Choosing the Best Dog Breed for Your Cats

Choosing the Best Dog Breed for Your Cats

If you’re looking to add a dog friend to your cat family, you’ll want to look for breeds that have incredible personalities, which can help foster a good relationship with your feline fur babies. It’s not always easy, but if you choose the right breed and follow a few simple steps you should be well on your way to a happy dog- and cat-filled home.

Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Your Cats

Deciding on the ideal dog breed for your cat is the first step when inviting a dog to your feline family. Below are the top choices among dog and cat lovers, trainers, and experienced pet parents alike.

1. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever and British shorthair

These large dogs bear the biggest personalities. Golden retrievers have room for everyone in their hearts, especially your cats. They are highly adaptable, affectionate, and sweet as you get to know them. In fact, golden retrievers might even become best friends with your cat! This gentle breed tops the list for almost all cats, even the temperamental ones.

2. Beagle

Beagle with kitten

These floppy ears are sure to love your cat in their own hyperactive ways. The instinctual “pack mentality” of beagles will let them consider your cats as a part of their pack. Thus, they wouldn’t mind having felines inside your home. Their amiable nature might intimidate your cat at first, but it makes them great cat companions.

3. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever with a cat

Labrador retrievers are another gentle giant to consider having in your cat-filled home. These dogs are highly intelligent and friendly, which makes them popular as family fur babies. Their friendly nature makes them great as companions for your cats and other pets. In fact, you might find your cats cuddled up very often with your Lab.

4. Maltese

Maltese puppy and chinchilla cat

Perhaps a lot of experienced pet owners will tell you that Maltese dogs are like cats – classy, laid-back, and indifferent. These characteristics, coupled with being tiny and low maintenance, make them great cat companions. You might even see them hanging out together in no time, not disturbing each other’s space. A Maltese is your best option if you have a small space to share with your canine and feline companions.

5. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel puppy and British shorthair kitten

These family-oriented dogs will definitely get along with your cats. Cocker spaniels enjoy their sweet time with other people and animals, which makes them compatible with your homely felines. You and your cats will love cuddling with them, fulfilling the lovely cat-and-dog family that you envisioned.

6. Pug

Pug and cat lying on the bed

Anyone who has a pug can describe these adorable dogs in one word: happy. That’s it; they’re just very happy with everything around them. They are very friendly to other people and animals, no matter the size difference. These small dogs have a lot of love inside their tiny bodies, which makes them loved by other pets in your household. You should consider pugs for a lovely home with your cats!

7. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise and a kitten

These playful dogs make good playmates for your cats. A bichon frise is highly sociable, which makes it ideal if your cat isn’t shy. They’re also highly adaptable, which makes them one of the best potential canine companions for your cat. You might even see them more occupied during playtime, as they wrestle each other for enjoyment.

8. Poodle

Poodle pup with a kitten

Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, which makes them highly adaptable inside your home. Their calm and happy nature is considered to be compatible with a cat’s personality. What’s more, you can easily train them with your cats – making it a good time for physical activity. Whichever poodle size you pick, you can expect them to go along with your cats.

9. Boston Terrier

Boston terrier and a Bengal cat

Boston terriers pack a big personality in their tiny bodies. They are easy to train and outgoing. Some might think that they are not ideal with cats, but they are known to be gentle with their companions. Any pet parent with a Boston terrier will notice their politeness and good temper inside their homes.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Maine Coon

Cavaliers are hands down one of the best dog breeds for your cat. They are calm and reserved in nature, respecting their fellow cats in your home. However, they love the presence of your company since it makes them feel more secure. Thus, having a Cavalier with your cat makes a friendship with well-respected boundaries.

How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Cat

It’s important to introduce your cat’s soon-to-be friend at home properly. Perhaps, this is the most taxing part for some, while it may be easy for others. It would help if you were patient, observant, and understanding with your pets as you get them together for the first time.

1. Let Them Get to Know Each Other

This step is to let your cat know for the first time that there will be a new member of the household. Observe your cat’s reaction and adjust whether she will stay away or be curious about her new friend. As for your dog, it is more likely that everything will be new to him, so his adaptive nature will be his ace for this newfound companionship.

