HomeCat Behaviordog-likeWhat’s the Allure of a Cat that Acts like a Dog? Your Opinion Please!


What’s the Allure of a Cat that Acts like a Dog? Your Opinion Please! — 13 Comments

  1. Well, while I agree with you Jo, I have lived with two kitties over the years who I have referred to as my “puppy-kitty”. My Mittens, a lovely Tuxie girl, followed me everywhere and LOVED to play fetch! Her littermate, Bandit- could not be bothered with either activity. Now, My Tortie girl Shadow displays similar behavior- following me around the house, although as she gets older she doesn’t do that quite so much. Mitts used to come as soon as I called her and Shadow does that- unless she feels like staying where she is LOL. I always know that my kitties are just that- feline and not canine- but those particular behaviors reminded me of a dog and so I’d playfully refer to them that way. I love my kitties just as they are…. all feline!

  2. It is disagreeable to describe a cat as being dog-like because they are not. Cats do things because they want to, not because the human forced them to. I have known cats that fetched. They were not taught to do this, it was their own doing. Just a personality thing, I suppose.

    On the other hand, I have know several dogs that had “cat-like” traits: They use their front paws like hands, turning their dew claws into thumbs.

  3. People who believe that cats try to act like dogs or copy their behaviours, clearly don’t know much about cats.

    I’ve had a couple of female cats who loved playing fetch and in both cases it was they who initiated the game by retrieving a toy I’d thrown for them to chase. Usually the games which cats enjoy most are based around hunting strategies, so perhaps fetch is a distorted version of bringing home prey to their owners?

    • Michele S. I think you are onto something there. I have had several kitties that played “fetch” on their own and when they wanted to play they would find the paper ball and drop it at my feet or drop it on my tummy when I was stretched out watching TV. LOL

      • Sophie was obssessed with playing fetch. I had to resort to hiding the toy (a twisty cable tie formed into a hoop)otherwise she’d want to play until she was panting from over-exertion. If I even mentioned the word ‘toy’ she knew exactly what I meant and got quite excited at the prospect of a game.

        On a couple of occasions when we lived in Cyprus, she brought back live garden cockroaches and dropped them into my lap (or the bed at 4am)expecting me to throw them for her to chase 🙁 That was the extent of her interest in hunting and she was never remotely interested in hunting birds or mice.

        My other fetch-playing cat Holly always brought home her kills to show me. Even when they became senior citizens, both cats still enjoyed the game

  4. Thanks Michael, Our family is very unique and there is never a dull moment, even during cat naps, they are lovely to watch and be near. They have a set schedule that is more or less the same everyday with playtime and grooming time and outdoor exploring. Each one has their own personality and different needs. Hard work for a dedicated parent/guardian/advocate/ hostess/steward and nursemaid.
    Eva says

  5. Michael_I am in agreement with you on this subject.Although I do share my home with four Maine Coon Cats” who act like dogs in some ways and seem to be very loyal playful and can perform tricks; they are not in any real sense like dogs–far from it.
    Zebediah was a huge silver and black cat ‘ topped out at 28lbs of pure muscle and mass when he was only 6-months of age; and followed me everywhere and chortled { talked a lot ] If he were still here he might be offended by some of the articles posted concerning Marley” who appears to have some Maine Coon traits !
    Dogs Drool_Cats Rule_ Eva says

  6. I CRINGE whenever I read stuff like that, Jo, because as you know, I LOATHE dogs, for so many reasons. That said, to actually answer the question, I look back not too many years and CATS were CATS even in this society. Cats are still the nation’s and the world’s most beloved companion animal, far more so than dogs, but you’d never know it from the domestic media, which seems to have an agenda of shoving dogs down the public’s throats (and it’s working, sadly). Something a dog person said to me is the root of it, I think: dog products cost more than cat products, and the bottom line in this society is always all about money, so do the math. We don’t buy it, however; I would never have a dog again (was forced to care for two in the past — will NEVER do so again!) and I love cats because they are so UN-dog-like.

  7. I think they think they are complimenting the cat because they’ve bought into the “cats are aloof, cool, and independent and don’t give you the love and companionship you get from dogs” malarky. Really, a fine cat like Marley should be able to train a halfway bright human to do anything he wants him to.

  8. Jo, I thought the exact same thing. I saw the video about Marley on You Tube. He’s a cute old guy, but I didn’t see anything “dog-like” in his behavior. Now if he started barking and howling at the moon? Maybe. He’s just a cat who loves to be around humans and interact with them, and like you said, there are a lot of felines like that out here.

    Why do humans do that? Beats me. Maybe the ones who slap that “doglike” label on felines like Marley are too limited. They don’t know cats, so when they meet a Marley their only point of reference is a dog. Cats are supposed to be aloof and hate people, and we all know that’s not true. In the video Marley’s humans admitted they had never had a cat before, just dogs. That told me a lot.

    • Serbellla, I couldn’t agree with you more. I have yet to meet an “aloof” kitty- I have met some very shy kitties and kitties who haven’t been socialized that much with humans, but those folks who call cats “independent” and “aloof” just don’t understand feline nature.

      Yes, Marley is adorable (quite overweight in my opinion- since you can see him panting in the video very often) but there is nothing “doglike” about this kitty. I do hope that Marley’s humans do a lot of research about the feline nature and learn that cats are NOT little dogs. I also wish that the veterinarians who basically think that way would also get a grip on reality!! LOL

  9. I am like you on this one. For some strange reason people like to say that some cats are “dog-like” but you never see dogs described as “cat-like”. It seems that people treat the dog as the primary human animal companion and compare the cat to the dog.

    The behavior of cats will naturally overlap with the behavior of dogs in certain areas. That’s normal. People are strange.

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