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10 Dog Breeds That Get Along Best with Cats

Cat and Dog playing together

Are you a dog lover, but your partner’s more of a cat person? Or, are your kids begging for a puppy, even though you’re team kitty all the way? It’s a dilemma that’s plagued pet lovers for years. Are you considering putting dogs and cats together under one roof? Then, it’s a good idea to dig into what dog breeds get along best with cats.

Here are ten dogs that not only tolerate cats but even enjoy their company. (Gasp! Who knew?)

  • Golden Retriever
  • Bichon Frisé
  • Shih Tzu
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pug
  • Poodle
  • Basset Hound
  • Papillon
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Irish Setter

10 Dog Breeds That Mix Well with Cats

Time to take a closer look at these dog breeds. Maybe they’re exceptionally tolerant and patient. Or, if you’re a cat person, you might say these dogs simply understand how remarkable felines are. 

No matter which way you slice it, if you have one of these pups, adding a cat to your family can be a bit easier than you anticipated. If you already have a cat, then one of these dogs might be your best shot at maintaining peace in your home (depending on your cat, of course).

Now, don’t assume because these breeds make great potential roomies for cats they’ll be sharing water bowls and pet beds. Likewise, this doesn’t mean you can’t find a dog that won’t be a perfect companion to your feline friend that isn’t on this list. 

But if your options are open, then this is an excellent starting point to find your new furry family member.

Golden Retriever dog

1. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers possess gentle and affectionate natures that make them a great match for kids and other animals. Their laid-back dispositions make them extremely tolerant animals. 

This breed is also eager to please, making them easier to train and teach. So if you plan to have cats and dogs living together, a Golden is a wise choice.

Picture of a Bichon Frisé

2. Bichon Frisé

One look at the poofy, fluffy Bichon Frisé and you can’t help but see this pup’s outgoing and fun-loving personality. Bichons love to spend time with their family, even when it includes cats. 

They also tend to extend that love to strangers, which is a nice quality if you’re bringing home a new kitty. Bichons are also highly trainable pups, so they’ll take direction well if you put in the time.

Picture of a Shih Tzu

3. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu may give a regal, splendid impression with its flowing, silky coat, but there’s nothing snobbish about this pup. These dogs adore their families, want to be with them all of the time, and have affectionate natures. 

However, they can be a bit wary of newcomers, needing just a little time to warm up. Therefore, keep this in mind if your situation involves an older dog instead of a puppy. (At least if you have dreams of your two pets being best buds.)

Picture of a Labrador Retriever

4. Labrador Retriever

Ask anyone what dog breed they think of when you say loyal, playful, and sweet, and a Labrador Retriever is likely one of the first to come to mind. Labs have excellent reputations as easy-going, gentle dogs with even-tempered and loving personalities. 

They like to play and spend time with their families. They also love to please their human parents, so training often comes easy.

Picture of a Pug

5. Pug

Pugs have a reputation of being mischievous pups, but that’s because they’re such a playful breed. Their number one goal in life seems to be to give lots of love, whether it’s to their families, strangers, or cats.

But keep their mischievous streak in mind when you're introducing your cat to a Pug pup. No matter what breed of dog you decide to add to the family dynamic, it’s always important to watch your new furry friends when they’re together. If anything, you need to make sure your cat accepts these new pup shenanigans.

Picture of a Poodle

6. Poodle

One of the smartest dogs around is the Poodle. These pups are very trainable, patient, and affectionate. Standard poodles are especially patient, but the miniature versions also make a great match for homes with cats.

Loyalty is big with poodles, and they will bond and look after their families. So introduce your cat as one of the clan, and you can expect your new poodle pup to treat them the same.

Picture of a Basset Hound

7. Basset Hound

When you think of a Basset Hound, your mind might drift to a floppy-eared, droopy-eyed pup lounging on the front porch. But these dogs are also very playful and energetic. 

Basset Hounds have loving and easy-going natures. They’re extremely tolerant and get along well with other pets, including cats.

Picture of a Papillon

8. Papillon

The first thing you think of when you imagine a Papillon is undoubtedly its large, perky ears (although some types of Paps have floppy ears). This cute pup’s appearance instantly gives them a happy, joyful look. Luckily, this impression matches a Papillon’s friendly personality.

Paps are easy to train, love everyone, including family and strangers, and are affectionate toward their families. Their playful, happy spirits make them a great match for kids and other animals.

Picture of a Shetland Sheepdog

9. Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog is affectionate and loving toward their family, good with kids, and will adapt well to other pets. Shetland Sheepdogs are playful and very trainable.

However, they aren’t as open to strangers, so keep this in mind if you have an established Shetland in the family and plan to bring home a new pet. It’s always wise to take things slowly, and introduce new family members gradually.

Picture of a Irish Setter

10. Irish Setter

Looking for a sweet dog that thinks of everyone as a friend? Look no further than the Irish Setter. This playful breed loves people, other pets, and being with their family all of the time.

They’re easy to train, adapt well to new situations, and are friendly with strangers. So if you decide to bring home a new cat, your Setter will likely be receptive to the idea.

8 Cat Breeds That Get Along with Dogs

Okay, so that sums up which dogs get along best with cats. But what about the cat side of the equation? Are there certain cat breeds that work better with dogs in the house?

These cats tend to be a good matchup for canine companions (or at least will tolerate their presence). You can get more information about these breeds by checking out the Breed Directory of the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA).

  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Maine Coon
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • American Shorthair
  • British Shorthair
  • Bombay
  • Ragdoll
  • Abyssinian

Dogs and Cats Living Together! What a World!

It’s important to note that no matter what dog you have, proper socialization and training are essential. If you expect them to get along with other animals, make sure you take the time to guide them. Don’t just expect a dog (or a cat) to love and adore your other pets merely because their breed standard says they have an affectionate temperament. 

Yes, certain breeds will indeed be a better match than others for households with pets. But that doesn't automatically mean every member of that particular breed will work out smoothly. It’s up to you to introduce your cat and dog to each other patiently and safely to ensure a happy home for everyone.

For more useful tips about caring for your pets, check out the rest of the Neater Pets blog. It’s also a great place to find out about cool pet products, like the Neat Lik treat mat, or fun ways to spend quality time with your favorite furry friend.


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