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15 Of The Worst Dog Breeds For Cats

While cats and dogs can live together without conflict, there are some canine breeds that are not the best to have around cats. Learn about 15 of the worst dog breeds for cats in this quick guide.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: January 27, 2023 | 16 min read

Dog and cat scared of each other on sofa

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Are you a purr parent considering adding a puppy to the mix? Or perhaps you are a dog owner who wants to welcome a feline family member. Knowing what dog breeds get along with cats and those that do not is important. It is essential for any pet parent considering mixing cats and dogs in the same household to know the worst dog breeds for cats.

For pet owners, nothing can replace the bond of a beloved four-legged friend. For pet parents of cats and dogs, the bonds with their human families are sometimes intense, but there can be some conflict among the four-legged siblings. This can lead to some rather uncomfortable living situations for everyone involved.

Cats and dogs can live together peacefully, depending on specific breeds and living environments. Many pet owners are pet parents to more than one kind of pet. It is common for felines and canines to live in the same household. Though they can live together and get along well, mixing these two animals in the same living space can be an argument ready to happen. Pet owners looking to add a dog to a household with kitties may want to steer clear of certain breeds. This guide discusses 15 of the worst dog breeds for cats.

Reminders

It is important to point out that while breed does play some role and whether or not cats and dogs get along, a large amount of the responsibility also lies with the owners. Pet owners must ensure that all animals under their care are safe and not subject to any injury or harm. This includes unwanted attention from another pet.

If you are choosing to mix canines and felines in the same household and have not done so before, remember that this is a very sensitive process. Some cats can even experience depression after a new pet is introduced to the home. Whether you already own a cat and are bringing home a dog or are a dog family that is welcoming home a kitty, make sure you take the appropriate steps to introduce the two properly. Take things slowly, and do not allow either pet to feel like their space or home is being invaded.

We also must point out that even though these breeds have made our list of dogs that are the worst for cats, that does not mean that they are bad pups. These are all wonderful breeds that can make great pets in the right circumstance. Not all canines will get along with kitties, and that is okay. Owners need to take the time to research both the breed of cat they have and the dog they want to get before making any kind of permanent decision.

Owners can also do a trial run, where they introduce their cat to a new dog or puppy to see how they will react. Introductions should always be done slowly and in small doses. Remember that both animals will be nervous and anxious, so these first introductions must be handled very carefully. Our guide is a quick overview for informational purposes only. Always consult with your veterinarian and a pet behavior expert if you need specific advice about your pet.

What Dog Breeds Are Not Good With Cats?

While cats and dogs can live together peacefully, certain canine breeds are less suitable to have in homes with smaller animals, especially felines. Many dog breeds were historically bred as hunters, herders, and working animals. They have a higher prey drive than some other, calmer canine breeds. Additionally, cats, even domestic felines, are natural-born hunters. So, mixing a dog breed that is not good with felines into the equation can sometimes result in a chaotic and even risky situation.

Worst Dog Breeds For Cats

While training, socialization, and environment all play a role, some canine breeds are simply not as great at getting along with our sweet purr babies. Below, we have listed, in alphabetical order, some of the worst dog breeds for cats.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound outside

Though gorgeous to look at, the Afghan Hound is one of the worst dogs to have around your purr babies. Afghan Hounds are an incredibly old breed and originated in Afghanistan. These canines have always been bred to hunt and are quite fast, athletic, and agile. They are well known for their glamorous appearance. These pooches are covered in long silky hair. They reach between 50 and 60 pounds, so they have a big size advantage over felines.

Afghan Hounds are best kept in single-pet households. Because they are such avid hunters, they love to chase small animals, especially those kitties. Though they may not intend to hurt a feline, these incredibly fast, high-stamina pups will never tire of chasing Fluffy around. Their speed is a huge advantage, and no cat stands a fair chance.

Anyone who keeps an Afghan Hound in the same home as felines need to make sure these pups are always supervised and very well trained. It is best to keep these two animals separated when not being supervised due to the hound’s propensity to tirelessly chase and hunt anything that catches their interest.

