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Why Does My Dog Act Like A Cat? 8 Reasons + 5 Tips

Why does my dog act like a cat

If your dog is showing cat-like behavior, it’s natural to wonder…

Why does my dog act like a cat?

In this article you’ll find out the definite answer.

You’ll discover:

  • 6 ways a dog can act like a cat.
  • 8 reasons why your dog acts like a cat.
  • 5 tips if you want your dog to stop acting like a cat.
  • And more…

Why does my dog act like a cat?

Dogs can act like cats for several reasons. Either they grew up with a cat and are mimicking the cat’s behavior, or they want to get your attention. If the dog acts like a cat in the sense of jumping on sofas, chairs, and tables, it could also be because they’re trying to get a better viewpoint.

How does a dog act like a cat?

Dog Yoga Meme

When you first think of cats, what’s the most typical behavior that comes to mind? 

If you think of purring and stretching, then you’ll be surprised to learn that your dog doesn’t necessarily need to do that to still act like a cat.

Look at the below-mentioned signs to check if your dog does any of these actions:

#1: Sits in inappropriate places

These might be on top of the sofa. Or on a chair at the dinner table. Or, even on the dinner table itself…

Other inappropriate places include curling up in your lap, especially if your dog is as big and heavy as a Husky, Labrador, or a German Shepherd.

#2: Jumps on the table, the chairs, or the counter

Maybe your dog doesn’t sit anywhere in particular but likes to jump on top of the sofa, on chairs, and tables.

#3: Chases laser lights

Have you tried pointing a laser light at the ground to see whether your dog will acknowledge it?

Some dogs love chasing laser lights. In that sense these canines really resemble cats.

#4: Lies down to cuddle

To be fair, this behavior is equally typical for cats and dogs.

If you’re used to living with a cat and get a dog at a later point in your life, you might find out they like cuddling too.

Then, it’s only natural for you to link this behavior to cats as this is the animal that made you aware of it first. 

Cuddling behavior on its own is not enough to conclude that your dog is acting like a cat.

If you are in doubt whether your dog acts like a cat, keep an eye on whether they exhibit any of the below or abovementioned behaviors.

#5: Spends a lot of time on grooming

Does your dog lick themselves excessively?

While this is expected of cats, it’s not typical of dogs.

#6: Rubs their body against you

Does your dog like to lean against you with their body weight and rub their body against you?

This is a sign of affection that can get you to fall if the dog is a bit bigger and stronger. 

8 reasons why your dog acts like a cat

#1: Your dog has a cat friend

Chihuahua And Cat Meme

According to a study published in the Journal of Research and Personality, dogs are likely to mimic the personality of the humans they live with.

What’s also possible is for dogs to copy the behavior of a feline friend if there’s one in the house.

Has your dog grown up with a cat by their side?

If so, then the canine could have picked up behavioral traits from the cat. It’s understandable. 

Puppies are like sponges – whatever examples you show them, they will remember, try for themselves or implement in general.

Read next: 7 Real Reasons Why Your Dog Nibbles On Your Cat + 7 Tips

#2: Dogs are sociable animals

Dogs are wired to seek company, protection, and security. 

There’s nothing more natural for a dog than being a part of a pack. 

What does this mean for you?

You, as the owner and the primary caretaker, are an important component of the pack. 

But if you have another furry family member in the face of a cat and your dog is on good terms with them, the dog might consider them a part of the pack as well. 

After all, what is your dog to do in the absence of other dogs? 

Find some entertainment, and a partner in crime, of course!

#3: Dogs are smart and highly observant

It’s not at all uncommon for a dog to pick up the feline behaviors a cat exhibits. 

Especially if the dog notices some perks such as making themselves comfy by jumping on your lap and curling up there.

This is likely to not be as comfy for you as it is for them though…

#4: Your dog wants to get a better viewpoint

One primary purpose of a dog is to guard their ‘pack’.

What better way for a domesticated dog who lives inside a house to tell if there’s danger approaching than to keep an eye on the street?

Sometimes this is not possible because the dog could be too short to reach the window.

Doggos aren’t quitters though. They know that if one way doesn’t work, there must be another.

Or at least that’s the impression they give out when you see them going after what they want so determined (be it food, another dog, or simply looking ut of the window).

#5: Your dog is bored

Bored Dog Meme

… and simply looking for alternatives to playing with you (if you’re busy at the moment and don’t pay attention to them).

Jumping on the couch, walking on the edge of the sofa might be ways for your dog to exercise at home.

All of these actions involve focus, balance, and strength. Or, in other words – agility.

#6: Your dog has a skin issue

When it comes to excessive licking, the reason might be more than your dog feeling dirty.

