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15 Dog Breeds That Act Like Cats (With Pictures)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

chihuahua in a vet clinic

All dog breeds are different in their own ways, but one thing that most of us can agree on is that all dog breeds act like dogs. However, there are some dog breeds out there that tend to act like cats in one way or another.

These breeds are worth getting to know if you’re looking for a pet pooch that can both protect your household and get along with your pet kitties. We put together a list of the top 15 dog breeds that tend to act like cats.

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The 15 Dog Breeds That Act Like Cats

1. American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terrier
Image Credit: nika174, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Average Weight: 12 – 16 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 14 – 16 Years

These pooches are almost always hairless, although some do have small tufts of hair that grow on random parts of their bodies. In general, though, they have baby-smooth skin and affectionate attitudes. They are curious and love to play, but they are most fond of curling up and snuggling on a soft bed or safe lap. They don’t need more than a quick walk each day to stay in shape, and they don’t mind spending time at home alone like cats.

  • Curious
  • Friendly
  • Good with kids
  • Can be rambunctious

2. Chow Chow

Chow Chow in snow
Image Credit: Serhii Khomiak, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Average Weight: 45 – 70 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 9 – 15 Years

The Chow Chow is like an independent yet needy cat that wants you all to themselves. They don’t do well sharing space with other animals, and they are not particularly fond of children. However, they love to cuddle with their adult household members and snuggle up in the bed at night. They are great watchdogs while awake and alert, but they are also known to sleep their days away and miss when visitors arrive until they are already leaving.

  • Can live in apartments and houses
  • Friendly
  • Loyal
  • Not great with kids or other animals

3. Afghan Hound

An afghan hound dog walking on the lawn_raywoo_shutterstock
Image Credit: raywoo, Shutterstock
Origin: Afghanistan
Average Weight: 55 – 75 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 Years

Just like cats, this dog breed values their alone time, and they are not the best at complying with demands. These are super-sweet dogs that tend to be independent, but they love having the opportunity to snuggle up on a lap whenever possible. They can jump over fences and other barriers like cats can too. These dogs have long hair to maintain, but they are considered to be hypoallergenic.

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Independent
  • Likes to snuggle
  • Can be rowdy

4. Whippet

whippet in field
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Average Weight: 25 – 40 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 Years

If you are looking for a dog breed that does not do much barking, the Whippet is worthy of consideration. These dogs do like to exercise, but they are laidback and relaxed for the most part. When they are not busy playing with kids and other animals, they like to spend their time following human companions around and lounging on the couch. Their open-minded attitudes make them a joy to bond with.

  • Barking is minimal
  • Usually laidback and relaxed
  • Open-minded
  • Can be needy sometimes

5. Basenji

Basenji outdoor
Image Credit: Verbitskaya Juliya, Shutterstock
Basenji: Democratic Republic of Congo
Average Weight: 20 – 30 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 16 Years

Seemingly always aware of their surroundings, Basenjis are prey-driven like most types of cats are. They don’t bark, and their coats require little maintenance as time goes on. This dog breed can be trained, but they are stubborn and impatient (like cats!), which makes the process time-consuming. They love getting on the agility course, though, and have no problem getting along in social situations.

  • Social
  • Loyal
  • Quiet
  • Stubborn

6. Vizsla

Vizsla jump
Image Credit: Ivanova-N, Shutterstock
Origin: Hungary
Average Weight: 40 – 65 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 Years

These clingy dogs love their family members and don’t like to spend much time at home by themselves. They are athletic like cats are, though, and their affection is similar to that of the Peterbald cat breed. Vizslas are smart and can get bored easily, so they require plenty of interaction and cognitive activities to stay on top of their game. They don’t mind spending time indoors, but they require plenty of time in a fenced yard to explore and play during the day.

  • Outgoing
  • Playful
  • Athletic
  • Requires plenty of outdoor exercise time

7. Basset Hound

basset hound on a leash sitting at the park
Image Credit: bastianmb, Pixabay
Origin: Great Britain
Average Weight: 50 – 75 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 Years

These dogs may not look like cats, but they have some of the same characteristics. First, they are notorious for ignoring requests and demands. They will come when called, but only on their terms and when they feel like it. But Basset Hounds are real charmers that love to spend time with adults and children alike. They are also excellent hunters and enjoy nothing more than tracking down prey.

  • Lively
  • Loyal
  • Good with kids
  • They may see cats as prey

8. Manchester Toy Terrier

Manchester Toy Terrier
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Average Weight: 12 – 22 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 16 Years

These little pooches tend to act like cats in many ways. They are sociable and snuggly when only family members are home, but they tend to stick to themselves and even hide when visitors come around until they get used to the commotion. Manchester Toy Terriers are considered lapdogs and don’t need much outdoor time to remain happy and healthy throughout their lives.

