Why Does My Dog Act Like A Cat – The Behavior Explained!

Canines are super-unique when it comes to personality traits. Sure, there are a few doggy behaviors common across the board – like tail-wagging or running in circles. But, sometimes pet parents are left feeling a little puzzled when their dog starts acting like a cat. So to answer the question, why does my dog act like a cat?

Dogs can act like cats if they’re bored, want your attention, or a better look at something. Dogs are also known for imitating cats if there’s a feline pet in the family. Some dog breeds known to exhibit cat-like characteristics include Poodles, Vizslas, or Basenjis. 

No matter the reason behind your canine’s cat-like behavior – we’re here to help you break down your furry companion’s conduct. All you need to do is grab a comfy seat and read on!

Reasons Your Dog Acts Like A Cat

Alrighty, let’s get started on the reasons why your canine furball may be acting like a feline. Here are the top five reasons your pet may be exhibiting more feline traits than usual. 

Your Dog Is Bored

Have you recently noticed your pooch jumping on sofas, your lap, or develop a sudden liking for chasing yarn balls or laser dots, etc.?

If yes, then it’s likely your dog is feeling a little bored. This type of behavior is even more likely if your canine is the only pet in the family and has no playmates. 

Try spending more time with your canine to see if the catty symptoms dissipate. Not to mention, playtime and training with dogs can lead to a deeper, more meaningful bond between you and your furry best friend. 

Your Dog Wants Your Attention

Another possible reason behind your dog acting like a cat is that your canine tries its best to get your attention. This is significantly more likely if you’ve been busier than usual and have been avoiding your pet unknowingly. 

Canines are intelligent and friendly creatures. They require a disciplined exercise routine to thrive; however, mental stimulation is just as important. Dogs that are left on their own for long periods can fall prey to anxiety issues and even develop destructive behaviors like excessive barking and chewing. 

That’s why you need to make time for your pet. If your pup is going out of its way to claim your focus and attention, it’s already feeling a little neglected, and a severe cuddle or play session is long overdue. 

Your Dog Wants A Better View

Believe it or not, gazing out the window is a time-honored canine pastime. Dogs love cozying up in front of windows or doors to see the world pass them by – and many dog parents can attest to this fact. 

However, if something gets in the way of your pup and its window-gazing, you can be sure your pet will try and figure out a way to get the view back. That’s one common reason why you’ll see your pup attempting to jump on sofas or chairs. It’s not that your canine is suddenly feeling more feline – it’s just that it’s trying to get back to its favorite recreational hobby. 

Try setting up a lazing spot for your canine near a window to see if its jumping drills stop. If your windows are too high for your little guy, think about investing in an elevated dog bed. You can be sure your pet will thank you for it. 

Your Dog Is Imitating Your Cat

Pet experts often state that canines can pick up and mimic the behavior of humans – it’s a natural consequence of familiarity. And while there’s no scientific data to back up the claim – it’s entirely possible that your dog is suddenly more feline in its conduct because there’s a feline nearby. 

It’s not uncommon to find both felines and canines as pets in a single household, and most of the time, the two species get along quite well. It’s not strange for pet parents of cats and dogs to find their furballs cuddling or snuggling into each other for a nap or playing with the same toys. 

That’s why it shouldn’t be too surprising if you wake one day and notice your dog jumping into your lap for a quick cuddle or chasing laser lights. If your canine sees your cat behaving in a similar fashion when it’s interacting with you, then it probably wants in on the action. 

Your Dog Belongs To A Cat-like Dog Breed

A cat-like dog breed? If you’ve never heard of the term, then allow us to tell you it exists. Dog breeds like Basenji, Vizsla, Poodle, or even, Shiba-Inu are pretty famous for displaying specific feline characteristics like self-grooming, lounging, or being super self-assured. 

If your canine behaves like it runs the show in your household and expects you to pander to its every wish – your pup may belong to a dog breed that’s known for its feline-friendly traits. 

Can A Dog Think It’s A Cat

Recently, a new study published in Scientific Reports claimed that dogs are body-aware and self-aware than scientists thought. That means it’s not very likely that canines believe they are cats. 

However, canines can exhibit feline characteristics due to influence. If your household consists of cats and dogs – the close interaction can lead to your pup picking up on some of your cat’s mannerisms. That’s even more true if your canine observes a particular behavior that you like or is rewarded. 

Dogs are brilliant overall, and you shouldn’t put it past them to adopt a characteristic they feel might bring them closer to you or help them earn a treat. 

What Dog Breed Is Most Like A Cat

According to pet experts and parents, the dog breed most like a cat is undoubtedly the Basenji. Basenjis are pretty self-conscious about their looks and love to lick their fur all over to groom themselves.

Basenjis are so prone to licking their fur that vets often prefer to give them feline flea medications to ensure their health isn’t harmed in any way. 

Basenjis are also very prone to chasing little critters like mice or squirrels – so be sure to keep a tight grip on your pet whenever you venture out for walks in the park or a hike.

