Contrary to the cartoons, cats and dogs can often get along quite well, especially when they grow up together! Read on to learn more about which breeds of dogs are the best bets when you want to have a blended family.
1. Basset Hound
Basset hounds tend to be very tolerant and patient, which are excellent qualities when it comes to co-existing with a cat or two. They are generally quite friendly with both two-legged and four-legged roommates. Bassets tend to be low-key and relatively quiet, so they won’t scare the cat by barking or growling. They are somewhat stubborn, which is only to be expected from a hound, so if they start eating cat food (or, worse, cat litter), it may be challenging to train this out of them. However, they are generally a great choice if you want a menagerie in your house.
Collies make great family pets, and this holds true when cats are part of that family. They are energetic and friendly, and they love companionship even when that companionship is cat-shaped. Collies are famous for being great babysitters, and they will sometimes extend that love and care to the cats in the household. They can be a bit loud, and that doesn’t always go over well with skittish cats, but if your cats grow up with the collie and its sounds, it shouldn’t be that much of an issue. Cats and collies can also enjoy a game of chase now and then.
3. Labrador Retriever
Labs are everybody’s best friend, and this includes cats. Labrador retrievers have lots of energy to play, which younger cats may appreciate. They are also gentle and kind with kids, families, and family pets. Labs are also intelligent and eager to please, so if they recognize that the cat is part of the family, they’ll certainly extend their love and loyalty to the felines in the house as well. They are big enough that a cat might be frightened at first, but labs are gentle giants and cats are smart enough to pick up on that.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a toy breed, which means that they are bred to be tiny and friendly. These little guys are typically between 13 and 18 pounds, which is not much more than the average cat and, in fact, less than some chonkers. Toy breeds are intended to be lap dogs and companions, so they have docile and loving personalities. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are gentle, tolerant, and friendly to all family members, including cats and other animals. They’ll love having cat companions and you won’t have to worry at all.
Newfies are another gentle giant breed. They are known for being calm, patient, and very protective of their family members – and that can include both the kids and the cats in the household. They get along well with just about everyone. Newfoundland dogs tend to have lower energy levels, so they can be a very calming presence in the home, and everyone who’s ever lived with a cat knows that can be quite welcome at times. At up to 150 pounds, they are huge with heavy coats, and more than one cat has learned that this makes them excellent hosts for a cat nap.
Bulldogs may look like bullies, but they are really quite the opposite. These thick but quiet dogs are famous for their gentle, kind temperament and they’re known for getting along with most people and most animals, including the cats in your house or yard. Bulldogs are patient and tolerant in general, so they’ll be able to put up with cats acting like cats. They’re also big and warm, which will make them very attractive if the cat is in the mood to cuddle. Nothing is cuter than a bulldog with a kitten!
Beagles are one of the original working dogs. They have been bred to work and hunt in packs, which means that they are completely comfortable and happy with other animals in the pack, even if those animals happen to be cats. Beagle dogs are outgoing, friendly, and playful, so they are very likely to get along with the cats in the house. They rarely get much over 25 pounds, so they won’t be terribly intimidating to most cats either. Beagles make great family pets, and that doesn’t change when the family includes cats.
8. Golden Retriever
If we had to pick the most popular dog breed in the world, there’s a fair chance that it would be the golden retriever. These fine dogs are among the gentlest, even though they are not at all small. They are loyal and loving to everyone in their family, cats and kids included (and sometimes especially). Golden retrievers are also very adaptable, tolerant, and patient, which means that they’ll be fine even if the cat takes some time to adjust. They are excellent, playful family pets and they get along well just about everyone, including other animals.
Poodles are generally fairly calm in the home, and they are also very smart dogs, which means that if they know that the cat is part of the family pack, they’ll know not to try to harm it. They are definitely a breed to consider if your household includes feline friends as well. Poodles can be standard, miniature, or toy sized. Toy poodles are almost always well under 10 pounds, which makes them smaller than most cats. Miniature poodles are slightly larger than typical domestic cat breeds, but both toy and miniature poodles are a great size to get along with cats. (Standard poodles are fine too, of course.)
Maltese are also very small, toy-sized dogs that usually weigh between four and seven pounds, which means that they are smaller than the cats that they may be sharing space with. As with other toy breeds, Maltese have been bred to be friendly and gentle companion animals so they will likely get along quite well with the other companion animals in the house. They are so easy-going that they might be considered lazy, and they are much more likely to lie back and observe their surroundings (including the cat) than to try to change them.