Why Is My Cat Acting Like A Dog?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen some YouTube videos in which cats act like dogs. Or your own feline pal is acting like a canine. Either way, you’re wondering why a cat would act like a dog when it’s obvious they’re from different species.

Each kitty is unique on its own, regardless of its breed. However, some furballs out there might indeed do things, which aren’t very…”catlike”.

For example, your pet might find pleasure in performing tricks with ease. Or it might respond to its name whenever you’re calling it, just like a dog would do. Or it could want to play fetch. The cat might even follow you around from one room to another even when you’re going to the bathroom.

And one of the most peculiar dog-like activities for cats is…walking on a leash. Yes, that’s an actual thing and many pet owners do take their felines for a walk on a leash.

But why are cats doing all of these and some other dog-like things? Are they confused about their own species? Not necessarily! In fact, once you discover the reasons behind it, your fluffy friend’s behavior will seem quite normal and sane.

Why Is My Cat Acting Like A Dog?

If It’s Dog-Like, Loyal, And Attached To Its Owner…

Your pet is following you around everywhere you go, it’s greeting you whenever you come home from work, it’s snuggling with you whenever you’re waking up, it’s trying to sleep in your room, it’s constantly sitting on your lap and is seeking physical contact. It may meow or even lick you as a sign of affection apart from purring or rubbing against you.

All of these things are typical dog-like activities for many cats.

Some breeds, such as the Ragdoll are dog-like loyal to their owners by default. This means they’ll choose a specific person from the household and perceive them as their favorite human. They will constantly seek their presence, wishing to outclass dogs as “the man’s best friend”.

And there’s really nothing wrong with any of this, unless it becomes too annoying for the owner. It just means the cat got attached to its pet parent and wants to be around him/ her.

If It’s Acting Out As A Way To Receive Treats And Be The Center Of Attention…

Several feline breeds adore being the center of attention to such an extent that they’ll do anything for it. The Oriental Shorthair and the Abyssinian are such breeds. They’ll amaze you with their unpredictable behavior just to get a few minutes of your attention. And since cats are curious by nature, these furballs can even greet unfamiliar guests and stay with them up until they leave your home!

On the other hand, many felines can start performing tricks out of the blue, nibble at your clothes or bring you a toy to play fetch just like a dog would do when it demands attention, play time or a treat. So, if your pet is behaving like a dog, it could simply be demanding some attention. Or it just wants to prove itself to you so that you can reward it with a tasty treat.

If It’s Just Susceptible To Training…

Contrary to their mischievous and headstrong nature, many feline breeds are actually quite intelligent and susceptible to training. The Maine Coon, Russian Blue and Siamese are among them.

Just because your pet is responding to commands like a dog would do, it doesn’t mean it’s mistaking the species. It just means your kitty is easily susceptible to training.

As you probably know, the best practices for training a cat include the positive reinforcement techniques. As such, your pet will be eager to please you and get a reward for its achievements, especially if learning commands, tricks and how it shouldn’t scratch your furniture was an easy process for it.

Don’t be surprised if your cat managed to learn its name, the name of its favorite toy or how to jump through a hoop. It’s more intelligent than you think.

If It’s Living Or Has Lived With A Dog…

Last, but not least, it’s possible in some rare cases for your pet to indeed confuse its own species. If your furball has lived with a dog or is currently residing with one, there’s a possibility for the two pets to become close to one another.

If the cat is really close with the canine, it might even sleep next to it. And in some truly rare cases, it’s possible for the cat to start perceiving the dog as a role model.

So, in other words, your pet kitty might indeed act like a dog only because it’s been mimicking the dog’s behavior. That, however, is a rarity. Even if you have a feline and a canine under the same roof, it’s far more likely for your cat to be behaving like a dog for one (or several) of the previously mentioned reasons.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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