It’s a difficult world for people who are both cat and dog lovers. Not only are cat and dog people at war, but also cats and dogs. Thankfully that isn’t always the case, and some breeds get along. But it’s important to know what are the worst dog breeds for cats if you plan to get yourself another pet.
It can be extremely dangerous to get a dog breed that doesn’t like felines. Of course, there are cats that aren’t fond of dogs either. However, they usually just ignore and avoid them. Dogs tend to be much more aggressive. And no one wants a pup that chases after their kitty.
Red alert: The 24 worst dog breeds for cats
Ideally, you should look for dog and cat breeds that are generally friendly and gentle. If they’re friendly to other cats and dogs, you usually get the full package. Which means they’re sociable with other animals, people, and kids.
The worst dog breeds for cats usually tend to be some kind of hunting dogs. So, they’re not a great match for your feline and other small pets. But, they can still be great family dogs.
Tall, lean and mean (well, towards cats that is). Greyhounds are a type of sighthound originally bred for hunting. Nowadays, people mostly use them for either racing or keeping them as house pets. It’s hard to change an animal’s DNA, though.
These dogs cannot resist the urge to go after smaller animals. And cats are no exception. The Greyhound is one of the few breeds that can actually succeed in catching a feline. This is all thanks to their incredible speed and agility. So, getting one when you have other pets is not a good idea.
2. Afghan Hound
They might look like an elegant and gentle breed, but they’re quite the opposite. Especially in their relation to smaller animals. Afghan Hounds were bred to chase rabbits, wolves, and snow leopards. Not even the cleverest and the fastest of felines stand a chance.
Hunting is what they live for, so they’ll go out of their way to find smaller creatures. In case they share a living space with a cat, you can bet they’ll turn her life into a nightmare. If you’d like to avoid a catastrophe, it’d be for the best not to pair these two up.
While they may not seem like much of a threat, Beagles are also hunting dogs. They were bred to go after foxes, rabbits, and similar animals. They’re very persistent and excellent at finding prey. Cats would be able to run, but they wouldn’t be able to hide from their sharp nose.
This breed has endless drive and energy so your feline wouldn’t ever get a break. Getting both a Beagle and a cat would be like signing up for a never-ending game of chase. And your kitty wouldn’t be the one victorious.
4. Jack Russel Terrier
If boundless energy had a body and face, it would be a Jack Russel Terrier. Terriers in general have a bad reputation when it comes to felines. They love chasing after smaller animals and they have all the energy in the world, so there’s nothing that can stop them.
While they are a relatively small breed, they can still present a danger to your cat. They’re very quick and snappy. There’s no guarantee that a feline would be able to protect herself if cornered by a Jack Russel Terrier.
5. Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terriers look like they’d be above the chase. Their coats make them look refined and elegant like they’d look down on hunting. But just like all terriers, they are definitely one of the worst dog breeds for cats.
They adore terrorizing smaller animals and won’t stop at just the chase. They won’t hesitate to “finish the job” if they get a hold of your feline. So, don’t ever even consider getting both at the same time. Keep these dogs away from small pets.
“What?! A fluffy cloud would hurt a cat?” Believe it or not, Samoyeds are tough Siberian working dogs. They might be fun and loving with people, but they’re very dangerous to felines and other small animals. They still have a strong hunting and herding drive.
And you don’t want that instinct to kick in around your kitty. They’re a lot tamer than they used to be, but you shouldn’t be playing with fire. We wouldn’t want that poofy cloud to turn into a storm cloud. So, don’t mix them together.
7. American Pit Bull Terrier
There’s a 50:50 chance of an American Pit Bull Terrier and a cat getting along. On one hand, they’re terriers with a natural drive for chasing and destruction. On the other, they’ve calmed down quite a bit and can be gentle snuggle bugs.
However, there’s really no way of knowing how they would interact. Especially since every dog has his own personality. But it’s always better to play it safe. You shouldn’t risk your cat’s life and safety based on a 50:50 chance.
They’re another hunting dog breed, but unlike previously mentioned breeds, they were bred to hunt much larger prey. And if they’re able to take down a bear, boar, or deer, your cat will be a piece of cake. They truly are a gorgeous dog breed, but really too risky to pair up with a cat.
