October 19, 2021

9 cat breeds that get along well with dogs

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By Mary Daly from Care2

Cats and dogs: Friends or foes? Although these animals have to overcome some language barriers and natural tendencies, they’re not necessarily sworn enemies. The truth is many cats and dogs can coexist peacefully — or even become best friends — if their personalities align and they’re properly socialized. Here are nine cat breeds that typically get along well with dogs — as well as some tips on introducing cats and dogs in your household.


The American shorthair is a friendly, easygoing cat who can adapt to many different living situations — including a home with dogs. “If he’s well socialized as a kitten, he’ll happily interact with guests — toddlers should be supervised, so they don’t tug on his whiskers or tail — as well as cat-friendly canine companions,” according to VetStreet. These cats have moderate energy levels and typically aren’t demanding of constant attention, which allows them to comfortably coexist with their families.


Birman cat

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The Birman is another calm, affectionate cat who loves spending time with their family and can adapt to many different types of homes. “Birmans make friends with kids, dogs, and other cats,” VetStreet says. “In fact, unlike most felines, they don’t especially like being the ‘only pet,’ so you may want to get your Birman a companion — he won’t care if it’s another Birman, a different breed of cat or even a dog.” They’re only moderately active cats, but they do love to play. Some even enjoy chasing — or being chased by — other pets, according to VetStreet.


Japanese bobtails are considered a good luck charm in their homeland of Japan, where their history dates back at least a thousand years. These cats are outgoing, active and highly intelligent, and they love to play and explore. “It’s not unusual to find him splashing his paw in water, carrying toys around, or playing fetch,” according to VetStreet. Plus, they tend to get along with almost anyone — dogs, children and even strangers.


Maine coon lying down

Credit: Frank Anschuetz/Getty Images

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The Maine coon is a large, muscular cat who tends to be easygoing with almost everyone — other cats, dogs, kids and strangers. “He loves his family but isn’t demanding of attention,” VetStreet says. “He’ll follow you around and show an interest in what you’re doing, and if you’d like to give him some lap time, well, he’s all in favor of that, too.” Plus, they even have some common ground with dogs, as many Maine coons love playing fetch and can be trained to walk on a leash.


There’s a good chance the Norwegian forest cat — who dates back more than 4,000 years in Norway — and the Maine coon share a common ancestor based on their similar appearance. And perhaps that also helped to determine their mellow temperament when it comes to dogs. “This is a kind, loving, gentle cat with a strong nurturing instinct,” VetStreet says. They enjoy being with their families, including any other pets, but they’re not demanding of attention.


Super-affectionate Ragdolls get their name thanks to their tendency to go limp and be utterly relaxed when they’re cuddled. And their laidback nature makes them adaptable to most households and allows them to coexist peacefully with dogs. They even have a few things in common with their canine friends. “Ragdolls are sometimes nicknamed ‘puppycats’ because of the way they follow their people from room to room,” VetStreet says. Plus, instead of perching up high they’ll lie at your feet or by your side (or on your lap) like many dogs. And they can be trained to walk on a leash.


two Siberian cats

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Siberians are friendly, affectionate cats with an adventurous spirit. They do well in most types of households, as long as you put in the time to brush their long coat and provide them with games to keep them mentally and physically entertained. “This is one of those cats who tends to get along with everyone, including kids, dogs and other cats, although he can sometimes be a bit suspicious of guests until he gets used to them,” according to VetStreet. “He will enjoy following you around when you are at home and greet you happily after you’ve been gone.”


When you bring a Tonkinese into your home, you might just find you have a new household greeter — as these social cats love to involve themselves in all the activity. “With his friendly, open attitude, he can be a good choice for families with children, other cats, or cat-friendly dogs,” VetStreet says. These cats have lots of energy and love to play games, including tag and fetch. And they do well with a playmate — even of the well-socialized canine variety — to keep them entertained.


If you have a water-loving dog, a Turkish Van might be a great match. “The Turkish Van is nicknamed the ‘swimming cat’ for his love of water,” according to VetStreet. “It’s not unusual to find him splashing in ponds, pools or any other water he can find.” These are highly energetic, intelligent cats who get along with well-socialized dogs — as long as they’re the one in charge. They’re not huge fans of being held, but they love playing games and learning new tricks.


A kitten paws a dog's nose.

Credit: chendongshan/Getty Images

If you already have a dog and are considering acquiring a cat (or vice versa), it’s always a question of how the animals will react to one another. But with a little time and effort, you can help them develop a safe, friendly relationship.

Consider your dog or cat’s temperament

It’s important to be completely realistic about whether your current animal can handle any new animal in their domain. If your dog has a high prey drive, for instance, it might relentlessly chase a cat, causing them an unfair amount of stress. But if your dog or cat has previously lived with another animal, you might have an easier transition, according to PetMD. Still, it depends largely on the individual animals. Practice training cues with your dog — especially sit, leave it and stay — and make sure they’re well-exercised, so you have a better chance at keeping them under control around a cat.

Know animal body language

You must understand the body language dogs and cats display around one another, so you know how their interactions are going. “As you watch the dog, notice whether he can look at the cat and then look away,” Best Friends Animal Society says. If your dog is fixated on the cat, that probably means they’re too excited and might see the cat as prey. A relaxed cat will move confidently around a dog and won’t attempt to run away. They also won’t growl, hiss, scratch or show any other signs of stress.

Strategically introduce them

At first, keep the new animal in your home separated from the current resident, Best Friends says. A closed-off bedroom will do for a cat, for example. Allow them to hear and smell each other through the closed door for short, positive sessions. If that’s going well, let them see each other at a distance through a barrier, such as a gate (as long as they can’t reach each other). Once they no longer react to each other’s presence, allow them contact — but initially leash your dog for safety and make sure your cat has a place to go where they feel safe.

Don’t take risks

Always supervise your cat and dog together until you are 100 percent confident they’re safe. Even if that takes months, it’s better not to take the risk of leaving them alone. Best Friends suggests trying calming products, such as pheromone diffusers, to make the transition easier. And seek professional help from a trainer or behavioral specialist if either animal is struggling to adapt. They might be able to provide you with tactics that mean the difference between you having to give up one animal and both of them developing a positive friendship.

Main image credit: kozorog/Getty Images

For more on this story go to: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-cat-breeds-that-get-along-well-with-dogs.html

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