American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier sitting outside

The American Pitbull Terrier, commonly called the Pitbull, Pittie, and Pit, is considered the original Pitbull. These pups are known for their reputation for being aggressive, fighting dogs. This reputation is due to their history of being bred as fighters, bullbaiting, and guard dogs. Though these pups are not nearly as aggressive as their reputation suggests, Pitbulls and Pit mixes are not great canines to have around cats.

Pitbulls have very high energy, and they have long been bred and trained to fight. Along with that, they have a very high prey drive and love to chase after smaller critters. Kitties fit the bill perfectly. Pitbulls love to chase things, almost to the point of obsession. They are known for bolting outside to chase every bird, squirrel, and chipmunk that passes by. This applies to purr babies, other small pets like rodents, reptiles, and even smaller pups.

Pitbulls can learn to live with felines but need socialization training with them, preferably when young. This can help, but owners will always need to keep a close eye on their pups and kitties if they choose to bring a Pitbull into a home with felines. These pups may try to chase them, and though they may not intend harm, they can be scary and are much stronger and heavier. The average cat weighs about 8 to about 15 or so pounds (sometimes 20), and a Pitbull weighs 30 to 65 pounds fully grown. That simply is never going to make a fair match. this breed is similar to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is also a pooch that is not a great match for feline companions.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog outside

Australian Cattle dogs are also called Blue Heelers. This breed continues to rise in popularity. These pups are a mix of unique appearances and adorable personalities. Aussies are an incredibly active breed and were historically bred as herding and working dogs. Australian Cattle dogs are incredible herders, very hardworking, and quite tough. This makes them very popular for farms and ranches. Over the last few decades, though, this breed has become more popular as a family pet. They make wonderful companions for highly active families and are very protective.

Australian Cattle dogs are not great to have around smaller animals, like your purr babies. Their high energy, incredible herding nature, and muscular bodies are a great combination, but not if you are a cat. These guys weigh between 35 and 50 pounds and are very powerful. Though not likely to want to hunt the cat, they will constantly be herding Fluffy, which can lead to some significant chaos and friction in the home.

Beagle

Beagle puppy walking outside

Beagles are known to be incredibly friendly with other canines and people. Just ask one of the most famous Beagles of all, the cartoon character Snoopy. They are very easy to train and have a sweet, energetic temperament. Though they are quite fun to have around, these pups are also a bit of a handful. Their name, Beagle, is believed to be derived from a French word that means “loudmouth.” Anyone who has owned a Beagle or Beagle mix can attest that this is a very accurate description. Small yet mighty, these are one of the most vocal breeds around. Beagles are also not a great breed to have around a kitty.

Beagles belong to the hound group and have historically been bred as hunters. Though these guys are not as powerful as some larger breeds, they reach between 15 and 30 pounds. These pups are a small force to be reckoned with. Beagles love to hunt, are quite fast, and are small enough to follow kitties into some of their most hidden and hard-to-get-to hiding spots. Because of this, the perky Beagle makes our list of worst dogs to have with cats.

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier standing outside

These doggies have an incredibly unusual appearance, including tasseled ears, very curly coats, highly arched backs, and pear-shaped heads. They are likely bred from the sighthound family. These pups are small to medium size, between 17 and 23 pounds. They are vigilant and make excellent watchdogs. Though they are on the smaller side, these canines are known to be territorial and chase away anything that comes near them. Bellington Terriers do not like smaller animals and will constantly track the cat.

This breed is also known to get aggressive, even toward other canines, especially those of the same sex. They are big barkers and will become agitated easily. This is not a good breed to have around kitties or sometimes even other dogs. Though they make wonderful pets and get on well with humans, these kiddos are not good to have around cats.

Greyhound

Greyhound face up close smiling

Greyhounds are incredibly smart, very agreeable, and highly skilled hunters who make wonderful family pets. They reach between 50 and 85 pounds. They are, however, incredibly quick and agile. Though this breed is known to be a bit on the lazy side, Greyhounds are one of the fastest canine breeds around.

