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23 Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs (With Pictures)

Chelsie Fraser

By Chelsie Fraser

bengal cat walking on plank outdoor

Cats are known for being independent thinkers who are resistant to training. They are low-maintenance pets in comparison to their canine counterparts. Conversely, dogs are well-known companion animals who can be taught tricks and have several jobs, from hunting and herding to being companion or therapy animals. But these stereotypes leave out cat breeds that are outgoing and affectionate, love to learn tricks, and provide a soothing presence to their owners.

Whether you’re looking for the best of both worlds or simply want a cat that can play fetch, here’s the ultimate list of cat breeds that act like dogs.

The 23 Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs

1. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat standing on white surface
Image Credit: Osetrik, Shutterstock
Height 8–10 inches
Weight 8–12 pounds
Personality Cheerful, athletic
Coat Short
Color Tan, red, blue
Life Expectancy 12–15 years

Abyssinians are cats with abundant energy that tend to be demanding of their owners when they don’t get enough playtime. Although these cats can be perfectly happy kept indoors, they’ll require a good supply of interactive play, toys, climbing space, and towers or perches. Much like dogs, Abyssinians are known to become destructive when they are bored.

However, they do get along with children and other pets, so they make great companion pets for families.

Pros
  • Affectionate
  • Gets along with children and other pets
Cons
  • Demanding
  • Destructive when they get bored

2. Ragdoll

ragdoll cat in a park looking off to the side
Image Credit: Aaron Zimmermann, Shutterstock
Height 9–11 inches
Weight 10–15 pounds
Personality Patient, sweet
Coat Long
Color White with pointed markings
Life Expectancy 13–18 years

Ragdolls make excellent therapy animals or companion pets because they love to be cuddled and picked up. They tend to be on the lazy side but are capable of staying calm in a busy environment. This trait makes them fantastic family pets because they don’t feel the need to run and hide in the presence of loud children.

Their affectionate personality and soft coat make them the perfect snuggle buddy.

Pros
  • Low energy levels
  • Affectionate
  • Likes to be picked up and cuddled
  • Calm in noisy spaces
Cons
  • Long hair requires grooming

3. Devon Rex

Devon Rex cat standing in gray background
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock
Height 10–12 inches
Weight 5–9 pounds
Personality Mischievous, loyal
Coat Short, curly
Color Various colors and coat patterns
Life Expectancy 14–17+ years

The Devon Rex cat is described as a “Velcro” cat because they stick so close to their owners. While they make loyal and devoted pets, they have a stubborn, mischievous side that comes out when they get bored, often chewing on shoes or curtains in an effort to get your attention.

Pros
  • Loyal
  • Affectionate
Cons
  • Demanding of attention
  • Mischievous

4. Cornish Rex

cornish rex sitting indoor
Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock
Height 8–12 inches
Weight 6–10 pounds
Personality Playful
Coat Short, curly
Color Black, gray, white, red, lilac, tabby, calico, tortoiseshell
Life Expectancy 9–13+ years

The Cornish Rex is the perfect party host. They will visit with all your guests and demand attention from each and every one of them. These cats are comedians who thrive on attention. While they can be convinced to sit on your lap, they’re just as likely to join you for a fast-paced game of fetch.

When left alone or ignored, the Cornish Rex has a tendency to become destructive.

Pros
  • Plays fetch
  • Highly social
Cons
  • Demanding
  • Destructive when bored

5. Burmese

Brown Burmese cat in the garden
Image Credit: jojosmb, Shutterstock
Height 9–13 inches
Weight 8–15 pounds
Personality Outgoing, social
Coat Short-haired
Color Grey, brown, tan, blue
Life Expectancy 10–17 years

Burmese cats are a cinch to groom due to their short coat. They have been compared to Labrador Retrievers due to their enthusiasm around people. The Burmese is incredibly playful and will keep you on your toes, then snuggle on the couch for relaxation.

Pros
  • Loves people
  • Social
  • Easy to groom
Cons
  • None

6. Bombay

bombay black cat portrait
Image Credit: Viktor Sergeevich, Shutterstock
Height 9–13 inches
Weight 8–15 pounds
Personality Lively, curious
Coat Short-haired
Color Black
Life Expectancy 9–13 years

Bombays are the only domesticated house cat that is always black. Add in their bright, golden–colored eyes, and you have one beautiful feline. These cats love to dote on their owners. They are high-energy pets that are always up for a play session. Since they easily adapt to different environments, they make great family pets, but they require as much attention as they give.

