Best Dogs For Cats: Top 5 Friendly Canines Most Recommended By Experts

If you wish to share your home with both cats and dogs, you’re probably seeking a dog breed that is friendly to felines. While it ultimately comes down to the individual dog, or cat for that matter, certain breeds do have tendencies to get along better with other animals. For example, many working dogs were bred to watch over and protect their family members, including other animals. Other breeds were bred to work closely in packs, so they are usually friendly with other furry family members. Wondering which ones? Check out our list of the best dog breeds for cats. 

Even though cats and dogs are generally thought to be natural enemies, a new study by animal behavior scientists at the University of Lincoln suggests that two different types of synthetic pheromones may allow cats and dogs of any breed to live in harmony together. Pheromones are a type of chemical that animals produce and release. They are generally thought to have evolved as a means of communication between members of the same species. Cats produce and secrete pheromones known as F3 facial pheromones. They deposit these pheromones on surfaces by rubbing their cheeks against them. By doing so, they are essentially marking the area as safe. Synthetic pheromone products, such as Feliway, mimic the F3 pheromone and are available for pet owners to purchase to help calm their cats.

On your hunt for the perfect pooch, it’s essential to look for breeds that have a gentle and patient temperament. Such dogs are often more accepting of feline companions and less likely to chase or show aggression towards them. Dogs with a calm disposition, social nature, and a history of being good around other animals are generally better suited to share a home with cats.

Ready to dive in and explore some of the sweetest social butterflies? StudyFinds consulted ten expert sources to find the best dogs for cats if you’re planning to get your kitty a bestie. If you are already the proud owner of a cat and dog who can’t live without each other, let us know what breed in the comments below!

The List: Best Dogs for Cats, According to Animal Experts

1. Labrador Retrievers

Playful and willing to learn, the gentle and sweet Labrador retriever will pretty much get along with any house companion you put their way. “Eager to please and full of fun, this intelligent breed is perfectly suited for those cats who think they are really a dog. Apt to put up with difficult felines, this popular dog will tolerate much more than many other breeds, making them one of the best dogs for cats,” says Canine Cottages.

adult yellow Labrador retriever
Labrador retriever (Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash)

Even though these enthusiastic dogs are far larger than a cat, they have more than enough love to give. “Labrador Retrievers are kind and outgoing and are known to get along with everyone they meet, regardless of species. They are gentle, intelligent, and eager to please,” informs the American Kennell Club.

The exuberant Labrador Retriever is a lover, not a fighter. They will happily welcome a cat into their circle of friends. “Along with befriending your cat, the Lab is a gentle giant who will make an ideal companion for your children. Though Labs are not jealous and more than willing to share their space with the cat, the cat must be willing to share their space with the dog,” offers Nylabone

2. Beagles

You may think that being a hunting dog, the beagle will not be up for sharing his home with a cat, but this isn’t the case with this cute breed. “Bred to hunt in packs, this can be a distinct advantage when it comes down to cohabiting with other species. Enthusiastic beagles may be tempted to chase a cat outdoors but when indoors, this easy-going breed will be keen to snuggle up with even the grumpiest feline,” says Canine Cottages.

shallow focus photo of short-coated white, brown, and black dog
Beagle (Photo by Luke MacGillivray on Unsplash)

With a merry and happy-go-lucky disposition, the Beagle gets along well with cats, perhaps due to its friendly and curious nature. “Laid-back and sociable, Beagles aren’t keen on being left alone, so will likely delight in having another furry animal to hang out with when you’re not home,” informs Pets Radar.

Beagles were bred to hunt in packs, so they are typically friendly with other animals. “Their happy-go-lucky nature makes them a pleasure to live with. They are loving companions that are likely to see a cat as just another member of the pack,” states the American Kennell Club.

3. Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are known for their laid-back and easygoing personalities. They are generally tolerant and patient, making them a great fit for homes with cats. “Due to their calm demeanor, Basset Hounds are less likely to be overly excitable or aggressive towards feline housemates. Early socialization and positive reinforcement are key to fostering a strong bond between these two furry friends,” says Get Set Pet.

brown and white short coated dog on green grass field during daytime
Basset Hound (Photo by Will Thomas on Unsplash)

This breed is competition for the most stubborn house cat. “More inclined to worry about how much sleep they are getting than playing chase, these cat-friendly dogs are unlikely to cause many problems. Just make sure that you don’t give your cat too much attention though or you’ll be treated to that pitiful basset howl no pet parent wants to hear,” offers Canine Cottages.

Basset Hounds have a relaxed attitude that makes them tolerant of other pets. “With their stout bodies, basset hounds tend to move slowly, making them cat-friendly dogs. They are incredibly laid-back and do not bother others so much. However, training Basset Hounds may be a bit challenging because of their stubbornness. But their patience and mild-mannered outlook make them friendly and tolerant of other pets in the house,” boasts Breeding Business.

