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It seems whenever cats and dogs are paired together, the dog will almost always be male while the cat will almost always be female. The cat will be sassy, intelligent, but occasionally cruel. The dog will be crude but kind.

Often their owners will be the same sex as the animals. Ergo, women will be cat people and men will be dog people.

Even if they're not contrasted with another species of animal, strangers will tend to assume by default that dogs are male — especially large or intimidating breeds — and cats are female. So widespread is this trope that a common misconception among children is that all dogs are male, and that all cats are female.

Speaking of inversions with the owners; if a male character owns a cat, it's often a sign of shared personality, say eccentricity, or intelligence level (thus masculine/catlike) as in Garfield. If a woman owns a dog, it's often a sign of shared emotional bonds (thus feminine/doglike) as in Bolt. And Mister Muffykins is just about exclusively owned by a woman.

An Animal Stereotype. See also Catgirl and Gender Equals Breed.

Examples and downplays:

Anime and Manga

  • Digimon Adventure has Yamato's partner Gabumon (a dinosaur in a wolf pelt whose evolutions are actual wolves), as well as Hikari's partner Gatomon (whose earlier stages follow a cat-dog-cat transition, in an odd play of the trope). Gatomon even needed to go through a Face Heel Turn.
  • Magical Girl anime Hana no Ko Lunlun had Nubo and Cato, a male dog and a female cat respectively. Partially subverted, as they're not really a dog and a cat but two fairies from the Flower Star who have taken up animal forms: in reality Nubo is a Big Beautiful Man and Cato is a White-Haired Pretty Girl.

Film - Animated

Film - Live Action

  • Homeward Bound combines this with Three Amigos.
  • Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore: Predictable trope along with predictable story plot — a dog (male) and a cat (female) [and a pigeon], put aside their differences and band together to save the world from evil.
  • Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murthy Mystery is a Disney DVD whodunnit mystery told through the eyes of a corgi named Tucker and a cat named Mrs. Murthy.
    • What's especially odd about this example is that it is based on a book series in which Tucker is female. Yet the film corgi speaks in a male voice. And seems less intelligent and more obsessed with eating than her book counterpart (who might be as smart as the cat characters and is less obsessed with eating than Pewter, another cat character). Hmmm...
  • Oh Heavenly Dog: Men reincarnate as dogs, women reincarnate as cats. Gay men, however, reincarnate as cats, so it’s likely lesbians would reincarnate as dogs.
  • The film version of The Blue Birdsee Theater, below. Gail Sondergaard is Tylette and Eddie Collins Tylo in 1940; Cicely Tyson is Tylette and George Cole Tylo in 1976.


  • A Night in the Lonesome October got Snuff, the canine familiar of Jack, is the male part of the pairing with Graymalk, female feline familiar to Jill. There is a clear bloke/chick dynamic to their doggy/catty repartee and vice versa.
  • In The Wheel of Time, female magicians attract cats while males attract dogs.

Live-Action TV

  • In the pilot of The Brady Bunch, the boys have a pet dog and the girls have a pet cat. Only the dog continued to the series, and even him for not very long due to Animal Existence Failure.
  • Referenced in the News Radio episode "Hair" when Beth and Max refuse to believe that Lisa's puppy is a female: "All dogs are boys, all cats are girls!"
  • Power Rangers SPD: The chief is Anubis "Doggie" Kruger and the technician is Kat Manx.
  • In Community, when the group is criticizing Troy they cite his belief that all dogs are boys and all cats are girls. "There's no way to prove it!" he insists. "Have you ever seen a cat penis?"
  • In an old Saturday Night Live WWII spy-movie sketch, one of the cliche labored password phrases was "Cats are nothing more than effeminate dogs."
    • More recently on SNL, January Jones, imitating a Housewife from The Fifties, said to start pet names with "Mr." or "Ms." depending on species. "Remember: All dogs are male; all cats are female."

Newspaper Comics

  • Krazy Kat may qualify. Although Krazy was sometimes portrayed as a male.
    • Word of God is that the main characters weren't male or female so much as genderless whatnots he referred to as "pixies".
  • The comic strip Pickles has Roscoe the dog and Muffin the cat.
  • Just Like Cats & Dogs, a single-panel comic drawn by Dave T. Phipps and distributed by King Features Syndicate, takes this trope and runs with it.


