There are many myths about cohabitating both dogs and cats. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are mortal enemies with your feline. There are best dog breeds that get along with cats. Although many pet owners have a peaceful coexistence at home, choosing the dog’s breed to live with your cat is essential.
Knowing which dog breed to get and avoid is vital to ensure that both pets go a long way toward a harmonious relationship. Although you can’t predict if your pets will get along in the future, the following breeds have the highest possibility to be cat-friendly dogs. So, let’s get things started!
What Makes a Dog Cat-Friendly
Making your pets get along requires time and patience, but it is possible. Raising them around the same time is the best way to make them get along. This ensures that neither of your pets becomes territorial.
Contrary to popular belief, most dogs can learn to coexist with cats peacefully. Certain breed groups are more likely to get along with cats than others. Maltese, Pugs, and Cavalier King are bred as loving companions because they are affectionate and friendly. They are also welcoming to new companions – including cats.
Whether your dog is a purebred or mixed-breed, personality has the most factor in determining whether a dog is cat-friendly or not. Labrador and Golden Retrievers cats typically become good friends with cats due to their outgoing personalities. They are trainable and desired to please everyone.
Previous Experience with Cats
Dogs that have gone after a cat or other small animals in the past will most likely do it again. However, dogs become more accepting of cats if they are raised among them. If you plan to have both dogs and cats, try to bring them into the home at the same time. Growing them together will prevent territoriality and drive a mutual bond between the two.
It would help if you also considered the energy level of dogs. Hyper-reactive dogs have more chances to attack smaller animals. Additionally, how a dog behaves can give owners insight into how they would respond to a cat in the house.
Terriers, Sighthounds, and other working group breeds have high prey drives. But it does not mean that they cannot be friendly with cats. Training dogs to live with cats need extra attention and supervision. Remember that all dogs have the potential to be cat-friendly.
Dogs that are calm and reserved temperaments will most likely show cats some respect and space. For example, Cavaliers hate to be left alone and will do well in homes with other pets to keep them company.
Introducing Dogs and Cats to Each Other
When introducing cats and dogs to each other, the first thing to consider is both animals’ body language. The cat’s ears are pinned back if they are displeased. On the other hand, if the dog has a strong prey drive, try not to let them near a cat. Luckily, there are many ways to introduce a dog to a cat. If the first one didn’t work out for them, you could always try a different option.
Keep in mind that the best option in introducing dogs and cats is to slowly expose them to each other. It is best to have two people present while doing the activity to ensure no harm to both pets. Also, a proper location is essential for their first meeting. Getting to meet them face to face is also an option. While this option may be a good strategy, you can always try a different one that works for them.
20 Best Dog Breeds for Cat Owners
In general, dogs with laid-back nature make the best dog breeds for cats. They have a lesser prey drive and tend to be loving companions. Here are 20 of the best dog breeds that are cat-friendly.
Beagles and cats are a good combination since they are known for their relaxed nature, both sociable and friendly. This dog breed was bred to hunt in packs, so they are usually familiar with other animals, including cats. They are hyper for some laid-back feline but hate to be alone; hence, they will appreciate a cat’s company.
With their high energy, they can become bored and destructive if left alone. therefore, a feline might be an excellent calming influence. However, owners must be careful because Beagles have a habit of opening the door to let their cat out.
Pugs are famous for being sociable and gentle companion dogs. They poach a lot of love into their little bodies and have tons of personalities. This breed loves attention, so cats can help in keeping them company when their masters are away. Although Pugs are small, they are strong enough to have cats as playmates.
Pugs are also outgoing, playful, and adaptable. They make an excellent choice for having different kinds of pets in the household. Despite being strong-willed, Pugs are rarely aggressive, making them the best dog breeds for cats.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is considered to be toy dogs. They are bred to be loving, loyal, and affectionate companions. With their caring personality, Cavaliers tend to get lonely or anxious when left alone for long. Having the presence of another animal, like a cat, can help them feel more secure.
Cavaliers are sweet, gentle little dogs and good with both children and other animals, including cats, making them family dogs because of their friendliness. And, although they are not much bigger than a cat, they still have a fearless personality.
Bulldogs can easily intimidate a feline if they wanted to, but they are known for their kind temperament. They are friendly to other pets, including cats. With their easy-going personality, they will most likely enjoy the company of another animal. Bulldogs and cats can get along just like any other breeds of canine and feline. All they need is a short adjustment period, and they can already be buddies.
On top of that, Bulldogs are recognized as excellent family pets because of their friendly and patient nature. Although some Bulldogs are more territorial and aggressive, they still get along with cats and do not mind having one in the house.
