Being a cat lover doesn’t exclude you from loving other animal species. Indeed, some enlightened dog-people see the error of their ways and know their fur family is not complete without a feline to rule to the roost.
If you yearn for a multi-lingual household (barks and meows) then it’s best to choose a cat breed that isn’t fazed by a dog’s enthusiastic (but often bad-mannered) approaches and won’t live in a state of perpetual fear.
Ideally you want to choose a cat breed with a reputation for being robust, which enjoys company, and loves to engage in play. Get the odds stacked in your favour by sourcing a breeder who socializes her kittens with dogs before leaving her care. That way, the kitten will accept your dog as a friend, making her less likely to run (a fast way to invite a dog to give chase).
Best Cat Breeds for Homes With Dogs
Let’s take a look at some felines that will give Rover a run for his money.
- Norwegian Forest Cat: Large and rugged, this cat with a hardy façade loves being a home body. This breed knows its own mind, and perhaps more than others does what she wants on her terms, which is no bad thing when it comes to standing up to a dog. Sensible, social, and adaptable the Norwegian Forest Cat is open-minded about training and can be taught to walk on a leash or play fetch – and set a good example for the dog.
- Japanese Bobtail: This is a cat that’s naturally happy and outgoing, with a good sense of humour and loves to be at the centre of things, and is also a great starting point in a mixed species home. These unusual looking cats with their distinctive look of a truncated tail (less than three inches) and long back legs, love to carry things in their mouth and play fetch. Sounds almost dog like don’t they?
- Siberian: Big, docile, cheerful, and charismatic, the Siberian is another cat that’s been described as dog-like. Although not a common breed, it’s worth putting the effort in to find a good breeder as the Siberian will make a heat-seeking cuddle companion for your canine friend. In fact they are good all-rounders and get along with just about anyone or anything including children and dogs. Oh yes, and they also enjoy walking on a leash and playing with water.
- Bombay: With copper-coloured eyes and a coal black coat, the Bombay is rightly described as a ‘Parlour panther’. Congenial and outgoing, they have been described as a cross between a cat, dog, and a monkey. They like being busy and aren’t upset by hustle and bustle, all of which sounds a great qualification for setting up house with a canine cousin.
- Tonkinese: Best described as fun-loving, the Tonkinese loves to play interactive games such as hide-and-seek, tag, and fetch. The good news is this playful vent stays with them throughout life, making them a sort of purr-petual kitten who will appreciate a gentle game with anyway prepared to play – including the dog. Indeed, a bored Tonkinese is liable to get up to mischief, so a canine companion is not a bad idea. The main downside of the Tonkinese is their chatty nature; they like to tell you what’s going on and often do so in a unique, duck-quack-like chatter.
And finally, when you already own a dog be sure to assess their temperament to ensure it is suitable to take on a cat or kitten. Bear in mind that some terrier breeds just can’t help themselves when it comes to cats, and won’t be able to resist giving chase. This may be fun for the dog but it could end in serious injury for the cat, or at the very least an emotionally traumatized feline too fearful to leave their hiding place to eat or toilet.
Do the newbie a favour by making sure the dog is trained to execute a perfect “Sit” and “Stay” no matter what the provocation. Not only will the dog be more obedient to your wishes, but it gives you the necessary control to nip a game of chase in the bud.
And finally, make sure the cat has plenty of hiding places, such as a cardboard box in each room, plus a vertical escape route such as tall cat towers to scale and stay out of harm’s way.
Do you have a favourite breed that you think gets on well with dogs? We’d love to hear your recommendations on the best cat breeds for homes with dogs.