Another cat-like characteristic of this breed is its ability to jump and pounce like felines. It’s not uncommon for Basenji owners to install dog doors and safety gates only to find that their pet is more than capable of clearing the obstruction. 

Finally, if you’re on the lookout for an obedient and easy-to-train dog breed – you may want to avoid Basenjis. As lovable and cuddly as Basenjis are, they’re pretty difficult to train and have quite a difficult time following commands. 

What Dogs Clean Themselves Like Cats

There are quite a few clean dog breeds that are very popular with pet parents with allergies. For instance, Poodles are popular because of their non-shedding qualities and hypoallergenic coat.

Besides that, poodles are also intelligent, highly active, and available in various sizes and even crossbreeds.

However, the canine breed that’s renowned for cleaning and licking itself like cats is the Basenji.

If you’re the proud owner of a Basenji, you’ve likely seen your pet groom itself by licking its fur all over countless times. Thankfully, this type of licking is nothing to worry about as far as the Basenji breed is concerned. 

On the other hand, if you’ve noticed your dog licking itself excessively and it’s not a Basenji – you might want to have your pet looked over by the vet in case of skin allergies. 

What Does It Mean When A Dog Purrs Like A Cat

When your dog resorts to purring (which sounds more like a canine rumble), it generally means one of two things: happiness or fear.

Dogs may not express themselves with words like humans, but they’ve certainly mastered the art of communication through sounds and actions. Canines can whine, sing, snort, and even scream to express themselves. Dogs are even known to purr. 

If your dog is snuggled up next to you while you’re rubbing its fur, then its snuffle or rumble highlights contentment. Conversely, if your pet is in a situation that evokes negative vibes, like going to the vet, then its grumbling growl means it’s feeling distressed or uneasy. 

The best way to decipher what your canine’s purring means is to observe the situation. If all’s right in your pup’s world – the purring is much like a feline’s purr of bliss. 

Similarities Between Dogs & Cats

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but dogs and cats have quite a few things in common – starting from puppy or kittenhood. Below is a breakdown of these similarities.

Similarities Between Cats and DogsSimilarities Between Kittens and Puppies
Both form deep bonds with their ownersBoth are playful and active
Both are capable of understanding affection and returning itBoth need some time before being able to regulate their body temperatures
Both can be trainedBoth like milk but may also be lactose intolerant
Both require love and patience from their ownersBoth need to be house-trained to avoid accidents

To begin with, both pups and kittens need the nourishment of their mothers’ milk to develop immunity and grow healthy. 

Puppies and kittens are also similar in that both have difficulties regulating their body temperatures. For example, kittens can regulate their temperature at four weeks, whereas puppies gain the ability at 6 to 7 weeks. Both pups and kitts love the taste of milk (regular milk), but a large percentage are also unable to digest the stuff because of lactose intolerance. 

Finally, both kittens and puppies require a lot of patience and love to adjust to their surroundings and need to be house-trained (albeit in different ways) to avoid puppy or kitty accidents. 

Now, let’s talk about how cats and dogs retain some likenesses, even as they mature. Studies and research show that both canines and felines form a deep and meaningful attachment and bond with their owners. 

They’re also intelligent enough to understand the love and affection their owners shower upon them and have their unique ways of returning the feeling. For example, cats are pretty famous for bringing their owners’ dead mice as gifts, whereas dogs will not hesitate to share their favorite toy. 

Additionally, both canines and felines can be trained to some extent. While dogs are way better at picking up commands and following them, you can train cats to pick up certain behaviors.

And, let’s not forget the essential detail – both cats and dogs need their owners (aka parents) to be very loving and patient with them, be it general care, training, or overall support. 

Things To Consider

Sometimes your canine acting like a cat is adorable. However, if your pet happens to be a medium-sized dog that weighs anywhere from 35 to 60 pounds – jumping on stuff, be it your lap or the furniture, can get a little wearing. That’s why we’re going to provide you with a few helpful tips and pointers to help your pup remember its true nature. 

Enroll Your Dog For Agility Classes And Training

Maybe your dog mimics your cat, or perhaps it’s recently developed a love of jumping on things – whatever the case may be, you can channel your pet’s energies positively by enrolling it in agility classes. 

Dog agility training will involve your canine running through a pre-set obstacle course which will require your pet to jump, maneuver through weave poles, walk upon seesaws, and other types of fun stuff. 

What’s more, you can partake in the agility training by teaching your pup to pick up cues and body language signals – which may be fun for you, and it’ll also help you form an even deeper bond with your canine. 

Turn To Canine’s Attention To A More Positive Pastime

You can help your dog turn to more dog-like pursuits through training via positive reinforcement. Every time your pup does something it’s not supposed to, calmly ask it to stop, and reward its behavior if your canine immediately desists. 

If your pet has taken to jumping into your lap, don’t just sit there waiting for your furry companion to move – gently push your pup to the side, get up and walk out of the room. Wait for a few minutes, re-enter the room, and assume your position. 

If your pet repeats the jumping operation, repeat the process until your pup gets the message that you’re not comfortable with its behavior. 

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