Can cats and dogs really get along? Many people think it’s impossible, but I have a different theory. There are certain breeds that are a delight to have along with cats in your home.
There are other dogs you’d never want to see around your feline friends. Some dog breeds simply don’t agree with cat breeds, due to their high energy or personalities.
Surprisingly, some large breeds do very well with cats… want to know which ones they are? Read on and find out what are the worst dog breeds for cats, and which dog breeds are considered good with cats.
22 Worst Dog Breeds For Cats
The following dog breeds are considered bad for cats. However, you need to keep in mind that there can always be exceptions. Just as I always say that every cat is unique, the same goes for dogs.
Every dog is different, and whether it will be a cat-friendly dog or will despise cats has a lot to do with its upbringing and socialization skills. Most dogs can be taught to tolerate cats if trained from an early age.
1. Afghanistan Hound
Afghan Hounds are born hunters. Hunting is in their nature as they used to hunt wild animals, even wolves, in the past. They are very fast and strong and are known as cat-chasers, which is why they’re at the top of the list of worst dog breeds for cats.
The Afghan Hound is a beautiful, show-quality dog breed and is much loved, especially because of its silky hair. A lot of people love them, despite their grooming requirements, but they are just not suitable for cat households.
2. Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound was bred for hunting, and prey drive is the main thing that will affect your decision when it comes to which dog breed to own along with a cat. Their strong prey drive might make your cat look like prey to them.
Italian Greyhounds are otherwise very loyal and obedient, and they love a quiet environment. Despite this, when they see a moving animal, they will most likely try and hunt it.
However, whether your Italian Greyhound will get along with a cat will primarily depend on their training and socialization skills. How you train your dog and if a cat is introduced to it at a young age is the most important thing.
If you happen to introduce your Italian Greyhound to a cat while it’s just a puppy, you’ll have a great opportunity for them to grow up together as friends.
3. Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is quite large but it is actually extremely affectionate and loving to its owners, and to people in general. However, Scottish Deerhounds and cats are a no-no.
These dogs are natural hunters, and their high prey drive poses a great threat to your cat(s). A Scottish Deerhound is best with an experienced owner, just like most other large dog breeds.
You need to keep them under control and prevent them from engaging in inappropriate behavior, such as hunting cats. There is a possibility you can train your Scottish Deerhound to get along with your cat, but he may still see other cats as prey.
The best chance for your Scottish Deerhound and your cat to get along well is if they’re raised together from an early age.
4. The Standard Schnauzer
The Standard Schnauzer was bred for the purpose of protecting families and their livestock. They were bred to hunt vermin and all rodents. The Schnauzers are friendly and highly affectionate, especially towards kids.
These dogs are also extremely intelligent, but they require obedience training as well as daily playtime and exercise.
Standard Schnauzers aren’t meant to live with cats, mostly because they have a strong prey drive and are quite fearless in nature.
5. Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hounds are, above all, extremely loyal. These dogs have been used for hunting for as long as they have existed, and their prey drive has developed greatly, so they’re highly likely to see a cat as prey.
These hunting dogs usually don’t get along with cats, and a Pharaoh Hound may need lots and lots of training to overcome the natural hunting instinct. It is advised that you do not let a Pharaoh Hound live with a cat if they weren’t raised together.
To put it mildly, you’re avoiding a disaster by not making a Pharaoh Hound and a cat live together. You may even need to take certain precautions if your Pharaoh Hound and your cat were raised together.
Even if they’re like friends, allowing them to play and chase around can result in your cat being injured or worse. Don’t ever leave them unsupervised, and keep them in separate rooms when you can’t be there.
6. The Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely smart and energetic, they’re always up for games and playtime. They are strong and brave, so much so that they can easily control even the most stubborn cattle.
Great at solving problems, but they still require entertainment to keep them occupied inside a home. In some cases, Australian Cattle Dogs can tolerate felines, but that’s only if they were raised with them.
These dogs have a strong prey drive as well, and it’s better not to try and make them be friends with cats.
7. Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terriers are curious dogs. Their appearance is both interesting and unusual. They seem like innocent lambs but can have the personality of a cunning wolf. These dogs are known to hunt and even kill other animals, including other dogs.
Additionally, they are extremely fast, and once they decide to hunt their prey, you have no power over them. Bedlington Terriers can be trained to tolerate cats who live in the same home, but they’re not likely to tolerate other cats outside of it.
