Why Does My Dog Act Like a Cat?

Why Does My Dog Act Like a Cat?

If your dog is constantly licking his paws, chasing his tail, or hiding under the bed, it’s possible that he is exhibiting signs of feline behavior. Dogs and cats are both members of the family Canidae, so it’s not surprising that some dogs might start to act like cats when they’re stressed or confused. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons why dogs might start to behave like cats and provide you with some useful tips on how to correct the behavior. Thanks for reading!

How Does A Dog Act Like A Cat?

Sits In Inappropriate Places

Dogs that act like cats often have a habit of curling up and sitting in places they shouldn’t, such as on tables or counters. This has become known as ‘cat-sitting’. It is thought to be caused by anxiety or confusion, as the dog may not understand why it isn’t allowed to sit somewhere comfortable. [3]

Jumps On The Table, The Chairs, Or The Counter

Another sign of canine-feline behavior is when a dog jumps onto furniture such as tables, chairs or counters. This can often be seen in small dogs with high energy levels that have not been given enough exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and content. [3]

Chases Laser Lights

Chasing laser pointers is another common feline behavior seen in dogs. Cats are naturally drawn to the small moving dot of light, and some dogs may do the same. This can be a fun way for your dog to get some exercise, but make sure that you’re supervising them at all times as this could result in injury if they become too excited or overexert themselves. [3]

Lies Down To Cuddle

Some dogs may start to act like cats and curl up in a ball on your lap or against you. This is usually done as a form of seeking comfort and security from their human companion. If this behavior persists, it’s important to try and figure out what is causing the stress in order to help your dog feel more relaxed. [3]

Lies Down To Cuddle

Spends A Lot Of Time On Grooming

Dogs that act like cats may start to excessively groom themselves, often licking their paws or other areas of their bodies. This can be a sign of stress and anxiety, so it’s important to take note of this behavior and look out for any underlying causes. [3]

Rubs Their Body Against You

Dogs that act like cats may start to rub their bodies against you in order to mark their territory. This can also be a form of seeking comfort and security from their human companion.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it’s important to try and identify the root cause in order to help them feel more relaxed and secure. Taking the time to properly train your dog or make sure they are getting enough exercise and stimulation can help address some of these issues. [3]

You Have Cats In The Home

One possible explanation for why your dog may be acting like a cat is if you have cats in the home. It’s quite common for dogs to mimic the behavior of other animals, particularly those they live with. Dogs are very intelligent and always trying to understand their environment better. If they see cats exhibiting behaviors that work for them, such as lounging around or playing with toys, your dog may start doing the same thing! [1]

You Have An Independent Dog

While cats are famously independent, some dogs also have that same streak. Just like a cat, your pup may seem to come and go as they please without asking for permission or guidance from you. If your dog is often spotted prowling the yard or coming in late at night with dirt on their paws then they may just be independent.

Some people may see this behavior as annoying, but it’s actually quite normal for a dog of any breed. And if you want to keep them safe when they’re out exploring, make sure to give them an ID tag so you can easily track them down if need be. [1]

Your Dog Doesn’t Like Petting Or For You To Hold Them

It may seem strange that your dog would act more like a cat when it comes to being held or petted. But this behavior isn’t uncommon in certain breeds and age groups of dogs. Some dogs don’t enjoy the constant contact with their owners, while others have been bred to be independent and not as social with humans (such as some terriers).

If this is something you’ve noticed in your pup, don’t worry! This doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with them. In many cases, it just means they’re feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable and need some space. [1]

You Have A Litter-Trained Dog

It’s funny, but it happens more often than you’d think; many owners have found that their dogs will start to exhibit some pretty cat-like behavior. They’ll use the litter box, meow instead of bark and even climb up on furniture!

The most likely explanation is that your pup has been either trained or encouraged to act this way in the past. It is possible that they were originally raised as a “litter-trained dog” – meaning they were taught to go potty in a designated area (such as a litter box) rather than on the ground outside. This can be done through positive reinforcement and consistency. If your pup has had this kind of training before, then it’s likely that he/she has picked up the cat-like behavior. [1]

You Have A Litter-Trained Dog

Most Of The Time, It’s Perfectly Normal

It’s not uncommon for a dog to behave like a cat in certain situations. Dogs are, after all, closely related to cats and often share some of the same behaviors. From rubbing up against legs to purring, many dogs exhibit behavior that resembles more feline than canine mannerisms.

The most common reason your pup may act as if he were part-cat is because they both have similar survival instincts. For example, cats are known for their agility and acrobatic style of hunting, while dogs rely on sheer speed and strength. Both animals also use scent and pheromones as a means of communication with each other and their environment. [1]

Encouraging The Behavior

Sometimes, dogs will act like cats because they’re simply trying to tell us something. For example, if your pup is constantly meowing or hissing at you, it likely means he’s feeling anxious or uncomfortable in some way. To help him feel better and encourage the behavior less often, you’ll need to make sure he feels safe and secure in his environment. [2]

Other Solutions And Considerations

If your pup’s behavior still has you scratching your head, there are a few other things to consider.

