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"Dog like" cats

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok I just wanted to rant about one of my pet peeves. Which is people talking about dog like cats. I own a bengal and they're one of the breeds which are called dog like sometimes so I get asked that a lot.

It really pisses me off when people do that because what they've usually done then is to code all the good things they like about companion animals as being a dog thing.

This would be like saying that when a woman is good at her job she's being man-like or just like a man. With the implicit meaning that women are usually crap at their jobs and that you need to be a man or atleast like a man to be any good at your job.

For me it's the same thing when people say cats are dog like. It's as if they're saying that some positive animals belong just to dogs.

These are traits like being happy to see you, wanting to spend time with you, wanting to play with you. A cat that does these things is a social well adjusted cat. It's not a cat-shaped dog.

Yes cats can be aloof and want to be on their own a lot or want contact very rarely and only on their terms but mostly I think it's because cats aren't hardwired to be social animals in the same way that humans and dogs are. They don't need to think of themselves as belonging to a group and if there's enough other stuff going on cats can get by just fine without much human interaction because they're very adaptable.

However most kittens when raised by responsible people and socialised and given lots of attention and love will bloom into very nice pets and there doesn't have to be anything "dog like" about them for that to happen and it's wrong to think of all good pet qualities as belonging exclusively to dogs anyway.

Ok just needed to get that off my chest.
post #2 of 20
This bothers me, too. You said it all very well!
post #3 of 20
I think that cats have many "human traits" that make some humans uncomfortable. Therefore these type of people prefer the more obedient form of pet - a dog. Personally I love all animals and try not to make comparsion, or next thing you know I'd be talking about a "cow-like" horse!
post #4 of 20
If a cat is very much into playing in the water, I would call it "fish-like."

I'm about to adopt a Bengal, and I don't see their behavior being compared to dogs as a negative in any way - I know lots of wonderful doggies, including some that are actually "cat-like!" (Aloof, don't respond well to commands, shred furniture, shed all over the house, etc. Some small dogs are actually litter box trained!)

I actually think my red tabby moggie and semi-feral Ferris is a bit dog-like: he follows me from room to room and lies at my feet every time I stop. He wags his tail when he's eating. He opens his mouth and smiles when he's tired from playing and happily panting.

I'm sorry that it bothers you so much when people like me see canine-like traits in our felines, but please don't think that we are in any way slamming the felines. We love our furkids very much, be they canine or feline!
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I know lots of wonderful doggies, including some that are actually "cat-like!" (Aloof, don't respond well to commands, shred furniture, shed all over the house, etc. Some small dogs are actually litter box trained!)
Growing up, we had one pitbull that was very cat like. He was raised by cats and had picked up a lot of little cat behaviors.
There's nothing wrong with saying an animal is "-like" as long as we don't forget what the animal is and that it has it's own special needs. In fact by naming them and saying they're angry, happy, sad, mad, etc, we're giving them human traits. This could be seen as more of an insult to a cat then saying it's dog like.
As long as the owner loves and provides for their pets there's no harm done.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I actually think my red tabby moggie and semi-feral Ferris is a bit dog-like: he follows me from room to room and lies at my feet every time I stop. He wags his tail when he's eating. He opens his mouth and smiles when he's tired from playing and happily panting.
First of all I know that people are far from slamming cats per se when they say that cats are dog like and I know it's ment as praise for bengals when it's said that they're dog like but that's exactly why it bothers me.

Following their favourite human from room to room isn't a dog exclusive trait. Animals that like their humans do it, be it cats, dogs, budgies, large parrots or rabbits.

It is very common in dogs because of how they're hard wired but not all dogs do it and I find it unfair to think of all positive things about pets that like their humans as being a "dog like" trait.

It's a value judgement that seems to list all good and desireable traits as belonging to dogs and then the bad traits as belonging to cats. So that if a cat shows good traits they're breaking their species barrier and being little dogs. Does this make sense?

I've seen this lots in people who say they don't like cats but then they maybe get to know a cat and really like it and say they still don't like cats and think they're really bad pets, the cat they know is just an exception and is really not a cat at all in how it behaves but is much more like a dog.

Then they describe the cat (wants to play with you, likes to spend time with you, seems to notice when you're not feeling well) and it sounds like any well adjusted cat that has a good connection to their human. Behaving in a perfectly cat like manner.

