best dog breeds for cats

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Dogs and cats have many times been known to have a tenuous relationship. After all, they are both predators.

However, there are some dog breeds that do amazingly well with cats. Even the ones that aren’t originally known to be the best dog breeds for cats.

These dogs typically have a calm demeanor and are not territorial. Most of them are smaller in size, as larger dogs can unintentionally scare cats.

Some dog breeds are natural hunters and have a high prey drive which can make them dangerous to have around cats. Fortunately, most dogs can get along with cats and make the perfect pet for cat parents.

How to Find the Best Pet Pairs

If you are a cat owner and are thinking about getting a dog, there are two things you need to have in mind.

First of all;

The dog breeds

What breed of dog should you get? A dog who is good with felines will be friendly and gentle. This means that the dog won’t chase or frighten your kitty and won’t eat any of their treats.

Most dogs are not made equal when it comes to how they interact with cats. Some breeds may behave better than others based on personality and natural instincts.

It’s important to avoid dog breeds that have strong hunting instincts, as they may see cats as prey.

how to introduce a cat to a dog

If you are adopting a dog from an animal shelter, ask the staff if there are any dogs in the shelter who have been previously exposed to cats.

Find out the breeds that seem to get along well with felines. This can be a great way to find a dog who is already comfortable around cats. They will certainly make friends with your household pets.

With a little patience and understanding, even the most unlikely dog-cat pair can learn to live together in harmony.

How do you introduce your pets?

The key to introducing a dog to a cat is to do so gradually, giving them time to get used to each other’s scents and presence.

It’s important to choose a dog that is not too large or energetic, as this can intimidate or even injure a small cat when chasing them.

Lack of proper introduction might make your cat suffer stress and anxiety. This might lead to serious behavioral problems and a whole lot of other medical issues.

Why Some Dog Breeds Are Better with Cats

Some dog breeds are better with cats than others. Often, this has to do with the dog’s personality and temperament.

For example, dogs that are calm and meek tend to get along better with cats than those that are more active and playful.

best dog breeds for cats

Additionally, dogs that are not territorial will also naturally make better friends with cats. This is because cats are often seen as a threat by dogs that are protective of their territory. While dogs that don’t view cats as a threat can typically coexist peacefully.

Finally, size also plays a role in how well a dog breed gets along with cats. Smaller dogs are often less intimidating to cats and are less likely to accidentally hurt them while playing.

20 Dog Breeds That Are Good with Cats

While any dog can learn to get along with cats, these cat-friendly dog breeds are a great place to start your search:

Small Dog Breeds That Get Along with Cats

1. Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is a terrier-like Pinscher dog that is known for their fun-loving character. This breed typically has a calm demeanor and is not territorial, making them a great choice for families with cats.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very popular dog breed in the world for a reason – they love everyone. This includes cats, who will usually be quite comfortable around Cavaliers.

They are highly adaptable and you can introduce them to an adult cat at any time.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

3. Bichon Frise

Bichons are small, friendly dogs that have been known to get along well with cats. They’re not too active and don’t require a lot of exercise, making them a good fit for households with cats.

Bichon Frise will probably make best friends with cats when raised together.

4. American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog is a lively breed that loves to chase after balls and play with toys. They are also one of the best dog breeds for cats because they are gentle and tolerant of felines.

They can do perfectly fine, especially when raised with household cats.  

5. Australian Terrier

Like the American Eskimo Dog, the Australian Terrier is a lively breed that loves to play games and make rounds outside.

They also have a very tolerant attitude towards cats and will often let them do their own thing without getting too worked up about it.

6. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers nicknamed ‘the American Gentleman’ is another small breed of dog that is often cat-friendly. They’re playful and enjoy romping around, but they’re also calm and relaxed indoors.

Boston Terrier

7. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dogs are in both hairless and hairy-hairless kinds. Both types can be great friends with cats provided they’re introduced properly at a young age.

These dogs are generally very easy-going and low energy, making them perfect for a multi-pet home.

8. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terriers is a good choice for multi-pet homes because they’re small and good-natured. They are also smart dogs who learn quickly how to respect other animals within their environment.

This makes them charming companions for cats and owners who want to pair pets without having to worry about their safety when playing.

9. Havanese

Havanese are gentle dogs who are not quick to aggression. They make good household pets since they get along well with cats and other dogs alike.

Havanese love sharing their moments with their owners, cats, and dogs alike.

10. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas will usually make good friends with cats. As a matter of fact, many cats are slightly bigger than chihuahuas and so they will not feel threatened.

Chihuahuas are mostly assertive and lively. Your cat will most likely accept the demeanor of this little pup and the two will live perfectly.

11. Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin was initially bred to be a companion animal. They are naturally loving, and adoring, and can make good friends with cats. This friendship transcends down to other dogs and children as well. 

12. Poodle

Poodles are very smart dogs and they make great friends with cats and other pets. They form quick bonds with felines, so you can expect them to live well in your home.