  • In the German language (which has three grammatical genders), there is "die Katze" and "der Hund", the former being feminine and the latter masculine. [1]
    • In lower sociolects of Hebrew, khatula (חֲתוּלָה), lit. ‘she-cat’ will be used as the generic term, although with the stress on the penultimate syllable (not on the last one, like in standard Hebrew). This was formerly associated mostly with people from Jerusalem; as a matter of fact, the Maccabi-Mutsri Square in Jerusalem is usually called ‘The Khatulot[2] Square’. As for dogs, the masculine is usually used for a generic term, as is the case with the vast majority of animals.
  • "Kitty" is a name, or nickname, applied almost solely to female humans, even though it's gender-neutral for cats. "Mutt" is a (rare) nickname applied almost exclusively to human males, although dogs of either sex can be mutts.
  • "Pussy" is, of course, slang for a woman's ... Country Matters, albeit far less taboo. However, there is no male equivalent invoking dogs.
  • While colloquially a unisex term for our domesticated wolves, "Dog" is also used as a term for nearly any male canine (and some non-canines like hyenas and weasels)


  • The Blue Bird
  • The helpful cat and dog in the concentration camp opera Brundibar are respectively female and male. The cat is sly, but not bitchy, whereas the dog is exuberantly friendly.

Video Games

  • In Pokémon, the Growlithe line has a 75% chance of being male. The Skitty and Glameow lines have a 75% chance of being female, and the Litleo line is almost always female. The Glameow one is justified by apparently being based on calico cats which really are mostly female; the combination of color genes involved requires two X chromosomes, so for a male to have the coloration requires that they have two Xs and a Y chromosome, which is abnormal and leads to sterility but is mostly harmless otherwise, or that their bodies be "chimeras" resulting from two zygotes merging together (a rarer condition).
  • The DS game Solatorobo appears to make use of this as the protagonists are a male dog and female cat. However, the Caninu and Felineko races are not gender exclusive, and female Caninu and male Felineko not only exist, but are nearly as abundant as their counterparts. In fact, the other teased dog-cat pairing, Merveille and Béluga, inverts this.
  • Darkstalkers has Felicia, a catwoman, and Jon Talbain, a werewolf.

Web Comics

  • The eponymous heroes of the late Rusty Haller's anthropomorphic Spy Drama Ace And Queenie.
  • The protagonists of Housepets; respectively, Grape and Peanut.
  • Technically they're shapeshifters, but the current forms taken by Reseda and Patrick in But I'm a Cat Person are cat/female and dog/male. Possibly inverted with their more dangerous counterparts, the Tiger and the Wolf.

Web Originals

  • Although a little off topic as it's more Furry Fandom then just plain old animals: In Trinton Chronicles we have Bone, a male Shepard dog, who is not very bright but fairly creative and Kathrine, a white Persian, who is more motherly then bitchy.

Western Animation

  • Animaniacs has Rita and Runt, as seen in the page pic.
  • In The Simpsons, Bart has Santa's Little Helper [male dog] and Lisa has Snowball II [female cat].
  • In Rugrats, Tommy has his dog Spike, and Angelica has a pet cat named Fluffy.
    • In Rugrats Go Wild (their crossover with The Wild Thornberrys) Spike was put at odds with a female clouded leopard named Suri. He was voiced by Bruce Willis, she was voiced by Christie Hynde.
  • Arthur plays this straight with an extra dose of Furry Confusion. Arthur, a male aardvark has a male dog named Pal. Francine, a female ape, has a male cat named Nemo.
  • Kitty Katswell and Dudley Puppy from Tuff Puppy follow this trope.
  • The eponymous characters of the Christmas Special Nick and Noel. Guess which one is which.
  • In Doug, Doug's dog Porkchop is male, and Roger's cat Stinky is revealed to be female.
  • In the cartoon series Krypto the Superdog, a boy named Kevin is the owner of Krypto while one of his neighbors, a girl named Andrea, is the owner of Streaky (aka Supercat).
    • In the original comics, Superboy owns Krypto and Supergirl owns Streaky, a male cat.
  • In Strawberry Shortcake, Custard the cat is female and Pupcake, the dog, is male.
  • Special Agent Dotty and Special Agent Wolfie from Special Agent Oso can count, even though Wolfie is a wolf and not a domestic dog.
    • He's a wolf and wolves are canines, so he counts.
  • Elsie (a female cat) and Harry (a male dog) from Disney's Stanley.
  • In the Gender Flip episode of Adventure Time, Jake the Dog becomes Cake the Cat.
  • Dog (a male dog) and Cat (a female cat) from Word World
  • South Park has a weird example. In an early episode, Stan adopts Sparky, a gay male dog. Cartman has a cat named Mr. Kitty, who was shown as a female in heat in Cat Orgy. Then Mr. Kitty is a functional tomcat in Major Boobage.

Subversions and Inversions:

Anime and Manga

  • In Pokémon, a Running Gag featured the Team Rocket trio's Meowth being tormented by a female Snubbull.
  • Darker Than Black has Mao, a deep-voiced guy in the body of a black cat. In the interequel episodes, there is a female Contractor who similarly inhabits the body of a dog, and a pretty mutt-looking one at that.