To sum up, what bugs me is people who say that anything good is a dog thing and anything bad is a cat thing and then make up excuses for liking a cat which breaks their "all cats are bad pets" thing they have by saying it's just like a dog (i.e good) and not at all like a cat (i.e bad) when it completely being a sweet well socialised cared for cat like cat.
post #7 of 20
I like the term "dog-like". Mostly because it has helped me place the right cat with the right family. A family moved into a new home, right by a major road. They'd always had dogs, but did not want one because of living by the road & no fenced yard yet. But, they had never owned a cat & needed a pet. I discussed what they knew & talked to them at great length. We finally selected a "dog-like" cat that was purr-fect for them. He fetched, came when you called his name, etc.

This cat is now harness & leash trained. He goes for walks outside. He fetches cat sized tennis balls. He is exactly what they needed & they are now looking to add another cat to the family, but this time, are willing to take the leap of a "cat-like" cat.
post #8 of 20
I agree with Gingersmom

I have a cat like dog and a dog like cat ..

Zoey the cat s nick name is red dog cause she acts like a dog ... She comes when called from the yard... sits on command , stay s , rolls over and down... follows me


Gigi is a yorkie and Zoeys older sister ... she knows her commands but seldom listens ... is very bossy and only does things she want s to do...

I do have Kandie who is all CAT ...

I dont mind my "confused" girls THey are unique and love me
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I like the term "dog-like". Mostly because it has helped me place the right cat with the right family. A family moved into a new home, right by a major road. They'd always had dogs, but did not want one because of living by the road & no fenced yard yet. But, they had never owned a cat & needed a pet. I discussed what they knew & talked to them at great length. We finally selected a "dog-like" cat that was purr-fect for them. He fetched, came when you called his name, etc.

This cat is now harness & leash trained. He goes for walks outside. He fetches cat sized tennis balls. He is exactly what they needed & they are now looking to add another cat to the family, but this time, are willing to take the leap of a "cat-like" cat.
I will have to agree with this. My cat PHX, who by the way is a lynx point siamese (mix), is always being called "dog-like" just simply because he fetches, knows his name (doesn't necessarily come to it tho), will go outside on a leash,follows me around the house, pants like a dog sometimes, loves his belly rubbed, and loves new people.. and I guess I don't really see a problem with comparing him to a dog. It does not offend me at all, I actually think it's funny!
post #10 of 20
I don't know that people are referring to their traits as being dog-like because they see being dog-like as a better thing. I think it's just a more descriptive use. Bengals have certain characteristics and personality traits that are dog-like. It's a comparison that is levelled because these are traits more akin to dogs than to other cats. It's like saying (for example) that my Persian is `Siamese-like' because she's talkative. Doesn't mean Siamese cats are better, it's just that she shares this trait with more Siamese cats than Persian cats. It's a simple comparison - people do it all the time to help with descriptions but it doesn't mean that the comparison is negative or positive - it's just an example.

We call one of our dogs the little cat/dog/man. Because he's sensitive and sweet and wants to get in your lap all the time like a cat, because, well, he's a dog, and because he's super intelligent like a human plus he's our little man.

I see what you're saying but I think it's really just a description that has arisen as a way of describing the Bengal cat to make it easier for people to visualise its personality - particularly people who may not be very experienced with cats.
post #11 of 20
In general, I don't think that we cat lovers see cat-like traits as negatives and dog-like traits as positives. After all, if we did, chances are quite high that this would be a dog lovers forum instead of a cat lovers forum!

I LIKE that my cats are aloof. I chose cats over dogs because they are much less needy. I like their independence - I consider myself to be quite cat-like, and I absolutely don't mean that as a negative.

In fact, applying dog-like qualities to humans makes it the other way around - after all, who likes a man who acts like a puppy dog all the time?! And then there is the much-used phrase: Men are dogs.

So not ALL good and desirable qualities can be said to be applied to the canine species, LOL...
post #12 of 20
Well, my cats aren't aloof, and in one case, one of my cats is EXTREMELY needy. I don't think calling a cat dog-like is really an insult to cats. It's just basically saying a cat that likes to play fetch for example is more dog-like, because cats don't usually play fetch, and dogs do. One of my Bengals and one of my Siamese both like to play fetch. I consider them both very dog-like in their personalities, not because they're more positive, but because they like to do things that dogs like to do.
post #13 of 20
I think maybe ....maybe they just mean follows you around the house and most people think of cats as very independent as many of them are (especially those that do not have cats)...but many do follow you around! I do understand how that could get annoying!
post #14 of 20
It also bothers me. When I was an adoption counselor, people would tell me they wanted a cat who acted like a dog, and so I would always tell them to go get a dog in that case!