Greyhounds are said to be descendants of ancient sighthounds famous in ancient Greece and Rome. In fact, greyhounds are thought to be one of the oldest purebred canine breeds in the world. These pups have been depicted and honored throughout ancient Egyptian history. The Pharaohs highly favored these elegant, athletic companions.

In more recent history, the Greyhound is well known as a racing dog. Though racing is no longer popular, the elegant and agile Greyhound remains a highly fashionable breed. Greyhounds are not aggressive, but they do not do well with smaller animals, particularly felines. Because they are so fast and are naturally born ancient, bred hunters, kitties make easy targets for this breed. With their speed and size, these dogs should always be highly supervised around felines.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier sitting on rocks

Jack Russell Terriers are small, extremely spunky balls of energy. They were initially bred as fox-hunting dogs in England. These guys are small. They reach between 13 and 17 pounds. Because of their small size, it is often thought that they might behave well with felines. The opposite is true.

Jack Russells are bred to be confident, sturdy, and full of attitude. They are literally bred to chase small animals. Although they are rarely used for fox hunting these days, the Jack Russell will happily chase your purr baby, your neighbor’s purr baby, mice, squirrels, birds, and any other small animal that crosses their paths. They are skilled hunters, and if they manage to catch a cat, it is improbable the cat will leave that encounter unscathed. Jack Russells make the top of our list of worst dog breeds for cats.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer face up close outside

Miniature Schnauzers are an adorable breed. They have a very striking appearance, which makes them fairly popular. These pups are small, only reaching between 10 and 20 pounds. These kiddos hailed from Germany and were originally bred to chase vermin away from houses and farms. Though the breed is primarily kept as companions or show competitors now, they retain those impeccable hunting skills.

Mini Schnauzers are quite personable around people and tend to get along with other canines well. The same, however, cannot be said for felines. This breed has powerful hunting instincts. Which means they love to chase smaller animals, including the cat. Even though the Mini Schnauzer might be the same size as the cat, they still have the upper hand. Schnauzers come in three sizes, and even though only the mini is on our list, any Schnauzer breed is likely to have the same high prey drive and desire to chase your family cat.

Samoyed

White Samoyed walking in field

The Samoyed is a strikingly beautiful, medium-sized dog breed. These pups stand out because of their gorgeous white coats and faces that look like they have a constant smile. Samoyed are medium-sized, between 35 and 65 or so pounds when fully grown. The Samoyed can be traced to Siberia, where they were bred to survive harsh, wintry conditions.

Samoyed love to chase. They will chase anything, anytime. This means that the cat is a constant target. They have a high prey drive and are naturally inclined to hunt and kill small animals. Unfortunately, this means that the neighborhood wildlife and the pet cat can easily become a target. Because of the risk of injury to your cat, keeping a Samoyed and feline in the same home is not advised.

Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound face up close outside

The Scottish Deerhound is a dog bred to hunt and chase. They follow these instincts to chase smaller animals. Kitties are the perfect size to chase about. These pups are very gentle with people but are large and have a wiry, somewhat scruffy coat. As members of the hound family, they were initially bred to hunt deer. Those hunting instincts stand strong and will chase down any smaller animal they encounter. This includes the family cat.

Scottish Deerhounds are impressive animals and can get huge. These pups reach between 75 and 110 pounds on average. Their large size, strong hunting skills, and stalking behavior can create an agitated situation with cats. The massive size difference, as well as this, breeds a tendency to chase after things, meaning these Deerhounds are not a great match for homes with felines.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu face up close looking up

It is often thought that smaller breeds of dogs always get along well with small animals, but this is a misconception. The Shih Tzu breed is a perfect example. These pups are small, only reaching about 9 to 16 pounds when fully grown. They get along well with children and other dogs, but kitties are a different story. These petite canines were bred to be watchdogs by Tibetan holy men. Shih Tzus are incredibly stubborn and very agile. This breed is also very bossy and tends to be nippy. These traits make them a poor choice for homes with feline family members.

