Do you already have a cat, but still want to bring an adventure-loving, tail-wagging companion home? Then you want to add a dog into your existing family who will play nice with the other animals in your home. Though each dog is obviously unique, here are just a few of the best cat-friendly dog breeds.
These dogs are affectionate animals that really like kitties and are willing to share their beds, blankets and toys with their clawed friends. They will make a great addition to your pet family, as long as your cat will allow it.
Cats and dogs do not have to be arch enemies. However, adding a new furry friend into the mix does require a long-term commitment. You not only have to choose a cat-friendly dog breed, but also find a dog that fits well with your lifestyle.
First you need to find a dog breed with a low prey drive. Not all hunters will chase small animals instinctively, but in many breeds the urge to hunt and kill vermin is just too hard to resist. Rodent caters are perhaps the worst. Herding dogs might try to continually round up your cat and things could get vicious between the two. Retrievers and spaniels make the best kitty lovers, because they take exact direction from their humans. Their skills involve tracking and hunting, not hurting.
Also many companion breeds are gentle and adoring, loving to share space with other members of the family. These will be your best options when looking for cat-friendly dog breeds.
You should begin socializing your new pets early so they can adapt to living with other animals. Even dogs that are naturally gentle and affectionate will need exposure to many different people, sights, sounds and other animals. This will help ensure your new puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
Top 10 Cat-Friendly Dog Breeds
These are small, intelligent hound dogs originally bred to be hunters.
You would think that would take them out of the running as cat-friendly, but they actually do amazingly well with cats. Why? Because they like to run in packs. When out in the yard, beagles may chase the cats in play, but indoors these dogs are gentle and snuggly with the other pets and humans that share their living space. Though these dogs do make friends easily, they are not easy to train. They also tend to be noisy with three distinct vocalizations: bark or growl, baying howl and a half-baying howl. Beagles generally weigh between 18 and 30 pounds with an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
They need a securely fenced back yard to romp around in. They also need plenty of physical and mental stimulation and train best with positive reinforcement.
These dogs were favorites among the 17th and 18th century French royals.
The French named these dogs after the French word for “butterfly” because of the unique shape of their big, sweeping ears. These dogs are high energy, and though they are the perfect size for your lap they will not make a good lap-dog. Instead Papillons excel at training and agility courses. They love to show off their athleticism as well as their many other talents. Fortunately in addition to romping these little dogs also like to make friends. They enjoy constant company from humans and felines alike. Generally Papillons weigh between 4 and 9 pounds with an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years.
Though they are athletic, these dogs are not well suited to living outdoors. They will need a yard where they can run, but also a place indoors where they can wander and sleep. They will also need plenty of play times, are easy to housetrain, and need a puppy-proof place if you have to leave them unsupervised.
These fluffy little puppies are a great furry addition to your growing household.
Though they are small, these dogs descend from Siberian huskies and have big personalities. As such they have a lot of energy to burn and will require daily exercise and play. They also bark quite a bit, and will need early training if you want to control this bad habit. These dogs can learn to be friendly with other animals as long as you socialize them early. However, because they are so small, owls, eagles and hawks might see them as the prey. So do not leave them outside unattended if predatory animals are in your area. Generally Poms weigh between 3 and 7 pounds with an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years. These dogs make great options for those who live in studios, apartments or places without a fenced yard. However, because they have a high activity level they will need outdoor walks and a couple of play times a day.
These highly intelligent dogs also have a short attention span. You will need to rotate their toys to keep them interested, challenge them, and keep training sessions short and sweet.
These square-jawed, muscular dogs were aptly named because of the way they play, standing on their hind legs and “boxing” with their front paws.
Boxers are far more likely to play and wrestle with your cat than cause any real harm. However, because they are so strong and a little boisterous, your cat will need to be pretty tough. Otherwise, Boxers make exceptionally loving companions. They will cuddle with you on the couch and will be gentle with children and other members of their family. They are fairly easy to train, make wonderful guard dogs and love to work. They excel in obedience training, agility and tracking. Generally boxers weigh between 60 and 70 pounds with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
You cannot leave these dogs outdoors for long periods of time. Their coats are too short to keep them warm in winter and their noses are too short to keep them cool in summer.