Pros
  • Beautiful appearance
  • Adaptable
  • Great family pets
Cons
  • Demanding of attention
  • High energy

7. Havana Brown

Havana Brown in red background
Image Credit: Zoonar GmbH, Shutterstock
Height 9–11 inches
Weight 6–10 pounds
Personality Mischievous, affectionate
Coat Short
Color Chocolate brown
Life Expectancy 8–13 years

Much like the Devon Rex, Havana Browns enjoy spending time with children and other animals. While they love to play, they are also sensitive creatures that thrive on one-on-one time with their favorite human. They are cuddly and affectionate but are also known for having a mischievous streak and getting into things that they shouldn’t.

Pros
  • Good family pets
  • Playful
  • Affectionate
Cons
  • Sensitive
  • Mischievous

8. Japanese Bobtail

a japanese bobtail cat in orange background
Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock
Height 8–9 inches
Weight 6–10 pounds
Personality Active
Coat Short-haired and long-haired varieties, bobbed tails
Color Variety of coat colors and patterns
Life Expectancy 9–13+ years

Japanese Bobtails live up to their name by having bobbed tails. They are tiny cats, but they are sure to entertain the whole family. Their endless energy and high activity level make them perpetual “kittens.” They love children but they don’t snuggle for long. In Japan, they are known as “good luck cats.”

Pros
  • Good with kids
Cons
  • High energy

9. Oriental Shorthair

Ebony Oriental Shorthair in the grass
Image Credit: jojosmb, Shutterstock
Height 9–11 inches
Weight 5–10 pounds
Personality Intelligent, affectionate
Coat Short
Color Hundreds of colors
Life Expectancy 10–20+

Oriental Shorthairs thrive in busy family environments. Like many other breeds, they will scratch and chew on furniture when they’re lonely or bored. The Oriental Shorthair is a vocal cat, frequently producing chirps, meows, and trills. If they learn that “talking” gets them attention, you are sure to hear them even more.

Pros
  • Thrives around people
Cons
  • Vocal
  • Destructive when bored or lonely

10. Maine Coon

blue tabby maine coon cat with dirty fur
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock
Height 10–16 inches
Weight 12–15 pounds for females, 18–25 pounds for males
Personality Smart, sweet
Coat Long, silky
Color Variety of coat colors and patterns
Life Expectancy 12–20 years

For the feline version of a Bernese Mountain Dog, look no further than the Maine Coon. These cats are sturdy, furry, and built to survive harsh outdoor conditions. They are fantastic pets for kids; their playful disposition and friendly nature make them adaptable to various environments.

Their size and the fact that they were bred to be on outdoor rodent patrol mean that Maine Coons require a great deal of exercise. While they can be happy as indoor cats, they will need plenty of cat trees, toys, and stimulation.

Pros
  • Good with kids
  • Playful
  • Friendly
  • Adaptable
Cons
  • Large
  • High exercise needs

11. Pixiebob

pixiebob cat
Image Credit: Hernan J. Martin, Shutterstock
Height 9–13 inches
Weight 9–11 pounds
Personality Loyal, active
Coat Double coat, long- and short-haired varieties
Color Brown, tan, tabby
Life Expectancy 13–15 years

This “dog-like” cat is muscular, active, and double-coated to protect them from the elements. This thick coat requires good grooming practices to keep it healthy. Pixie-bobs never turn down a new play activity and are always eager to be part of family fun. They are quiet and loyal creatures that will settle down for a good snuggle when playtime is done.

Pros
  • Loyal
  • Good with children
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Active
  • Requires extensive grooming

12. Ragamuffin

tabby ragamuffin cat
Image Credit: Benjamin B, Shutterstock
Height 10–15 inches
Weight 8–13 pounds, up to 20 pounds for males
Personality Patient, loving
Coat Medium to long, thick
Color Variety of coat colors and patterns
Life Expectancy 12–16 years

The Ragamuffin is like a feline Great Pyrenees. They are big and furry but calm, patient, and doting to their owners. The Ragamuffin fits the bill for seniors, introverts, or anyone who wants a snuggly kitty. They aren’t particularly friendly to strangers, but not because they don’t like them. These cats are shy, so they like to hide during large, loud gatherings.

They will happily curl up on anyone with a warm lap within smaller groups of people.

