Equivalent: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
Literal translation: Dogs don’t make cats
Register: normal (proverb)
Notes: The French expression les chiens ne font pas des chats is a colorful way of saying that children resemble their parents in character; that is, in attitudes, beliefs, goals, talents, etc. According to this expression, it’s logical for children to be like their parents in the same way that it’s logical for puppies to behave like dogs, not cats.
The English equivalent, « The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, » makes the same point in a different way. Rather than insisting on the fact that the parent and child are the same species, the English expression explains that the similarity in character is due to the child (apple) being separate from yet staying close to the parent (tree).
-Ton fils va aussi être médecin ?
-Bien sûr ! Les chiens ne font pas des chats !
-Your son is going to be a doctor too?
-Of course! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
Variation: Les chats ne font pas des chiens (literally, « Cats don’t make dogs »)
Synonym: Tel père, tel fils (Like father, like son)