35 Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs
If you like dogs for their openly affectionate natures, their loyalty and their rambunctious play, then consider one of the many cat breeds that acts like dogs.
35 Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs
If you consider yourself a dog person, you may find yourself in a situation that gives you no choice but to own a cat. You may prefer dogs, but your partner likes cats better or is allergic. Or you may be new to owning a pet and simply believe it would be easier to care for a cat than a dog.
Whatever the reason, you’re in luck because many cat breeds share similar characteristics and behaviors as dogs. If you like dogs for their openly affectionate natures, their loyalty and their rambunctious play, then consider owning one of the many cat breeds that act like dogs.
You may be surprised just how dog-like cats can be without sacrificing the feline personality traits we love.
Abyssinian cats look like miniature cougars with their lean, finely muscled bodies. They’re athletic, elegant and sleek. But being active and physical isn’t all there is to Abyssinian cats — they’re brilliant, able to process information quickly, and friendly.
These cathletes, like dogs, are always ready to play and have a competitive nature. They can be clicker-trained, and some even compete in dexterity courses. Abyssinian cats have so much energy that they even like to help out with household chores. They make excellent companions and love to be on the go, just like their canine pals.
American Bobtails are sturdy cats with shortened tails, are larger than most cats and have a beautiful orange coat. They’re exceptionally smart, tend to be physically fit and quite bold without being aggressive.
Although the American Bobtail looks like a jungle cat, they’re known as the feline version of the Golden Retriever because of their dog-like personalities and abilities. They’re devoted to their people, very adaptable and friendly. Like many dogs, they’re often used as therapy animals because of their sweet demeanor.
American Bobtail Overview
American Curl cats are medium-sized, well-muscled cats with walnut-shaped eyes and fur that’s soft and silky. This breed’s most distinctive physical feature is their ears, which curl backward, showing off the fluffs of fur inside.
American Curls are dog-like because of their affectionate nature, their affinity for children and their ability to cope with loud environments. They tend to keep their kitten personality through middle age and are always up for some fun. They’re known for their dog-like attentiveness and talent for adapting to new situations.
American Curl Overview
For a medium-sized feline, these cats are mighty. They’re solid and have strong muscles and bones. Their shorthair comes in many colors and is thick and substantial. They’re active but not too active, so no worries that they’ll be bouncing off the wall with boredom.
American Shorthairs are like dogs in their laid-back attitude and their loyalty to their humans. These cats don’t believe dogs are the only animal that can be man’s best friend. They’re there when you want to unwind and need some comfort.
American Shorthair Overview
People tend to meet a Balinese cat and fall in love. If you’ve never seen one, they’re similar to a Siamese cat only with longhair. They have the blue eyes, the soft fur and the long whiskers.
Balinese are the perfect dog-cat because they love to be taken on walks with a leash, you can teach them to play fetch, and they’ll happily follow you wherever you go. You won’t need to call them to get them to come to you because they’ll be there already.
Bengal cats are one of the more athletic breeds. They need to be able to run, jump and cut loose at least once a day, or they’ll get restless and frustrated. Like their canine friends, Bengal cats bond with their humans and will get upset if they’re left alone for extended amounts of time.
A Bengal cat is so much like a dog that people jokingly wonder if they’re a dog in a cat’s body. They’re talkative, so don’t be surprised if they greet you vocally at the door when you come home. Bengals can be trained to play fetch or walk with a harness.
Patience and tolerance aren’t words often associated with cats, but Birman cats have both. These fluffy furballs are great with kids and other pets. They’re independent enough to give you space when you need it but are available when you need to confide in someone who won’t judge you.
Birmans are an excellent breed for people who want a more dog-like cat because they love going on walks, are active and loyal. They’re known for being companions of temple priests in Burma, so they instinctively know how to be a good friend to their humans.
When you have a Bombay cat, it’s like having your own miniature panther, but without the danger. They’re sleek black beauties who are adaptable, smart and outgoing. Some Bombay cats enjoy greeting everyone who comes to the door just like dogs who bark a friendly, “Hello.”
