8 Best Dog Breeds for Cats

10 Jan, 2020 by Sylvia

Individual house pets indeed have different personalities. If you already have a cat at home and are looking to introduce a dog – breed matters! Here are the following eight (8) best dog breeds for cats.

Majority of folks are either a dog or a cat person. But what about those of us who love both? Is it possible to have both domesticated animals in our household; a doggy and pussycat become compatible and peacefully coexist? Can we prevent their aggression and territorial issues that may arise?

1. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever and British short hair cat

This breed is one of the most popular in the world. “Goldens” are known for being playful, social, loyal, friendly, enthusiastic, and intelligent. They’re great companions for cats of all ages as long as they’re properly introduced. The golden retriever is genuinely a gentle hound despite their large size.

Breed overview

Height: 21 to 24 inches
Weight: 55 to 75 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Physical characteristics

  • Sturdy
  • Muscular
  • Medium-sized with a lustrous gold coat
  • Broad head
  • Friendly & intelligent eyes
  • Short ears

Activities

  • Search and rescue
  • Hunting tests
  • Guides for the blind
  • Narcotics detection
  • Agility
  • Therapy dog
  • Service dog

Pros

  • Their adaptability and outgoing nature make them a potentially great cat companion.

Cons

  • They need regular (daily) exercise.

2. Beagle

Beagle dog and brown cat lying together on the footpath outdoor in the park.

Beagles are a subset of hound called scent hound, and they love to use their nose. Traditionally, these dogs were bred to hunt in large packs together with hunters. So basically, they are used to get along with other species such as felines.

The remarkable thing about these little dogs is that they are very matey and their personality might match your cat, which enjoys a friendly wrestling match.

Breed overview

Height: 13 to 15 inches
Weight: 20 to 25 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Physical characteristics

  • Muscular
  • Solid-body with a domed skull
  • Squarish muzzle
  • Long floppy ears
  • Perky long tail held upward

Activities

  • Agility
  • Field Trials
  • Hunting Tests
  • Obedience Training
  • Rally

Pros

  • As trackers, they love to follow their nose and chase balls or simply cuddle their favourite partner – the pussycat. They also love to play, so teaching tricks and playing games are always hit with this breed.

Cons

  • A Beagle left alone for too long may get restless and destructive.
  • When on walks, it’s essential to keep him on a leash, as his instincts are to run off and track if he catches a compelling scent.

3. Labrador Retriever

Friendly dog and cat resting over green grass background

Labs are kind and outgoing and are known to get along with everyone they meet, regardless of species. Their amiable nature is part of the reason why this breed is ranked consistently among the most popular in Australia. Loving and gentle, they seem like too big for average-sized felines. Nevertheless, this breed is proven to be perfect with kids, and it is no different when it comes to cats.

Is it any surprise that the exuberant and friendly is near the top of this list? Majority of Labrador Retrievers have a pretty even temperament, and they will tolerate even the meanest house cat.

Breed overview

Height: 21 to 24 inches
Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Physical characteristics

  • Medium to large-sized body
  • Athletic build
  • Smooth, dense and water repellent
    Coat
  • Broad skull and powerful jaws
  • Tapered tail

Activities

  • Agility
  • Field trials
  • Hunting tests
  • Obedience training
  • Rally
  • Tracking
  • Guide dog

Pros

  • Loves to swim and retrieve.
  • Great search-and-rescue dog, service dog and drug & bomb detection dog.

Cons

  • Needs daily exercise.
  • Prone to weight gain.
  • Has a high risk for certain eye conditions like progressive retinal atrophy.

4. Basset Hound

Dog and kitten love each other

Like the Beagle, the Basset Hound is also a scent hound. This breed is inclined to excessive sleeping. Thus, this kind of dog is exceptionally laid-back and low-key.

With their short legs and long, stout bodies, Basset Hounds are sluggish— an excellent trait for cohabiting with cats. Their general laziness shows maximum tolerance towards other household pets and is often an invitation for a cat to use him as a couch.

Breed overview

Height: 11 to 14 inches
Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Physical characteristics

  • Long body with short, crooked
    legs
  • Long drooping ears
  • Wrinkled forehead
  • Hanging lips
  • Doleful eyes

Activities

  • Field Trials
  • Conformation
  • Hunting
  • Sleeping
  • Tracking
  • Obedience training
  • Rally

Pros

  • High strength and stamina.
  • Exceptional patience.

Cons

  • Training may be a bit of a challenge because they have the hounds’ stubborn streak.
  • Need regular training and exercise.
  • Slow/sluggish.