  • Cuddly
  • Loves humans
  • Requires little outdoor time
  • Not great with first-time visitors

9. French Bulldog

french bulldog with collar
Image Credit: speckfechta, Unsplash
Origin: England
Average Weight: 20 – 30 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 10 – 14 Years

Unlike cats, this dog breed is willing to adapt to change, even if changes are constant. Like cats, they can happily live in apartment settings, and they tend to maintain laidback personalities even when things seem exciting. While they do enjoy trips to the park, walks around the block, and camping adventures, they are perfectly happy spending their time in the comfort of their home where they can curl up on the couch.

  • Adventurous
  • Family oriented
  • Adaptable
  • Can be lazy

10. Maltese

Image credit: monster_code, Shutterstock
Origin: Mediterranean Basin
Average Weight: 3 – 8 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 13 – 15 Years

The Maltese dog breed typically gets along extremely well with cats. They have the lighthearted dispositions and patience that many cats are well-known for. These dogs are excellent pets for young children and seniors alike because of their gentle and patient behavior. They are not too active and need no more than a brisk walk each day to stay happy and healthy. Their small size also makes them super easy to travel just about anywhere with, even on a plane!

  • Gets along well with cats
  • Small and easy to travel with
  • Loves children and seniors
  • Can be noisy throughout the day

11. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
Origin: Italy
Average Weight: 8 – 12 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 Years

The Italian Greyhound is a compassionate dog that loves nothing more than to sit in a lap or on the couch. They are not happy on the floor, like most dogs are. They want to be at a higher elevation where they can better see what is going on, just like cats do. This breed is good at grooming, so the need for baths is minimal, which is another thing that they have in common with cats.

  • Loyal
  • Requires minimal grooming
  • Laps are favorite hangout spots
  • Hard to keep off furniture

12. Greyhound

greyhound jump
Image Credit: Bianca Grueneberg, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Average Weight: 60 – 85 Pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 14 Years

One of the biggest things that make Greyhounds similar to cats is their stubborn and independent personalities. Granted, they want to be in on all the action, but only when they feel like it. Otherwise, they expect to be left alone. This dog breed is fast and spritely while spending time outdoors but tends to be aloof and relaxed when inside the home. Their actions are hard to foresee, as are their daily moods.

  • Independent
  • Easy to train
  • Friendly with kids and other dogs
  • Can be tough to get out of bed

13. Japanese Chin

japanese chin in grass
Image Credit: Rudy Umans, Shutterstock
Origin: Japan
Average Weight: 3 – 15 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 Years

These little doggies were bred to be companions, so they don’t have a high prey drive like cats do. However, they are known for their independence when they feel confident within the home, like cats. They also like to cuddle, and they will sometimes communicate through barking and whining when they want attention, which some cat breeds are notorious for. Also, this small breed doesn’t require tons of commercial food to keep them fit, healthy, and happy throughout their lives.

  • Small and cuddly
  • Independent
  • Affordable to feed
  • Prone to excessive barking

14. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier
Image credit: Sevostyanova Tatyana, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Average Weight: 15 – 25 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 Years

This is not your average dog breed. With a lean body, agile limbs, and an adorable pear-shaped head, the Bedlington Terrier is bright, playful, curious, and hypoallergenic. They are not the most affectionate of dogs in terms of cuddles and licks, but they are loyal pooches that will stand by your side no matter the social situation. They don’t like much attention, which is something that many pet owners notice about their cats.

  • Has a beautiful coat
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Playful
  • Can be overbearing when it comes to furniture usage

15. Chihuahua

chihuahua sitting on a tree log outdoor
Image Credit: liggraphy, Pixabay
Origin: Mexico
Average Weight: 4 – 6 Pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 – 20 Years

There are few other dog breeds, if any, that look more like cats than Chihuahuas do. These tiny dogs typically weigh in at no more than 6 pounds (which can be less than a cat!) and don’t need much exercise to stay in shape. They can spend most of their time indoors, like cats can, and have a stubborn side to them. These dogs want to take charge and be the boss, so training is essential.

  • Small and cat-like when it comes to looks
  • Fun and friendly with kids
  • Loyal
  • They want to be the boss of the household

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No dog should be expected to act exactly like a cat, nor should they be treated like one. However, some dogs display the same characteristics as cats, and such dogs could be a great addition to households with cats and young children. It is always a good idea to do thorough research about the dog breed that you are considering adopting and making a part of your household.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: govkfl941125, Pixabay

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