Are you plagued with puppy-fever but unable to have a dog of your own? Whether it’s allergies or a strict rental agreement, don’t give up on your dream to add a pet to your household just yet. Have you ever considered a doglike cat as an alternative?
Hang on—hear me out.
While many dog lovers dismiss cats as aloof and anti-social bores, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are loads of doglike cats who will charm you with their canine characteristics.
Here are our top picks for the most doglike cat breeds.
1. Savannah cats
Savannah cats are a famously doglike breed, and they exhibit a bunch of canine traits. They’re fiercely loyal and attach strongly to their owners.
If an energetic playmate is what you’re after, the exotic-looking Savannah cat will happily oblige. They’re athletic and adventurous, and they’re also skilled jumpers and swimmers.
These highly intelligent felines can even be leash-trained. Who needs a dog with a pet like that?
2. The ragdoll
It’s hard to resist the ragdoll’s piercing baby blues and silky, fluffy fur. Often called “puppy cats,” they are a gentle, adaptable, and friendly cat breed—ideal for the prospective pet owner who’s avoiding dogs.
Unlike the majority of cats, the affable ragdoll loves to be held, according to VetStreet. They have a laidback, floppy attitude that’s a hit with people and other animals. They’ve been known to melt with happy pleasure in their owner’s arms, hence their very fitting name.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) confirms the ragdoll’s tendency to be more involved with their humans than other felines. “They are known to run to greet you at the door, follow you from room to room, flop on you, sleep with you, and generally choose to be where you are,” the association writes.
VetStreet also notes that the ragdoll makes a terrific companion if you like to travel.
3. Bombay cats
Bombays have earned the nickname “velcro cats,” and for good reason. These doglike cats tend to keep close to their owners, often following them from room to room. They’re incredibly social and interactive, making them a wonderful alternative for the animal lover who can’t own a dog.
They’re not shy around strangers—unlike other cats, they won’t dash under the bed when people come over. In fact, they’re likely to greet you (and anyone else) at the door.
4. Bengal cats
They might not be a low-maintenance breed, but the spirited Bengal cat is certainly not a boring one. Be forewarned: their playful hijinks will keep you on your toes.
The Bengal’s wild appearance was achieved by crossing Asian leopards with domestic cats. This ancestry contributes to their large, muscular build as well as their high energy level. These cats are always on the move.
Bengals have a unique fondness for water, and they enjoy a nice stroll through the neighborhood.
5. The Birman
Maybe you prefer a quieter, calmer cat breed. Look no further than the sweet-natured Birman. The history of this doglike cat breed is shrouded in mystery and folklore. According to legends, they were once considered the sacred cats of Burma, and some people claim these cats have divine power. We can’t speak on the matter of their divinity, but their charming looks and personality certainly have power over our animal-loving hearts.
The highly social Birman does best in a multiple-pet household, according to VetStreet.
The CFA points to the Birman’s patience and tolerance as two characteristics that make this breed an excellent choice for families with kids or pets.
6. Maine Coons
These “gentle giants” of the cat world are one of the most doglike cat breeds you can find. Their sweet disposition has earned them the title, “dogs of the cat world.”
Perhaps it’s because of their water-resistant fur, but these cats love to play with water. Maine coons are strong swimmers, and they’ll be more cooperative at bath time than the average feline.
This doglike cat is not shy about vocalizing his needs, either. If he wants your attention, he’ll let you know with his signature chirping “song”.
Maine coons also enjoy exploring the outdoors with their owners. With patience and diligent training, you can stroll the neighborhood with your furry friend on a leash.
7. Siamese cats
Your search for the most doglike cat can end here. Siamese cats make terrific companions for anyone searching for an affectionate, social, and interactive pet. They’re not picky about their friend circle, either—they enjoy the company of other cats, children, and even strangers.
Siamese cats are highly trainable, and they can be taught to play fetch and give high fives. Not bad for a cat.
For all the history buffs out there, the Siamese cat has a rich lineage. As one of the oldest domesticated breeds in the world, they originated in Thailand in the 14th century. They didn’t make their stateside debut until the 1800s. But we’re so glad they did!
8. Turkish Angora
Up for the demands of an active and willful pet? For lovers of the striking Turkish Angora, the challenge is well worth the effort.
If you’re looking for a doglike cat, this is a breed to consider. They’re clever cats, and they’ve been known to open cabinets and turn on faucets. VetStreet warns that the Turkish Angora prefers interactive play over entertaining himself. This is a cat for people who’re able to lavish him with attention and loads of playtime.
Unlike many of the hybrid breeds on this list, The Angora is not manmade. They’re a natural breed that originated in Turkey, probably sometime in the 15th century.
9. Manx cats
There’s more to the Manx cat than it’s famously tailless posterior (which is caused by a genetic mutation). This doglike cat is a people-oriented breed. Its playful demeanor and superior intelligence make it a good choice for dog lovers.
The Manx also enjoys learning new tricks, and he appreciates interactive toys and puzzle feeders.
Fun Fact: According to The International Cat Association, the Manx cat was one of the original breeds to compete in the heyday of 19th-century cat shows. They were also one of the founding breeds when the Cat Fanciers’ Association got its start in 1906.
10. Abyssinian cats
Aptly nicknamed the “Aby-silly-an,” this playful breed is one of the most doglike cats you can find. This is a highly active cat. They’re always on the move—climbing, jumping, and exploring.
Abyssinians are an extroverted breed with a doglike attachment to their owners. They prefer to be an involved member of the family, and they’re prone to depression if left in solitude too long.
If you’re interested in an intelligent companion, the Aby is a breed you should consider. They can be successfully clicker-trained, and some can even compete in agility courses.
So there you have it. These doglike cats have it all—personality, playfulness, and intelligence. Try meeting with some rescue organizations or reputable breeders, and who knows. You may change your tune and become a cat aficionado for life.