There are dog people and there are cat people — but what about those of us who love both? Can we have a cat and a dog in our household, or are they truly mortal enemies? Rest assured, dogs and cats can become the best of friends, or at least learn to peacefully coexist. If you already have a cat at home and are looking to add a dog, choosing the right breed will go a long way toward a harmonious relationship.
Certain breed groups are more likely to get along with cats than others. For example, the Toy Group consists of breeds that are affectionate and sociable. They were bred to be companions and lap warmers. Members of the Sporting Group are friendly and outgoing. These happy-go-lucky dogs are pleased to make friends with anybody they meet, including cats.
On the other hand, the spirited Terriers were developed to hunt and kill vermin. A fast-moving cat could trigger those feisty predatory instincts. And the sighthounds of the Hound Group are hardwired for a chase. No cat will appreciate being the target of that kind of attention. Finally, members of the Herding Group have a strong desire to herd anything that moves, including their owner and children. Some cats might find this too annoying to tolerate.
Keep in mind that these are generalizations. Most dog breeds can live calmly with a cat if they are socialized as puppies and are trained to leave the cat alone. Teaching your dog a “leave it” cue and a strong “stay” can help keep the peace. Proper introductions will also help, and it’s a good idea to make sure the cat always has an escape route. Never leave your new dog alone with your cat until you are positive they won’t have issues.
The individual personality of both the dog and cat will also come into play. For example, an older cat that likes to be left alone might not mix well with an overly bouncy puppy. Do your research before bringing a dog into your cat-owning family and speak with potential breeders about the suitability of a given breed for a multi-pet household. To start your investigation, here are nine breeds that are likely to make suitable companions for your cat.
Dog Breeds That Are Typically Good With Cats
These are loyal, patient, and low-key dogs. Training may be a bit of a challenge because they have the hounds’ stubborn streak, but their mild-mannered outlook on life makes them friendly and tolerant of other animals.
Beagles were bred to hunt in packs, so they are typically friendly with other animals. Their happy-go-lucky nature makes them a pleasure to live with. They are loving companions that are likely to see cats as just another member of the pack.
These thickset, heavy dogs could certainly intimidate a cat if they wanted to, but they are renowned for their kind temperament. They are friendly toward all other creatures, and their easygoing personality makes it likely that they’ll enjoy your cat’s company.
These are adaptable, affectionate, and gentle little dogs, with a fearless personality. Although not much bigger than a cat, they aren’t likely to be intimidated. They are not only beautiful and wonderful companions, but also love other animals.
These members of the Herding Group are famous for their love of children. For some, that love can extend to cats. Collies are athletic, and do best with a lot of exercise and companionship. They are vocal dogs that tend to be tolerant of other family pets.
These dogs are known for their playful personalities. They need a good amount of daily exercise, but their adaptability and outgoing nature make them a potentially great cat companion.
These enthusiastic dogs are far larger than a cat, but they have more than enough love to give. Labs are kind and outgoing and are known to get along with everyone they meet, regardless of species. They are gentle, intelligent, and eager to please.
These butterfly-eared dogs are about the size of a cat, but their happy and curious nature means they could see your cat as a friend. These dogs like to join in on whatever fun the family is having, even if it involves a cat.
Pugs pack a lot of love into a little body. These adorable pups have a ton of personality and love attention. A cat can help keep them company when their humans are away. They may be small, but they are tough enough to have a feline playmate.