While it may seem like cats and dogs could never co-exist, there are several breeds that can live harmoniously with their family’s feline counterparts and even, dare we say, learn to love cats. Here are the top breeds that can tolerate cats.
In spite of their serious expression, the Sussex Spaniel is a friendly breed with a cheerful and tractable disposition, said American Kennel Club (AKC) spokesperson Lisa Peterson. They enjoy long walks with their families and are good with children, dogs and other family animals.
“The Sussex is one of the slower Spaniel breeds and wouldn’t be as tempted to chase a cat as, say, a Saluki,” Peterson explained.
Intelligent and eager to please, Golden Retrievers make wonderful family pets that can adapt to many different living situations, including those with kids and other pets, Peterson shared.
“The breed’s friendly temperament and trainability, along with regular exercise, could lead to a very happy home life with a cat,” she said.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Developed for drafting and droving work with cows and sheep in the Swiss Alps, the Bernese Mountain Dog’s dedication to the animals it is used to sharing space with transfers over easily to household pets. With a gently, easygoing manner, the Bernese Mountain Dog fit in well with families and love to be close to their people.
A cheerful, happy dog known for its white, curled double coat, the Bichon Frise is small, sturdy and playful. Naturally gentle, lovable and cuddly, Bichons want only to please their owners and could be trained to live with other dogs or cats easily.
With a history of working with hunters, English Setters are adaptable and can be trained to live with a variety of animals, Peterson said. Gentle and affectionate, this excellent family pet loves to be with its people and doesn’t thrive when isolated in a yard of kennel. The breed is playful and friendly towards children and requires plenty of daily exercise to keep up with their energetic personality.
Though often equated to a beauty with no brains, the Poodle is exceptionally smart, active and excels in obedience training, Peterson said. All three sizes of the breed were developed to work with both people and other animals in various capacities—with the Standard originating as a water retriever, the Miniature possibly being used for truffle hunting and the Toy being used in performances and circuses—so life with a cat shouldn’t be a problem for any of them, according to Peterson.
A good natured and affectionate family companion, the Pekingese is an intelligent, regal breed. Because of their size, the breed fares well in both the city and the country and is loving and loyal to its owners. They are relatively inactive indoors so it’s rare that they’d chase a cat, Peterson said, and do not need a yard but enjoy daily walks.
With an even-temper, playful personality and an outgoing disposition, Pugs love being near their people. A family favorite that can be comfortable living in a variety of environments, the Pug can do well with both kids and additional pets. As with every breed on this list, a Pug and its feline housemate will need to be properly introduced.
“Although these breeds can all live with cats, successfully introducing cats and dogs often depends on the personality and temperament of the individual animals involved,” Peterson explained. “The two should always be introduced and monitored under the owner’s supervision.”
Jessica a managing editor and spends her days trying not to helicopter parent her beloved shelter pup, Darwin.
Cats and Dogs