You can’t train your adult Bedlington Terrier to be friends with your new cat, it’s only possible if it’s done while they’re both young so they grow up together as friends.
8. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs, but their personalities are considered large. These little dogs have enormous egos, it’s like they believe that the world needs to revolve around them.
Yorkshire Terriers don’t really want to share their owners with anyone else, let alone a cat. If you were to bring a cat into your home, your cute little Yorkie would see that as an obstacle to happiness, lol.
In addition, they could even harm your cat simply because they would feel threatened by it. Even though Yorkies are small, they can pose a threat to your cat.
9. The Greyhound
Greyhounds are considered to be the world’s fastest dogs. Originally, they were bred to chase and hunt smaller prey, which is why they’re considered bad for cat households.
It’s a common misconception that all Greyhounds chase after cats whenever they see one. There are some Greyhounds who instinctively chase cats and other small animals, while others have been reported to learn to tolerate cats pretty quickly.
Greyhounds are excellent as family dogs, but they simply don’t do well in cat households. They are extremely fast and agile, and there is a strong chance that a Greyhound will not only chase after but also catch your beloved cat.
10. Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terriers originated in England when hunting was extremely popular. This dog breed used to hunt foxes, and it quickly became a favorite dog breed for hunters. Nowadays, they’re still highly praised, even though they don’t hunt as much.
Jack Russell Terriers have a strong prey drive, a higher one than most other terriers, possibly because of their hunting past. This is why they’re considered a bad dog breed for cats. Once they start the chase after your cat, they’re not likely going to stop.
11. The Smooth Fox Terrier
The Smooth Fox Terrier was originally bred and owned by farmers who needed some help getting rid of rodents and foxes. Today, they are rarely used for hunting, but that doesn’t mean they don’t connect to their natural hunting instincts.
They are smart, brave dogs that require exercise and a lot of playtime to meet their activity needs. Smooth Fox Terriers are extremely protective and loyal to their owners.
They’re excellent watchdogs, but because of their strong prey drive, they’re not suitable for cat households.
12. Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds are great family pets, despite the fact they’re one of the tallest dogs in the world. They simply want to be everyone’s friend and play with everyone they encounter.
However, Irish Wolfhounds have been used for hunting in the past, which is why they were also called sighthounds. They are likely to consider your beloved pet cat (or any other smaller animals) as their prey.
The Irish Wolfhound is extremely big and strong, and they’re most likely to succeed when they set off to hunt down an animal.
This poses a huge threat to your cat, but on the other hand, there are some Irish Wolfhounds who learn and enjoy sharing their habitat with a cat.
This is possible if you raise them together, but there’s still a slight chance that your cat will be attacked at some point.
13. Toy Manchester Terrier
Toy Manchester Terriers were primarily bred as hunters of mice and rats, which is what earned them the nickname “rat terriers”. These dogs are extremely loyal, affectionate, and overall great family pets.
However, they can be extremely jealous and aren’t exactly willing to share their owners with other pets. Additionally, they are known to be dogs who aren’t fond of cats, so they’re not to be trusted with cats or other small animals.
Even if you manage to train them and suppress their natural instincts, your Toy Manchester Terrier would probably still be jealous of your cat, and that would not end well.
You wouldn’t be able to enjoy your pets, but more probably have trouble with them.
14. The Schipperke
The Schipperke is a hyperactive dog breed that was originally bred as a hunting dog and watchdog. These dogs enjoy spending time with their owners, and they simply like to be included in anything that’s going on around them.
Schipperkes are adaptable to any new area, and they enjoy all types of activities. These dogs, like most others on the list, have a strong hunting instinct and are on their best behavior when there are no cats nearby.
15. The Samoyed
Samoyeds look soft and fluffy, and that’s exactly how their hair feels to the touch!
They’re also extremely cute and cuddly. To some people, they even look like large toys, but actually, they come from Siberian working dog bloodlines and have a strong prey drive and herding instinct. They are, without a doubt, excellent family pets.
Samoyeds adore everyone, but we can never be sure when it comes to cats. Every dog is unique, just like every cat, which is why we cannot know for sure what your Samoyed will be like.
Some Samoyeds see cats as prey, and some adore them. However, as I see it, with a Samoyed, you can never be 100% sure that your cat is safe, and that’s not good.