I also don't agree with the old wives tale about cats being aloof. Would someone like to remind Raphael of that? He follows me constantly, meows when he can't see me and is on my lap or next to me if I'm sitting down. He's VERY needy and yet...he's a cat. A cat, in fact, who was born on the streets, burned with something by something or someone, was sheltered and returned 3 times and was adopted as a "senior" (he was 7, which is middle aged to me, not a senior...he's 9 now and still plays (and eats!) like a kitten). Gracie will come when she's called and alwyas had head-butts to dole out. Lola, my RB kitty, would ride around on my shoulders like the queen. The only one of my cats who is not a big fan of affection is Leo, and he was the only one who I know was a surrender and grew up in a family. So...75% of the cats I've owned have been very loving and interacted with me regularly. I'd say that's a solid majority.

To me, having all sort of conditions and expectations in a companion animal is sort of sad. It's like your spouse, or your parents, or your friends. They will al have some very good qualities that make you love them, but there will also be things about them that you have to work through.
post #15 of 20
i don't think it's such a big deal. and i really don't think a lot of people mean anything mean by it. two of my cats, jasmine and kojak DO act a lot like our dogs- they have similar personalities to fosters and whiskey (our dogs) and behave the same a lot of times-they even play with the dog today - it's funny. i don't see anything wrong with saying they are acting like our dogs- because they do.
post #16 of 20
I don't think it's such a big deal to refer to a particular cat as being "dog-like" -- any more than I have trouble with referring to certain dogs as "cat-like". In each case, certain individuals DO exhibit similarities to the other species. One of our RB boys was for a time nicknamed Puppy Cat, because of the way he followed us around. A friend's dog (also RB) was VERY "feline" in some of her habits. In these situations, it's just descriptive.

BUT I do get the OP's point, because I think what she's referring to is the tendency of some non-cat people to "excuse" a cat for being a cat, if it has the "good sense" to exhibit dog-like behaviour. That I do find irritating.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
BUT I do get the OP's point, because I think what she's referring to is the tendency of some non-cat people to "excuse" a cat for being a cat, if it has the good sense to exhibit dog-like behaviour. That I do find irritating.
That was well said. I've seen that happen - `have you ever met a Bengal'...`Oh I don't like cats'...`no no - Bengals are more like dogs than cats!' and then the other person all of a sudden becomes interested. THAT's annoying.

Quote:
One of our RB boys was for a time nicknamed Puppy Cat, because of the way he followed us around.
Ha! That's another one of our nicknames for Chester! He follows us around too (but he is a dog...lol...a velcro dog, actually) but he also likes to hop up on the lounge and curl up in your lap like a cat. He weighs 75lb so it's not always easy - his head is a big as Sashka - but he still tries!!
post #18 of 20
I honestly don't see what's so bad about it?

my Tiger acts "dog like" and it's not a bad thing to say it IMO unless someone isn't really a dog person and gets offended.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
BUT I do get the OP's point, because I think what she's referring to is the tendency of some non-cat people to "excuse" a cat for being a cat, if it has the "good sense" to exhibit dog-like behaviour. That I do find irritating.
Yes! That's a huge part of the rant. Thank you!

Also I don't mind people calling their cats dog-like per se, what annoys me is more that when around non-cat people there seems to always be this value judgement that dogs are much better, which is fair enough but that's where dog-like = good and cat-like = bad comes in and that has ruined the descriptive qualities for me even when it comes to cat people. I.e I have seen it so often I tend to get automatically on defensive whenever someone mentiones a "dog like" cat.
post #20 of 20
The "Dog like cat" thing doesn't bother me at all. We had a husky mix for a while and I know my kitty Limerick listens 10 times better then she ever did. Limerick comes when I call him, greets me at the door, "talks" when I say his name, and is very much a "lap cat". Granted Peables was a great dog, but she never came when you called her, and would poke her head up from where every she was sleeping to see who walked in. We always said she was a "Cat in Dog's clothng"
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