We all know that some cats and dogs can live happily ever after in one harmonious home. However, there are actually a number of canine breeds that just weren’t cut out to coexist with cats. Therefore, unless you want to referee a free-for-all as Fido chases Miss Kitty all over your house, pay attention to this list of those particular breeds that just aren’t particularly feline-friendly and probably never will be. Whether you have one of these breeds and are thinking of getting a cat, or you already have a cat and may have been thinking about what breed of dog to get, this information can help to keep your beautiful home from turning into a war zone.
The following list really isn’t meant to be a black and white revelation of any kind, but just a short list of dog breeds that tend to be more prone to chasing cats and viewing them as prey than most others. It also includes a few dog breeds that just don’t tolerate cats due to jealousy. Basically, some dogs are more readily accepting of cats as friends. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of a cat owner to do some in-depth research on a specific dog’s breed and temperament prior to adoption and letting the dog cohabitate with a cat.
The Manchester Terrier
These little guys have been bred for hunting rats and other small critters, and are capable of turning into a true protector of your backyard from rodents, which is a good thing. This cute, clean, sensitive, and very independent breed is usually an incredibly devoted and well-mannered family pet. They’re active and alert, requiring only moderate daily walks, however, that previous good thing that we mentioned can be a bad thing when this adorably inquisitive little doggy mistakes the family cat for one of those pesky rodents.
This breed is one of several medium-sized sighthounds and they’re well-known for being the quickest domesticated animals in their weight class. They’re actually capable of reaching speeds as high as 35 mph, which is pretty fast for a dog. That’s why this particular breed was developed in England for being a race dog and rabbit-courser. But, that means that they possess the instinct for chasing anything that’s furry and small, including cats. And, although they’re true natural athletes when they’re racing, they’re quite dignified and quiet in their homes and make great house dogs; but, just not in houses with cats as they do tend to chase them and, being so fast, generally catching them, too.
These dogs are members of an extremely intelligent and high-energy, breed. They’re always ready and willing for the job of working all day. They possess plenty of agility, strength, and courage for easily controlling and moving the most stubborn cattle. They are exceptional problem solvers but they also need something to do at home for keeping them busy and out of trouble. In some cases, they may be tolerant of a cat but only if they’re raised with them. They do, however, thrive better in cat-free homes because of their strong prey drive.
The Afghan Hound
These natural-born hunters were initially used for hunting wolves, rabbits, and the occasional snow leopard because of their speed and strength when bringing down prey. In addition, they also have the stamina necessary for maintaining arduous chases for sustained periods of time. They’re known for having a vigorous interest in chasing cats, and that’s what puts the Afghan Hound squarely at the top of the list of non-cat-friendly dog breeds. They are exceptional show dogs with their lovely silky hair and, although they require plenty of regular grooming for maintaining their beautiful coats, they are cherished by their masters as perfect companion dogs, just not in households with cats.
Schipperkes are extremely active dogs that have been bred for being watchdogs and vermin hunters. They just love getting involved in whatever’s happening around them. They do have a tendency toward turning into barkers unless they’re taught not to. This is mainly due to their watchdog breeding. Obedience classes when they’re young pups can help with this issue. They’re highly adaptable to both country and city life and enthusiastically participate in agility activities. This breed doesn’t require a great deal of grooming other than weekly brushings and occasional baths. But, due to their keen hunting instinct, Schipperke’s do their best when raised in a cat-free home.
The Smooth Fox Terrier
These members of the terrier family were initially owned by farmers who needed their assistance in eradicating vermin and driving foxes out of their underground dens. They’re seldom utilized for hunting these days but that doesn’t stop them from continuing to maintain that original drive and determination. They’re a very brave and bright breed plus they really love playing games and require regular exercise for the purpose of harnessing their very active natures. They also tend to be very protective and will bark at strangers. Smooth Fox Terriers are great watchdogs, however, they aren’t recommended for households with cats because of their high prey drive.
The Standard Schnauzer
The origination of this particular breed was in Germany for guarding families and livestock by ridding their farmyards of vermin. They’re affectionate and sociable, especially with children. They have a tendency toward being highly intelligent but also very strong-willed. Schnauzers need obedience training and regular daily exercise. And, since they have a high prey instinct as well as a fearless nature, they really shouldn’t be cohabitating with any kind of small pet, including cats.