Pros
  • Quiet
  • Doting
  • Snuggly
Cons
  • Shy
  • Does best in quiet homes

13. Savannah

savannah cat on leash lying on green grass
Image Credit: Jarry, Shutterstock
Height 10–17 inches
Weight 11–20 pounds for females, 13–23 pounds for males
Personality Energetic, outgoing, adventurous
Coat Coarse, short
Color Black and brown spots
Life Expectancy 12–15 years

Owing to their wild cat roots, Savannah cats are extremely large. Their size isn’t the only thing that’s impressive; their energy level is too. These cats will happily take on any job that you give them, but they are wary of strangers.

Savannah cats aren’t for first-time cat owners because they require more attention, careful handling, and space than most other breeds. They are also incredible hunters with a strong prey drive. These cats will clear out their “territory” of any rodents, birds, or fish. Ownership is restricted in certain areas due to them posing a danger to native species.

Pros
  • Working cat
Cons
  • Ownership is restricted in certain geographic areas
  • Not for first-time owners
  • Strong prey drive

14. Turkish Van

Turkish Van sitting in the garden
Image Credit: Vadim Petrakov, Shutterstock
Height 10–14 inches
Weight 10–20 pounds
Personality Social, intelligent
Coat Medium, soft
Color White and red, cream, blue, or black markings on the head and tail
Life Expectancy 13–17 years

The Turkish Van loves to swim. While most cats avoid water wherever possible, this breed is a lover of aquatic things and appears almost acrobatic in their movements. Turkish Vans are always on the move. They can be tolerant of other pets in the household if introductions are done carefully and slowly.

If you can’t find them, the best place to look will be the highest point in the house!

Pros
  • Loves to swim
  • Tolerant of other pets
Cons
  • Active

15. Tonkinese

Tonkinese cat
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Height 8–10 inches
Weight 6–12 pounds
Personality Intelligent, sweet, active
Coat Short, soft
Color Cream or mink with dark points
Life Expectancy 12–16+ years

If there was royalty in the cat world, a Tonkinese would be sure to rule. Owners of Tonkinese cats will tell you that this breed is convinced that humans exist just to dote on them. As highly intelligent cats, they can solve puzzles easily and enjoy facing new challenges. Some of their behavior is reminiscent of that of the Burmese and Siamese, as the Tonkinese is a crossbreed of the two.

Pros
  • Intelligent
  • Up for a challenge
Cons
  • Likes to be “in charge”

16. Somali

a portrait of ruddy somali cat
Image Credit: Nataliya Kuznetsova, Shutterstock
Height 7–11 inches
Weight 6–10 pounds
Personality Loyal, social
Coat Long
Color Brown, tan, red, lilac
Life Expectancy 11–16 years

The Somali cat is an explorer, eager for adventure but happy to return home after their exploits. These highly intelligent felines enjoy climbing to high heights. They are a bit nosy and will insert themselves into any activity that you are doing. They are loyal to their families and affectionate and love a good snuggle at the end of the day.

Pros
  • Affectionate
  • Loyal
  • Intelligent
Cons
  • Somewhat needy

17. Singapura

Singapura on grey background
Image Credit: COULANGES, Shutterstock
Height 6–8 inches
Weight 5–8 pounds
Personality Extroverted, social, energetic
Coat Short
Color Tabby, tan, brown
Life Expectancy 9–18 years

Singapura cats are avid climbers. They prefer owners who will play and dote on them all day long, but they forgive easily with a good snuggle. This breed is relatively low-maintenance, but they thrive when among their family. These cats have quite a bit of energy and will enjoy interactive toys and plenty of playtime.

Pros
  • Snuggly
  • Forgiving
  • Low maintenance
Cons
  • High energy

18. Chausie

sleepy Chausie cat
Image Credit: flightofdeath, Shutterstock
Height 13–17 inches
Weight 8–13 pounds
Personality Adventurous, intelligent
Coat Short, thick
Color Brown, tan
Life Expectancy 12–18 years

Chausies are large cats that love to explore. It’s not uncommon to find them stuck, though, as they like to wiggle into tight spaces that they can’t get out of. This cat breed is highly intelligent and eager to please, making them ideal candidates for trick training. They also take well to leash and harness training if you want to take them for a walk outside.

Their appearance will definitely make for good neighborhood conversation because they look like miniature mountain lions due to their wild cat lineage.

