly, take well to training, and also enjoy performing their tricks for all to see, making them blue-eyed puppy cats with a devious streak.

#18. Siberian

A cat breed that acts like a dog, the Siberian will guard your house from rodents and protect you from animals they view as a threat on account of their fierce loyalty, according to DailyPaws. But don’t worry, they aren’t an aggressive cat by nature, in fact, just the opposite. Siberian cats love to play and have a friendly attitude towards the world.

#19. Sphynx

You might not think a ‘hairless’ cat could be anything like a dog, but guess what, the Sphynx can be as goofy as any pooch when it comes to playtime with their people. Plus, these peach-fuzz cuties love a good game of chase. The Countryside Veterinary Clinic tells us, the Sphynx, like most dogs, is “people-oriented and should not be left alone for long periods of time.”

cat breeds that act like dogs

#20. Turkish Angora

Never fear when a Turkish Angora is the guard cat on patrol! Intelligent and loyal, nothing gets by these curious cats and, as VCA Hospitals puts it, they “thrive on learning commands and tricks.” An extrovert by nature, the Turkish Angora has been charming people and other animals for centuries as a cat breed that acts like a dog.

#21. Rescue Cats!

Regardless of breed, some cats just have a canine attitude about them while others are simply all feline. The best way to know if a cat might act like a dog is to head to the shelter and visit with the cats up for adoption. Then, you’ll have an idea if your new feline friend might be one who’s likely to say woof in addition to meow.

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