Pierce: He thinks all dogs are boys and all cats are girls.
Troy: There's no way to disprove that. Have you ever seen a cat penis?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 and...well...catty. 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. This trope could be due to the way dog's bodies are shaped and the way cat's bodies are shaped. Dog's bodies have big chests and small bellies and they tend to look more muscular. Cats bodies have small chests and they look rounder and curvier. Dog faces also tend to be either blocker or narrower and more angular (giving them a sharper, "rugged" look), while cats usually have more delicate features (making them look "prettier"). 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 Mr. Muffykins is just about exclusively owned by a woman. The cat in the trope could be of any species, but it's least likely going to be a lion. The dog in the trope is usually a domestic dog, but it could occasionally be a wolf. An Animal Stereotype. See also Cat Girl and Gender Equals Breed. Often a case of Huge Guy, Tiny Girl. Subtrope of Species Equals Gender and Cat/Dog Dichotomy.
— Community, "Anthropology 101."
Examples and downplays:
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- 1970s commercials for Purina Puppy Chowused the jingle, "Don't treat your puppy like a dog-dog-dog, feed him Puppy Chow," while Kitten Chow had, "Don't treat your kitten like a full grown cat, give her Kitten Chow."
- In the 1980s there was an animated advert for Quavers crisps which featured an anthropomorphised male dog who was attracted to an anthropomorphised female cat.
- The adverts for Animal Friends Pet Insurance feature a claymation female cat and male dog.
- There's also a cel-animated PSA about taking care of your pets from the early 2000's. It's hosted by a male dog and a female cat.
- Max and Molly, the mascots of 1-800-PET-MEDS.
- One mascot for Pop Tarts is an aversion of an aversion: The poodle is an exception among dog breeds, commonly depicted as female in fiction, but the Pop Tarts poodle is male, despite him having a fluffy pink trim (and is proud of it).
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 Heel–Face 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 girl.
- Played straight in a few Imagine Spots, with Shippo explaining the situation, Inuyasha was a dog, Koga was a wolf as expected. Kagome, however, became a cat girl in line with this trope
- Subverted with the filler character Ayame, who is a female wolf youkai
Film - Animated
- In The Great Mouse Detective, there is Toby (a male dog owned by Basil) and Felicia (a female cat owned by Ratigan).
- In Treasure Planet, Captain Amelia and Dr. Doppler are the Petting Zoo People version of this. When they're married, their children even prove to be Gender Equals Breed. The Licensed Game shows that they are the same species, with a form of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism, by allowing you to recruit members of their race, with all the males as dogs and all the females as cats.
- Bolt also has a Two Guys and a Girl version of this with Bolt and Mittens, but the second guy's a hamster named Rhino.
- Nefer-Kitty the cat and Tut the dog of Moses: Egypt's Great Prince.
- Watership Down has a farm with a cat and dog. The dog is male and the cat Tab is female. Notable because the cat was male in the book.
- All of the dogs in Up are male (or, at least, they are all given masculine voices by their translator collars). This creates some Fridge Logic when you realize that Muntz has lived alone with the dogs for 60 years, so he must have gone through several generations of them... but this trope apparently takes precedence.
Film - Live Action
- Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey combines this with ˇThree Amigos!. Two male dogs, one female cat.
- Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore: Predictable trope along with predictable 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.
- The film version of The Blue Bird — see Theater, below. Gail Sondergaard is Tylette and Eddie Collins Tylo in 1940; Cicely Tyson is Tylette and George Cole Tylo in 1976.
- Two of Doctor Moreau’s closer servants in The Island of Doctor Moreau are Cat Girl Aissa (Fairuza Balk) and Dogman Azazello (Temuera Morrison)
- 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.
- The Name of the Cat by Barbara Holland, an anecdotal nonfiction book, notes "Men who hate cats and women say cats are like women, and will refer to the most swaggeringly masculine tom as 'she'."
- Broadly applies to Harry Potter. Mr. Filch owns a female cat while Hagrid owns a male dog—-they can be seen as counterparts since their owners are both Hogwarts caretakers with contrasting personalities. When it comes to Animagus forms and Patronuses, the characters who get cats are women (McGonagall and Umbridge) and the characters who get dogs are men (Sirius and Ron). All the werewolves we encounter are also male.
- Rosemary Wells's "Yoko" and "Timothy" series has the recurring dog twins Frank and Frank who are both male while most of the cat characters are female such as Grace,Juanita and Sylvia and Olive who showed up in the book "Yoko Learns To Read" and "Yoko's Writes Her Name". Yoko herself is the most notable female cat character.
- The Shy Little Kitten and the Poky Little Puppy, respectively, from the Little Golden Books franchise.
- Alfie from Dear Hound is a male dog. His owners also own a female cat named Florence.
- 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.
