Dogs and cats have never been known to be the best of friends and are classic rivals in many households, however, some breeds can get along famously with cats.
The best dogs for cats are Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, Beagles, Collies, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Bulldogs.
If you are the kind of person that loves dogs and cats, there is no reason why you can’t have both of these amazing animals in your home. Traditionally, most households have had to determine whether they are going to have cats or dogs in the house, as these two very different pets have a reputation of not getting along too well. However, this stigma has been generalized without taking into account the different types of personalities of dog breeds. It goes without saying that some dog breeds simply were not meant to share a living space with cats. Whereas other pups have been known to become the best of pals with their feline counterparts. To help you create a household environment that is both cat and dog-friendly, we are going to take you through some breeds that are suitable for this type of dynamic.
After years of working as a pet trainer, I have had an extensive amount of experience integrating cats and dogs to co-exist in the same living space. My experience has taught me that by choosing the right dog breed, you can successfully create a household dynamic that is fitting for both types of pets.
For years, pet owners have been conflicted about the type of animal that they want to share their home with. Whether it is your kids nagging at you for both a dog and a cat or your own personal love for both of these amazing pets, making a decision on this matter can be extremely challenging. At the end of the day, if you are going to open up your home to share it with your pet(s), you want to know that there will be harmony within the household.
Luckily, there are some amazing dog breeds out there that can easily become best friends with your cat. This is a relieving thought to most cat and dog lovers, as it means that this outdated rivalry can finally be put to rest and we can open up our homes to the pets that we have always wanted. The reason for this is that much like humans, dogs can greatly vary in their behavior and personality traits based on the historic upbringing of the breed.
There are plenty of breeds that have the potential to get along well with cats but the ones that have typically shown the most compatibility are dogs that are less hyperactive. If you have a pup with more energy than it knows what to do with, preying on the household cat is going to be instinctive out of pure boredom, which is why you want to be sure to give your dog plenty of daily exercise so that it does not become restless at home.
With that being said, how well your dog ends up getting along with your cat will be determined by how well you integrate the two. A huge aspect of this will come with your dog’s level of training and discipline, which always needs to start early in life. If you take the time to properly train your dog to befriend your cat, there is no reason why you cannot have a household that is both cat and dog-friendly. Let's dive right into the best dogs for cats!
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
There is no dog breed out there that will get along better with your cat than a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This breed has an almost unusual tendency to befriend and belove the cats that it comes into contact with, which defies just about all of the dog/cat logic that we grew up with.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very small breed and is utterly adorable. Their light fluffy coats and big floppy ears make them irresistible to any owner - and even any cat! This dog breed will adopt your cat as one of its own and will show it the same amount of love as it will to you.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets along so well with cats is that they are lap dogs at heart. They enjoy cuddling and snuggling more than any other dog in the world, which means that you shouldn’t be surprised to find both your cat and your dog sharing your lap at the same time.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is extremely easy to socialize and will get along with anyone that they come into contact with. Their energy levels are usually low to moderate, which is perfect for a cat household, as you will definitely not see this breed chasing its feline friend around the house.
In addition, their small size and lack of hyperactive behavior make them one of the few dogs that are compatible with compact living spaces. With that being said, they will be much happier and more social if you adequately take them out of the house and introduce them to other humans, dogs, and cats.
Many pet owners mistakenly think that larger dogs are going to be less compatible with cats. However, nothing could be further from the truth, as some breeds like Labrador Retrievers have a reputation for being some of the most cat-friendly dogs out there. These amazing dogs are large in size but are extremely lovable and easy to get along with - even if you are a cat!
The Labrador Retriever is a classic American family dog that is known for nestling into just about any family dynamic. Their level of intelligence makes them incredibly easy to train, so they should be very susceptible to discipline and obedience commands. With that being said, Labrador Retrievers are also extremely playful dogs and can potentially be a bit hyperactive, which can be problematic for cats in some cases.
If you want your Labrador Retriever to have a good relationship with your cat, you need to make sure that they are not strangers to one another and that they view themselves as being part of the same camp. Labrador Retrievers will show allegiance to their owners first and foremost, which is why you want to make the association that your cat is part of the family and that you are all in it together.
Taking the time to properly train your Labrador Retriever during those crucial puppy years, will make all of the difference in how your dog and your cat perceive each other. If you have gone through your dog training properly and are pursuing active integration, there is no reason why your Labrador Retriever and your cat can’t become pals.
If there is one dog breed that is sure to get along well with your cat it is the Basset Hound. These hound dogs are as chill as they come and do not have a reputation for causing a ruckus around the house. They like to take things slow and can’t be bothered with chasing the household cat around - regardless of whether they like them or not.
Basset Hounds have traditionally been hunting dogs and are used to having plenty of company around - whether it is humans, other dogs, or even cats, which means that socializing these pups is going to be a breeze. They have a laid back attitude and would much rather prefer to be couch potatoes or stroll around the house looking for stuff to sniff.
Many Basset Hound owners have shared that their dogs and their cats have even become best friends in many households. Their low energy and small size make them a very compatible breed for just about any cat, so if you want both of your pets to become buddies for life, you really can’t go wrong with a Basset Hound.
However, training Basset Hounds can be a bit challenging for some owners, which can prove to be problematic at times for cats. These hound dogs have a reputation for being quite stubborn and have a tendency to be obstinate towards authority, which is why you want to dive into basic training right off the bat to ensure that discipline does not become an issue later on in life. In addition, integrating the two animals during this period can also be vital, so that they are used to each other from an early age.