Some of the qualities that Bombay cats have, which make them similar to dogs, are that they want to be taught tricks and love to play with toys. They’re very loyal and have been nicknamed “velcro” cats because, like their canine pals, they tend to stick close to their human families.
Burmese cats have a compact body, but don’t be fooled; they’re heavier than they look, not unlike many dog breeds. They’re faithful to their humans, affectionate and playful.
Burmese cats have many canine behaviors, such as how they enjoy playing games with children, the way they’ll sit and wait for their dinner like dogs will and how they enjoy resting at their owner’s feet or by their side. Burmese cats can be taught to retrieve just like dogs or trained to take a walk while on a leash.
Burmilla cats are up for all the attention and affection you’re able to give them. They’re sweet and open, and they stay kitten-like for many years into adulthood. They love to play, but their favorite is having their humans give them lots of affection.
Burmillas are like dogs because they’re very good company, and their day isn’t complete until they’ve been petted and had their belly-rubbed. You might expect such a beautiful cat to be high-strung, but they’re laid-back and easy-going.
Chartreux cats look as if they’re always smiling and always up for some fun. Their blue-grey fur isn’t only beautiful; it’s waterproof. They’re sweet, even-tempered and quiet — you won’t hear a lot of vocalizations from this breed.
What makes them most like dogs is their ability to learn their name and come when called. They’re smart enough to learn how to play fetch and other games. They can also calm down other animals — the same way dogs have a healing effect on other animals and humans.
These cats are well-proportioned, stately and majestic. Their bodies seem built for an active lifestyle that includes running, jumping and having fun.
Chausies demonstrate how they’re like a dog in the way that they’re always available for playtime. If their human is so inclined, a Chausie can be taught to play fetch and walk on a leash. If a cat can get to the point where they willingly will walk with a collar or leash, they must be part canine.
Spending time with their humans is what Cornish Rex cats live for, and if they could, they’d be with their humans 24/7. They love to snuggle, cuddle and hang out. Cornish Rex cats make great therapy animals, as they help people relax and let go of their anxieties.
Cornish Rex cats are doglike because they’re very outgoing, get along with everybody (including dogs) and are athletic. Cornish Rex cats have so much energy, and they need to spend part of each day running, playing and jumping.
Cornish Rex Overview
Devon Rex cats stand out wherever they are because of their distinct looks. They have large ears, big eyes and are said to resemble fairies, elves or even aliens. Go ahead and stare — it’s OK with them because they just love getting attention and are natural performers.
Devon Rex cats are like dogs because they’re outgoing, energetic and trainable. Who wouldn’t want to watch a Devon Rex cat play the piano? It’s not unlikely for a Devon Rex to sit on their human’s shoulders and make sure they correctly do the right things.
Devon Rex Overview
Egyptian Mau cats don’t need to be trained to be athletic, for they’re born that way. They’re known for their speed (they can run up to 30 mph) and are often thought of as the greyhounds of cats. There are few cats out there who are faster than the Egyptian Mau.
They’re like dogs in their devotion to their human family, their hunter’s instinct and their love of playing in the water. While there are cats that tolerate water, there aren’t many that enjoy being in it as an Egyptian Mau does.
Egyptian Mau Overview
Rumor has it that Havana cats or Havana Browns are so named because their fur resembles a Cuban cigar in color and texture. They’re medium-sized, muscular and almost always in good shape. They’re curious, social and like to be involved in everything their human does.
Their personalities are often compared to a puppy’s, as they’ll follow their human family members around, and they’re also easily trained. However, they also have a mischievous streak, so don’t worry about getting bored with a Havana around, for they’ll keep you on your toes.
Havana Brown Overview
As the name indicates, the Japanese Bobtail has a small bulb of a tail, so in some ways, their appearance resembles a dog more than a cat. Also, when you don’t have much of a tail, you don’t risk someone pulling it. Japanese Bobtails have a very outgoing and fun personality and get along well with children.
They’re dog-like in their aptitude in learning tricks, playing fetch and their extremely social nature. Like certain dog breeds, Japanese Bobtail cats are excellent jumpers and tend to do very well in feline-agility tests.
Japanese Bobtail Overview
Korat cats are loving, gentle and loyal. They bond quickly with their humans and tend to have a very affectionate relationship with them. Cats are known for their highly developed senses, and the Korats are no exception. Their senses appear to have been amped up as they’ve evolved, and nothing gets by a Korat.
Korats are good for dog lovers because they’re very energetic, and they can be trained. Whereas many cats may ignore being told “No,” Korats take it seriously, and they’ll learn the rules of their household and follow them.
Maine Coon cats are frequently called cat-dogs. Why? They tend to be larger than your average cat and could be mistaken for a mid-sized dog under certain circumstances. Their body size isn’t the only thing massive about these cats, for they have a huge affectionate personality.
Why are Maine Coons considered so dog-like? If they’re chasing a toy, they’ll bring it back to you. Plus, not only do they not mind being in the water, they’re strong swimmers. And if you want to take your Maine Coon on a walk, they’re OK being on a leash.
Maine Coon Overview
Manx cats may not have a tail, but that doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful, playful and loyal. There’s a strong bond between a Manx and their human family. They can be overprotective and don’t like it when strangers come into their house.
Manx cats are like dogs in the way they’re able to sense danger. They make excellent watch-cats and will growl or even attack if they feel it’s necessary to protect their family. Manx cats are trainable, like to go on walks and even enjoy traveling like their canine friends.
Ocicats are affectionate, intelligent and tend to adore their humans to the point of suffering from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. One thing that makes Ocicats unique is their love for learning.
Ocicats have many canine qualities, such as being easily trainable and responsive to voice commands. They’ll readily adapt to household rules as long as they don’t get criticized or yelled at in the process. Ocicats are sensitive to negativity, mainly when directed at them, unlike the dog who hangs his head and sulks in the corner when scolded.
Everything is cute about these cats, starting with their name: Ragamuffin. These cats are very sweet, docile and devoted to their humans. They love attention and will seek it out from any family member available to give it to them.
Ragamuffin cats are like dogs in the way they crave constant acknowledgment and physical affection from their humans. Ragamuffin cats are the most loyal feline companions anyone could want and will follow you from room to room until you settle down and give them a lap to sit on.
If you want a compliant, soft and loving cat, a Ragdoll is the one for you. These cuddly lap-cats thrive on having a physical and emotional connection with their humans. They tend to get along with everyone, including children and other pets.
Ragdolls are like dogs in the way that they enjoy digging holes (although they don’t bury bones in them like dogs), they play fetch, and they’ll lay on their backs, not unlike a dog who wants a belly rub. You know you have a cat-dog when your Ragdoll cat follows your heels like an obedient pup.
Savannah cats are tall with extra-long legs. They have the appearance of a miniature cheetah, and like them, they love to hunt. They’re very adventurous, loyal and are known for having a very clever sense of humor.
Savannah cats are like dogs in the way that they’re fearless and like to test their limits. There’s no place that’s too high for them to jump. Savannah cats can be taught to be on a leash, and they’re also competent swimmers. A cat who looks like a jungle cat but acts like a dog sounds like the perfect pet.
Selkirk Rex cats look like a combination of the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex cats, for they’re compact like the Cornish and muscular like the Devon, but with a delightful scruffy look. Their full hair is either curly or straight, and they remind some people of Teddy bears or other stuffed animal toys.
The Selkirk Rex cats are most like dogs because of their friendly, easy-going, playful and energetic personalities. Like many dogs, they get along with other pets and children. The Selkirk Rex will follow you around and are very patient in being handled and held.
Selkirk Rex Overview
Serengeti cats may remind you of a wild leopard, as they’re extremely athletic and tend to run, jump and climb with boundless energy. But inside, with their humans, they’re complete mush. These cats are outgoing, confident and agile.