Poodles also have a lot of liveliness, so you will need to give them plenty of exercises if you want them to be happy.

Medium & Large Dog Breeds

13. Bulldog

Bulldogs are typically laidback and gentle animals that make good companions for cats. As long as you socialize your bulldog early on with your cat, they should be able to get along just fine together.

14. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retrievers are smart dogs that find pleasure in interacting with people. They are friendly, affectionate, and good with cats.

Relaxed Golden retriever

Goldens are not inherently aggressive or protective, so you can expect your cat to feel safe around them.

They can live in your house without too much trouble if you take care of their exercise needs; at least two hours a day.

15. English Setter

The English Setter is an easy-to-train dog who can also be a great companion for cats. It’s a good family pet that gets along with multiple pets.

The English Setter is not only good for cats, but they also love children too. This makes them an ideal choice for the whole family because of their sweet personality.

16. Labrador Retriever

Are Labrador Retrievers good with cats? These pups are a great choice for families with cats. They are one of the most popular breeds in America – and it’s no wonder why!

Labradors are friendly, outgoing, and love to play hence making a good feline companion.

Labrador Retriever playing

They’re not naturally aggressive towards other animals, so they can be handled with ease by owners who are new to caring for pets.

The Lab has also been shown to have a high tolerance for other household pets. This makes it easy for you to introduce your cat without having any issues at all.

17. Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are another breed that is known for being tolerant of cats in the home. They are laid back and docile by nature. Meaning they typically won’t bother the cat unless they pose a threat or gets in their way.

18.  Beagle

Are Beagles good with cats? This small scent hound tends to get along well with cats. They are mellow and naturally loving, and this makes them a great choice for cat families who want to add a dog to their homes.

Dog sitting on a floor

They may once in a while chase your cat while in the yard but there’s no need to worry. Beagles were originally bred to be hunters but they get amazingly well with felines.

19. Newfoundlands

They’re known as gentle giants because of their calm and sweet personalities. They don’t have a high prey drive, so they’re very unlikely to chase cats or other pets around the house

20. English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel has been popular among families for many years. They are affectionate, playful, and good with cats.

These dogs make wonderful family pets because of their demeanor and companionship to their human family.

You might be needed to slowly introduce your cat to this breed before leaving them together. Their energy levels can be very high, which means that they are inclined to run and chase.

In addition, these dogs need plenty of exercises. Train them regularly so that they don’t develop behavioral problems like biting or chewing furniture due to boredom.

Frequently Asked Questions

       i. Are male or female dogs better with cats?

This is a common question that dog owners ask when they are considering adding a feline friend to their family.

Some people believe that male dogs are gentler and more affectionate to cats. And that some females can be quite dog-aggressive.

The fact is, both male and female dogs can be better for cats. It will ultimately depend on the individual dog’s temperament and not gender.

    ii. Is it easy to introduce a dog to a cat?

Some dogs and cats are easy to befriend, while others may take a little longer to get used to each other.

It is important to give both the dog and the cat plenty of time to adjust to each other’s personalities.

If you started on a low note, don’t worry! You can always start the introduction process and still get the best results.

Always make sure that there are plenty of places for the cat to escape if they feel threatened. Having a tall cat tree is a good way to give them a place to retreat when needed.

 iii. How long does it take cats to get used to dogs?

This period varies depending on the individual pets involved. Some cats will need just a few days to get along with a dog.

Others may take a month or more to accept or even put up with each other. Be patient when you bring a new dog home. It is important not to force your pets into close contact before they get used to each other.

  iv. What are the worst dog breeds for cats?

Every dog is different, but some dog breeds will take much longer to get along with cats. These breeds are both small and large.

They are of particularly high energy drive, and this may not be the best choice for homes with cats.

In addition to being highly territorial, these breeds can be very aggressive toward cats when not closely monitored.

They include:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Jack Russell Terriers
  • Miniature pinscher
  • Weimaraner
  • Rottweilers
  • Greyhound

Don’t miss out on the full list of the worst dog breeds for cats from our comprehensive article. We have also explained in detail why each dog is unfriendly to cats.

With careful introductions and supervision, even these dogs can learn to live peacefully with felines.

The best way to ensure your cat is safe is by keeping your dog under control at all times, whether you’re home or away.

Start by training your dog to sit and stay. Make sure they learn your commands because this will help to restrain them from attacking cats. You can use dog treats to reward them during the training sessions.

If your pup feels that their territories have been encroached into, make sure to pet your dog in the right way to calm them and pass your affections.

It’s also important to go on walks with your pets regularly so that they can learn each other’s personalities.

In Conclusion

While the best dog breeds for cats are naturally more outgoing and friendly, all dogs can be trained to get along with cats with proper socialization.

It’s essential to look into the temperament of a breed before making your final decision on the one to adopt.

Is your dog a cat-friendly breed? Let us know in the comments below. 

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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