Are Dogs Good With Cats? (Best Dog and Cat Breeds)


Pet owners are usually labeled ‘cat lovers’ or ‘dog lovers’, even though many people love them equally and wish to have both living under the same roof. But whether any given dog and cat breed can get along brilliantly is another matter.

Dogs can mesh well with cats if they socialize with them as puppies and highly affectionate breeds such as Spaniels and Retrievers are more likely to view cats as companions. However, natural hunting breeds such as Terriers may be trickier to tame around felines.

Although certain dog breeds are better suited to cats, the individual dog’s personality plays a big role in cat compatibility. Always ask individual breeders about your pet’s temperament before introducing them to your home. In the meantime, we hope the following article clears up a few concerns.

7 Dog Breeds That Are Good With Cats

Golden Retriever

Goldies are known as one of the friendliest ad most empathetic dog breeds on the planet, which can be a calming influence on fearful or easily agitated cats. They’re also naturally very outgoing and easy to please, making them eager to make friends with others in their environment.

Collie

Thanks to their high intelligence, the sweet, dependable Collie can gauge how to interact around cats and will find it easier than most to adapt to their need for space. As fiercely loyal dogs, they will show a strong tolerance for other pets if the rest of the family does.

Beagle

Beagles have a long history as pack dogs so this natural group instinct – coupled with their affable nature – makes them ideal companions for cats since they’ll come to see your kitty as another pack member. This mentality also makes them hard-wired to share their environment/owner/playtime with others

Labrador Retriever

These gentle giants are the top pick for emotional support and rescue animals due to their natural ability to be cooperative and understanding with anyone they meet. Labs are also very unlikely to be aggressive, which bodes well for provocative cats.

Pug

Their pint-sized stature and laid-back personality make pugs a non-threatening breed in the eyes of a cat. Though they can be balls of energy at times, they don’t lean into aggressive tendencies like barking, chewing, or similar behaviors that could provoke unease in cats.

Basset Hound

While a natural stubbornness can make training a challenge, Basset Hounds are generally a mellow, patient breed which helps enormously when introducing them to your cat for the first time. Aside from occasional howling, this is a pretty chilled and friendly pooch.

Cocker Spaniel

This adorable breed combines the best of a playful and passive nature – they love to run off energy and share in group games but they’re also laid-back enough to tolerate (and even love) a gentle paw-tapping or licking from their feline companion.

7 Dog Breeds That Are Not Good With Cats

Greyhound

This lightning-quick breed was bred for hunting small game, so less well-trained dogs will view cats and other small animals as prey to chase. Their overpowering size and speed can be dangerous around cats, especially kittens, so constant supervision is needed.

Siberian Husky

Huskies are fiercely strong, energetic, and have a penchant for chasing smaller animals in their environment. Though this behavior can be trained out of them, it won’t be easy as it’s in their nature to hunt for food in the snowy wilderness, and they may view cats as their prey.

Pit Bull Terrier

Although their affectionate nature makes them a winner with humans, a fellow cat in the home is likely to feel threatened by their strength and energy. Most larger Terriers like Pit Bulls are very sturdy, powerful dogs and could easily hurt a cat during a chase or even during casual play.

Weimaraner

As wonderful as Weimeraraners are in family homes, they are fast and extremely athletic dogs with an instinct to hunt rabbits, foxes, squirrels, and any other small animals in their path. Early socialization with your cat may dampen these instincts, but it is no guarantee.

Shih Tzu

While this breed is hugely affectionate and fun to be around, it also demands a lot of love and attention – and will easily become envious if it notices your cat enjoying playtime with you. As they’re of a similar size to your feline, Shih Tzu’s will also attempt to invade cat-friendly spaces.

Scottish Deerhound

This colossal breed is friendly, but is also a natural-born hunter of deer and other small game – and this is likely to include cats. In some cases, these dogs will enjoy chasing with no intention of causing harm but at their size, serious injury could still occur.

