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Now, that’s an odd one!

Why does my dog act like a cat? Did I make a mistake and accidentally adopt a feline?

Relax, you didn’t adopt a cat. Your dog is still a dog and such behavior is, whether you believe it or not, normal according to the circumstances. Dogs can behave like cats for several reasons. For example, your dog may grow up with a cat and mimic its behavior to get your attention.

If you see your dog jumping off counters or exhibiting other feline behavior, you may need to find the root of these problems.

Here’s a better view so you can understand your pooch better and never wonder again: Why does my dog act like a cat!

Signs Your Dog Acts Like A Cat

cute cat and dog cuddlingcute cat and dog cuddling

Purring and stretching are normal cat behaviors that come to our minds when someone asks about a feline’s behavior.

Well, don’t expect to see a dog doing this. For starters, he doesn’t have the anatomical build to purr.

Instead, look for the following signs to determine why your dog acts like a cat.

#1 Sits in inappropriate places

Does your dog sit on kitchen counters? Have you ever caught him trying to make himself comfortable on your sofa’s armrest? Did your Fido snooze on top of the dining table?

These are all signs your dog acts like a cat. Italian Greyhounds and Whippets often show such behavior. If you have a large dog breed like a Vizsla, a Labrador, or a Shiba Inu and they try to fit into your lap, this can also mean they’re mimicking felines.

#2 Jumps on high surfaces

dog and cat sitting on a chairdog and cat sitting on a chair

Jumping on high surfaces is also a sign of feline behavior. Actually, it’s dangerous for a dog to jump on high surfaces like counters, tables, and sofas. This cat-like behavior may lead to bone and joint problems.

#3 Playing with feline toys

Cat people love teasing their cats with lasers. All cats, from Ragdolls to Abyssinians, and Maine Coons, love playing this game. Did you try pointing a laser light on the ground for your dog to play with? You did! Did the dog play with it? He did! Congrats, your canine wants to be a cat.

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#4 Lies down for cuddles

Even though this behavior can be spotted with both cats and dogs, cats are more likely to exhibit it.

If you own both a cat and a dog, and they’re both cuddlers, you may catch your dog dropping down on its back waiting for cuddles. It’s just a way of seeking attention, especially if you’re spending more time with the cat.

#5 Self-grooming

Cats groom themselves all the time. Dogs? They don’t.

#6 Rubbing against you

If you’re a cat lover or a cat owner, you probably know what it means when a cat rubs against your legs. So, what happens when a dog rubs against your legs? He is showing feline-like behavior, and is offering you a sign of affection.

8 Reasons Why Dogs Act Like Cats

#1 Your buddy has a cat friend

Dogs are known for mimicking the personality of their humans. If your dog spends lots of time at home while you’re working, and you have a cat, too, he might catch up with her behavior.

Cat-like behavior exhibits frequently when a dog grows up with a cat. It’s only natural for the dog to mimic its little friend. All puppies learn fast. They soak up everything like sponges. So, don’t be surprised if your dog starts showing some of the signs we mentioned earlier.

#2: Dogs are social creatures

Dogs aren’t designed to live alone. They need company. They need someone to comfort them, keep them safe, and provide love. In other words, dogs are pack animals and they need to live in packs to function properly.

If you have a sweet dog like a little Papillon or a Shetland Sheepdog, he will accept any additional family member you bring home and think of them as a part of your pack and his new pawtner in crime.

#3 Dogs are intelligent creatures

dog curled up sleepingdog curled up sleeping

Imitation of feline behavior is not a sign of stupidity. It’s a sign of a dog’s intelligence, as he picks up the exhibited feline behavior.

It may be awkward and uncomfortable for you, but your dog will actually enjoy trying to fit into a small box, just like his kitty friend did earlier!

#4 Watching over the pack

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Since dogs are pack animals, they have a need to protect their pack. Dogs that live inside must protect everything that’s inside the house.

They do this by watching the door, or staring through a window. But, sometimes the window is not that easy to access, so they need to climb.

If you see your dog climbing the sofa or some other high surface, he just wants to get a better look.