The Irish Wolfhound
In spite of the fact that they are one of the world’s tallest breeds of dogs, Irish wolfhounds tend to be amazing family companions. They just want to be everybody’s friend and play with everybody that they meet. But, they’re also sighthounds who have been used for hunting, as well as other things. What that means is that basically, they see cats and any other small animal as prey that needs to be killed. Now, with their intense strength and large size, you won’t have much of a chance of stopping your Irish wolfhound when he or she is chasing after what is perceived as prey. That means that Miss Kitty could be living in constant fear and imminent danger. On the other hand, some Irish Wolfhounds may actually enjoy living with cats, but only when they’ve been raised together. Even then, there’s no way of knowing if they might attack your cat someday in the future. The nature of that relationship mainly depends on the wolfhound’s temperament and personality. Each one is different, therefore there’s absolutely no way to anticipate how they might react to having to share their home with a cat.
The Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terriers are quite unusual. They can look as gentle as a little lamb, however, they can have a tendency toward being ferocious with no problem whatsoever with attacking and killing another animal. That even includes other dogs who are their own size. So, naturally, they’re not strangers to killing smaller animals like cats. On top of that, they’re also extremely fast, like whippets, and once they’ve decided to chase after prey, there’s really not much that you can do about it. If they’re introduced when very young to your cat, they can be trained not to hurt her. However, although your Bedlington Terrier may learn to like Miss Kitty, that doesn’t mean that other cats can be considered safe around him. He could really love your cat but any other cat in the neighborhood could just look like lunch.
Samoyeds are really cuddly and adorable. They may even look like a big toy, however, they are actually Siberian working dogs with a very high prey drive plus a herding instinct that is extremely strong. They undoubtedly make an amazingly lovable family pet. They just love everybody, but will your cat be his or her BFF or look like prey? Each and every one is different, so assessing your particular situation must be approached on an individual level. Some Samoyeds have a tendency toward absolutely adoring little kittens, while others might just see them as his or her next meal. You can’t ever be 100 percent sure that your cat is really safe and that’s bad. So, even though most Samoyeds love their kitties when they’ve been raised together, their instincts and their prey drive could unexpectedly kick in at any time in their lives.
As the world’s fastest dogs, greyhounds were originally bred for chasing after small game, so obviously they’re not the optimum choice as an addition to any cat-loving home. Some greyhounds instinctively chase small animals, although others can easily learn the fine art of getting along with cats. There is a common misconception and it involves the thought that all greyhounds attack cats the minute that they get an opportunity and they can’t possibly live together. The fact is that possibly only a small number of former racing greyhounds can’t be trusted with cats but it’s also a fact that approximately 20 percent of them won’t hesitate to kill your cat and frankly that’s 20 percent too many.
The Italian Greyhound
Although Italian Greyhounds aren’t quite as fast as their famous cousin, that still won’t make them the perfect cat companion. They’ve also been bred for chasing small game, which means that your kitty might easily become their next prey. Italian greyhounds are usually pretty submissive and thrive in environments that are nice and peaceful, however, if they spot a small animal moving quickly, they have a tendency toward following their basic instincts. On the other hand, getting along with cats is primarily dependent on how they’re trained and socialized by their owners. If your cat and your Italian Greyhound are introduced at an early age, they will have the opportunity of growing up together and your dog will end up seeing your cat as a friend rather than as food.
One thing that you can count on, in general, is the fact that, when dogs are basically bred for hunting, they simply don’t get along with any animals that aren’t dogs, and especially cats. The Weimaraner’s no exception. They are wonderful dogs and can be experts at showering you and your family with plenty of love, but unfortunately, your cat won’t ever be a part of their circle of friends. Sadly, even a Weimaraner who has been raised around cats can suddenly come to the realization that your cat is just a meal to him or her. Since they were bred to chase after and kill their prey, they just can’t overcome their basic nature. Although there have been some lovely friendships between cats and Weimaraners, to be sure, the risk is just too high, don’t you think? After all, what would you do if your dog attacked your cat? Since the animal kingdom is what it is, and we can’t possibly change it, don’t choose to adopt a kitty if you have a Weimaraner and vice versa.
The Siberian Husky
These are truly beautiful dogs who are known for demanding lots of attention. That’s one of the reasons why they’re not recommended for adoption by people who are not very experienced dog-owners, nor for any family that has smaller pets in the home, especially cats. Their hunting nature imparts a tendency toward chasing those small animals and you can bet that Miss Kitty would be no exception to the rule. If they’re adopted as a pup and kitten, they could grow up together as BFFs because basically, if they’re raised together, your dog will have become used to living with your cat and, at the same time, your cat won’t perceive Fido as a threat. Your job will be to provide the chance for them to get to know each other in a cat and dog-friendly environment and also encouraging interaction and positive behavior.