Schnauzer

As fairly hyper and energetic dogs, Schnauzers love barking and chasing things to run off steam. They are also fiercely protective and love to act as watchdogs. Although these instincts can be tamed around your cat, your feline friend is likely to feel quite intimidated by this behavior.

What Cat Breeds Are Good With Dogs?

American Short Hair

This well-loved family-friendly cat is a social butterfly and will enjoy playtime with dogs once they have become acclimatized to their company. They are also a very intelligent breed and are capable of standing up to dogs if they feel threatened or uncomfortable.

Maine Coon

At 16 inches tall and up to 25 lbs, these are large and boisterous cats who love to rough and tumble and play fetch, making them the perfect companion for canines. They also display other dog-like traits such as walking on a leash and answering their owner’s call!

Japanese Bobtail

This fun-loving breed loves to keep active by playing fetch, retrieving toys, walking on a leash, and performing tricks – making them ideal companions for equally energetic and playful pups. They can also be quite ‘chatty’ cats, which makes them a great match for lively, barking dogs.

Birman

Birman cats tend to have a mild, sweet disposition which bodes well for adapting to a new canine pal. On the flip side, this breed can also be silly and mischievous, enjoying a game of fetch and chasing others– giving them lots in common with your pet pooch!

Ragdoll

This large, beautiful breed is often dubbed a “puppy-cat” due to how well its personality mirrors dogs! For starters, Ragdolls can be successfully trained to perform tricks such as begging and rolling over. They can also be trained to use a leash and are highly affectionate.

Siberian Cat

Siberian cats are strong and adventurous types owing to their wild Russian heritage and are unafraid of sharing their space with others. Smaller dog breeds may view Siberians as alphas since they are quite muscular, self-confident, and playful.

Abyssinian

Abyssinians are among the most curious breed of cats and, much like a dog, they love to explore their environment. This lively temperament means they aren’t shy about expressing themselves and relish the companionship of another four-legged friend to join their fun!

Will Dogs Hurt Cats?

Larger dogs can accidentally injure or even kill cats depending on the circumstances. If the dog has not been exercised enough or if they are ill, pent-up aggression or lack of stimulation can lead them to chase or bite cats. Early training and gradual socialization can greatly limit these risks.

Can a Dog Communicate With a Cat?

They cannot communicate verbally as meows and barking sounds are not an interchangeable language between the species. However, dogs learn to pick up on certain cat moods based on their body language over time, just as cats learn that growls and bites differ from excitable barks.

How Long Does it Take For a Dog to Get Used to a Cat?

Pet behaviorist Liz Palika suggests that owners should expect an “acquaintance period of around 2-3 weeks”. Training a particularly aggressive dog breed to tolerate a new cat may take longer, which is why gentle introductions and long-term supervision are key.

Can Dogs Fall in Love With Cats?

Yes, but this is closer to a platonic bond and desire for companionship than human “romantic love”. Former animal behavior researcher Dr. Marc Bekoff suggests that dogs are more likely to experience love when cuddling and interacting with cats as they release more oxytocin (the love hormone) than cats do.

Are Male or Female Cats Better With Dogs?

On balance, neutered male cats are more compatible with dogs as they tend to be more affectionate, laid-back, and friendlier compared to females, who tend to be more aggressive, especially during heat.

Why Are My Cats Attacking My Dog?

Cats will attack dogs out of fear, jealousy, aggression, or stress. A step towards preventing attacks is to ensure cats have their own space for feeding, playing, and relaxing, as the dog’s disturbance of these areas may be viewed as territorial aggression.

Do Cats Get Jealous of Dogs?

If a cat has been poorly socialized and is co-dependant on you for exercise, play and attention, the arrival of a new dog will incite jealous behaviors in your cat such as hissing and growling at the dog, scratching/chewing furniture, or urinating outside their litter box.

Are Cats Scared of Dogs?

Cats are instinctually fearful of any animal that they perceive as a potential predator and can become intimidated by a dog’s size, high energy, and aggressive tendencies such as incessant barking. However, this fear is less likely to develop if they are raised or socialized among dogs from a young age.

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