Pros
  • Distinctive appearance
  • Easily trained
  • Eager to please
Cons
  • Gets stuck in small places

19. Bengal

bengal cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: lshman000, Pixabay
Height 13–16 inches
Weight 10–11 pounds
Personality Intelligent, adventurous
Coat Short
Color Marbled tan and brown, spotted
Life Expectancy 9–15 years

Bengals are confident, loyal cats with boundless energy. They will climb anything and remain by your side at all times. They are well-known for their ability to learn and respond to training commands. If you’re into agility training, Bengals excel at it. They’re even willing to go for a swim!

Pros
  • Easily trained
  • Loyal
Cons
  • High energy

20. Balinese

balinese cat
Image Credit: SJ Duran, Shuttertock
Height 8–11 inches
Weight 5–15 pounds
Personality Loving, curious
Coat Long
Color Brown, tan, red, or cream with brown or black points
Life Expectancy 10–20 years

Curiosity may not kill the cat, but it might wear down their owner! The Balinese cat is a curious explorer who demands time outdoors. These cats are happy on high shelves and perches, and you can expect to hear how happy they are while they’re there. This cat breed is highly vocal and likes to let you know what they think at all times.

Pros
  • Affectionate
  • Playful
Cons
  • Demanding
  • Highly vocal
  • Requires outdoor time

21. American Shorthair

white American shorthair
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Height 9–11 inches
Weight 6–15 pounds
Personality Social, playful, affectionate
Coat Short, thick
Color Variety of colors and patterns
Life Expectancy 15–20 years

The American Shorthair is the Golden Retriever of cat breeds. They adapt well to just about anything and are good with kids and other pets while remaining happy and calm. These sweet cats have few health issues and an exceptionally long lifespan.

Pros
  • Long lifespan
  • Calm
  • Adaptable
Cons
  • None

22. American Bobtail

red american bobtail cat
Image Credit: Ievgeniia Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock
Height 9–10 inches
Weight 7–16 pounds
Personality Loyal, friendly, affectionate
Coat Short- and long-haired varieties
Color Various colors and patterns
Life Expectancy 11–15+ years

The American Bobtail is a cat that is easily harness-trained and loves to go on leash walks. They are always up for an adventure and love to get outside when the opportunity arises. This cat breed is known for forming exceptionally strong bonds with their family members, making them ideal as companion or therapy cats.

Pros
  • Easily leash trained
  • Affectionate
Cons
  • Sneaks outside if given the opportunity

23. Siamese

siamese cat sitting on the floor
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock
Height 8–12 inches
Weight 5–12 pounds
Personality Athletic, social
Coat Short
Color Cream with black or brown points
Life Expectancy 10–20+ years

Siamese cats are known for their athleticism and intelligence. Leaving them alone all day will result in destructive behavior, so they are best kept in a busy house or at least with another animal. These cats thrive on social time and like to be surrounded by people and other pets. It’s wise to have more than one animal in the home when adopting a Siamese to keep them happy.

Pros
  • Highly intelligent
  • Social
Cons
  • Requires constant companionship
  • Destructive when lonely

Other Dog-Like Cat Breeds

Beyond the 23 breeds of cats that act like dogs on the list, there are a few others.

  • Birman: These low-maintenance cats enjoy giving and getting attention. They can learn and obey several obedience commands and can even be housetrained to potty outside.
  • Manx: This tailless cat breed engages in retrieving behaviors, responds to commands, and even buries their toys.
  • Ocicat: This cross between a Siamese and an Abyssinian is as trainable as any dog. They love to fetch and are great leash-walkers.
  • Siberian: Dog lovers won’t be disappointed with a Siberian cat. This breed forms intense bonds with their owners and displays complex problem-solving abilities.
  • Turkish Angora: These playful and intelligent felines are athletic and love to climb. They can be taught numerous tricks and have been known to ride around on people’s shoulders.
  • Chartreux: This avid hunting cat is quiet and barely makes a peep. Their high intelligence leads them to teach themselves all kinds of tricks, like turning doorknobs, opening window latches, and turning electronics off and on.

Conclusion

There are many cat breeds that exhibit dog-like traits; fetching toys, leash walking, and needing constant companionship are just a few traits common among these breeds. Some love to swim, while others are content to curl up on the couch. If you want a trainable pet but can’t have a dog for whatever reason, these unconventional cat breeds are sure to fit the bill.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock

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