Fan Work


  • In he Spongebob fanfic Squidward Adopts a Worm, there’s Gary (the cat) and Wendy (the dog), though technically speaking, the cat is a snail and the dog is a worm. The cat in this scenario is male and the dog in this scenario is female. They both still play foils to each other though. Gary gets along with his owner Spongebob, but Wendy finds him to be annoying.

Film - Animated

  • Also subverted: Penny (to some extent) owns Bolt.
  • Inversion: In The Princess and the Frog, there is Charlotte's pet kitten, Marcel, who is male, and her pet dog, Stella, who is female.
  • Oliver and Company inverts this trope. Oliver is a male kitten and Georgette is a female dog.


  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld series has Greebo the cat. It terrorises wolves, is the father of every kitten for miles around since generations and devours vampires that are incautious enough to turn into bat form in its presence.
  • The picture book Bittle features a male cat named Nigel and a female dog named Julia.

Live Action Television

  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch had Salem Saberhagen, although as the surname implies he wasn't exactly the family pet; being turned into a cat is a fairly standard punishment for a number of rather serious crimes, regardless of the perpetrator's gender.
  • Animal Planet's It's Me or the Dog features a female dog trainer, Victoria Stillwell. Recently, the series gained a Spear Counterpart titled My Cat From Hell starring Jackson Galaxy, a male cat whisperer.
  • Somethinged in Red Dwarf, where the counterpart of the male Cat on the Gender Flip world was a male Dog.

Video Games

Newspaper Comics

  • In Garfield, there is a male cat (Garfield) with a male owner (Jon).
  • Same with Calvin and Hobbes (Hobbes is a male tiger and Calvin is a young boy).


  • Some breeds of dog are more readily assumed to be female than others, particularly if they're delicately-built or elaborately groomed (e.g. poodles, Salukis, Afghans). Very large cat breeds, such as Maine coons, may be mistaken for male purely on account of their bulk, though this side of the inversion is less prevalent than the dog side of it.
  • "Cat" can be a slang term for a young man like "chick" is for a young woman, though it's pretty out of use nowadays.
  • Due to the popularity of cats on the internet, it's becoming less common for cats to be automatically portrayed as female, at least on the internet itself. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the revival in their popularity is particularly noticeable among the young adult male demographic (arguably having been started by Caturday and lolcats on 4chan, which was once very male-dominated), and often focuses on the idiosyncratic personalities of cats rather than their cuteness. As a result, this demographic seems to be more likely to be able to relate to the cats and portray them as little furry versions of themselves. For examples of this, see the viral video of the cats playing pattycake with a voiceover by two young men, and innumerable other "translations" of cat videos that seem to give the cat a male voice most of the time. No such inversion seems to have taken place with dogs and women, however.
  • "Bitch"; most common generic English insult for a female, originally the term for a female canine. Likewise "pussy" is an insult for a cowardly male, though that has more to do with female anatomy.


  • In the Chilean children's play "Carolita, Chumingo, y el Árbol Solo" ("Carolita, Chumingo, and the Lonely Tree"), the dog was a female and the cat was a male. They doubled as Savvy Male Cat, Energetic Female Dog: the tomcat was a lazy and old feline, the much younger puppy was a Genki Girl.

Web Comics

  • Inverted by three of the characters in the anthro Five-Man Band from Zoo~la~la: J.T. is a male tabby cat while Angel and Jackie are a mutt and a Border Collie, respectively, and both female.

Western Animation

  • Another inversion: Blue's Clues. Blue, Green Puppy and Magenta are female dogs and Periwinkle is a male cat.
  • A near-inversion is The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Mandy has a male dog named Saliva and Billy has a male cat named Milkshakes.
    • In fact you can argue that Saliva is around to mostly contrast to Mandy's personality, and Milkshakes is only around to be tormented. Until they both get forgotten in later seasons.
  • Inverted: Martha from Martha Speaks is a female dog owned by Helen, and Nelson is a male cat owned by Rodger.
  • Inversion: Waffles and Chainsaw from Goof Troop are a male cat and a female dog respectively.
    • Same with Pete and Peg and PJ and Pistol, even though Pete and PJ are treated like Dogfaces rather than like cats, which they are.
  • Inversion: French cartoon Clementine has a male cat and a female dog who is in love with him.
  • Subverted with Ruff And Reddy, the titular stars of Hanna-Barbera's very first TV series. Both characters are male. Ruff is a cat, Reddy a dog.
  • Bella the female puppy and Figaro and Mr. Pettibone the two male kittens in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
  1. That is, the generic term for cat also covers female cats in particular, whereas the most common generic term for dogs also covers male dogs. There are also 'der Kater' and 'die Hündin', but they are never used generically. And now you know!
  2. plural of khatula