Certain skin issues cause discomfort and your dog licking themselves might be their attempt to make things better.

Unfortunately for you and them, licking the skin could be making it worse.

To make sure this is not the case, go to your vet for a check-up.

#7: Your dog could have anxiety

This can be the cause of your dog excessively licking themselves.

Sometimes dogs would start to lick their fur over and over again to comfort themselves.

It’s basically a compulsive-obsessive disorder.

Meaning- although there’s no real need for it, in the head of your dog it’s something mandatory they should do.

Caution: This is not to be taken lightly as excessive licking could lead to irritated skin and wounds.

#8: Your dog wants your attention

Are you familiar that doggos can be big attention-seekers?

Especially when you’re trying to do something…

If your dog is upset by the fact they’re not getting attention, what do you think they will do?

A) Give up and sit in the corner.

B) Nibble on their toys, tossing them around while you’re keeping an eye on the situation.

C) Try harder.

Truth is, a lot of dogs will try to test their owner’s boundaries. Regardless of whether the dog is timid and shy around other dogs and people.

Besides the usual approach (barking), your dog might pull other tricks out of their sleeve.

Have you caught your dog doing something they normally wouldn’t?

Chihuahua Dog Is Acting Weird

If so, the dog might be ‘asking’ for your attention.

Let’s say first they’ve tried with barking or pawing at you.

At first, you might have responded – trying to calm your dog down. But ultimately you’ve learned that a much better way to stop them and remain unbothered is to ignore them.

The simplest and most effective solution of all times.

And although you could be quite content with the result, not the same could be said about your dog.

Sure, they might have given up on barking and pawing at you but they’ve discovered that certain actions from their side provoke a strong reaction from you…

You might think that your dog doesn’t enjoy being told off but you could be wrong.

Any attention they get, be it loud ‘NO’s or you looking at them fiercely could serve as a reward.

In the end, whether good or bad, attention is still attention to your dog.

Maybe if you see them walking on the edge of the couch, you’ll run to them and try to get them off.

Dogs like being chased. And vice versa.

So, for your dog, your attempt could turn into nothing more than a fun game.

On the other hand, an attempt to get attention could not be so extreme. Your dog might just rub against you.

5 tips if you want your dog to stop acting like a cat

#1: Stay calm

Try to not get worked up if your dog is doing something dangerous.

You might not be showing any obvious signs of distress. Even if you are afraid they might hurt themselves.

But… dogs are very good at decoding our emotions, so your dog will realize you’re frustrated or scared.

As dogs very often pick up the emotions of their humans, your dog might become nervous too.

That alone could make them lose their grip and cause them to fall.

#2: Redirect the behavior

When talking about jumping on dangerous surfaces, you should stay calm but act fast at the same time.

To stay on the safe side, redirect the behavior of your dog by giving them a treat.

For maximum effect, don’t use just any treat but their favorite ones.

Chances are that when you say the magic word (hint: cookie) your dog will come to you.

#3: Make your dog work for snacks

Don’t be too quick to give your dog a snack.

First, make them earn it.

Any command such as sit, stand, lie down, or roll over would do.

As soon as your dog does what you’ve asked of them, let them have the taste of the cookie.

#4: Don’t reward unwanted behavior

Don’t want your dog to sit on your lap and make you feel as they’ll crush you?

Fine. Then don’t tolerate it – yous shouldn’t sit there and wait for them to get off.

Stand up and move away. Even better – exit the room. Then wait between 5 and 10 minutes and reenter.

If your dog pushes their luck again, repeat the exercise.

Show them that such kind of actions makes you go away. Your dog will get the message. They’re not in for losing the person they feel then closest to.

If you don’t enjoy your dog leaning on you with the whole weight of their body, you can apply the same technique.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll be depriving your dog of love if you do so.

There are other ways to give and receive affection, one of which is snuggling 🙂

#5: Don’t yell or raise your tone of voice

This will not communicate power to your dog. Quite the opposite actually.

If you all of a sudden start raising your voice or even worse – begin yelling at your dog, you might startle them.

At this very second, they could lose their balance and fall off the furniture…

No need for that.

Even if no accident occurs, don’t rely on shouting or threatening your dog verbally to help you prevent them from climbing on inappropriate places again.

BONUS tip: Enroll your dog in agility training

All that your dog might be communicating, after all, is that they haven’t ad enough exercise during the day.

Was the walk shorter or were they leashed?

Maybe neither but they’re just a high-energy dog.

Consider contacting a professional dog trainer and signing up your dog for agility training.

It has multiple benefits – it will make your dog more durable, drain their energy and it will mentally stimulate your pooch.