My Cat Acts Just Like a Dog – Here’s Why!


Have you ever wondered why your cat acts more like a dog than a feline? Does your cat greet you at the door, play fetch, go for walks, or wiggle their tail when happy? While these behaviors may seem unusual for cats, there are good explanations. Cats and dogs share many similar traits. With proper training and socialization, cats can become as friendly, loyal, and attentive as any canine. This article explores the theories behind cat mannerisms that mirror dog behavior. Read on to gain insight into the secret lives of our feline companions.

Cats Can Be Trained

Many people think cats can’t be trained like dogs, but this is a myth. Cats are intelligent animals capable of learning tricks and commands when properly motivated. With positive reinforcement techniques like clicker training, cats can learn commands for “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “high five,” and more. According to How To Train A Cat: The Beginner’s Guide to Good Kitty Manners, the key is to “break down tricks into small, easily achievable steps,” reward good behavior with treats, and keep training sessions short and fun.

Cats may not be as eager to please as dogs, but they can learn just as many tricks with patience and persistence. Training provides mental stimulation and strengthens the bond between cat and owner. While cats may not respond to commands as reliably as dogs, many cats enjoy the extra attention and activity of a structured training routine. So with the right techniques and motivation, cats can learn tricks, commands and manners just like dogs.

Cats Can Be Social

While cats are often thought of as solitary creatures, some cats do enjoy being social and interacting with people and other pets. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, social play begins around 4 weeks of age and peaks between 6-9 weeks as kittens play with littermates and their mother [1]. Many cats continue to be social into adulthood. Cats communicate their interest in social interaction through body language and vocalizations.

Cats that live with people form social attachments and relationships through behaviors like rubbing, sitting near, and grooming their owners. Some cats seem to enjoy interacting with human family members as much as dogs do. They will greet owners when they come home, follow them around the house, cuddle up on laps when the owners are sitting down, and even wait eagerly by the door when their owner is about to come home.

Some cats also enjoy interacting with other pets. Especially if raised together from kittenhood, cats can form close bonds with dogs, other cats, and even other species of pets. They may play together, groom each other, and sleep curled up close to their animal companions.

Cats Follow Their Owners

Many cats follow their owners around the house. This is often because they have formed a strong bond and want to be close to their human companion (Great Pet Care, 2022). Cats are very attached to their owners and like to keep an eye on them, as well as know what they are up to. This behavior shows that a cat feels safe and secure with its owner.

Some specific reasons cats may follow their owners include:
– They want attention and petting
– They think it’s meal time

– They want to play or interact
– They feel more relaxed and comfortable near their owner

So next time your cat is following you around, it means they love you and enjoy your company! It’s a natural behavior for a bonded cat.

Cats Greet Owners at Door

Just like dogs, cats often eagerly await their owner’s return home. Many cats will sit by the front door when they hear sounds indicating their owner is coming, like the jingle of keys or the garage door opening. As soon as the door opens, cats will excitedly run over to greet their beloved human. It’s not uncommon for cats to let out loud meows of excitement or circle around owner’s legs in a warm welcome.

According to one viral YouTube video, a cat named Maxwell waits patiently by the door every day for his owner to return from work. As soon as she opens the door, he lets out an excited “meow!” and rubs against her legs in a happy greeting This behavior shows how cats form strong bonds with their owners and look forward to their return, much like dogs.

Cats Play Fetch

Cats have a natural instinct to chase after moving objects, similar to dogs. According to a recent study published on NPR (, cats will fetch objects instinctively without any training. The study showed that when a toy was thrown, cats would run after the object, pick it up in their mouth, and bring it back to the owner. This is the same behavior exhibited in dogs playing fetch.

Many cat owners have experienced their cat bringing back toys after throwing them. According to Petfinder (, a cat’s natural desire to hunt makes playing fetch an ideal game. The act of chasing and capturing an object taps into their predatory instincts. So while fetch may be thought of as a dog activity, a cat’s innate hunting behavior allows them to enjoy the game too.

Cats Go for Walks

While it may seem unusual to walk a cat on a leash, many cats can be trained to go for walks outdoors. With time and positive reinforcement, cats can learn to walk comfortably on a leash and harness next to their owner. According to The Dos and Don’ts of Walking Your Cat, cats should first be trained indoors and then gradually introduced to the outdoors when they are comfortable with the leash and harness. It’s important to let the cat set the pace and not force them along. With patience, even indoor cats can learn to enjoy short leashed walks outside for exercise and mental stimulation.

Cats that are leash trained reap many benefits from outdoor walks, including reduced boredom and stress. However, owners should take precautions, like avoiding other animals that could frighten the cat. With proper training and safety measures, walking a cat can be rewarding for both owner and pet. As long as cats are eased into it at their own pace, they can learn to walk happily on a leash.

Cats Wag Tail When Happy

Similar to dogs, cats will also wag or quiver their tails when they are happy and excited1. You may notice your cat wagging its tail when you talk to it in an animated, friendly voice. Your cat may also wag its tail when you return home after being away for a while. Just like a dog greeting its owner, a happy cat is likely to wag its tail in excitement when seeing its favorite human.

Cats often wag their tails when they are feeling playful. If your cat comes over to you wagging its tail, it may be hoping you will initiate a play session with it. Wagging the tail can signal a cat’s enthusiasm and eagerness to play and interact.

In general, a wagging cat tail indicates a cat that is stimulated, aroused, and engaged with its environment. A cat that is content, relaxed, and friendly will often express its happiness through tail wagging. So next time your cat is wagging its tail, you can view it as a feline “thumb’s up” that your cat is feeling optimistic and upbeat.

Cats Protect Their Family

Similar to dogs, cats can be very protective of their owners and home. They have strong territorial instincts and will defend their territory against intruders. When a stranger approaches, cats may hide at first to assess the situation. Then they may act aggressively by hissing, growling, swiping their paws, or attacking to get the intruder to leave.

Some examples of cats protecting their owners include a cat chasing away an intruder trying to break into the home, or scaring off an aggressive dog. There are many viral videos and reports of cats defending their owners against threats. According to one study, cats were just as likely as dogs to approach a threatening stranger, indicating they are protective of their family (source).

So while cats are often seen as aloof, they form strong bonds with their owners and will defend “their” territory and family when threatened. Their protective behaviors show cats have loyalty and affection for their owners much like dogs do.


As we’ve seen, cats and dogs actually share many common behaviors and traits. Cats can be trained to do tricks, play fetch, go for walks on a leash, and more. They also greet their owners when they come home, follow them around the house, and bond closely with family members.

Both cats and dogs wag their tails, protect their territory, and aim to please their owners. While there are certainly differences between felines and canines, this shows cats can exhibit dog-like behaviors. With the proper training and socialization, cats can become quite dog-like in their actions and loyalty.

So if your cat displays dog-like qualities, this is perfectly normal! It simply shows they view you as their pack leader and close companion. With time, patience and positive reinforcement, you can bring out your cat’s dog-like side even more.

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