5. Basset Hound
The Basset Hound, also known as the Hush Puppy Dog, belongs to the hound family. They are patient and calm dogs and take naps a lot. Basset Hounds have a relaxed attitude that makes them tolerant of other pets. With their stout bodies, basset hounds tend to move slowly, making them cat-friendly dogs.
They are incredibly laid-back and do not bother others so much. However, training Basset Hounds may be a bit challenging because of their stubbornness. But their patience and mild-mannered outlook make them friendly and tolerant of other pets in the house.
6. Border Terrier
Although most Terriers are not great with cats, Border Terriers are exceptions. They are shabby, friendly, and very affectionate. Despite being stubborn and strong-willed, they are rarely aggressive. Border Terrier will get along with your cat just fine. If appropriately trained, Border Terriers will happily accommodate a cat in their lives.
Border Terriers adapt quickly to different environments and situations. They can get along with felines and may chase other animals like mice, birds, and rabbits.
Collie is considered a bit mellower than some herding breeds. With this in mind, Collies are good with cats. They are lovers and exceptionally gentle with kids, and this love can extend even to cats. Their affection for cats lies in their tolerance. They are easily trained to act properly around animals.
This dog breed is an amiable housemate and can quickly melt anyone’s heart. If Collies and cats are brought up together, they will get along perfectly. After all, Collies are bred to take care of other animals, especially if you invest your time and effort in training them.
8. Golden Retriever
Known as one of the most popular breeds globally, Golden Retrievers are genuinely gentle dogs. They are large, hairy, and will melt anyone’s heart with their playful personality. Goldens have been known to protect kittens and are great cat companions, especially with their adaptability and outgoing nature.
Despite their large size, Golden Retrievers is a good pick for cats of all ages and temperaments. Their affectionate nature extends towards other pets, as well. They are sweet, playful, hardworking, and loyal, making them ideal all-around pets.
One of the most popular dog breeds, Corgis became an internet sensation because of their cuteness. They make excellent family dogs and even get along with cats. Because Corgis are clever, trainable, adaptable, they can easily live together with other pets. They can easily be trained to act well around animals; hence, they are considered cat-friendly dogs,
However, there are several issues with Corgis, including their mental stimulation and their loud bark. If you don’t mind corgis excitedly barking and high-speed chasing, you will enjoy the combination of a cat and Corgi in your home.
10. Labrador Retriever
This breed is best known for its loyalty, obedience, and playful nature. They are an even-tempered breed and a great family dog. Despite being much larger than a cat, they get along with everyone they meet, including felines. Labradors and cats get along because the former are generally gentle, easy-going, and intelligent.
The Labrador has an excellent reputation with children and other animals. Their drive to retrieve is more significant than their drive to hunt, so they will be more likely to play with kittens than attack them. Ranked among the most popular in the nation, this dog breed is good with cats.
11. English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniels are lively, loving, and very friendly breeds of dogs. They are good at making friends, so getting along with a cat will not be hard for them. The Spaniels tend to have a low tolerance when it comes to being alone, so a cat should be a good companion for them. However, these dogs can be so energetic at times that they tend to chase around cats.
Fortunately, English Springer Spaniels are easy to train. As long as they are socialized with cats from a young age, there will be no problem getting along.
These dogs with butterfly-shaped ears, about a cat’s size, are friendly, pleasant, and love to join any activity. Having cats in the same house would not be a problem because they make a good Papillon companion.
If Papillon is introduced to animals at a very young age, they could see your cat as a friend. Papillon is also responsible for dogs and takes their duties as family companions. However, these dogs can be so fearless that they often boss around pets much bigger than them.
These fluffy, small, and lazy dogs are similar to a toy poodle. Categorized as a toy, the Maltese is a gentle companion with a laid-back attitude. They love to snuggle even with cats and respect personal space that they wouldn’t even bother chasing your cat. Curling up and napping for long stretches are a few of their hobbies, and they are very low-maintenance.
If you have older cats, this breed is one of the dog breeds that can get along with them. Maltese is usually seen lying on the couch, ignoring anything else going on, including any cat’s movements.
14. Irish Setter
Irish Setter puppies are big, clumsy, and handful at times. With their clumsiness and enthusiasm, you might think that this dog is more than enough alone. But their adolescent stage does not last forever. Being raised with cats can make them get along fast without training. However, they are easy to train and can settle down into obedient and respectful adult dogs.
They are relaxed around kids and cats, making them an excellent addition to any household filled with different kinds of pets. With their tolerance, they most likely won’t even bother your cat.
Full of energy and playful, the Poodle gets along with everyone. You can choose from the following Poodle sizes:
- Standard – more than 15 inches tall
- Miniature – 10 to 15 inches tall
- Toy – less than 10 inches that are famous because of their appearance
Luckily, all-size Poodles do well with cats. Poodles love spending time with their families, are affectionate and adaptable, including sharing space with cats. They are cat-friendly dogs because of their intelligence and calm nature. Their coat is also hypoallergenic, making them an excellent choice for owners who have allergies.