If you want a dog that is as adorable as it is cat-friendly, the Beagle has got you covered. These fun-loving hunting dogs will fill your home with joy and most likely the occasional howl. Just like most hunting dogs, Beagles have had a history of being around humans and other animals, which makes them very compatible with cat households.
They have got just the right amount of energy and are not known for being too hyperactive. However, you can see some fluctuations in this depending on the setting they are in. Given that Beagles are notorious hunting dogs, they may become a bit more energetic when they are outside. These pups are used to chasing down prey and diving headfirst into fox holes, so you can expect them to follow these instincts when in the backyard or visiting the dog park.
If your cat happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you may find that your Beagle may pursue an innocent chase around the yard, but don’t feel threatened by this behavior as it is unlikely that there is any bad intention or serious threat at hand. Beagles are not aggressive dogs and usually have a very good temperament.
When Beagles are indoors, they will be much more relaxed and their energy levels will stabilize. This kind of setting will bring out the companionship between your Beagle and your cat, as they are likely to befriend one another when indoors. Many Beagle owners adore the relationships that their pups develop with their cats, which often results in the two becoming snuggle buddies.
Collies are hands down one of the smartest pups in the world and are extremely loyal dogs. They have a history of being herder dogs, which leaves many owners wondering whether this breed will be compatible with their cats. Collies can be great companions for your household cat. If your cat is ingrained within the family and your Collie can sense that, they will show their feline friend as much love and loyalty as they do to you.
Their intelligence means that they have a lot of capacity for adopting cats and other pets into their lives. They will always respect and obey their owner - provided that they have received adequate training and have been disciplined properly.
With that being said, Collies need to be approached with careful consideration. Given that this breed is so intelligent, they need to be trained properly so that they do not develop a rebellious or stubborn attitude towards authority, which can ultimately impact the comfort level of your cat. To avoid this from happening, you need to put an emphasis on training early on that is clear and consistent. If you have trained and socialized your Collie well, befriending a household cat will be the least of your pup’s talents.
The Golden Retriever is a classic favorite among American households. These beautiful dogs are considered to be one of the ultimate family dogs and are as lovable as they are big! Many cat owners are immediately intrigued by the sheer size of Golden Retrievers, as their appearance leaves many pet owners with the fear that this dog might just swallow their cat whole.
This is not something that you need to worry about with the Golden Retriever as they are gentle giants that are tender and sweet. Golden Retrievers are not known for being aggressive to humans or even cats. In fact, they are known for befriending just about any cat that they share a home with.
Golden Retrievers are extremely loyal dogs and will enthusiastically display this to their owner. They love their family and will stand by them through thick and thin. If your cat is part of the family dynamic and has not alienated itself in the household, you can expect your Golden Retriever to show its feline sibling the same level of affection.
With that being said, just like any dog, Golden Retrievers need to be properly trained in order for these positive traits to shine through. They are gentle and loving, but they can become hyperactive and disobedient if not disciplined from an early age. Golden Retrievers that were not properly trained have been known to chase cats around the house, which can be as alarming for you as it is for your cat.
To ensure that your Golden Retriever and your cat do not develop a turbulent relationship, you really want to emphasize their shared family dynamic right from the get-go. The best way to do this is to get a Golden Retriever puppy and socialize them with your kitten or fully grown cat. Those early puppy years are when your Golden Retriever will make so much of its associations with your family structure, which is why you want to ingrain this mindset right away.
If size is a factor in your decision-making, Pugs may just be your best bet for a cat-friendly dog. These adorable, easy-going, kind of funny-looking dogs are an amazing breed for cat households. They are gentle and non-confrontational, which means that you can expect there to be harmony in a dog/cat relationship.
Given that Pugs are very small dogs, they do not pose much intimidation or threat to you, your kids, or your cat(s). They are not aggressive in nature and are pretty relaxed as far as energy levels go, so you probably won’t find this pup chasing your cat around the house. And even if it tried, it probably would not be very successful.
Most Pugs are usually pretty low energy and prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, which means that they can easily become couch potatoes. These can be great characteristics for a cat-friendly dog, as they will be much less inclined to show any kind of aggression.
In fact, many cat owners have rejoiced in the relationships that their Pugs often develop with their cats. Pugs are not ones to be too protective or dominant around the house and are happy to share the love with whoever is in the family. It is not uncommon for an owner, a cat, and a pug to all share a cuddle session at the same time. Pugs are also incredibly easy to socialize. They have a natural tendency to avoid aggression and will probably be the most chill ones in the room.
As you may have already guessed, Bulldogs are great with cats. These droopy-faced dogs are easy to love by humans and felines, as they are not aggressive and are happy to share their living space with other pets.
One of the first things that cat owners worry about when introducing a dog into the family dynamic is having their precious furball chased around the house. A bulldog would not be able to pull off this stunt even if it tried! These dogs are slow-moving, unmotivated, and just plain lazy. The last thing on their minds is chasing a cat.
Bulldogs are known for lounging, which is exactly how you can expect them to spend the majority of their day - laying around and probably sleeping. They like to go on casual strolls around the house and maybe even the occasional jog, but that is about as much as you can expect to get out of them on most days. This is good news for any cats that want to avoid confrontation.
With that being said, Bulldogs are also a whole lot of fun to have around the house. They are extremely friendly dogs and have just the right amount of energy to play for a half-hour before calling it quits. In fact, Bulldogs have even been known to play with cats! Some owners have reported their Bulldogs getting along so well with their cats that they even enjoy some friendly wrestling.
The great thing about Bulldogs is that you won’t need to put as much energy into socializing them with your cat for them to get along, as this will come naturally with their easy-going attitude.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright