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The 17 Best Dog Breeds For Cats

Looking for the best dog breed to introduce to your cat? These are the dog breeds and traits that coexist peacefully with cats.

Kaitlyn Cawley

Updated December 01, 2022 • Published July 12, 2021

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The 17 Best Dog Breeds For Cats

Introducing a new pet to the household is always a little nerve-racking. Dealing with a clash of personalities with a new roommate is normal, but when you're two different species, things can get even more complicated. While cats and dogs' personalities are determined by a lot more than their breeds, it is a helpful indicator about what traits a dog or cat may be more prone to display. If you're looking for a new dog but want to do your best not to turn your cat's whole life upside down, look no further. We put together the best dog breeds for cats.

Best dog breed traits for cats

  • Social

  • Smaller/toy dogs

  • Low prey drive

  • Medium to low energy

  • Trainable

  • Young (puppy aged)

Best dog breeds for cats

1. Basset hound

basset hound - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

These beloved and very distinctive dogs are a great choice for cat breeds. They are friendly and patient and aren't prone to quick bursts of energy, making them mild, easygoing companions for a new cat in your life.

2. Beagle

Beagle - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

Beagles are pack animals and naturally coexist well with other animals. Their friendly, outgoing natures are more likely to make them see your cat as a friend not an enemy. Even if your cat doesn't take to the dog right away, the beagle's unflinchingly sunny disposition makes it a great, patient breed to build a bond with over time.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

These adorable dogs are real lovers and their affectionate nature means they're more interested in cuddling than getting into territory wars with a cat. These dogs really adapt to their home environment, showing a propensity to either sleep all day or display great athleticism — whatever is required of them. Their even temper means they won't rise to any hissing contests.

4. Papillon

papillon - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

This dog breed is just about the size of a cat (which can certainly help with the intimidation factor). Papillons are energetic, which may not suit all cats (especially the lazy ones), but their super friendly demeanors make them more likely to seek friendship over antagonism from your cat.

5. Pug

pug - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

Another smaller dog, a pug is a good choice for a companion to cats. While known for being both curious and mischievous (which can occasionally be problematic), pugs are loving, caring dogs who value company — something your cat can help provide. With their strong, sturdy builds, a pug can stand up to any potential feline fights without worrying too much about the outcome.

6. Golden Retriever

golden retriever - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

Is there any dog more universally adored for being the good-est dog than the Golden Retriever? These gentle, loving, playful dogs may initially scare your cat with their size, but their kind natures quickly shine through, making them great companions for your cat — especially if your cat enjoys a little exercise.

7. Pomeranian

pomeranian - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

As one of the smallest (and fluffiest) dog breeds, Pomeranians make interesting companions for cats. Most cats will not view a Pomeranian as much of a threat because most cats are larger than Poms. Vivacious, intelligent dogs, Pomeranians will keep your cat active and stimulated without feeling scared.

8. Collie

collie - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

These beautiful, brilliant dogs are natural born herders — and there's nothing easier than herding cats. Right? Collies are known for being loving, caring creatures and have been known to develop strong bonds with both children and cats alike. They are easily trained and can learn your cat's boundaries very quickly (especially if there are claws involved).

9. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

While a Labrador Retriever is a good bit larger than an average cat, their kind, generous personalities quickly reveal they're not really threats. This dog breed is known for getting along with near everyone and cats are no exception (when introduced slowly and smoothly). While they may occasionally be too enthusiastic for your cat, they have a huge hearts that will eventually win your cat over (we hope).

10. Bull Dog

bull dog - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

While your cat may be scared of a Bull Dog initially (which is why it's so important to take introductions slow), a Bull Dog will quickly reveal itself as the softie it is. While not all Bull Dogs are the same, they are celebrated for their friendly, laidback temperaments that will complement your cat's personality perfectly. (They may like the slobber less!)

11. Poodle

poodle - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

Very intelligent dogs, Poodles' personalities really span the spectrum. But as highly trainable creatures, a poodle can be taught not only to tolerate, but to eventually love your cat. These active dogs are well known to be good with children, which is always a good sign your cat is in good paws.

12. Newfoundland

newfoundland - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

A gentle giant, the Newfoundland may intimidate your cat by its sheer size. But it will quickly become apparent that these super sweet dogs are truly lovers, not fighters who are devoted to their companions above all else. This dog breed is incredibly tolerant and will put up with more than their fair share of cat antics before your pets form a bond.

13. Maltese

maltese - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

These playful dogs are independent and loving. As toy dogs, they aren't overly large or intimidating for your cat. While these dogs are known for their classy manners, they can appear a little standoffish, which probably will help with your cat getting used to the idea of a dog in the house. Like cats, Maltese dogs enjoy their own space, making them good companions for cats not looking to be pummeled with love all the time.

14. Corgi

corgi - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

A natural companion dog, the Corgi is both loving and loyal. With its even temper, the Corgi is a great dog for a cat. Corgis are friendly, but not necessarily needy, which can be complementary in personality to a cat who may not mind a dog companion (but may not also want it all the time). These independent dogs fear nothing, which may remind you of a certain feline in your life.

15. Shetland Sheepdog

shetland sheepdog - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

These smart and obedient dogs take to training well, meaning they will learn a cat's boundaries quickly — and respect them too. While they're similar to Collies, the Shetland Sheepdog is smaller, making it a little less intimidating for your cat to deal with. And as a natural herder, the sheepdog is used to wrangling difficult personalities, so your cat should be a walk in the park.

16. Pekingese

pekingese - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

This toy dog grows to be around cat sized (or a little bigger, depending on how chonk-y either animal is). They, like cats, aren't too big on a lot of play fighting and can display both incredible love and incredible independence. A Pekingese has a proud, royal bearing, which means it might have more in common with your cat than you think.

17. Silky Terrier

silky terrier - best dog breed for cats - Pawp

The Silky Terrier with its feisty personality may not seem like an obvious choice for a dog breed that's good with cats. But with their playful, curious, and (occasionally) people-pleasing ways, these loyal, loving dogs perform well in multi-pet households. Not too large to scare the wits out of your cat, the Silky Terrier is a great dog breed for a cat.

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