There’s no way to keep natural instincts under check. And the moment a Weimaraner lays eyes upon your cat, they’ll overpower him. It’s game on and nothing will stop him from hunting your feline down. Or any other pet, really.
9. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are well known for three things. Their beauty, their charming but awful singing, and the fact they’re major troublemakers. They love making a mess out of your house, arguing with you, and making noise.
They can be raised alongside cats, which minimizes the likelihood of incidents. Despite that, we can’t forget about their strong hunting drive. There’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t go after your cat. And maybe they wouldn’t hurt her, but it would be enough to stress her out.
10. Australian Cattle Dog
These are definitely one of the worst dog breeds for cats. They have a high drive for both hunting and herding. And their intense energy makes them difficult to shake away once they’re after you. They were bred to herd and protect cattle, so cats are nothing but a nuisance to them.
They could get along with felines if they were raised together. However, even then, it’s highly unlikely. They might coexist, but they wouldn’t be pals. They’re generally not very good with other pets, so definitely consider another breed of dog.
Schnauzers are excellent family dogs that work great with children thanks to their protective nature. Because of this though, they tend to be very aggressive toward other animals, especially smaller ones. Once their instinct kicks in, it’s hard to keep them away from your cat.
They’re also known to be very stubborn and intelligent. So, commands and behavioral training won’t do much to keep them in check. Definitely an amazing breed, just not for cats or any other small pet. They’ll even chase after outdoor animals during walks.
These might not only be one of the worst dog breeds for cats but actually the worst. The Schipperke is a breed specifically bred for warding off cats and rats. So, needless to say, hating felines is in their blood. They love going after anything smaller than them.
They have a strong sense of loyalty and protecting their homes. And they’ll view your kitty as a threat to the house. So, no amount of training can keep him away from your poor feline. It’s a lost cause to even try to keep these two under the same roof.
13. Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is a very gentle and peaceful giant. If raised alongside cats, they could live together without issues. But it’s still a risk considering their nature and what they were bred for. They’ll always be hunting dogs in their core.
And if their instinct takes over them, there’s nothing that could save your cat. They’re large, strong, and fast. If deer doesn’t stand a chance, what could your little feline do? Smaller animals are at a deerhound’s mercy when around them.
14. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is a breed very similar to a Scottish Deerhound. They’re one of the largest dogs in the world and they’re perfect family puppers. They’re gentle, sweet, and loving and they get along with just about anyone and anything.
This surprisingly also includes cats, but there’s just one problem. Wolfhounds are a breed of sighthounds. Their instinct to chase after smaller creatures can easily overpower their kindhearted nature. But, even if they just try to play with felines, their massive size can prove to be harmful.
15. Shih Tzu
“Shih Tzu? One of the worst dog breeds for cats? Really?!” Yes, they’re comically small and harmless to cats, but that doesn’t mean the two should live together. And it has nothing to do with hunting instincts this time.
They’ve always been lap dogs, so naturally, they get jealous of anything that gets close to their owner. Be it another human or a cat, they don’t discriminate. They’ll be aggressive all the same. And since they can’t hurt a cat, they’ll try their hardest to annoy her to the point of insane annoyance.
16. Yorkshire Terrier
Both a lapdog and a terrier? Seems like a combination from hell for cats. These little nuggets share a Shih Tzu’s opinion on felines and all other living beings. Just stay away from their owners and everything will be fine.
Get too close though and they’ll annoy you to madness. They still aren’t a real danger to cats, but for their sake and the sake of your kitty’s patience, please, do not let these two live under the same roof. It’s just unpleasant for everyone involved.
17. Smooth Fox Terrier
Just like the Jack Russel Terrier, the Smooth Fox Terrier is a lively breed whose energy knows no bounds. They were bred to be little farmer dogs who would chase after rats and foxes. Or any small creature that could cause damage to the property.
Nowadays they’re kept as family dogs, but their blood stays the same. If given the opportunity, they won’t hesitate to go after any small animal that crosses their path. And that doesn’t exclude your poor feline. Even if she’s just minding her own business.