The Shih Tzu is not aggressive towards kitties. Rather they tend to be highly jealous. The jealousy prompts bad behavior, as well as aggressive behavior directed towards the cat. The Shih Tzu needs to be in charge and the center of attention, and their stubborn streak makes them poor companions for a cat. A very patient owner with lots of time and energy to dedicate towards peaceful cohabitation may be able to train their Shih Tzu to get along with felines. Still, these are not great pups to bring into a cat household.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky running outside

Siberian Huskies are another breed known for their strikingly gorgeous appearance. These snow dogs were bred to survive some incredibly harsh conditions. They are survivalists, very skilled hunters, and have exceptionally high prey drives. Huskies love to chase smaller animals, and this includes smaller pets. It is highly likely that bringing a Husky around a kitty will result in chaos and is not a safe situation for your feline.

This Siberian Husky ranges in size between 35 and 60 pounds. Though Huskies are usually friendly with children and other canines, smaller animals are at a high risk of getting chased. Huskies are muscular and powerful, and extremely fast. This makes them impressive hunters and popular choices for sled dogs. Though they can make excellent pets and are unforgettable companions, these are just not a great breed to have around felines.

Weimaraner

Weimaraner standing outside

This breed is elegant and can get quite large, between 55 and 90 pounds. The Weimaraner is native to Germany. Their nickname is the Gray Ghost due to their elegant appearance and somewhat mysterious background. They were bred to hunt big game and are agile and very fast. Even as companions, they love to chase small game, and kitties are the perfect prey.

Along with their large size and skilled hunting instincts, Weimaraners are very high-energy. This breed is also extremely stubborn, extraordinarily persistent, and smart. They will constantly be chasing things, take up a lot of room, and your cat will never feel safe. With proper socialization as puppies, they can be taught to get along better with cats, but in general, this breed is not a great one to mix with felines.

Whippet

Whippet running on the beach

Whippets look incredibly unique, resembling a smaller, sleeker version of the Greyhound. They have incredibly long necks and skinny faces. Their slender bodies are carried on lanky legs, giving them a very interesting appearance. With people, Whippets are quite docile and sweet, though they tend to be stubborn. They make very good pets and have no problem lying around the house all day.

When Whippets get time outside, they become far more energetic pups. Whippets are quite athletic, fast, and agile. These pups are remarkable jumpers and can even jump some backyard fences. Whippets reach between 25 and 40 pounds and are made mainly of muscle. They belong to the hound family and love to chase things. This means that the cat will be a regular target, making having this breed in the same home as a kitty a bit challenging.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier walking on leash outside sunny day

Yorkies, as this breed is commonly called, are an incredibly fashionable canine breed. They are loved for their small size, and these little ones only reach between 4 and 7 pounds. Yorkies are very friendly with children and other dogs and make popular family pets. Because these doggies are so small and cute, it is often forgotten that Yorkies descend from hunting ancestors. Historically working as chasers of vermin and rats, these pups were not always as popular as purse and companion pups. Because they still retain these hunting instincts and incredibly high prey drive, Yorkies love to chase things, like cats.

Yorkies are not intimidated by a cat’s equal or larger size and love to be in charge. This bossy nature, combined with a high prey drive, means that the cat is a constant target. Though it might seem like the two similar-sized animals will get along, this is not often the case. Because of their propensity to chase after other small animals, Yorkies make our list of some of the worst dog breeds to have for cats.

Hounds

Hounds, particularly sighthounds, are bred to hunt other animals. This includes small and large games. Hounds are generally athletic, muscular, and agile. These breeds have very good senses of smell, great vision, and great chase skills. Any dog that belongs to the hound family may be inclined to chase after smaller animals, like the family cat. Take caution when bringing a Hound of any kind home to a house full of felines or even a house with just one feline.

Terriers

Though some exceptions exist, like Rat Terriers and Boston Terriers, most canines that belong to the Terrier family do not do well with cats. Terriers have a history of being bred to chase smaller animals like rodents and cats. Some can even develop jealousy and aggression towards felines, so try to avoid any kind of terrier breed in homes with cats.