16. Portuguese Water Dog
Considered one of the dog breeds that get along with cats, the Portuguese Water Dog is brilliant and has a happy temperament. It has a hypoallergenic coat and is relatively rare in the UK. However, Portuguese Water Dogs can intimidate cats because of their active lifestyle but can get used to as they live together.
With their loving, independent, and intellectual qualities, they will quickly get along with cats. These dogs are also easy to train and good-natured. They are generally friendly to strangers and enjoy affection.
17. Shetland Sheepdog
The most adaptable among herding dogs are Shetland Sheepdog. They are rare, beautiful dogs with long hair, high intelligence, and are very affectionate. Shetland Sheepdogs do not mind sharing space with cats. They are obedient and easy to train; thus, having a cat around is no problem.
Shetland Sheepdogs are incredibly loyal to their owners where they even shadow them due to their attachment. This hardworking dog is an excellent addition to your cat-loving family.
18. Silky Terrier
These small and long-haired dogs do not require much exercise and would rather stay at home. If you have cats because they don’t need walks, Silky Terriers are the best choice for you. They make a great companion for your feline and are amenable to living with other pets. However, keep in mind that it is crucial to keep them busy and socialize them for some time.
Silky Terriers are more independent than other toy breeds, yet they are still affectionate and loyal to their masters. As long as they are trained well and socialized, having them with a feline will go smoothly.
Famous as one of the smallest dog breeds, Pomeranians would weigh less than your cats. They are great lap dogs and do not mind living with cats, and their small size makes them less intimidating. With this in mind, Pomeranians are a dog breed that is good with animals and get along with them if properly trained and socialized.
Pomeranians also hate to be alone, so having a cat as a companion will benefit them. They are also very affectionate and make excellent pets because they are not an overly dependent breed.
Known as “The Gentle Giant,” Newfoundlands are protective, patient, and laid-back. They are good with children, affectionate towards their owners, and are even good with other pets. With their low energy levels, they won’t even think of bothering your cats. They love napping and lying down, hence making them great with cats who love to relax as well.
Even though they are famous for their calmness and docile nature, they still have tremendous strength. They are the perfect dog breeds for cats because they take many things in stride, such as cat’s stubbornness.
Cat-Friendly Dog Breeds: FAQ
There might still be other questions you have in mind if you have both cats and dogs around. Having both pets at home may not be a walk in the park. But there’s no need to fret since there are ways to keep a healthy relationship between them. The following answers can further guide you to ensure that both your canine and feline friends live along well together.
Many dog breeds may not get along with cats because of their high prey drive. A few dog breeds with this personality that don’t do well with cats are Alaskan Malamute, Basenji, Doberman Pinscher, Norwegian Elkhound, Shiba Inu, and Whippet. It is the cat’s owner’s responsibility to research before allowing the dog to co-habitat with the cat.
Dogs can get violent with cats. Dogs and cats may tend to bicker with each other. Even though some can live in harmony, there can still be mishaps at times. Some dogs may want to chase after cats because they see them as prey. In extreme cases, a dog with high predatory aggression can injure or even kill them.
Albeit most dogs can eat cat food, cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements. Cats need a much higher protein since they are obligate carnivores; hence they must eat meat as a biological necessity. Meanwhile, dogs are omnivores and should have both meat and vegetables. Having them eat the same food may cause complications because they don’t have the proper nutrients to stay healthy.
The answer can be dependent on the individual more than the gender, However, there are some differences. Both sexes have distinct traits and biological functions that identify their personalities. Females tend to be moodier, and males more affectionate. Although males are mostly more aggressive, this is not true of all the breeds.
When you have more than one cat or dog, opposite sexes get along better than having the same sexes. They see each other as less of a threat when it comes to mating and status within the social pack. Nevertheless, owners must keep in mind that in the end, it’s all about personality regardless of sex since every pet has its unique character.
Stopping your dog from chasing your cat can be done in many ways but takes time and patience. Positive reinforcement, redirecting their behavior, and teaching your dog basic commands can cut down their prey behavior. When a dog becomes fixated on a cat, it becomes obsessed over it. From just growling to barking, it will lead to constant lunging and chasing. Keeping them entertained can give your cat a safe space to relax. If none of these works, try to introduce them to each other all over again.
There are dog breeds that are good with cats due to their affection and temperament. Some breed dogs do not like being alone, so having a feline companion can make them feel safe. The Cavalier King Charles, Golden Retriever, and Papillon are recommended breeds when cohabiting with cats. Having both pets in your home requires proper knowledge and responsibility. Keep in mind that the best thing for the two different species is to train them properly more than anything.