- Discussed in the NewsRadio episode "Hair" when Beth and Max attempt to rename Lisa's puppy from "Daisy" to "Frankie." "All dogs are male," says Beth, and "all cats are female!" When presented with evidence that the puppy is, indeed, female, Max invokes the distinction between gender and sex.
- Power Rangers S.P.D.: 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?"
- Saturday Night Live:
- In an old WWII spy-movie sketch, one of the cliche labored password phrases was "Cats are nothing more than effeminate dogs."
- Later in the series, January Jones, imitating a House Wife from The '50s, said to start pet names with "Mr." or "Ms." depending on species. "Remember: All dogs are male; all cats are female."
- Played with in My Name Is Earl. Earl's ex-girlfriend Jessie goes through Training from Hell to become a Bounty Hunter in order to get revenge on Joy for a) stealing Earl from her and b) knocking out her two front teeth. As part of her training, Jessie trades in her cat for a large dog. Although the gender of neither one of her pets is specified, the implication of the trope is there.
- Invoked in a BBC documentary Cats V. Dogs: Which Is Best?, which was discussing and testing how cats and dogs compare on intelligence, eyesight, sense of smell, hearing and so on. It was light-heartedly presenting it as a kind of battle between the two species, and they had the female presenter, Liz Bonnin, fighting on behalf of cats, while the male presenter, Chris Packham, was fighting on behalf of dogs. However, the actual animals used in the documentary were males and females of both cats and dogs.
- In The Munsters Lily has a lion-roaring black cat and Herman has a dog-behaving dragon.
- 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.
- Sizzle and Nuzzle in The Puzzle Place.
- In 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, there are two types of the Little Bit Beastly race called shifters: the canine Longtooth shifters, and the feline Razorclaws. D&D's illustrations have always been good at depicting both genders equally, but looking through multiple sourcebooks one gets the impression that all Longtooth shifters are men and all Razorclaw shifters are women.
- The Blue Bird has Tylette the female cat and Tylo the male dog.
- 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.
- In Pokémon, the Growlithe line has a 75% chance of being male. The Skitty and Glameow lines have a 75% chance of being female. That last 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). Odd thing is, they can breed. (See the trope for more than you ever wanted to know.)
- 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.
- Its predecessor, Tail Concerto on PS1 plays this straight, with the protagonist being a male dog while the love interest and an antagonist being a cat.
- Darkstalkers has Felicia, a catwoman, and Jon Talbain, a werewolf.
- In the Bayonetta franchise, the female-only Umbran Witches can use an ability called Beast Within to transform into various animals, one of which is a large cat in order to move at high speeds, with Bayonetta getting a Panther, Jeanne a Lynx, and Rosa a Tiger. While only a single example exists, the male-only Lumen Sages seem to have the same ability, except instead of a big cat they transform into a lupine, in Balder's case, a white wolf.
- A cross-media example: Splinx the robot cat in the Doctor Who video game Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror is referred to by female pronouns in the guide, while the actual series famously had a robot dog who was referred to by male pronouns.
- The eponymous heroes of the late Rusty Haller's anthropomorphic Tuxedo and Martini Spy Fiction 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.
- Percy and Pooch in Sinfest fit the personality stereotypes, if not the genders (both are male); Percy is an arrogant, aloof, and cruel cat, while Pooch is a dumb and overenthusiastic dog.
- In Overcompensating, Jeffrey mentions thinking that dogs and cats were the same species, with a Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism that followed this trope.
- Johnnie and Bonnie in the pornographic Kit and Kay Boodle.
- Discussed in this Mountain Time strip, which also delves into the plausibility of the sex assignments in Jurassic Park.
- Animaniacs has Rita and Runt, as seen in the page pic. However, Runt doesn't realize Rita isn't a dog no matter how many people (Rita included) he hears describing her as a cat.
- In The Simpsons, Bart has Santa's Little Helper [male dog] and Lisa has Snowball II [female cat].
- Kitty Katswell and Dudley Puppy from T.U.F.F. Puppy follow this trope.
- The eponymous characters of the Christmas Special Nick & Noël. 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 episodes of Adventure Time, Jake the Dog becomes Cake the Cat.
- Dog (a male dog) and Cat (a female cat) from WordWorld.
- 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.
- The Hub's Pound Puppies has the upper-crust couple Madame Pickypuss and Mr. Cuddlesworth.
- Hector the dog and his roommate ZsaZsa the cat, in Hector's House.
- Most of the dogs in Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville, including Magic, Zull, and Gort, are male and most of the cats, including, Ava and Eva, are female.
- Dog City: Bugsy and Miss Kitty.
- In Invader Zim, when female Irken Tak comes to Earth to steal Zim's mission, her female S.I.R. unit Mimi is disguised as a cat. This is in contrast to GIR's disguise which is a dog.
- Mr. Peanutbutter and Princess Carolyn in Bojack Horseman.
- Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: two of the main characters are the male bulldog Jack and the female cat Aurelia.
