18 Dog Breeds That Are Perfect Companions for Cats

Written By Jill Taylor

The world is full of sworn enemies—the English and French, Simon and Garfunkel, and, of course, cats and dogs. However, some canines are willing to call a truce with their furry foes, and these ceasefires can blossom into lifelong friendships. Here are 18 dog breeds that can often become great companions for cats.


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Introducing a new family member to your dog is sometimes a challenge, but it’s one that beagles are well-equipped to handle. The Readers Digest reveals that because beagles are used to hunting in packs, they’ve got no issue playing well with others. This means they’re often willing to give cats a chance.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a loving and loveable breed that’s well-suited to life around cats. The breed’s sociable nature means that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are sure to appreciate the extra companionship that a feline friend can provide. Relax—you can have a cavalier attitude about leaving these two animals together!


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Pugs are well known for their comedic timing and charm, so they’ll be glad to have another animal to get into mischief with. They’re also a good fit for cat-friendly homes in terms of size, as they’re closer in scale to the average feline than their larger canine cousins.


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Bulldogs are associated with quiet strength and resilience, traits that are bound to come in handy when dealing with a hyperactive kitten. In fact, while bulldogs aren’t super close with other dogs, they’re often comfortable living with cats. If nothing else, the two animals have a shared hobby: napping!

Golden Retriever

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In many ways, Golden Retrievers and cats are chalk and cheese. This breed is famously energetic, while cats love to laze around. However, this wouldn’t be the first case of opposites attracting, and cats and Golden Retrievers can easily become the best of friends if they’re properly introduced.


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Britannica discusses how Collies have a long history as sheepdogs, so they know how to interact with non-canine creatures. Don’t worry about a collie giving your cat the runaround. They’re able to fight their herding instincts if they’re properly trained, and they’ll leave cats alone out of respect for their owner.

Irish Setter

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The beautiful Irish Setter is very much the belle of the ball, but dogs of this breed are willing to mingle with the peasants (and cats) if it means that they get some attention. Irish Setters form strong bonds with their owners, and this mindset should help to make more unusual friendships possible.


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Barbets are less well-known than some breeds of dog, but they’re sure to be popular with any cats in your home. Their affectionate personalities help them to make friends. Even if it’s not love at first sight, cats are sure to see the appeal of Barbets as a living fluffy pillow!

Basset Hound

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Patience is a virtue—especially when dealing with snooty cats. Luckily, Basset Hounds have patience in spades, which makes them a great fit for feline-centered households. Basset Hounds are also known for being chilled out, so it’ll be a competition to see which of your pets is the laziest.


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Papillons are famous for their butterfly-like ears (‘papillon is French for butterfly), but they’ve also got a well-earned reputation for feline friendliness. They’re sociable and love making new friends, even if those friends aren’t humans or other dogs. Papillons won’t see cats as a threat—instead, they’ll be glad to have a new playmate.


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Poodles are smart enough to see a potential pal when they’re introduced to the family cat. Even if they’re initially unsure around felines, their natural intelligence means that they should cotton on fast to the new arrangement. They even come in a range of sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect poodle.

Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retrievers are real-life heroes, but they’re also perfectly comfortable with cats when they’re not saving lives or uncovering illegal goods. Despite their incredible work ethic and stamina, Labrador Retrievers enjoy a snooze as much as anybody, and it’s not unknown for them to curl up next to the family cat.


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We often stereotype greyhounds as faster-than-light sprinters who are more suited to the dog track than to a home filled with cats. However, according to the Spruce Pets, retired greyhounds are surprisingly easygoing. They love to spend their days lounging around, and they’ll enjoy it even more with a cat companion by their side.

Bichon Frise

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Appearances can be deceptive—Bichons Frises might look like oversized fluff balls, but they’re actually perfect for people with cats. These dogs are gentle, playful, and just a little bit feisty. These attributes make them perfect companions for cats who like their playtime to double as a good workout.

Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus are known for their flexible personalities, so they should adapt well to living with cats. Admittedly, Shih Tzus are also famous for their stubbornness, so owners might encounter more than a little resistance when introducing this dog to its new feline housemate. However, this shouldn’t prevent them from eventually becoming friends.


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These happy-go-lucky canines make great companions for similarly-sized felines. The American Kennel Club explains that Maltese dogs are naturally outgoing, so they’re sure to reach out the hand (or paw) of friendship if given the proper encouragement. If you’re looking for a petite pal for your kitten, the Maltese might be it.

Cocker Spaniel

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Cocker Spaniels are outgoing dogs who love company, and they’ll never miss the opportunity to get some attention—from humans or cats, it doesn’t matter! Their relatively laidback attitude means that they’re unlikely to start fights, so the entire household can be confident that fur won’t be flying when your animals hang out.

German Shepherd

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German Shepherds aren’t an obvious cat-friendly choice, but this breed is a real hidden gem. Their protective streak normally only applies to humans; however, with proper training, they’ll realize that the family cat is also part of their jurisdiction. Plus, these fearsome-looking dogs are softies at heart, so expect some cross-species snuggling.

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