Best Dogs To Get If You Have Cats

Best Dogs To Get If You Have Cats

A basset hound looking at the camera wanting to be loved

Some of us are dog people, some of us are cat people, and some of us are both! If you love dogs and cats and want to start a family with both pets, you certainly can. But before you run to the pet store or the shelter, keep in mind that some dogs get along better with cats than others. 


Throughout history, dogs and cats have been seen as “natural” enemies. Cats are fast and good at climbing and scratching, so they can usually escape the larger dogs who naturally want to chase them. But, in the long run, you don’t want your cats and dogs always at each other like, well, cats and dogs. Choose to buy or adopt a dog that likes cats and you’ll find your home a much happier, more peaceful place!

Best Cat-Friendly Dogs

Each dog (and cat) is an individual, so keep in mind that this list is not necessarily prescriptive. You may find that some dogs don’t behave as well toward cats as others in their breed, while you may also find that some who are prone to dislike cats will tolerate yours quite well. Be sure to introduce your pets properly to see how they act on an individual level. 

Basset Hound

The basset hound is generally patient, calm, and very low-key. This dog gets along well with children and other people as well as animals. It is also easy to train, so should offer little trouble if you want to train them to tolerate a cat. 


The friendly beagle is a great pack and family dog, bred to get along well with other pups and easy enough to train to love children or cats as well. This easy going dog with its floppy ears is pretty cute and lots of fun to have around! 


All bulldogs are different, but this breed is generally eager to please and friendly with other animals or people. Keep in mind that these dogs do need to stay inside when it’s hot out, so if you’re wanting an outdoor-only dog, this one isn’t for you.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is incredibly friendly, affectionate, and gentle. Plus, at its small size it isn’t much bigger than a cat, so the two could easily become close friends! 


Collies are devoted, affectionate, and amazing with children. Not every collie will love hanging out with cats, but, for many, a cat will be just as easy to get along with as a child.

Golden Retriever

The majestic Golden Retriever is well known for its playful, affectionate personality. These dogs are great at getting along with pretty much anyone, but be aware that they’re also incredibly active, so be sure to give your cat plenty of space for when they’re not in a playful mood.


Known for their long coats, maltese dogs are generally affectionate and easy to get along with. Plus, again, their small size is great for helping a cat get used to their presence!


Another cat-sized dog, the papillon is alert, energetic, and almost always in a good mood. This pup will get along well with pretty much anyone or any animal.


The fluffy, adorable pomeranian is easy to train, small, and energetic. Most cats won’t have trouble getting along with this little furball, as long as they get some alone time to unwind.


The gentle, cheerful pug is really a dog who longs to love and be loved. Most cats get along just fine with the cuddly pug, but know that just like with a bulldog, a pug will need to be inside during the hotter months to help them breathe.

How To Introduce Your Dog To Your Cat

Golden Retriever and a Cat

As always, keep a close eye on your pets and understand their personalities. If you’re looking to get a dog for a home with a cat in it, make sure you know your cat—if they are easily stressed and usually swat and hiss at dogs, they may not be interested in any dog, no matter the breed. 

On the other hand, if you’re hoping to buy a cat and already have a dog, you’ll need to know your dog. Is your pup generally aggressive and loud? Do they tend to lunge at cats, children, or other small creatures? If so, you may want to avoid having a cat in the same house as your dog.

If you’ve decided that your pet is likely to be okay, it’s time to consider how to introduce your cat and dog safely and train them to get along. Here are the steps to get you started:

  1. Select a location. You want to introduce your cat and dog in a quiet space, preferably your home or someone else’s home. Don’t take your pet to a shelter to meet multiple dogs or cats at once! If you have a friend with a cat or dog who gets along well with other cats or dogs, try taking your pet there first.
  2. Split your dog and cat for a few days. Rotate which animal is confined in a crate or a separate room. While they are confined, allow the other animal to roam as they please. 
  3. Watch and wait. You want to see that both animals are calm when the other is near. Cats should be happy eating and using their litter box even in the presence of the dog; dogs should be eating and playing without freezing or barking whenever the cat comes near. 
    1. If, in the beginning stages of training, your dog stares fixedly at the cat or the door the cat is behind, you can train them to ignore the cat. To do so, simply distract them with treats, toys, or your happiest voice. Lead them away on a leash, give a treat, and repeat until the dog ignores the cat on its own.
  4. Introduce with leashes. Once the dog and cat seem comfortable, put your dog on a leash (you can use a harness and leash for your cat as well, if they tolerate this) and bring both animals to the same room.
  5. Keep watching. Bring the dog and cat together leashed regularly and watch them to see if they remain calm. Again, you want your cat and dog to both be eating normally and comfortable playing or using the litter box in each other’s presence. 
  6. Allow unsupervised meetings. Once the dog and cat seem comfortable with one another even on leashes in the same room, you can let them meet unsupervised in your house. Getting to this step often takes about a month. 

If you notice during the introduction stage that your dog is lunging, barking, staring fixedly, and ignoring you or that your cat is always hissing and swatting (especially if the other animal is calm and quiet), it’s likely that these pets will not be compatible. If you’re determined to help them get along, you may need to hire a professional trainer to help you out. 

Now you know what dogs and cats get along well together! As mentioned, be sure to take things slowly, know your pet, and talk to a professional if you have any concerns. 

If you’d like help keeping your yard clean for your dog, cat, or both, be sure and check us out! Our team would be happy to scoop the poop in your yard and keep it clean and fun for your furry friends. See our services page to learn more.