2. Allow Them to Set Boundaries

After observing them for a while, allow them to establish an area where they can be by themselves. This will help them be desensitized and more tolerable to each other’s presence inside the house. You might notice that they will stay calm and relaxed with each other while respecting their individual spaces.

3. Train Your Dog

Structured training for your dog can help him get accustomed to your cat. Teach him basic tricks such as sit and stay, even while in the perimeter of your cat. This step makes him more desensitized to your cat, and it might get him your cat’s acceptance and respect.

4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Repetition is mastery. As you repeat these steps daily, you will be able to adjust accordingly based on your observations. Once you get the hang of it, it will be easier to foster a good cat-and-dog relationship inside your home.

What Should I Be Wary Of?

It’s not unusual for pets to be on edge with each other when they are meeting for the first time. Additionally, their natural instincts might kick in, especially when they feel threatened or vulnerable. You should watch out for:

  • Scratch wounds or signs of fighting after you’ve left them for a while
  • Stiff posture with raised hairs in cats and dogs
  • Low growls and hisses when encountering each other
  • Raised ears, dilated pupils, and unusual hypersensitivity in your pets

If you recognize these behaviors, then it might be best to separate them and slowly desensitize them with each other. Better yet, consult an expert dog and cat trainer who can help with the transition.

Some Things to Consider

There’s more than just choosing the right breed that goes into achieving harmony between your cat and dog, so keep the following in mind as well.


Puppies and kittens, when introduced to each other, tend to develop a much more stable relationship as they grow with each other. Introducing elder dogs to a long-time housecat might be more challenging as compared to introducing a puppy to an older cat.


If you have a cat that’s a little more sophisticated (or aggressive) than others, then you’ll need to put in more effort when introducing them. Things are more likely to go more smoothly if you have a friendly and adaptable cat in your home.

Living Space

A smaller home might result in broken boundaries and unwanted intrusions. You should have enough space to make them feel more comfortable by themselves. Just don’t expect that they’ll get along at first, so it’s a great idea to allocate individual spaces for them.


Are you going to be patient with your pets? You might have big expectations for your growing family but remember that you must be patient while they are not yet friendly with each other. This process might take up a little more time than usual, so it’s better to be more understanding in your cat-and-dog situation.

Worst Dog Breeds for Cats

These are some breeds that you should avoid if you are choosing a dog breed for your cat. Though not impossible, these breeds of dogs tend to be more difficult to acclimate to life with a feline friend.

1. German Shepherd

German shepherds are famous herding dogs. Even though they can be trained very well, their herding instincts might kick in and mistaken the cat to be a part of the “herd”. They tend to annoy cats very well.

2. Border Collie

Same with German Shepherds, Border Collies have strong herding instincts, so they are potentially not good with cats. However, they can be a potential match if they’re well-trained.

3. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are hunting dogs – the cat might be mistaken for prey if their instincts kick in. It will take more effort to let the smaller cats warm up to them. However, if you really want a Husky with your cat, then be more mindful of their behaviors at the beginning.

4. Corgi

Corgis are hyperactive herding dogs, and it might not do well with cats. This breed can be bossy while cats are territorial, which makes them not compatible with each other.

5. Greyhound

Greyhounds have sharp eyesight, which makes them react impulsively to slight movements. This behavior might not sit well with cats since they are small and can be mistaken as prey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Leave My Cat and Dog Together Without Supervision?

At first, it’s not ideal to leave them with no other people around, especially if they are not yet accustomed to each other. A pet nanny is an option if you are not confident to leave your cat and dog alone inside your home.

What Should I Do if My Cat and Dog Fight?

If you can’t settle a fight between the two, then it might be a good option to keep them separated at all times. Stay patient, and desensitize them to each other’s presence, building a foundation for them that can lead to friendship.

Final Thoughts

There is no breed of dog that, with the proper love, care, and training, can’t safely live with a cat. But if you’re worried about your two beloved pets becoming the best of friends, one of the best ways you can smooth the transition is by choosing a breed well known for falling in love with felines. No matter which breed you choose, though, be sure to watch them closely in the early days—they’ll get used to each other soon, but it’s especially important to keep an eye on them before they move from being strangers to friends.

Team PetMag

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