  • Is your pup getting enough exercise? Dogs need mental and physical stimulation in order to be healthy. Make sure that you’re providing your pet with opportunities for meaningful playtime and enrichment activities throughout the day.
  • Do you have cats as well? If so, your pup may just be mimicking their behavior because it works! Or he could simply be feeling bored or left out around the cats, so try to spend quality one-on-one time with him away from the feline pack.
  • What kind of training have you done? If your pup is exhibiting destructive behaviors like clawing at furniture or counter surfing, consider signing up for obedience classes to help him learn proper behaviors and how to obey commands.
  • Does your pet have any medical issues? Certain medical conditions can lead to strange behavior in dogs, so it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian if you’re concerned about anything out of the ordinary. [2]

Tips If You Want Your Dog To Stop Acting Like A Cat

Stay Calm

When your dog acts like a cat, it’s natural to get frustrated. But try not to yell or act angry – this can make the situation worse and cause your dog to become even more stressed and anxious. Instead, stay calm and take a deep breath before attempting to address the issue. [3]

Stay Calm

Redirect The Behavior

If your dog is exhibiting cat-like behavior, try to redirect their attention by offering them a toy or treat. This will help them focus on something else and stop the undesirable behavior. [3]

Make Your Dog Work For Snacks

If your dog is constantly begging, encourage them to “work” for their treats. Ask them to sit or lie down before offering a treat, and gradually increase the number of commands they need to follow before being rewarded. [3]

Don’t Reward Unwanted Behavior

It’s important to remember that rewarding undesirable behavior can cause your dog to repeat it. If your pup is acting like a cat, try not to give them anything like treats or attention – this will only encourage them to continue the behavior. [3]

Don’t Yell Or Raise Your Tone Of Voice

When your dog acts like a cat, it’s important not to yell or raise your voice. This can startle them and cause them to become more anxious and stressed, which can then lead to further unwanted behavior. Instead, try using a calm and encouraging tone of voice when trying to teach them new things. [3]


What breed of dog is most like a cat?

There isn’t one specific breed of dog that is most like a cat, since all breeds have the potential to act in ways that mimic feline behavior. However, some types of dogs may be better suited to exhibiting certain kinds of behaviors than others. For example, small dogs such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies are more likely to curl up on laps or sleep curled into tight balls—two behaviors that cats often exhibit. On the other hand, larger breeds like Greyhounds and German Shepherds might be more prone to chasing after rodents or birds—behaviors typically seen in cats.

Why does my dog like himself like a cat?

There are a few possible explanations for why your dog might be exhibiting cat-like behavior. Firstly, some breeds of dogs may possess certain traits that make them more likely to exhibit feline behavior—for example, small lap dogs that enjoy snuggling up with their owners. Secondly, genetics could also play a role; if the parents or grandparents of your dog were known for displaying cat-like behaviors, it’s possible that those same traits have been passed down to your pup. Lastly, environmental factors can also influence how your dog behaves. If you’ve previously had cats in the house, or if you often interact with cats from the neighborhood, then it’s likely that some of their traits rubbed off on your pooch!

Does my dog think it’s a cat?

Unlikely! Even if your dog exhibits certain behaviors that resemble those of cats, it’s unlikely that your pup believes he is a feline. Dogs are smart creatures and have the ability to learn from their environment, but they still understand their place in the animal kingdom and can differentiate between canine and non-canine animals.

Does my dog think it's a cat

Does my dog know I am not a dog?

Yes, your dog most likely understands that you are not a dog and is aware of his own place in the household. Dogs can be incredibly perceptive when it comes to understanding their relationship with human family members, so if you’ve ever seen your pup looking at you with an inquisitive expression then it’s quite possible that he knows you aren’t one of the pack!

Do dogs think humans are dogs?

No! Dogs are intelligent animals and are able to differentiate between humans and animals. They understand that humans have a unique place in the pack and can recognize that they need to behave differently around us than they do with other dogs. Dogs also possess an emotional capacity which allows them to create strong bonds with their human family members, so it’s quite possible that your pup considers you a part of his pack.

Can dogs see TV?

Some dogs may be able to detect movement on television screens, but they are unlikely to actually comprehend what they are seeing. Dogs have a much poorer color vision than humans, so it’s likely that the images onscreen won’t make much sense to them. Certain breeds of dogs may also be more adept at perceiving motion, such as those with an active hunting instinct.

What does a dog think about all day?

That depends on the individual dog and its lifestyle. Most dogs like to spend their days snoozing, playing with toys, and going for walks—but they also think about other things, such as food and where their human family members are. Dogs are also capable of forming strong bonds with their owners, so it’s possible that your pup is constantly thinking about how he can make you happy!

Does my dog think about me when I’m gone?

It’s likely that your pup will miss you when you’re away. Dogs are incredibly perceptive animals and can recognize when their human family members aren’t around, so it’s quite possible that your pup is actively thinking of you while you’re apart. The bond between humans and dogs is a special one, so even if you’re just out running errands for an hour or two, it’s quite possible that your pup is counting down the minutes until you return home!

Useful Video: Why does my dog act like a cat?


The behavior of our canine friends can be quite perplexing, and if your dog acts like a cat it can be especially confusing. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to why this happens, understanding the underlying root causes (such as genetics or learned behaviors) can help you better understand and address the issue. Additionally, providing positive reinforcement for desired behaviors and limiting access to undesired activities may help redirect your pup’s “catty” tendencies.

No matter what the cause of your pup’s uncanny behaviors might be, remember that it doesn’t make them any less of a beloved family member! Your loyal companion deserves love and patience as you work together to figure out how best to help them.


  1. https://www.petsmont.com/blogs/pets/dogs-that-act-like-cats-5-reasons-you-might-notice-this-behavior
  2. https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-do-dogs-act-like-cats
  3. https://dogsandclogs.com/why-does-my-dog-act-like-a-cat/