Arab Culture is a cat-loving culture. This is something I noticed in Turkey, but it's true for the Kingdom as well.
They freaking love cats.
The stray cats in Turkey get pet by passerby’s. I routinely saw them get fed by shop owners and restaurant workers.
The Prophet Muhammad was said to have loved cats so much that he cut his cloak rather than disturb a cat that was sleeping next to him.
This is a contrast to Western culture which is a cat hating culture. Now, calm down, I know you love cats, and maybe your friends do, too. But that doesn't change the fact that our culture, as a whole, has it out for our feline friends.
Think of all the superstitions associated with cats. Don't let a black cat cross your path. A cat can steal a baby's breath. Cats are associated with witchcraft and the devil. In a movie, when a cat dies, it's meant to be humorous (though I never thought so), while a dog dying is tragic in the extreme.
Though the instinct is buried deep, it's still there, trust me.
In the Middle East, dog saliva is supposed to be unclean. If a dog licks your clothes, then you can't pray in those clothes. You either have to wash them or change before you pray. Dogs are not pets you keep in the house, nor are they kept by very many people. They are mostly kept as a display of toughness, as in, 'look how tough I am, I have a dog.'
The gesture that Westerners do without thinking about it – crooking your finger at someone to get them to come closer – is considered insulting here to the highest degree, because that's how you call a dog.