Cat lovers and dog lovers are often described separately, but what if you love both? If you are a cat lover AND a dog lover, you may be thinking about introducing a dog into your family.
There’s a common idea that cats and dogs do not get along but this isn’t always the case. In fact, there are some dog breeds that get on very well with cats.
Our 10 best dogs for cats are:
- Golden Retrievers
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Labrador Retrievers
- Basset Hounds
Being strategic in your choice of dog breed may help ensure your new dog gets on well with your cat.
This article focuses on the breed’s general characteristics so please keep in mind each dog is an individual and as such, caution should be taken when you are introducing your animals.
Traits to Look Out For
You will want to choose a dog breed that is known for being gentle, social and loving. It is best to avoid breeds that have a high prey drive (such as terriers) as these dogs are more likely to chase your cat.
With that said, you will find many dogs are able to coexist with cats peacefully, the relationship will ultimately depend on the characters of the individual animals and how they are introduced.
- Low prey drive
- Working Dogs are usually protective of family members (including other pets in the home).
- Sporting Dogs are usually friendly and get along with anyone and everyone, cats included.
- Most hounds are used to working in packs so are friendly towards other animals.
- Toy dogs tend to be sociable and loving companions.
Now we have a better idea of the preferred characteristics, let’s take a look at the top breeds:
1. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers love everyone. It’s probably no surprise that this enthusiastic, loyal and intelligent dog has made it onto the best dogs for cats list. Golden Retrievers are very friendly, adaptable and have plenty of love to share.
This breed is also easy to train and tends to be good with all cat breeds. If you are thinking about getting a Golden Retriever, remember they are very active so require a good amount of exercise each day.
Beagles are a popular and natural choice for cat owners thanks to their easy-going character and even temperament. These devoted dogs are bred to live in packs which is a great advantage when it comes to them living with other animals.
Thanks to their pack mentality, Beagles will usually see and accept your cat as another family member straight away. Your cat and beagle will likely cohabit peacefully and you may even find them snuggling together!
In fact we have a Beagle who lives in our house with our cat Whisky, see them hanging out in the picture below:
They get on well for the most part, though Whisky is sometimes irritated by Rufus’s over exuberance and endless desire to play!
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This English toy spaniel is small in size, friendly and affectionate. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are social and tend to get on well with cats.
Their temperament and laid-back nature means they will be able to withstand the attitude of even grumpy, mean cats. This makes these spaniels a great choice for households with bossier cats.
Cockapoos are very popular dogs as they tend to have happy, affectionate personalities. One of the key traits of a Cockapoo is their social nature. These friendly dogs often get on very well with other dogs and cats.
CockapooHQ have shared a helpful write-up that offers plenty of advice and information when it comes to introducing your cat and cockapoo.
One of the things mentioned in the article is that a cat is more likely to be upset about having the dog around than vice versa, and as such it is important to have a large enough space for them both to keep their distance if they decide they need a ‘time-out’ from each other.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog that is more than happy to snuggle up and relax, a Maltese could be the dog for your family. These chilled out dogs don’t require constant stimulation and attention so they can fit into many lifestyles with ease.
Maltese dogs are more than happy to share a space with cats while at the same time they are relaxed enough to keep to themselves so if your cat prefers the quiet life, this breed may be a good option.
These small dogs have big personalities. Pugs are lively and don’t tend to be aggressive. They love to snuggle and their gentle nature helps them get on well with cats.
A pug would likely love the company of your cat, particularly when you’re not at home. Pugs may like to play and tease a cat so are better in homes where cats will not be put off by the pugs occasional, playful advances.
7. Labrador Retrievers
Although large in size, Labradors have gentle personalities. They are very outgoing and generally they get along with everybody, including cats.
Labradors are also incredibly tolerant so if your cat loves to climb on them, chase their tail or lay on top of them it won’t be a problem for the loving lab. Labradors are eager to please, easy to train and are tolerant of even difficult felines.
8. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds love their owners and anything their owner loves, so they’ll love (or at least tolerate) your cat just because you want them to. Even if your cat is particularly stubborn and grumpy, a Basset Hound will be unconcerned.
The only thing this breed might be unhappy with is if the cat is getting way more attention than they are. Aside from this, it’s unlikely a Basset Hound will cause any problems.
Bulldogs are medium dogs that love to play and snooze. They make great companions and will be more than happy to nap the day away laying side by side with your cat.
Bulldogs have gentle natures and most get on well with other pets. This breed is easy-going, friendly and low-maintenance, requiring only short walks. So, if you and your cat have a tendency for quiet days cuddling on the sofa, a Bulldog will fit right in.
These small, short legged dogs are not only adorable with their long body and pointy ears, they are also very friendly. The love that a corgi has doesn’t stop at the humans in the family, it extends to other pets too, including cats.
The great thing about Corgis is that they are very adaptable and can fit into most lifestyles with ease. A Corgi will get to know your cat and will adapt their behaviour to ensure they keep the peace with their new feline friend.
As you can see, there is lots of variation in the top 10 dog breeds for living with cats but all of the breeds are known for being friendly, gentle and loving.
If you do decide to introduce a dog into your family, be sure the dog breed you choose will not clash with your cat and remember it is best to avoid breeds that are bred to hunt and chase.
Whatever breed you choose, keep in mind that every animal is an individual.
Introductions should be taken slowly and cautiously, don’t forget to offer treats and positive reinforcement throughout the process. Also, make sure your cat has a quiet place to go to get some space away from the dog.