Breeds of Dogs That Look Like Cats

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Why not be both? Believe it or not, there are dogs that look like cats, embodying the best of both worlds.

In this article, we’ll explore several dog breeds that bear uncanny resemblances to our feline friends in appearance, behavior, or both.

Dogs That Look Like Cats

Physical Resemblance: Dogs That Look Like Cats

Here are some of the physical resemblance of dogs that look like cats:

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Known as the “barkless dog,” Basenjis are small to medium-sized dogs with sleek bodies, almond-shaped eyes, and high-set ears, giving them an appearance similar to some cats. They are also known for their cleanliness and grooming habits, which resemble those of cats.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu, a Japanese breed, is often compared to a cat due to its fox-like face, alert eyes, and small, erect ears. Their thick double coat gives them a fluffy appearance much like a Siberian cat.

Alaskan Klee Kai

This breed’s fox-like appearance and expressive eyes often draw comparisons to cats. Their thick fur, similar to that of long-haired cats, and their somewhat reserved demeanor add to this impression.

Behavioural Resemblance: Dogs That Look Like Cats

Here are some of the behavioral resemblance of dogs that look like cats:

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhounds are known for their agility and speed, much like cats. They love climbing on high surfaces, including the backs of sofas and chairs, a characteristic commonly seen in cats. They’re also known for their independence.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties, are intelligent and agile. Like cats, they can be somewhat aloof and reserved, especially around strangers.

Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier, known for its keen hunting skills, has a cat-like instinct to chase smaller animals. This breed also displays cat-like behaviors, such as grooming themselves with their paws.

Dogs That Are Hypoallergenic Like Some Cats

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small, fluffy dog that’s hypoallergenic, just like some cat breeds. With its small size and love for lounging around, it mirrors the lifestyle of many domestic cats.


Maltese dogs are known for their white, silky fur that’s hypoallergenic. They share the trait with several cat breeds and are excellent companions for those with allergies.

The Perfect Match: Selecting the Right Cat-Like Dog for You

Choosing the right dog breed that has cat-like traits involves considering various factors. Here are some things to take into account.

Size and Space

Consider the size of the dog and the amount of space you have. Breeds like the Shiba Inu and Alaskan Klee Kai are medium-sized, needing more room to roam compared to smaller breeds like the Italian Greyhound or the Basenji.

Activity Level

Your dog’s activity level should align with your lifestyle. While Italian Greyhounds and Shetland Sheepdogs are agile and active, Bichon Frises and Malteses are more relaxed, preferring to lounge around.


If you or someone in your family has allergies, hypoallergenic breeds like the Bichon Frise or Maltese could be a good fit. These breeds have hair instead of fur, which reduces allergenic dander.

Grooming Needs

Dog breeds with cat-like appearances often have specific grooming needs. For instance, the fluffy Shiba Inu and the silky-haired Maltese require regular grooming to maintain their coats.


Finally, consider the dog’s temperament. Breeds like the Shetland Sheepdog can be aloof and independent, similar to many cats, while others like the Basenji and Bichon Frise are more sociable and playful.

Before you make a decision, do thorough research and, if possible, spend time with the breed you’re interested in. Understanding a dog breed’s characteristics and needs can help you find the perfect cat-like dog for your home.

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While dogs and cats have their unique appeal and characteristics, some dog breeds blur the line, sharing physical characteristics or behaviors typically associated with cats.

From the cat-like Basenji to the hypoallergenic Bichon Frise, these dogs offer the perfect blend for those torn between the dog and cat worlds.

Whether it’s the physical resemblance, shared behaviors, or even similar allergenic properties, these breeds show that the dog versus cat debate doesn’t always have to be so black and white. Maybe the ideal pet is a perfect mix of both!