They’re like dogs because of their loyalty. Serengeti cats get very attached to their people and aren’t afraid to show it with open displays of their devotion. When a Serengeti cat is by their owner’s side, they couldn’t be happier.
These beauties are sophisticated, talkative and affectionate. They’re great socially with everybody, including other cats, their humans and even people they meet for the first time. You don’t have to worry about your Siamese when you have visitors, for they’ll make them feel right at home.
Siamese cats are dog-like in the way they’re smart and can be trained to not only play fetch but to do high-fives as well. Siamese cats are great communicators, just like dogs who bark, howl and beg for treats.
Siberian cats have thick coats that help them handle cold climates. They’re very intelligent, active and playful. One of their most surprising skills is how adept they are at solving problems.
They’re suitable for people who love dogs but can’t have one because they’re very tuned in to their human’s wants and needs. They can sense when you need comforting or when you need some alone time. You won’t find a more loyal pet than a Siberian cat.
Singapura cats may be small, but they have a huge outgoing personality. They’re so friendly that they’re often referred to as one of the world’s friendliest cats. They’re extroverted, and they enjoy meeting new people and animals.
Just like dogs, Singapura cats love to have fun, play and adapt easily to the world around them. They don’t like being ignored and will seek out attention from anyone nearby. Singapura cats have so much energy they need places to explore, toys to play with and new friends to make.
Somali cats are mischievous, curious, active and very entertaining. They may not have opposable thumbs, but that doesn’t stop them from opening doors. Somali cats are extroverted, friendly and loving.
They’re thought to be a lot like dogs because of how close they are to their humans. Somali cats love to jump and play, especially when that play involves spending time with their fur-parents. You’ll be convinced of their dog-like personality when you see them playing fetch and hide and seek.
Sphynx cats may look hairless, but they actually have a soft down covering their body. These cats are not shy and retiring; they’re energetic, fun and will do anything for a laugh. Yeah, they love being the center of attention and adore having their humans focus on them.
Behaviors that Sphynx cats seem to have gotten from dogs is the way they wag their tail, follow their humans around and how they’re not afraid to show their people how much they love them. Sphynx cats are always available for a cuddle.
Tonkinese cats are balls of fun, as they’re goofy, humorous and love to entertain others. So, if you’re looking for an amusing feline companion, Tonkinese cats are it. Another of their standout personality traits is that they tend to have very good memories.
The reason Tonkinese cats are often associated with the more dog-like of cat breeds is their ability to get along with everyone, including children, cats, dogs and other pets. They’re extremely alert and curious. That said, you never want to let a Tonkinese get bored because that’s when they get into trouble.
Toyger cats resemble small tigers, but they’re not as fierce. These mini tigers are smart, outgoing and very active, but not to excess. Toygers are energetic but don’t have that bouncing-off-the-walls kind of energy you might expect from a puppy. A Toyger cat isn’t going to wear you out.
Toygers are good for dog people because, like dogs, Toygers enjoy playing with toys or fetching a ball. You can even train them to do tricks and entertain your friends and family. People with Toyger cats need to play with them regularly for mental stimulation and exercise, just like with dogs.
Turkish Angora cats make great pets because they’re gorgeous, devoted, fun-loving, affectionate and love being in a home where there’s a lot of activity happening. These cats want to be the center of their human’s world.
Turkish Angora cats are very much like dogs because they can swim. And, instead of hiding under the bed when children are around (like most cats do), these cats like kids. Turkish Angora cats are so friendly, it’s not unlikely for them to greet all your guests at a party.
Turkish Angora Overview
Turkish Van cats are high-energy, active and fun-loving. They require a lot of attention and affection from their humans, although most of the time, that doesn’t include being held or sitting on a lap.
Turkish Van cats might be the most dog-like of all as they can be trained to walk with a leash or wear a harness. Most cats don’t look forward to playing fetch, but Turkish Van cats will initiate a game by bringing a ball to their human. Lastly, Turkish Vans cats not only turn on faucets so they can help themselves to a drink of water, but they’re also known for going for short swims in pools and lakes.
Turkish Van Overview