Some people love dogs. Others love cats. (And either pet can improve your health.) People usually think of cats as aloof and independent. Dog people often prefer canines’ extroverted playfulness to cats’ quiet affection. And people often think their pet choice says something about their personality. But pets and people don’t always live up to the stereotypes. In fact, some kinds of cats act more like a happy-go-lucky dog. Some will play fetch with you. Others love to go swimming. And still others will come when you call their names.
Check out these 15 cat breeds that act just like dogs.
PawCulture reports that one of the best cat breeds for people who are more accustomed to dogs is the Abyssinian. This breed loves water (unlike your average household cat). These cats also like to play fetch with their favorite toys. Plus, they follow their owners around the house. They’re also receptive to leash training. The only drawback? Because the Abyssinian needs more attention than other cat breeds, they aren’t the best choice if you need to leave your pet alone often.
Next: The Ragdoll cat
The Ragdoll cat gets its name from one of the breed’s most peculiar behaviors. These cats go limp when you pick them up, just like a rag doll. The mannerism exemplifies the breed’s laid-back personality. Ragdolls get along easily with children and adults. They also adapt easily to households with other cats and dogs. Ragdolls are playful but not so energetic that they’ll overwhelm pet owners with busy lifestyles.
Next: The American Bobtail cat
3. American Bobtail
Martha Stewart’s site lists the American Bobtail as one of the best cat breeds for dog people. Bobtails are loving and intelligent cats — qualities many dog owners prize in their pets. The Bobtail has earned a reputation as a doglike cat. And the breed might be a good choice for families with children because these cats adapt to loud and chaotic environments much more smoothly than the average feline.
Next: The Bombay cat
Another cat that makes the list of cat breeds that act just like dogs? The Bombay. Martha Stewart reports Bombays can be leash-trained, just like a puppy. Many of them enjoy playing catch. And “all are fond of inventing new ways to entertain themselves and the folks who live with them.” That might make them the perfect cat for pet owners who are more used to the way dogs behave.
Next: The Maine Coon cat
5. Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is one of the most famously doglike cats. PawCulture explains the Maine Coon is also one of the largest breeds of domestic cats. (Male Maine Coons weigh between 12 and 18 pounds. Females weigh between 10 and 14 pounds.) In addition to matching the size of many toy dog breeds, Maine Coons are devoted to and playful around their owners. They can, however, be reserved toward visitors with whom they aren’t familiar. And they require a little more brushing than many other breeds of cats because they have thick coats that mat easily.
Next: The Birman cat
PawCulture reports the Birman makes an excellent companion. That’s because these cats are active and playful when you’re energetic and engaged with them. And they can be quiet when you’re otherwise occupied. The breed does well with children. Birmans also easy to handle and care for, which means they might be a good choice if your kids want a pet, but you don’t want anything high-maintenance.
Next: The Manx cat
The Manx might be one of the first cats you’ll hear about if you start asking around about cats that behave like dogs. These cats engage in many doglike behaviors. They’ll retrieve toys. (Sometimes, they’ll even bury their toys.) If you’re considering a Manx, ensure that you’re ready for the commitment. Martha Stewart warns that once a Manx adjusts to you and your family, it might be difficult for the cat to be happy in a different home. PawCulture explains the Manx can be trained to understand the command “no.” And these cats also come when you call their names.
Next: The Ocicat
Martha Stewart reports the Ocicat is another breed that’s intelligent and easy to train. Many cats of this breed can learn to fetch. They can also walk on a leash. Many will respond to voice commands. And if you were worried about a defiant cat, you’ll be happy to learn Ocicats “readily adapt to household rules.” Plus, they grow extremely devoted to their people, in the same way that dogs do.
Next: The Ragamuffin cat
Already love the name? Then, you’ll love a Ragamuffin cat. According to the Martha Stewart site, these cats are extremely sweet and act a lot like lap dogs. They also love attention from you and from the other members of your family. That means many of these cats follow their owners from room to room, greet them at the door, and otherwise act as loyal companions.
Next: The Siberian cat
Martha Stewart reports Siberians are particularly well-suited to households “in which one spouse professes to be a ‘dog person’ rather than a ‘cat person.'” That’s because Siberians grow incredibly loyal to their people. They also exhibit the same problem-solving skills many people love in their dogs. That might make them a great fit for a prospective pet owner who wants a cat but has more experience with canines than felines.
Next: The American Curl cat
11. American Curl
The American Curl is another doglike cat breed. (Its name refers to the breed’s unique curled ears.) Martha Stewart explains these affectionate cats adjust easily to households with children and other pets. They also handle new situations very well. The breed is known for its doglike attentiveness. And many American Curl owners report their cats follow them around the house. PawCulture explains the American Curl exhibits a natural affinity to children. And the American Curl has the curiosity of your average household cat, without the indifference to people.
Next: The Chartreux cat
Martha Stewart’s site reports Chartreux cats quickly grow attached to their owners. This is another cat breed that will follow you from room to room. They learn to respond to their names. And if you choose, you can teach one of these cats to fetch. If you’re a dog person who shares a home with a cat person, you might not be able to resist a Chartreux’s face. That’s because these cats appear to smile, often thanks to the shape of their heads and muzzles.
Next: The Burmese cat
A Burmese also makes a great choice for reluctant cat owners who are really more comfortable with dogs. Martha Stewart reports these cats have a doglike tendency to shadow their owners. Burmese owners say their cats like to give and receive affection. And they can keep themselves — and you — entertained by learning to retrieve, just like a dog. PawCulture reports the Burmese is both intelligent and amusing. These cats will sit and wait for their food, just like dogs. And they’re dependent on their people, which means it’s a good idea to find someone to spend time with your cat while you’re away.
Next: The Turkish Angora cat
14. Turkish Angora
Devoted dog people, hear us out. An Angora sounds like a high-maintenance cat. But they’re actually incredibly doglike. These cats love to greet visitors when they arrive at your house. In fact, Martha Stewart’s site reports that “it is not unusual for a Turk to act as the host at a party or other gathering, interacting with and inspecting every guest.” PawCulture notes these cats love being involved in whatever you’re doing. And the breed is also known for its swimming skills.
Next: The Sphynx cat
Let’s get this out of the way. The Sphynx, also known as the hairless cat, isn’t quite as hairless as it appears. These cats are actually covered in a fine down that feels soft to the touch. (Because they don’t have hair like other cats, they need to be bathed frequently to prevent skin problems.) PawCulture characterizes the Sphynx as “lively, loyal, and devoted.” Just like dogs, they follow their humans around, wag their tails, and show affection to their owners.