5. Pug

Cute cat and pug dog with blankets on floor at home. Cozy winter

Pugs pack a lot of love and personality into a little body. They may be small, but they are tough enough to have a feline playmate. Since they’re diminutive themselves, pugs tend to be celebrated around smaller animals.

Most pugs lack the inclination to chase or otherwise bother a cat. However, if introduced properly, a cheeky pug can often be found snuggling up next to a feline companion.

Breed overview

Height: 10 to 13 inches
Weight: 14 to 18 pounds
Lifespan: 13 to 15 years

Physical characteristics

  • Small, barrelled body
  • Round and wrinkly head
  • Short nose
  • Curly tail

Activities

  • Agility
  • Obedience training
  • Rally

Pros

  • Playful personality.
  • Charming behaviour.
  • Sturdy and adaptable.
  • Easy to train.
  • Their smooth coat requires minimal maintenance.

Cons

  • Requires moderate exercise to combat weight gain.
  • Not tolerant of hot weather.
  • Prone to corneal ulcers and dry eye.
  • Like many other flat-faced breeds, pugs also experience breathing problems, especially in heat and humidity.

6. Poodle

Royal poodle puppy lying with baby kitten on the floor at home.

Poodles are generally smart and energetic. This breed comes in different size varieties, and all three do react towards cats in specific ways. That is why it’s essential to introduce them as soon as possible, so you can make sure their personalities and playfulness are compatible. “Toy” Poodles tend to play with them; “Miniatures” tolerate them, while “Standards” pretend felines don’t exist. Bottom line, all three seem to make excellent cat companions.

Breed overview

Height:

  • Standard: 15 inches and above
  • Miniature: 10 to 14 inches
  • Toy: 10 inches and under

Weight:

  • Standard: 45 to 70 pounds
  • Miniature: 15 to 18 pounds
  • Toy: 5 to 9 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Physical characteristics

  • Curly, dense single-layered coat
  • Tend to have a leggy appearance
  • Long muzzle combined with dropped
    ears

Activities

  • Agility
  • Conformation
  • Hunting tests
  • Obedience training
  • Rally
  • Tracking

Pros

  • Known for its superior intelligence and learning ability.
  • Can live in many living situations (e.g. cohabiting with cats).

Cons

  • Requires daily exercise.
  • Its hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Wellpe und BKH Kitten - Freunde

This particular kind of dog is part of the American Kennel Club Toy Group. Although not much bigger than a cat, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is as sweet as they come.

This affectionate dog is respectful of other animals’ territories. Meaning, he is not likely to infringe on the cat’s space. Cavaliers also might get lonely or anxious if they’re left alone for long stretches. So, having another animal’s presence in the house is bound to bring him some comfort, companionship as well as security.

Breed overview

Height: 12 to 13 inches
Weight: 13 to 18 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Physical characteristics

  • Medium-length silky, wavy coat
  • Big round eyes
  • Long ears
  • A face that always looks like a puppy
  • Fringes on their ears, chest, legs,
    feet, and tail

Activities

  • Obedience training
  • Conformation

Pros

  • Enthusiastic and eager to please.
  • Easy to train.
  • Adaptable.

Cons

  • Regular brushing is recommended to prevent tangles and matting of the medium-length coat.
  • High risk of obesity.
  • Other health risks include eye conditions like cataracts, knee & hip problems and ear infections.

8. Maltese

White maltese dog and chinchilla kitten sitting together on green grass.

A Maltese behaves a lot like some cats. He is a slacker who likes curling up on the couch and ignores anything else – including the activities of the cat. These traits make this tiny dog perfect for cat owners who are accustomed to low-maintenance pets who don’t require constant stimulation.

Breed overview

Height: 8 to 10 inches
Weight: 4 to 7 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Physical characteristics

  • Dark and alert eyes
  • White fur that is naturally long
    and silky
  • Single-layered coat without an undercoat

Activities

  • Conformation
  • Obedience training
  • Agility

Pros

  • Gentle.
  • Lively, playful, and loves to learn new.
    tricks—provided he gets a reward.
  • Reliable watchdog.

Cons

  • Needs daily brushing and frequent baths to avoid.
    tangles and matting.
  • Prone to dental disease.
  • Other health concerns may include patellar luxation and heart problems.

Bear in mind that these are generalizations. Most dog breeds can live calmly with a cat if they are socialized as puppies – training them to leave the cat alone. Teaching your dog a “leave it” and “stay” cue can help keep the compatibility. Proper introductions will also help, and it’s a good idea to make sure the cat always has an escape route. Never leave your new dog alone with your cat until you are positive they won’t have issues.

The individual personality and age of both the dog and cat will also come into play. For example, an older cat that likes to be left alone might not mix well with an overly bouncy puppy.

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