Looking for the best dogs for cats? Meet five cat-friendly dog breeds that generally (no guarantees!) adore, tolerate — or at least won’t torment — your family’s cats.
1. Golden Retriever
I’m an athletic gundog, developed in Scotland to retrieve fowl for hunters. Lord Tweedmouth, one of our main breeders, encouraged my ancestors to love water. Now that’s a trait we don’t share with our cat buddies. Although bred strong for work, I have a sweet spirit and a gentle mouth. When we retrieve, we carry birds without damage. No one wants to cook mauled fowl! Our kindness carries over to the family’s animals, cats included. But of course, socialization is the key. If we’re exposed to friendly cats or raised with cats, we’ll likely build positive associations. Even later in life, because we’re highly biddable, we’ll tend to accept new cats to please you. We generally view each newcomer (of any species) as a possible playmate!
2. Cesky Terrier
You may be surprised to see a Terrier on this list. Or perhaps you’ve never even heard of me? We’re a relatively rare breed, a family-loving hunting dog developed in Czechoslovakia. My ancestors were bred as robust, short-legged dogs. With our easy-to-clean coats, we transitioned into the house with minimal mess. Less scrappy than most Terriers, many of us tolerate (and actually appreciate) cats. Now for a caveat: obviously some individual dogs, regardless of breeds, don’t like cats. Maybe they had a bad experience, or perhaps their people forgot to socialize them. Now for a secret I’ll acknowledge: the use of barriers may inadvertently entice us to chase. It’s a good idea to socialize us to other animals with supervision, not gates.
3. German Shepherd Dog
A renowned problem solver and protector, I was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz in 20th-century Germany from sheep herding dogs. We’re used for police and military service, guide work, sentry duty, search and rescue, therapy — and any canine job you can name. My intelligence, trainability and loyalty to family are unrivaled. If you tell me to chase cats out of the yard, I will. If you tell me a cat is a family member, I’ll protect him — which gets me on this list of cat-friendly dogs. I concede I’m bossy around other animals. What herding breed isn’t? Not even I, however, can figure out how to herd that darn cat!
I’m leggy and lively, a great playmate for active cats but perhaps an annoyance to lazy cats. To explain my history, we need to talk about France, British hunters and canine romance. English gentry took their Pointers and Setters to Brittany to hunt woodcock, and left them there between hunting seasons. My forefathers may have mixed with native spaniel types. In time, we developed into a popular hunting dog, both a Pointer and Retriever. Cheerful and social, I’m typically patient and playful with the family cats. If your cat begs for a game of pursuit, the only damage done will be to his ego: I’m remarkably agile and quick with the chase!
5. Bearded Collie
With ancestors likely bred down from European Komondor, we were developed in Scotland for herding sheep and cattle. I worked with my people, but I also herded independently. Therefore, I still possess an independent spirit and appreciate a cat’s similarly self-governing streak. I’m described as “bouncy” — partly for the jumping approach I use to control unruly sheep. But I’m also happily bouncy in play. Some, but not all, cats appreciate my enthusiasm. I’ll do my best to match my bounce with the cat’s pounce!
Thumbnail: Photography by Shutterstock.
Tell us: In your opinion, what are the best dogs for cats?
Read more about how to get cats and dogs to live together in harmony >>
Why read breed profiles?
Dog breed profiles help everyone, whether you have a mixed breed or purebred dog, to better understand and improve the quality of your dog’s life. If you have a mixed breed dog, read up on all of the breed profiles that make up your dog. Not sure what breed your dog is? There are a number of easy DNA tests out there to help your find out.
Read more about dog breeds on Dogster.com:
5 thoughts on “The Best Dogs for Cats? Try These 5 Cat-Friendly Dog Breeds”
All my Schipperkes have loved cats. All my cats have hated being loved by the Schipperkes. Cats do not appreciate being herded.
Samoyeds are another breed that gets along with just about everything, especially Cats.
I’ve had 3 male Samoyeds and all of them were raised with cats. Of course, you have to carefully introduce them and make sure the Cat has a safe place to hide and observe.
Thanks for trying to help your friend. This link might provide some advice: https://qa.dogster.com/dog-health-care/need-help-with-vet-bills-ideas-that-anyone-can-do
We suggest speaking with your friend and asking your local community to see how to go about getting help for her and her pets.
thanks, great article.