Dogs and cats are known for getting into fights with each other. If there are unsocialised cats and dogs in a small room, a fight will likely break out. This phenomenon has been observed so much all over the world, that people made a saying for it: “fighting like dogs and cats.”
However, it’s possible to get both a dog and a cat peacefully in a household. Certain dog breeds get along pretty well with cats and other animals in general. Nothing is impossible with early socialisation and proper obedience training. Here’s a list of the best dog breed candidates that can easily befriend most cats.
Why Cats And Dogs In The Same Household Can Be A Bad Idea?
Dogs and cats can be seen as mortal enemies: they always try to bite each other’s necks. But not a lot of people really know why both act aggressively against each other. As it turns out, their aggressive behaviour towards each other are due to their numerous interactions over the last many thousand years before they were domesticated.
A Bit Of History
Dogs or Canis familiaris is a form of wolf domesticated by humans. Nobody is quite certain about when wolves evolved and became man’s best friend. But archaeological evidence was able to connect some of the dots. Wolves lived near human settlements, where early humans fed them their food leftovers.
Felines, on the other hand, are believed to be first domesticated by Egyptians as early as 3,500 BC. These wildcats or “myeo” were used to help control the population of rodents, snakes, and other pests during that era. And since then, early Egyptians also learned how to domesticate their wildcat helpers.
Why Do They Fight?
According to Liz Palika, an expert in animal behaviour, the aggressive and defensive dynamic of both cats and dogs is due to their ingrained behaviour. Before both species became human companions, these two used to be aggressive in the wild. Wolves would see wildcats as prey, and the latter would see the former as a threat. Unfortunately, this dynamic is deeply ingrained into the instinct of both canines and felines.
When left in nature, a dog and cat might react in the way you would expect. The cat will be in its defensive mode or will try to avoid the dog entirely. On the other hand, the dog can either show three reactions: playfulness, indifference (ignoring the cat), and aggressiveness.
As a pet parent, you want your family pets to get along with each other and have a wonderful relationship. Although it might take a lot of effort and planning, you would be able to train them to ignore their aggressive nature and treat each other as family.
What Dogs Are Good With Cats?
A dog’s breed can tell a lot of things about the puppy. You can easily tell some of a dog’s characteristics just by knowing its breed. There are some dog breeds that might be too aggressive to be left with a cat companion. Meanwhile, there are also dog breeds that work wonderfully with felines.
Here are some of the dog breeds known for their good socialisation skills. If you want a dog that can socialise with cats and other animals, you might want to consider these choices.
Are Golden Retrievers Good With Cats?
The Golden retriever is popularly known as a friendly breed. Their outgoing nature and tolerant attitude make them one of the popular choices as a family pet. It’s great for a home that has children or wants to adopt another pet in the future. Due to their natural intelligence, golden retrievers are easily trainable.
Golden retrievers are also known for their high sensitivity. They will not play roughly with animals and pets smaller than them. In fact, they are known to be trusted with other smaller pets like cats and rabbits. Just make sure they receive proper obedience training early on.
Are Labradors Good With Cats?
The labrador retriever or “lab” is another dog breed popular for its friendliness and outgoing temperament. It usually reaches medium to large size, but don’t let its size fool you. Labradors are known for their gentle temperaments. Even if labs are active and love to zoom around, they have a high sensitivity level like golden retrievers.
Labrador retrievers are social beings, they are not that tolerant of being alone. Hence, they love and enjoy company, even from other pets like dogs and cats. But they need to have plenty of exposure to cats and small animals to be friendly with them.
Are Beagles Good With Cats?
Beagles can be small compared to the other breeds mentioned above, but don’t let their size fool you. This hardy dog is quite an active companion. They are fun-loving and curious and can adapt well to some changes. It also has a high sensitivity level and loves to be around kids.
Being a hound, this breed is prone to chasing scents that they haven’t encountered before. That’s why an unsocialised beagle will try to track smaller animals like rabbits and hare. But when trained properly, they are some of the most loving hound types in the canine kingdom. They don’t want to be left alone as well, some owners use cats to keep them company.
Are Basset Hounds Good With Cats?
Basset Hounds are hunting types and are quite a popular breed in the United Kingdom. Their temperament is laidback and is perfect for a family with young children. They are also active, so an active routine and an outgoing companion might help to ensure that your companion stays fit and happy.
Basset Hounds much prefer having some company to being on their own all the time. That’s why the company of another companion is beneficial in keeping it happy and contented. If you plan to give it a cat companion, it might be better to introduce both as a puppy and kitten. Basset Hounds like rewards, so don’t forget to throw in some treats, especially during training.
Are Collies Good With Cats?
If you want another family-friendly companion, the Collie is the right canine companion for you. Collies are native of Scotland and are used as a herding dog. Hence, it is one of the active types and loves getting to work. Their affectionate temperament makes them accept a new member of the pack quite easily.
Collies are also known for their high trainability. In fact, they excel in sporting competitions all around the world. With their agility, they love to be on herding trails. With their high level of tolerance, they can accompany the most stubborn companions as well. If you want to get a Collie for a cat companion, early introduction is the key.
Are Poodles Good With Cats?
Poodles are impressive for their size and temperament. With the right owner, they can sport some of the most stylish hairdos in the canine world. It also makes them one of the best breeds to homes that has children. As a dog of many talents, the poodle can be a highly-sought dog that has both beauty and cleverness in one package.
However, do note that poodles tend to favour companions that grow up with them. If you plan to add a cat to your pack, make sure to introduce the kitten when your poodle is a puppy. This will give both enough opportunities to interact and bond with each other.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good With Cats?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are sporty and active. If they can run and get some zoomies, they will do so instead of sitting around. As a very friendly dog, they are very easy to socialise with humans and other animals. In fact, if they have the chance to get a belly rub, they will stop at nothing to get it.
You can find Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as therapy companions. They love to go on adventures with their human owners, such as hiking, beaching, and participating in dog sports. You might want to get an active cat that can keep up with your pup. These are very sporty creatures.
Safe interaction and socialisation is the key to becoming a successful fur parent for both furry companions. Make sure that your pets are both introduced in a safe manner early on. If you’re having some difficulty in handling it, there are certain things that you can do to make sure the introduction goes peacefully.
Before the face-to-face meeting, you might want both to “get acquainted.” This is also known as desensitization, in which you reduce your dog’s reaction by letting it “get used” to the cat’s smell. You can do this by putting the cat in a room for a few days, while a tall fence separates them.
This period of getting acquainted can take from a few days to weeks. You need to take note and watch out for potential problems during this period. In the future, these problems can easily be avoided or reduced. Only remove the fence or other separating structure when both are calm and used to each other’s presence.
Introducing a kitten and a puppy is an easier route since both are not too fearful around each other. In fact, they are more willing to play with other animals at this stage. Early socialisation makes the process a whole lot easier.