These dogs belong to one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
They are large and tolerant dogs and get along well with both children and cats. Even when playing, these dogs are not likely to put your cat in any kind of accidental danger. Instead they will consider your cat to be just another beloved member of the family. These dogs are so friendly and do not make good guard dogs. Golden Retrievers will do almost anything to please their owners and are one of the easiest breeds to train. They are good workers, family dogs and friends to all. Generally Golden Retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. They are natural athletes and will make excellent sports dogs. This also means they will room to run outside or at least go on plenty of hikes or jogs.
Golden Retrievers, as the name entails, are especially mouthy. They need toys to carry around the house if you want to keep your house slippers safe.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
People bred these little dogs to be companions, but they still retain a more athletic nature.
They are always in motion, especially their plumed tail. They not only desire, but need companionship to be happy. They will follow you or your cat from room to room. Cavaliers are sweet, gentle and playful. They look for ways to please their owners and act amiably towards other people, dogs, pets and even strangers. Cavaliers generally weigh between 13 and 18 pounds with an average lifespan of 9 to 15 years. These dogs are great for condo or apartment living because of their small size and quiet natures. You will have to watch their food intake though.
Cavaliers will wrangle every bit of food out of you that they can and could become overweight. These dogs are also adaptable, quiet and clean, much like your resident feline.
People have nicknamed these dogs, “The American Gentleman” not only because of their crisp black and white markings that look like a tuxedo. These dogs also have well-mannered demeanors to match their sleek look. They will try not only to become your best friend, but best friend to your cat as well. Though these dogs are small they are sturdily built. Boston Terriers have big beautiful eyes and distinctive ears that naturally stand erect. These dogs make wonderful companions for older people and apartment dwellers. Generally Boston Terriers weigh between 10 and 25 pounds with an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years.
These dogs have such a short nose they will not do well outdoors in excessive heat or cold. Indoors these dogs are almost completely inactive, making them the ideal companion for your lazy cat.
Black and Tan Coonhound
These dogs live for companionship, and don’t seem to care where it comes from.
These happy-go-lucky dogs will make a great addition to any pet-friendly family. They have laid back, gentle and playful personalities. They are also fond of children, do well with other dogs and are always looking for a playmate. These dogs are also highly adaptable. They can deal with excessive hot or cold temperatures and are perfect for working and hunting. However, many pet owners are not prepared for the great exercise needs of this pet. These dogs need an active family to keep up with them. Generally Black and Tan Coonhounds weigh between 75 and 100 pounds with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
They are pack dogs. If you decide to bring one into your family they will either need to live indoors with the family or outdoors with another social dog.
The beautiful and stylish setters are not only powerful and athletic, but also have a clownish personality.
These friendly dogs love everyone, humans and other pets. They are tremendous bird dogs that like to try new things and visit new places. They do well in obedience, rally, tracking and agility. Their sweet temperaments have them working in hospices, retirement homes and even children’s hospitals. These dogs are also smart, perhaps a little too smart. They can be mischievous if their energy is not focused on a different outlet. Generally Irish Setter weigh between 60 and 70 pounds with an average lifespan of 11 to 15 years.
They will do best in a home with a large fenced yard and you should not leave them alone in a kennel or backyard alone for hours on end. These dogs also need daily exercise and regular grooming.
These dogs just want to cuddle. Though their first choice will likely be a warm and loving human lap, these dogs will also settle for sharing kitties little bed.
These are small, sturdy little dogs with an adoring and happy nature. Their long, silky coat has won them many admirers. They are also known as the Velcro dog because they like to stick close to their owners at all times. But don’t let these little cuddlers fool you; they also have a fair amount of energy to burn. They will need regular exercises or games to keep the occupied. Generally Havanese dogs weigh between 7 and 13 pounds with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. One thing to know about the Havanese is that they will need regular grooming.
While they are young make sure to handle their paws often and check their eyes, ears and mouth. This will help make grooming a positive experience and your job easier in the future.