Cats That Act Like Dogs

A meow that’s an undercover bark? Not really, but some felines have what are considered to be stereotypical canine tendencies, like the love of water, people, interactive play and more. The idea of a cat that acts like a dog sparked our cat curiosity, so we compiled a list of cat breeds that are “breaking the rules” when it comes to their role in the cat universe. As cat people, though, we know that cats are too often stereotyped as aloof, unfriendly and with a host of other less than purrfect traits. It’s simply not true. 

Abyssinian Cats

These cats tend to love the water! They’re known to be extremely loyal to their owners as well. Most Abyssinian cats also will play fetch and are leash trainable. Check out @summerstravels on Instagram to follow one of our favorite Abyssinians. Fun fact, Summer made a meowtastic appearance at The Catnip Times’ Cat Convention, Meow MeetUp Chicago in 2019! She walked in on a leash, tail high and literally owned the place. Also, check out our friend @aby.licious on instagram.

Abyssinian cat aby.licious

Abyssinian cat aby.licious

Burmese Cats

Are you looking for a doggish cat that loves kids and will play with everyone in the family? A Burmese cat just may fit the bill. Burmese cats are known to love family time and are known to sit and wait for their food like dogs do. These felines form very strong bonds with their owners, so if you have a Burmese cat and travel often, a cat loving pet sitter is a necessity!

Burmese Cat

Manx Cats

Manx cats are best recognized by their missing or stubby tail. The Manx loves to be around their humans. Manx cats are highly intelligent and often understand what you’re saying to them. For example, if you were to tell your little darling “no,” instead of just staring into space or pretending to ignore you, the Manx cat tends to understand what “no” actually means. They also are said to respond when their owners call their names or whistle. Manx cats to follow on Instagram include @gizmo_the_manx and @our9.lives

Manx cat kitten on white background on The Catnip Times

Adorable tailess Manx cat kitten.

Ragdoll Cats

Ragdoll cats are known for being lap cats. Ragdoll cats are adaptable, friendly and are even referenced as “puppy cats” by some of their human companions. These sweet cats are known to go limp (like a ragdoll) when being held, hence the name “Ragdoll.” They are also known to greet you at the door when you come home and follow you around the house from room to room. Personally, I had a rescued ragdoll mix named Romeo who was an absolute love. Sadly, he passed away from a three-year battle with kidney disease in 2019 at the age of 16, which is at the higher end of a Ragdoll’s life expectancy.  Ragdoll Cats to follow on Instagram include @ragdollmocha  and @kikka_the_ragdoll


Ragdolls are loyal, affectionate cats

Ragdolls are very loyal, loving cats

Bengal Cats

As a cross breed of Asian leopards and domestic cats, Bengal cats are known for their playful and adventurous behavior. They love splashing and swimming in water and enjoy being taken on walks with their humans. Bengals are super-high-energy cats that require tons of exercise. People who have a Bengal cat at home often find out the hard way that if they don’t properly tend to this cat’s sense of adventure, the Bengal will make its own adventure. This point cannot be emphasized enough. If you’re considering getting a Bengal cat, be sure you research their needs and make sure you are committed to providing your Bengal cat with the extremely active life he/she deserves. 

Bengal Cat "Kawa" of yoshi.and.kawa

Bengal Cat “Kawa” of @yoshi.and.kawa on Instagram


Sphynx Cats

This devoted breed of felines is known for following close behind their hoomans while they roam around their home. These cats don’t hide their personalities and tend to wag their tails in a dog sort of fashion. They are also very loving and tend to purr often with affection. Because Sphynx cats are hairless, they need special protection from heat and cold temps. Don’t be surprised if you see these furless wonders wearing clothes that are specifically made for them. They also require frequent bathing because their skin can become quite oily.  Check out @nakeynoki or @pocketthesphynx on Instagram.

tangothesphynx on Instagram

@tangothesphynx on Instagram

Before you commit to adopting a cat, be sure you have done your research. All cats have different personalities – even within the same breed – so be sure that you get to know a prospective new cat so you can be sure he/she matches your lifestyle and that you are committed to providing a lifetime of love and proper care, both physical and emotional.

Adopt Don’t Shop

The Catnip Times strongly believes in making adoption through a rescue/shelter, your first, second, and third option. There are many rescues that specialize in certain breeds. That’s because people relinquish their purebred cats when they realize how much time, attention, and/or care they require – and that they are not equipped to provide that care. Too often, people will love the look of a cat, and later realize that their cat has needs that are beyond what they are willing or capable of providing. If you’re unsure, talk to pet owners who have a breed you’re considering (that’s what instagram is for.) Please do your research. Pets are a lifetime commitment. Check out resources like to find your next furry family member. I found one of the best cats of my life through Petfinder nearly 20 years ago. If you’re looking for specific traits or a specific look, please don’t pass up the opportunity to adopt and rescue a shelter cat or a mixed breed cat. You can find amazing cats with the traits you desire in shelters everywhere. If you decide you are going to adopt through a breeder, be sure you carefully research them to ensure they operate ethically. While most people are familiar with puppy mills, kitten mills also exist and are abhorrent. Organizations like The International Cat Association (TICA) is working toward breeder certification and breeder code of ethics, so you may want to check with them to find out how to identify scammers who exploit pets for their own gain.


If you enjoyed this post about cat breeds that act like dogs, you might also enjoy this post about the most docile cat breeds or our post on the  smartest cat breeds.