#5 Fido is bored

When you’re too busy and your pup wants to play, he may find other ways to get your attention instead of just following you around. He might jump on the sofa, walk all over it, and do all sorts of shenanigans to get your attention. This exercises their agility and your nerves, so you better give him a belly rub or two.

#6 Nasty skin issues

That excessive licking (yup, even their private parts) can have other reasons besides just imitating the cat. Your dog may suffer from some severe skin issues, and try to groom himself to ease the pain and itching. Sadly, the licking only makes it worse, so you better jump in and take the dog to the vet.

#7 Signs of anxiety

Excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety. A dog licking his fur all the time is trying to calm down and comfort himself. Think of this as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Something’s going inside your pup’s head, and you must find a reason why your dog is acting like a cat.

#8 He only wants attention

All dogs are huge attention-seekers. If you don’t show them the attention they need, they will find a way for you to switch your focus, and they will push your boundaries.

5 Ways You Can Stop Your Dog From Acting Like A Cat

couple with the dog in lapcouple with the dog in lap

#1 Keep your chill

If you catch your dog doing something awkward or acting like a cat, don’t make a big deal out of it. Try to keep your cool and don’t overreact. Even though you may not show you’re upset or afraid of your dog’s safety, the dog can still sense you’re upset, scared, or even angry. Detecting these emotions can only make everything worse.

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#2 Switch the focus

If your dog jumps on the counter and you’re afraid that he may fall down and hurt himself, try giving him his favorite treat to call him over and turn his attention to something new. Instead of yelling at your dog, or even hitting him, try a gentle approach so your pup still sleeps next to you at the end of the day.

#3 Have the dog earn the snack

Don’t hand out snacks just because. Have your dog earn them by performing on commands and fulfilling a training lesson successfully. Don’t be too quick to give your dog a snack.

#4 Unwanted behavior shouldn’t be rewarded

Does it bother you that your dog sits on the sofa or tries to snuggle into your lap anytime you sit down? Do you have a really large dog that can even hurt you if he jumps onto you too quickly? Then, you must end such behavior!

If you catch your dog performing these actions, leave him alone for 5 to 10 minutes and let him calm down. Every time the dog acts like this, you must repeat the action. Your dog must know that it’s not acceptable. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t like your dog. You can still show him affection afterward, or else your dog may not like you anymore.

#5 Keep your voice down

Communicate with your dog.

If you raise your voice abruptly, you can only make things worse. In fact, you can startle your dog and scare him away from you. If you do this while your dog is up on the counter, he may get afraid, lose his balance, and fall down.

There’s no need for yelling or hitting. Just calmly tell your dog you don’t appreciate such behavior.

Agility Training Helps

dog in woman's lapdog in woman's lap

Many dogs exhibit such cat-like behavior because they haven’t had enough exercise that day. They may not enjoy walking on a leash, or they may prefer a more energetic run. Dogs like the Basenji or the Manchester Terrier appreciate good exercise. Your dog will, too!

You can either ask a professional trainer for help or try to tire out your dog all on your own.

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Agility training helps your dog lose built-up energy, as well as it makes him sturdy, durable, and stimulates its brain.

10 Dog Breeds That Exhibit Cat-Like Behavior

woman and her vizsla dog looking through the windowwoman and her vizsla dog looking through the window

There are cat people and there are dog people, but also, there are people who like cat-like dogs. No, we don’t mean cat-like in appearance. We’re thinking of cat-like behavior. It’s absolutely normal to like both cats and dogs. Some may like the cuddles they receive from their cats, while others like a dog’s temperament. The following 10 dog breeds will be everything you can wish for in a pet!

1. Vizsla.

This is a very active dog breed that loves being around humans. Vizsla dogs are affectionate, loving, and don’t mind showing you that you’re the start of their hearts. These dogs have cat-like mannerisms, and they love cuddling up on the sofa.

2. Manchester Terrier.

The Manchester Terrier is another loyal breed that loves showing affection. These dogs form a tight bond with their owners immediately upon meeting. They may seem a bit intimidating, but their heart is made of gold. Just like their feline buddies, Manchester Terriers won’t hesitate to chase a rat out of the house and cuddle with their owner afterward.