4. Bulldogs

Bulldogs generally don’t make fast friends with other dogs, but cats and other pets are more welcome. “Its short snout makes it prone to heatstroke and its short coat doesn’t fair well in the cold. Plus, they aren’t fans of the water and they are lazy dogs that make excellent nappers, so the Bulldog and your cat already have four things in common, making them one of the best dogs that get along with cats,” says Reader’s Digest.

short-coated brown and white dog
Bulldog (Photo by Matt ODell on Unsplash)

Despite their meaty muscles and mean mugs, bulldogs are as goofy as they are girthy. “While many a bulldog mascot has faced off against a ‘panther’ or ‘wildcat’ on the court or field, bulldogs have no beef with cats outside the realm of sports and could make a compatible companion for your kitty, as well as children in the home,” explains Daily Paws

Bulldogs are even considered one of the animal kingdom’s most accepting members. They show affection and respect for all creatures. Cats will love the kindness of Bulldogs, as their stout and heavy frame belies an easy-going approach to life,” states Always Pets.

5. Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are known for their playful personalities, everyone knows that. “They need a good amount of daily exercise, but they are adaptable and outgoing, which makes them potentially great cat companions,” says the American Kennel Club.

golden retriever with black collar
Golden retriever (Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash)

The love that a Golden Retriever can have for their humans can also extend to other pets in the household. “They’re sometimes eager to make friends with your cat companion too, although it’s a good idea to make sure your cat also has the option to be on their own if they want to, as playful retrievers can be a little overwhelming for some felines,” offers Purina.

Many expert sites agree that Golden Retrievers are one of the best dogs for cats, and “golden” is a fitting word to describe this classic breed. “Kind and empathetic, Golden Retrievers accept cats readily as part of the family. However, this dog breed should be trained to not chase after the kitty early on. Once that is accomplished, the happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever and cat are sure to be a perfect match. Plus, this dog breed is innately amiable to other people and pets,” boasts Nylabone.

6. Papillons

These butterfly-eared dogs are about the size of a cat, and they also see your cat as a friend. “Papillons happy and curious nature make them like to join in on whatever fun the family is having, even if it involves a cat,” says American Kennel Club.

Papillon dog
Papillon dog (Photo by Anna Dudkova on Unsplash)

Papillons can get on well with cats not only due to their smaller size, but also because they can be very sociable with other animals. “This lovely little breed can be a loving companion and enjoys taking regular naps with their owners, as well as going out and about on lovely walks! However, it’s important for owners to ensure their cat has the opportunity to get away for a break when they need one, as Papillons can become a bit overexcited, which can be overwhelming for some cats,” explains Purina.

Those butterfly-ears will probably tempt your cat to play, but the Papillon probably won’t mind. “Papillons are up for anything, with anyone, all the time. Need two more reasons why a Papillon is a good option for the best dog breeds for cats? As a small dog lap lover, they can snuggle side by side with you with their kitty sibling. And they can both potty indoors, as the Papillon can learn to use an indoor potty system,” states Reader’s Digest.

7. Pugs

Pugs often don’t mind having feline company. In fact, you’re more likely to find them snuggling together than in the middle of a feisty exchange. “Dogs that are good with cats, such as Pugs, can often be the sweetest canines, and this breed is known for being generally good-tempered and sociable,” says Purina.

Pug sleeping with its toy
Pug sleeping with its toy (Photo by Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash)

You might want to sneakily record the shenanigans your cat and pug could get up to. “Pugs were voted ‘class clown’ at doggy obedience class. You can bet they are going to be stoked to have a sidekick to join their fun and games. Your cat won’t have dull days waiting near the window and then playing hard to get when you get home anymore. Don’t worry about being the odd one out—a pug will save enough energy for you, and be ecstatic to see you when you get home,” offers Reader’s Digest.

With their crinkly faces and curlicue tails, pugs can charm the socks off just about anyone, so don’t count out the family cat. “Like their cat counterparts, pugs have a penchant for warming laps and prefer a lackadaisical lifestyle being doted on by their owners. Similar in size as well, weighing as few as 14 pounds, pugs and cats have a lot in common and can enjoy the same slow pace of catching z’s during day-to-day life. Just make sure there’s enough of your lap to go around” states Daily Paws.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.


  1. Our Chihuahua loves and plays with our Tuxedo Cat. There is no jealousy and they make room for one another. Our previous Chihuahua and previous Siamese who have both crossed the Rainbow Bridge years ago, were the best of friends also.

  2. Our young female Mallinois loves one of our cats more than anything. She wants to be friends with the other two cats but they weren’t receptive and she didn’t pursue them further. One of our old dogs was a female gsd and golden retriever mix. She loved this same crotchety old cat.we have had a lot of dogs and they all acted fine with the cats, but these two and one miniature poodle were the ones who wanted to be “friends”; but none as much as the Mallinois.

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