What you can probably conclude so far is that when a dog has been bred primarily for hunting, it won’t get along with your cat. The same goes for the Weimaraner dog breed. Weimaraners are great as pets and are extremely loving to their owners.
However, they can never be friends with cats. Even a Weimaraner that’s been raised with cats will most probably see cats as “enemies”; they simply can’t overcome their natural instinct.
There have been some reports of Weimaraners and cats getting along well, but I believe that the risk for your cat is too high to take.
17. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are stunning dogs who are notorious for demanding attention. That is the main reason they’re not suitable for inexperienced dog owners or any family that has other small pets.
The hunting instinct of Siberian Huskies is what endangers small animals, particularly cats. Only if you adopt a puppy and a kitten together, your Siberian Husky will grow accustomed to its kitty pal, and your cat won’t feel threatened.
It is your job to give them the opportunity to meet in a friendly environment and to encourage positive behavior.
18. The Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu, aka the Chinese Lion Dog, is a loving dog breed that adores its humans and expects all the love in return. These dogs are well-known for being friendly pets who get along with other animals very well.
However, they are also very likely to feel threatened by other pets, and their desire for attention can result in jealous deeds. While they may not harm your pet cat, your Shih Tzu might suffer from depression and unhappiness if they feel ignored.
You need to introduce the two gradually in order for them to get along. If you don’t have the time to train and look after your cat and a Shih Tzu, you shouldn’t adopt both of them.
Whippets are known for being the fastest domestic animals in their weight category. They were created as race dogs and rabbit hunters in England. This immediately signifies that their hunting instinct doesn’t agree with owning a cat.
Whippets make excellent house dogs, but their tendency to chase after cats makes them unsuitable for cat households. These dogs are extremely fast and will possibly catch any cat they go after, and we don’t want that.
Despite the Saluki’s majestic appearance, these dogs were bred to be hunters and have the endurance and strength to pursue their prey for miles on end. In Egypt, the Saluki dog breed was used to track down and kill gazelles.
So, it’s highly likely that this dog breed will instinctively hunt any other animal that moves within its vicinity.
21. American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terriers are energetic, muscular dogs that have sweet and caring personalities. However, these dogs are known to have a fighting nature, and it’s believed that they would chase your cat around.
Early socialization could be helpful for your pitbull to become accustomed to sharing its home with cats. However, Pitbulls will still chase your cat around the house.
They need to be introduced gradually and slowly, preferably at a young age, in order to coexist in harmony.
22. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
I’ve saved this one last because I have a friend that has a Staffie and a cat not only sharing a home but sleeping, eating, and playing together.
However, these dogs, much like the Pit Bull, are considered bad for cats. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are medium-sized and muscular, they’re quite protective of their owners, but they’re also very friendly.
They’re people-oriented, loving, and loyal, and they are known to form strong bonds with their family members. These dogs can be wary of other pets but are easily trained to tolerate them.
15 Best Dog Breeds For Cats
The following 15 dog breeds have appeared to be excellent choices for cat households. Again, you can never be 100% sure because any dog (or cat) can be an exception to the breed.
These best dog breeds for cats are mostly calm and sweet-natured, and their owners have nothing but praise.
1. Basset Hound
The first one on the cat-friendly list of dogs is the Basset Hound. This dog breed is also a natural hunter, but it prefers evening hunts with the owners instead of going after the cat.
Basset Hounds have a laid-back personality, which is considered the most important trait when it comes to living with cats. However, these dogs can be quite difficult to train.
Basset Hounds are otherwise great for cats, and their easy-going temperament frequently ends in cuddle time with the cat.
2. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are considered one of the friendliest dogs to have around cats. They’re almost like cat lovers. These dogs are extremely popular as family dogs and as dogs who get along well with cats.
Labrador Retrievers are known for their loyalty, love, and ability to bond with kids. This might be the ideal dog breed for you if you want a large dog that gets along very well with your cat.
3. Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog is another dog breed that can be safely introduced and kept along with cats. Despite being a member of the herding dog category, the Shetland Sheepdog is well known for its friendliness to cats.
This dog breed is an excellent choice for cat owners because you can easily train them, and they’ll stay obedient and loyal to you. Not only will this dog breed be good for your cat, but having a cat will be good for the dog as well.
Your Sheltie will be entertained when you’re not around, and this will keep them from barking and feeling bored.
4. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers, along with Labradors, are considered some of the best dog breeds for cats. They’re loving and empathetic, and they welcome cats into their home. However, at a young age, these dogs should be taught not to chase kittens around.
Once you do that, this cheerful dog will, without a doubt, be your cat’s best friend. Golden Retrievers are also naturally tolerant of all animals and people.
5. The Boston Terrier
This is the only one of the Terriers that is good for cats. Usually, there’s a rule that all Terriers are best kept away from cats. However, the Boston Terriers are safe.
They might sometimes chase cats around, but that’s usually as a part of playtime and not because of a prey drive. Boston Terriers are calm and gentle towards cats and other animals.
Pomeranians are extremely popular overall and are getting more and more popular among cat owners. This toy-dog breed is distinguished by its friendly personality and small size.
They don’t have any special requirements when it comes to caring for them and are extremely tolerant of cats. Also, Pomeranians have lots and lots of energy, so their playtime can only be better with a cat buddy.
If you’re searching for a smaller dog that gets along well with cats, then the Pomeranian cutie is the one for you!
Beagles are known to have been bred for hunting in packs, so many cat owners are concerned about whether a Beagle is a good choice.
Beagles are considered cat-friendly, particularly because of their ‘hunting in packs’ mentality, for they will see your cat as their friend, a member of the pack. Friendly Beagles will appreciate cats, but you should own only one Beagle.
When Beagles are together, they will form their own pack, which won’t have a spot for your cat. However, if you own one Beagle, it will most likely bond with the cat. These dogs are also family-friendly and tolerate other animals as well.
Poodles are available in three sizes, and each of them gets along very well with cats. This dog breed is intelligent and easy to train. Poodles naturally get along very well with other house pets, including cats.
Poodles are highly energetic too, and they are on their best behavior when provided with lots of activities and attention, so playtime and walks together with the cat are recommended.
Collies are popular for their fondness for children. They are energetic and active dogs that need a lot of exercise and attention so they love to spend time with their owners. These dogs tend to be loud and are usually very tolerant of other pets in the house.
10. Bichon Frise
Bichon Frises have interesting, cheerful personalities, and they are an excellent choice for a furry cat sibling. Their extroverted nature might be too much for cats who like their privacy, but in most cases, it works out great.
Every introvert needs an extroverted friend, right? As a result, any cat that tolerates dogs will definitely make friends with a Bichon Frise.
The Maltese will certainly be gentle to your cat, especially since, like all laid-back dogs, it prefers to nap in its bed than chase after a cat. Your cat, on the other hand, might pose a threat lol.
Cats might take advantage of the Maltese’s kind and gentle nature. These two can live together peacefully unless your cat decides to mess with the Maltese. If you decide to introduce the two, keep an eye on them to make sure they’re getting along.
The Pug is the ultimate example of a friendly dog breed. Pugs get along with cats very well and they are known to be great friends with cats (if the cat allows it). If your cat tolerates dogs, then the Pug is a great choice.
The two can play and keep each other entertained while you’re not home. With a Pug, there’s no need to worry about chasing and hunting. Pugs are naturally very friendly and generally safe around other small animals.
13. Bull Dog
Bulldogs are big and heavy and can be quite intimidating to cats. But never judge a book by its cover because Bull Dogs are actually known for their gentle nature.
These dogs are sweet and friendly to other animals, and their laid-back temperament is what makes them great for cats. They’re likely to enjoy, and even appreciate, the company of a feline friend.
Papillons are energetic doggies that are great with kids and are overall great family pets. They’re actually close in size to a cat, which is one more reason they’re more likely to consider your cat as a friend.
15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a calm, sweet, and loyal dog breed. These dogs like to play and are extremely friendly to anyone. Their joyful nature and curiosity will most likely result in seeing any cat as their friend.
Final Thoughts On Cats And Dogs
That’s about it on the best and worst dog breeds for cats. I hope you found out what you were looking for and that this brief explanation of each breed answers your questions and doubts.
Always remember that any dog breed can be an exception, so if you happen to find a stray Siberian Husky, but you’re afraid it will hurt your cats, don’t give up on the first try. Try to calmly and gently introduce it to your cat, you might be pleasantly surprised.
The same goes for any of the good dog breeds, they’re good to cats in most cases, but we can never be 100% sure what goes on in your dog’s mind. If you want to feel more secure, choose a dog that’s considered and proven to be good.
In fact, whichever breed you choose, always be patient and attentive when your cats and dogs are spending time together, and you’ll be safe.