- An episode of Dinosaucers shows that the two teen sidekicks have a dog (the boy) and a cat (the girl).
- In the German language (which has three grammatical genders), there is "die Katze" and "der Hund", the former being feminine and the latter masculine. note
- 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 Khatulotnote Square’. As for dogs, the masculine is usually used for a generic term, as is the case with the vast majority of animals.
- Czech works similarly to German here. Generic terms "kočka" ("cat") is feminine and "pes" ("dog") is masculine, with specific words for the other genders "kocour" ("tomcat") and "fena" (female dog). Interestingly enough, the words for kitten ("kotě") and puppy ("štěně") are, along with other words for young animals and humans, neuter, making them gender-neutral.
- "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)
- There is a brand of pet items (most notably Christmas stockings containing toys and treats) that follow this trope. The dog items range is named "Good Boy" while items for cats use "Good Girl".
- In Japanese gay slang, "neko" (literally "cat") refers to the effeminate partner in a butch/fem pair.
- The theme park Holiday World has a couple mascots themed after a Holiday. The park mascot named Holidog is a male dog while Kitty Claws who's the host of the Halloween event is a female black cat who wears a tutu.
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.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- The Hallmark Original Movie Like Cats And Dogs both averts the trope and plays it straight. The actual cat and dog duo in question do present a female cat and a male dog. It's the owners, Spencer and Lara, who subvert it.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld series has Greebo the cat. He terrorises wolves, is all of the male ancestors of every kitten for miles around for generations and devours vampires that are incautious enough to turn into bat form in his presence. Although most of the canines that show up in the series are also male, i.e. Gaspode, Big Fido and Mr. Fusspot. There is a female werewolf.
- In the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, there are two magical creatures. Mogget the cat is male and the Disreputable Dog is, in her words, technically the Disreputable Bitch.
- The picture book Bittle features a male cat named Nigel and a female dog named Julia.
- In Rudyard Kipling's The Cat that Walked by Himself both the Cat and the Dog are male. The Dog however is associated with the Man, while the Cat is with the Woman.
Live Action TV
- 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. Played straight in the short lived American adaptation where Cat is female.
- Subverted in Friends; Monica likes dogs and Chandler likes cats. Though this might have something to do with their couple roles.
- In Garfield, there is a male cat (Garfield) and a male dog (Odie) with a male owner (Jon).
- There's a similar set-up with Get Fuzzy, with the male cat (Bucky), the male dog (Satchel), and the male owner (Rob). In addition, most of the reoccurring secondary characters, cat and dog alike, are male.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Hobbes is a male tiger and Calvin is a young boy. It's worth noting, though, that this trope generally applies less to big cats than it does to domestic cats.
- Lindi and Riff on Allegra's Window are a female dog and a male cat, respectively.
- As noted above, Pokémon generally plays this straight with mostly male Growlithe and mostly female Skitty. However, special mention goes to the Snubbull line, bulldog-like Pokemon that are 75% likely to be female.
- Another inversion: Blue's Clues. Blue, Green Puppy, and Magenta are female dogs and Periwinkle is a male cat.
- Inverted in an episode of Earthworm Jim in which Evil the Cat gains a girlfriend named Malice the Dog.
- A near-inversion is The Grim Adventures of Billy & 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 Ronald.
- Inversion: Waffles and Chainsaw from Goof Troop are a male cat and a female dog respectively.
- Inversion: French cartoon Clementine has a male cat and a female dog who is in love with him.
- Subverted with The Ruff & Reddy Show, 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.
- Guess with Jess: Semi-inverted - a male cat as the star character and a pair of dogs, one female and one male.
- Arthur, a male aardvark has a male dog named Pal. Francine, a female ape, has a male cat named Nemo.
- Captain Cuddlepuss and Trixie in Creature Comforts.
- Tom the cat and Nellie the dog in Peep And The Big Wide World
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Although Rarity's cat Opalescence is female, Applejack's family owns a female dog called Winona. The My Little Pony: Equestria Girls spin-off blurs the lines too, as Spike becomes a dog in the human world - making it a female owner (Twilight) with a male dog.
- The Animals of Farthing Wood features plenty of male cats - notably the one owned by the (male!) warden.
- 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.
- Not in the exact same way, at least. But the stereotype of women having cute little dogs (such as poodles or chihuahuas) is actually relatively recent; most young single women used to go for cats before the modern idea of a small "purse dog" became popular. In the same ways young internet-dwelling men have lessened the focus on a cat's cuteness in favour of it's odd habits, stylish young women focus less on the idea of a dog as a protector or working man's animal in favour of treating it as the "baby" in the family.
- "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 word is associated more with female anatomy than cats.
- In French (and other Romance languages), the words for "cat" and "dog" are both grammatically masculine (chat and chien); in Russian they are both feminine (koshka and sobaka).