18. Manchester Terrier
“Another terrier? I think I’m starting to see a pattern here.” And you’re absolutely right. Terriers in general tend to be the worst dog breeds for cats. And the Manchester Terrier is no exception. They were bred to be ratters with a lot of energy and a high hunting drive.
To add to it, they also, very easily get jealous of anyone getting close to their owners. So, they have two reasons to go after your feline. Maybe just try to steer clear of terriers? There are a lot of other dog breeds that would do much better in your kitty’s company.
19. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Here’s a positive member of the terrier family. There have been examples of Staffordshire Bull Terriers coexisting with cats and even getting along pretty well. So, if you’d like to give it a try, you have decent chances of succeeding and making them pals.
But always be aware of the risk that comes with it. When it comes to hunting dogs, the argument of nature vs. nurture becomes very unclear. They could be best friends one minute, and the next he could be chasing after her. His instincts are a powerful thing.
20. Pharaoh Hound
They might be one of the worst dog breeds for cats, but they’re the best in other categories. They’re not only one of the oldest dog breeds in the world but also one of the most beautiful ones. They have such a unique physique that they look like mythical creatures.
Unfortunately for cat lovers though, they’re top-notch hunting dogs. (I mean, they’ve had centuries to perfect their skill, right?) And despite all the years they’ve been around, their prey drive hasn’t gone away. So, having both a feline and a Pharaoh Hound might not be the best idea.
They might not seem like much of a threat because of their size. But don’t underestimate these fierce little dogs. They were originally bred as badger hunters that would not only locate their prey, but also finish the job! And if they could take on a badger, a cat is a walk in the park for them.
Aside from their hunting drive, the difference in felines’ and Dachshund’s personalities also keeps them at odds. Cats are known to be reserved, at least for the most part. And Dachshunds tend to be overly curious and get all up in your business.
Whippets are another example of a sighthound. And if there’s anything to take away from this article, it’s that sighthounds and terriers are the worst dog breeds for cats. No amount of training or raising them together with cats can help.
It’s in their nature to hunt and chase after smaller animals. And there just isn’t anything we can do about that. It’s a shame if you love these breeds and cats, but sadly, they just cannot coexist. You’ll either have to pick just one of the two or settle for another dog breed.
23. The Italian Greyhound
However, since we’ve given an example of a terrier that’s possible to train, it’s only fair to give the sighthound equivalent. The Italian Greyhound is a very small sighthound that isn’t quite as fast as its larger cousins. They’re known to be a bit shy and reserved.
They make for an excellent family dog and today, some would even call them lap dogs because of their calmness. They love spending time cuddled up next to you on the couch. If it weren’t for their lean body type, you’d never guess that they’re hunting dogs.
Despite the fact that their hunting days are over, the instinct is still in them. They can be trained to get along with cats and you’ll most likely never run into problems with them. But, the risk will always be there, just like with other sighthounds and terriers.
24. Border Collies
One of the smartest dogs in the world is also one of the worst dog breeds for cats. They make for exceptional family pets and having them around is always a blast. They’re easy to train and they’re well-behaved with the right owner.
However, regardless of all that intellect, they just can’t be trained to live with cats. Border Collies are herding dogs that were bred to keep cattle in order and protect it from any threat. They could easily see a feline as just another possible danger and try to get rid of her.
All in all, what to avoid in a breed?
There are a lot of dog breeds in the world and we’ve only named some of the ones you should avoid. It’s impossible to make a full list of the worst dog breeds for cats for multiple reasons. One is because of the number of breeds that exist and the fact that that number will just keep growing.
Another reason is that you can’t judge a dog based on its breed alone. We can make some general conclusions based on what the breeds were made for and their behavior so far. But, just like humans, every individual pup has his own personality. And cat breeds play a big part, too.
You can’t know for sure how a dog will behave until you get it. Even a breed that was deemed friendly towards cats might end up aggressive. We can only make educated guesses and hope for the best. Having said that, we can use the knowledge we have to make these guesses about unlisted breeds, too.
For example, we learned that we probably shouldn’t get a hunting dog if we have a cat or a small pet. So, if we come across a breed that has a history of being used for that, we know not to get it. You’ll be able to eliminate breeds off your list based on unwanted characteristics.