A majority of people will tell you that they are either a dog or a cat person—while others couldn't think of living without both. If the latter describes you, you will find that some dogs tend to look at smaller creatures in the family as something to take care of. For example, working dogs were bred to watch over and protect other animals or human family members.
Some hounds (scenthounds) were bred to work closely in packs, so they are usually friendly with other furry family members, cats included. Sporting dogs like retrievers and spaniels are friendly and often get along with anyone, including cats. Toy dogs are small and were mostly bred to be loving companions. Take a look at 10 dog breeds that have a tendency to get along with feline buddies and the traits make them ideal companions.
All dogs are individuals. Even though beagles tend to be good with cats, your beagle might not be. Always introduce dogs and cats cautiously until you know they will get along.
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Beagles are a subset of hound called a scent hound, which means they use their exceptional sense of smell to sniff out prey. These dogs traditionally hunted in large packs of dogs with hunters accompanying the packs on foot or on horseback, so it was imperative that they got along with other animals. Beagles are gregarious and congenial, most will live happily with other animals, including cats, which they will likely view as just another member of the pack.
Height: 13 to 15 inches
Weight: 20 to 25 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular, solid body with a domed skull, squarish muzzle, long floppy ears, and perky long tail held upward
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Like the beagle, the basset hound is also a scent hound. A fellow pack dog, basset hounds are friendly and amicable. With their short legs and long, heavy bodies, basset hounds are also slow-moving—a great combination of traits for living with cats. These are loyal, patient, and low-key dogs.
Height: 11 to 14 inches
Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long bodied with short, crooked legs, long drooping ears, wrinkled forehead, hanging lips, and sad eyes
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The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is part of the American Kennel Club Toy Group. Toy dogs were bred to be loving, loyal lap dogs and companions. The Cavalier is as sweet as they come. This breed can get along with almost every person and animal imaginable, including cats. These are adaptable and gentle little dogs.
Height: 12 to 13 inches
Weight: 13 to 18 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-length silky, wavy coat; adults have feathering on their ears, chest, legs, feet, and tail
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If you recall Lassie (a rough collie), you know that collies are lovers, not fighters. Although not all herding breeds live well with cats, border collies are a bit mellower than some herding breeds. Border collies are exceptionally gentle with children and most family pets, even those of the feline persuasion.
Height: 18 to 22 inches
Weight: 28 to 48 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized; rough or smooth medium-length double coat; body is slightly longer than it is tall; long head that comes to a point at the nose with ears standing erect with tips curling overContinue to 5 of 10 below.
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One of the most popular breeds in the world, the golden retriever is a truly gentle dog, and its good manners extend to cats as well as people. Golden retrievers are loving and sweet-natured, as well as adaptable and outgoing. Most goldens can live successfully with cats as long as they are properly introduced.
Height: 21 to 24 inches
Weight: 55 to 75 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Sturdy, muscular, medium-size dog with a lustrous gold coat with a broad head, friendly and intelligent eyes, and short ears
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Poodles are smart and tend to be calm in the home. The poodle is one breed that comes in three size varieties: standard (more than 15 inches tall at the shoulder), miniature (10 to 15 inches tall) and toy (less than 10 inches). Often averaging 4 to 6 pounds, some toy poodles are smaller than cats. All poodle varieties can potentially live peacefully with cats in the home.
Height: Standard: 15 inches; miniature: 10 to 15 inches; toy: 10 inches and under
Weight: Standard: 45 to 70 pounds; miniature: 15 to 18 pounds; toy: 5 to 9 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Curly, dense single-layer coats that may be one of many solid colors, including white, black, grey, brown, and apricot
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Weighing less than 7 pounds, the Maltese is sized similarly to a toy poodle; it is often smaller than an average-sized cat. Also categorized as a toy, the Maltese is a gentle and loving companion with an easy-going attitude. A Maltese is usually fine lying on the couch, ignoring much of anything else going on, including the activities of a cat.
Height: 8 to 10 inches
Weight: 4 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Dark, alert eyes are shrouded by white fur that is naturally long and silky; single-layer coat without an undercoat
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Newfoundlands are the gentle giants of the dog world. Newfies are patient, calm, and protective of their family members. Typically, Newfoundlands are great with people of all ages, including children, and pets of all types, including cats. These large breeds are generally known for their calm demeanor and lower energy levels.
Height: 26 to 28 inches
Weight: 100 to 150 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Large, heavy-coated powerful body with a broad, massive head with small ears that lie close to the headContinue to 9 of 10 below.
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The Pomeranian is a spirited and engaging little toy dog. At just 3 to 7 pounds, most cats tower over Pomeranians, so these fluffy little members are rarely a threat to feline friends. They tend to live peacefully with other pets, cats included.
Height: 6 to 7 inches
Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Double-coated, long-haired miniature spitz breed with a foxy face, pointy, erect ears, and curled tail
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Pugs are charming and happy little fellows that get along with almost anybody. Most pugs lack the inclination to chase or otherwise bother a cat, so they can live successfully with felines when introduced properly. A cat can help keep them company when their humans are away.
Height: 10 to 13 inches
Weight: 14 to 18 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small, barreled body, round and wrinkly head, short nose, and a curly tail
Breeds to Avoid
In general, lower-energy, more laidback breeds might be a better choice than high-energy breeds with lots of prey drive or instinct to chase. For instance, terriers are tenacious, feisty, and full of energy. They were primarily bred to hunt and kill small furry things. Most retain this instinct to chase and exterminate smaller animals, and cats are no exception. Herding breeds often can’t stop themselves from herding all family members and cats might not appreciate being hounded by an enthusiastic dog.