The Affectionate, Loyal Dog That Acts Like a Cat


The goal of this article is to provide an overview of dog breeds that resemble cats in terms of personality and behavior. While dogs and cats are very different animals, some dog breeds exhibit feline traits that make them comparable to cats in temperament, activity level, vocalization, grooming needs, and affection. We will explore the key characteristics shared by dog breeds often described as “cat-like” and provide examples of specific breeds that tend to act more like cats than typical dogs.


When it comes to personality, there are some key differences between cats and dogs. Cats are often seen as independent and aloof. They can be quite happy entertaining themselves and don’t always crave constant companionship or attention from their owners. Dogs on the other hand are often considered more loyal and affectionate. Most dogs bond very closely with their owners and family and crave their attention and playtime.

However, there are some dog breeds that tend to be more aloof and independent like cats. For example, Basenjis are independent thinkers that like to be clean and often groom themselves like cats. Shiba Inus also have a reputation for being independent and can be suspicious of strangers. Chow Chows are also known to be independent and view themselves more like people rather than pets. So while dogs as a whole tend to bond very closely with their owners, some breeds definitely exhibit more “cat-like” aloof and independent personalities.

Activity Level

Cats are usually less active than dogs. While most dogs need daily walks and plenty of playtime, cats are often content with shorter play sessions indoors. This makes cats better pets for apartment dwellers or less active owners. However, some dog breeds have lower activity needs than others. According to, basset hounds, bulldogs, chow chows, and other large low energy dog breeds require less exercise. Small dogs like Havanese, French bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, and pugs are also lower energy. These dogs only need one moderate walk per day.


Cats are well known for being very clean animals that groom themselves frequently. According to The Scotsman, certain dog breeds also have natural cleaning habits and groom themselves regularly. Breeds like the Beagle, Doberman, and Chow Chow are some examples of dogs that keep themselves tidy through frequent licking and nibbling. Their short coats are also easy to maintain through occasional brushing. While not all dogs are as fastidious about cleanliness as cats, some breeds definitely share this cat-like trait of dedicated self-grooming.


Cats can be harder to train than dogs. But some dogs are also less eager to please. Dogs like Afghan Hounds, Basenjis, and Chow Chows often rank among the most difficult breeds to train. Their independent nature makes them less motivated to follow commands or behave obediently

According to Least Obedient Dog Breeds – Stacker, breeds like Pekingese “are known to be independent, stubborn, and difficult to train.” Bulldogs and Bloodhounds also make the list of least obedient dogs.

While most dogs aim to please their owners, cat-like breeds tend to be more aloof and less motivated by rewards during training. Their natural independence often translates into poorer obedience compared to eager-to-please dogs like Labradors or Golden Retrievers.


Cats primarily communicate through meowing, purring, and hissing. They meow to communicate with humans and other cats. Some cat breeds, like the Siamese, are known to be more vocal than others.[1] Dogs bark as their main form of communication. However, some dog breeds are known to bark less and be quieter than others. Examples of quiet dog breeds include the Basenji, French Bulldog, Greyhound, and Whippet. These breeds tend to make less noise and bark less than more vocal breeds like Beagles or Siberian Huskies.[2] So while dogs tend to be more vocal in general through barking, certain breeds make less noise than others and can be comparable to cats in that regard.




Cats are known for being very independent pets. As the Newsweek article explains, cats can easily entertain themselves and do not require much attention from their owners. They are solitary hunters by nature and are content being left alone for long periods of time.

Some dog breeds also tend to be independent and can be left alone for longer periods, though not to the same extent as cats. As the Wag Walking article notes, breeds like Shiba Inus, Afghan Hounds, Chow Chows, and Greyhounds often prefer spending time alone and entertaining themselves. However, dogs are still social pack animals at heart, so they require more interaction and attention than cats typically do.


Cats are often very independent and can be quite choosy about receiving affection only on their terms. They tend to show love through subtle behaviors like rubbing against their owner’s legs or purring when petted. However, cats do not always seek out cuddling or physical affection the way some dogs do.

Just like cats, some dogs are more independent and less openly affectionate. For example, breeds like the Chow Chow, Basenji, and Afghan Hound are typically more aloof. According to the American Kennel Club, these breeds were not originally bred to be companion dogs, so they tend to be more independent and reserved when it comes to affection. Less cuddly dogs may enjoy being in the same room as their owners, but do not always desire physical touch or interaction.

So in terms of being selective and independent with affection, there are certainly some dog breeds that share that “cat-like” trait. However, it depends greatly on the individual personality of the dog, as factors like socialization and training also play a big role in affection and sociability.

Best Breeds

When it comes to dog breeds that are most similar in personality and temperament to cats, a few key breeds stand out. According to PureWow, some of the best “cat-like” dog breeds include:

  • Basenji – This breed is quiet, reserved, fastidious, and tends to groom itself like a cat.
  • Shiba Inu – Known for being independent, clever, and liking things “just so”, the Shiba Inu is sometimes described as a dog with a cat-like personality.
  • Chow Chow – Chow Chows are independent, dignified, and often aloof, preferring not to be fussed over. This breed likes things on their own terms, much like a cat.
  • Manchester Terrier – With a penchant for perching in high places, watching out windows, and stalking small prey, the Manchester has some amusing cat-like behaviors.

In general, the breeds that rank high in cat-like personality traits tend to be independent, quiet, clean, athletic, agile, and discerning. These breeds often don’t require or enjoy vigorous exercise and constant human interaction like many dogs. Instead, they are content entertaining themselves much of the time – a hallmark trait of their feline cousins.


To recap, while there are many differences between cats and dogs, there are some dog breeds that share some cat-like traits. Cats tend to be more independent, less active, more quiet, and groom themselves extensively. Dogs are often more energetic, affectionate, trainable, and vocal. However, some dogs like the Basenji bark less and groom themselves often. Shiba Inus and Chow Chows are more independent and less demanding of human interaction like cats. When it comes to activity levels, felines are typically calmer while canines are more energetic, but breeds like the Greyhound require less exercise. There are pros and cons to both species, and the right pet depends on the owner’s lifestyle and preferences. But there are enough similarities that cat and dog lovers can understand one another’s fondness for their chosen pet.

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