Do Cats Get Along With Dogs?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Some felines get along well with dogs, while others do not. Often it depends on the individual situation. Certain kitties may get along with specific pups, while others may not like canines of any kind. Kitties that have been socialized with and raised with dogs from a young age are more likely to get along with them.

Cats can get along with dogs, but that does not mean they always do. In some cases, these two will bond and become best friends for life. In other situations, they retreat to separate corners and rarely interact. It all depends on the specific animals and the environment they live in.

It is important to remember that cats and dogs are different animals and have different needs. Overall, dogs are more friendly, energetic, and lively to jump in and interact immediately. Cats tend to be a little more reserved and will take their time until they feel comfortable. Still, there is no way to know how these two species will interact with each other. Just because a kitty gets along with one pup does not mean they will like every pooch they meet.

Tips For Helping Cats Get Along With Dogs

  1. Do not force kitties to be around dogs if they do not seem comfortable. Understand that both animals need time to get used to each other. Just like introducing new cats to each other, this process is delicate and cannot be forced. They will test this newcomer out when they feel good and ready.
  2. Keep the animals separate for the first few days. Allow them to sniff items or areas where the other has been to get used to the new scent.
  3. Animals communicate differently, both with us and with each other. Understand this and be patient.
  4. Make sure kitties have their space. Felines are territorial. They do not like their space invaded and need places they can go to get away from the activity. Wall steps that lead to a lofty hiding spot or even a room the dog is not allowed in can help.
  5. Cats and dogs should have separate sleeping areas, beds, eating areas, toys, treats, etc. Please do not make them share, as this can foster territorial and aggressive behavior.
  6. Give each animal individual attention, and make sure both know they are loved.
  7. Allow cats and dogs to become friends on their own terms.
  8. Train kitties and dogs young to socialize with each other and tolerate each other. This will help them get along better.
  9. Remember that there is a huge size difference between canines and felines. Cats are much smaller. Even the most muscular cat is at great risk if a dog sets their sights on them. Make sure your home is safe for your cat and dog to live in together.
  10. Supervision is essential, even for animals that have lived together for a long time. There are many different triggers and underlying factors to animal behavior, so owners always need to ensure they supervise their animals and are not allowing either to provoke the other.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best dog breeds for cats?

Some dog breeds do better with felines than others. Those who are known for being calm and docile and do not come from a hunting line are better choices. Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Collies, Bulldogs, Papillons, and Pugs are just a few.

Do cats like dogs?

This is not a question with one specific answer. Some felines like dogs, while others do not. This will depend on the individual cat, the individual dog, and the experience the kitty has had. Felines raised with pups from a young age may not have any issues with them, while kitties who have never had experience with a dog may have a stronger reaction when one is introduced into their life. Cats do not inherently like or dislike dogs.

What is the most cat-friendly dog?

The Golden Retriever is often touted as one of the best dog breeds to have with cats. These pups are gentle, fairly well-behaved, and known to be very kind. However, even the gentle and sweet Golden must be trained to interact appropriately with felines from day one. They need to be taught that cats are not toys and should not be chased or played around in a rough way. The same goes for every dog, regardless of breed.

Final Thoughts

Cats and dogs can live together in peaceful harmony, though it takes a lot of work. Many things impact how well a feline and a canine will get along. Some of it has to do with the individual animals, their temperaments, living environments, and experience. Though every animal is different, and plenty of kitties and dogs get along like peas in a pod, some canine breeds do not do very well around felines. Our list of the worst dog breeds for cats has explained a little more about these canines and why they may not be a good choice for a home with felines.

Feline owners can always contact their veterinarian if they have questions about introducing a dog into a cat household or vice versa. With the help of your veterinarian and pet behavior experts, this can be a peaceful and happy transition. Many dogs and cats become fast friends, while others will take their time. Be patient and show all your animals love and support during this time of transition.

A playful calico cat rolling in the dirt and leaves, enjoying the midday sun shine

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