3. Papillon.

The Papillon is a happy puppy that loves to be outside playing all the time. However, they don’t mind rainy days spent in their owner’s lap either. This dog breed is quite friendly and open. They get along with everyone, but they’re still very assertive and confident, just like kitties are.

4. Basenji.

Here’s a dog breed that looks much like a cat. The Basenji dog is an active pup that loves its humans, but he’s also shy around unknown folks. This dog breed attaches to one person only, and they show devotion to only that person. Remind you of someone?

5. Shetland sheepdog.

Shetland Sheepdogs are very eager to listen and follow their owner’s commands. These dogs resemble kitties because they’re intelligent and very loving to their families, but they’re quite aloof with strangers.

6. Italian greyhound.

The Italian Greyhound is a loving breed, but boy they can hunt down intruders just like their feline companions! It’s kind of an unwritten rule that Greyhounds do best with adults or seniors.

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7. Whippet.

The Whippet dog loves snoozing around the house. Sure, they need their exercise, but they prefer keeping it quiet and visiting dreamland.

8. Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inus are brave and daring dogs. Still, they’re a delight to own. What makes them similar to cats is their temperament. They love being clean and properly groomed. If you catch your Shiba licking his coat, it’s no big deal. They do this all the time.

9. Mi-Ki.

Now, here’s a laid-back pup like no other! The Mi-Ki dog loves everyone, even strangers! It’s not their personality that makes them similar to cats; it’s their appearance.

10. Poodle.

Poodles are a dog breed that resembles kitties the least. However, they’re similar due to the fact that they’re quite egocentric. All Poodles think they’re stars, and they demand proper treatment. Just like cats, they can be very mischievous in case they get bored.

Why Does My Cat Act Like A Dog?

cat and dogcat and dog

Photo from: @tip.n.toe

Hey, pet owners! Is your pet following you everywhere, including into the bathroom? Does your pet sleep between your legs or always close to you? Does your pet greet you as soon as you get home?

Yup, those are some signs your kitty is clingy. Felines can also meow or lick you as a sign they appreciate your company. Add purring and rubbing against you and you’ll get the full treatment.

Many cat breeds will exhibit dog-like behavior. For example, Ragdolls will choose one person from the house and think of him as his favorite hooman. They’ll ask that hooman for everything! This is really not an unwanted behavior unless you find it too annoying.

Oh, who are we kidding?! All cat breeds love being in the center of attention. Cats like the Abyssinian breed will go above and beyond to get just a few signs of your affection and attention. Just like their canine friends, they will greet new people upon arrival, and act friendly towards everyone. You may even wonder whether you have a small dog breed and not a cat!

Also, some kitties start doing tricks just because they want to. They’ll play fetch with you, sit up, roll over, and do many other tricks. But, they’ll never hit the litter box, right?

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When you catch your feline performing tricks, it may be her way of telling you she wants attention, or she’s simply working to get some treats.

So, what do you do if your cat keeps on performing tricks?

Maybe you could train her? Yeah, that would be great!

Lots of cat breeds like the Maine Coon, the Russian Blue, and the Siamese are excellent learners. With plenty of positive reinforcement, you can make your cat the star of the show! Add dedication, time, and patience to the equation and you will see your kitty responding to its name, bringing her favorite toy, or even jumping on command.

Not to forget, cats can behave like dogs, especially if they’re living with canine companions. If you have sweet-tempered pets, you can expect them to get along perfectly fine. It’s not a surprise that some cats even think of the dogs as their role models and pack leaders.

So, yes, your cat can really act like a dog. She can mimic his personality traits and habits. It’s really not something to be worried about.

To Sum Up…

dog and cat in woman's lapdog and cat in woman's lap

Now you won’t have to wonder anymore: Why does my dog act like a cat!

We hope that our explanation was clear enough for you to realize that this behavior isn’t something bad. Many dog owners think that mimicking cat-like behavior is a serious condition.

No, it won’t kick your dog out of the American Kennel Club. No, you don’t need a professional dog trainer to fix your dog. Your dog is perfectly fine, and this dog behavior may or may not happen. In fact, your dog may drop it abruptly and never repeat it again.

Dogs act like cats simply because they think it’s fun. They’re seeking attention, and they are trying to entertain themselves. Who are we to judge why a puppy wants to be a kitty?

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By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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