The Scottish Deerhound
Scottish Deerhounds are quite a large breed but, in spite of their size, are really sweet and affectionate toward their humans. But, cats not so much. They’re powerful hunters with a high prey drive, which could end up posing a grave threat to your family cat. They require an experienced owner with a firm hand, much like other large breeds. You must control them and keep them from exhibiting bad behavior, like killing cats for example. One problem with this breed is that, even though you could turn him into a devoted friend to your cat, he could see all others as fair game. And, unless your cat and your Scottish deerhound are raised together, you may never be able to get them to peacefully coexist.
The Shih Tzu
The very glamorous little Shih Tzu aka the “Chinese Lion Dog”, happens to be a spunky little guy or girl who loves humans and is always expecting plenty of the same in return. They’re known for being friendly little dogs and for generally getting along pretty well with other animals. On the other hand, however, they lean toward feeling threatened by another pet living in their home. You see, this adorable breed has a strong desire to be the center of attention. They get very unhappy and quite jealous when another animal, especially a cat, steals the spotlight. And, although they may not hurt another pet, a Shih Tzu could get his or her feelings hurt and end up really suffering when they perceive that they’re being ignored. That’s why they must be slowly introduced to a new member of the family to ensure that they can get along. And, unless you have plenty of time to devote to this endeavor, better just to not try putting a Shih Tzu and a cat together in the same home.
The Toy Manchester Terrier
This breed has earned a nickname and it’s “rat terrier” because they were bred to hunt rats and mice. They have characteristics of both a toy breed and a terrier and make really loyal loving pets and excellent family companions who love making their owners happy. However, they have a tendency toward being exceptionally jealous and completely unwilling to share their people with other animals. Besides that, they’re also not particularly fond of cats at all and really can’t be trusted with any small furry animals. Even if you were somehow able to successfully suppress their dominant hunting instincts, they would still be jealous of your kitty and end up wreaking havoc on your home. Instead of being able to enjoy your beautiful pets, you would simply be dealing with two very unhappy animals who can’t tolerate each other and probably never will.
The Yorkshire Terrier
In a way, this breed is similar to the Shih Tzu because they’re also little dogs with huge personalities. They have pretty big egos and think that the entire world should be revolving around them. They have no inclination toward ever sharing even a little bit of their owner’s love with some other animal, especially if it’s a cat. Having a cat in the same home with a Yorkie would simply be something that interferes with his or her happiness. And, in spite of their small size, a Yorkie could conceivably hurt your cat if he or she felt threatened.
The Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hounds are very loyal dogs. They’ve been used as rabbit hunters for centuries and have developed a tenacious prey drive that could cause accidental confusion that would make your poor innocent cat look like prey. The two usually can’t get along with each other and your Pharaoh Hound could require tons of training just for overcoming his or her natural instincts. So, in the event that your hound and your cat weren’t raised together, don’t bother trying to put them together. An encounter like that could easily have an unpleasant end, to say the least. In the event that they are raised together and seem to be good friends, certain precautions should be taken. Don’t allow them to play a game of chase as your cat could end up getting hurt or worse. Also, don’t leave them alone together unsupervised. Even if they’re friends, give them separate rooms away from each other when you have to leave the house.
Additional Breeds that Aren’t Suitable for Homes with Cats
These dog breeds generally may do well with cats, especially if they’re raised in a home with a cat and trained to have respect for them. However, they still shouldn’t be left alone and unsupervised together. In many cases, a dog may be well aware that he has to show a certain amount of respect for a cat when their owner is present. But then, when their owner’s back is turned, he or she could take advantage of those primal instincts and cause injury to their smaller so-called friend.
There are, of course, a number of other dog breeds who possess a very high prey drive, as well and are therefore also not suitable cat companions. Here are a few of them:
- Akita Inus
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Border Collies
- Doberman Pinschers
- Jack Russell Terriers
- Norwegian Elkhounds
- Rhodesian Ridgebacks
- Shiba Inus
More Cat-Tolerant Dog Breeds
Of course, there are some dog breeds that are usually more tolerant of cats. However, you can’t really generalize because each and every dog has his or her very own individual personality. That being said, here are a few of the more cat-tolerant dog breeds:
- Australian Shepherds
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers