11 Dog Breeds Cat Owners Might Want to Avoid

Imagine this: you’re a cat, lounging in your favorite sunny spot, when suddenly, a new dog bounds into your peaceful domain. Now, picture this scenario from a dog’s point of view—new territory, new smells, and a fascinating creature with claws and an attitude to match.

The mix could be magical, or it could be mayhem. It all hinges on the personalities involved. Some dogs, blessed with a zest for chasing or a bold territorial streak, might not be the best roommates for your feline friend.

Here’s a list of dog breeds that cat lovers might think twice about bringing home.

1. Greyhound

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Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo/Shutterstock.

Greyhounds, bred for racing and hunting, possess a strong chase reflex. This is often triggered by small, fast-moving animals, including cats. Their svelte, aerodynamic build contributes to their ability to accelerate quickly, which can be a concern in a household with cats that might trigger their chase instinct.

  • Key considerations: They are generally docile and laid-back but can switch to chase mode suddenly if a cat bolts.
  • Training and management: Introducing a Greyhound to a cat should be done gradually and under controlled conditions. Using barriers or leashes during initial meetings can help manage the situation. Consistent training to reinforce commands like “leave it” can also be beneficial.

2. Jack Russell Terrier

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Jack Russell Terriers are compact, energetic, and have a natural proclivity for hunting and digging. Their intense energy and prey drive, derived from their origins in fox hunting, can make them relentless pursuers of cats who often do not appreciate such spirited attention.

  • Key considerations: Their small size belies their boldness and energy, which can be overwhelming for many cats.
  • Training and management: They require significant exercise and mental stimulation to curb unwanted chasing behaviors. Behavioral training from an early age can help mitigate some of their instinctual drives, but they may always pose a risk around cats.

3. Siberian Husky

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Image Credit: Viral Chatter

Siberian Huskies are known for their striking appearance and resemblance to wolves. Originally bred to pull sleds over long distances, these dogs have a high prey drive and an inclination to chase smaller animals. Their independent nature can make training a challenge, particularly in curbing their chase behavior.

  • Key considerations: Their pack mentality means they can potentially accept cats if properly introduced, but their prey drive often takes precedence.
  • Training and management: Intensive obedience training and a high level of exercise can help manage their energy levels. Huskies also benefit from early socialization with cats and other animals to reduce their natural predatory instincts.

4. Rottweiler

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Rottweilers are powerful and protective dogs known for their roles as guard dogs and drovers. Their strong territorial instincts can make integration with cats challenging, especially if the Rottweiler has not been raised around them from a young age.

  • Key considerations: They can be gentle giants if properly socialized, but their size and power pose inherent risks to smaller animals.
  • Training and management: Early socialization, consistent leadership, and obedience training are crucial. Establishing clear boundaries and consistently enforcing them will help Rottweilers coexist peacefully with cats.

5. Afghan Hound

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Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka/Shutterstock.

Afghan Hounds are dignified and aloof dogs with a strong hunting instinct. They were used for hunting large prey in deserts and mountains, which makes their prey drive particularly hard to manage in domestic settings.

  • Key considerations: Their elegant demeanor and speed are complemented by a prey drive that may not be suitable for homes with cats.
  • Training and management: Afghan Hounds require a delicate balance of firm, consistent training, and exercise to manage their hunting instincts. Their interactions with cats should always be supervised, and they may need a designated safe space away from other pets.

6. Beagle

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Image Credit: Przemek Iciak/Shutterstock.

Beagles are friendly, curious, and merry dogs but are also determined hunters with a strong sense of smell. They hunt rabbits and other small game, and their pursuit instinct is triggered by scent and movement. This can lead to the relentless chasing of household cats.

  • Key considerations: Their persistence in scent and chase can lead to stress for cats.
  • Training and management: Extensive daily exercise and scent games can help channel their instincts productively. Obedience training, particularly recall and “leave it” commands, are essential in managing their behaviors around cats.

7. Border Collie

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Image Credit: Viral Chatter

Border Collies stand out for their unmatched intelligence and energy levels. They were originally bred for herding livestock. Their natural instinct to chase and control movement makes them likely to herd cats, which could stress or intimidate the cat.

This breed requires extensive daily mental and physical stimulation to keep them from becoming bored and resorting to undesirable behaviors like chasing household pets.

  • Key considerations: Their intelligence means they can be trained well, but their herding instinct is deep-rooted and may not be fully trainable away from chasing cats.
  • Training and management: Implementing advanced obedience training, agility courses, and problem-solving games can help manage their natural behaviors. Early socialization with cats under controlled conditions is crucial, and they may do best in homes where they can be gradually introduced to cats at a young age.

8. American Pit Bull Terrier

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American Pit Bull Terriers are known for their strength, courage, and affinity towards humans. However, their historical use in blood sports means they are predisposed to strong prey drives and may view cats as prey.

They are profoundly loyal and can be very gentle, but their powerful build can make even playful behavior risky around smaller animals.

  • Key considerations: Individual temperament assessments are crucial due to their varying reactions to other animals.
  • Training and management: Early socialization with various animals, consistent positive reinforcement training, and careful supervision are mandatory. Strong, secure containment measures in the home and yard are also important to prevent unsupervised interactions.

9. Weimaraner

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The Weimaraner is a large breed developed for hunting boar, bear, and deer, meaning they possess significant prey drive and stamina. They are energetic and demand a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, which, if not provided, could lead them to channel their energy into hunting smaller house pets, including cats.

  • Key considerations: Their breeding as a gundog makes their chase instinct very prominent.
  • Training and management: Weimaraners require extensive exercise routines, possibly including running and agility sports. A structured training regime and controlled introduction to cats are essential, emphasizing obedience to manage their prey drive.

10. Chow Chow

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Chow Chows are distinguished by their lion-like mane and aloof personality. They are independent and reserved, often suspicious of strangers and other animals. Their strong territorial instinct can make them less tolerant of cats, particularly if not raised together from a young age.

  • Key considerations: They are less social than many other breeds, making integration with other animals challenging.
  • Training and management: Intensive early socialization and consistent, firm training are vital in helping them coexist with cats. It is also important to respect their need for space and provide them with a quiet, private area where they can retreat.

11. Whippet

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Whippets are smaller relatives of the Greyhound and share the sighthound’s chase instincts. Quick and agile, they can easily catch unsuspecting cats off guard. Despite their peaceful and friendly nature towards humans, their instinct to pursue rapidly moving objects can make cohabitation with cats risky.

  • Key considerations: They are gentle and can be somewhat easier to train than larger sighthounds but remain driven by movement.
  • Training and management: Providing them with regular, vigorous exercise and engaging their minds with interactive play can help mitigate some of their chasing behaviors. Careful, gradual introductions to cats, with supervised interactions, are necessary to ensure the safety of all pets in the home.

Tips for Safe Introduction Between Dogs & Cats

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Introducing a dog to a cat can be a nerve-wracking experience for both the pets and their owners. To ensure a smooth and safe introduction, follow these practical tips:

  • Prepare a Neutral Space: Use a neutral room for the first introduction where neither animal has established territory. This can reduce tension and territorial behavior from both sides.
  • Use a Barrier: Initially, introduce the dog and cat with a barrier between them, such as a baby gate. This allows them to see and smell each other without the risk of physical contact.
  • Keep the Dog Leashed: During the first few face-to-face meetings, keep the dog on a leash to control their movements and prevent sudden lunges.
  • Allow the Cat to Escape: If the cat feels threatened, ensure it has access to safe hiding places or escape routes. High shelves or furniture that the dog cannot reach are ideal.
  • Supervise All Interactions: Never leave the dog and cat alone together until you are completely sure of their safe interaction. Supervision is crucial to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Gradual Increase in Interaction: Gradually increase the length of time the dog and cat spend together, monitoring their body language closely. Look for signs of stress or aggression and separate them if necessary.
  • Feed Them Separately: To prevent food aggression or territorial behavior, feed your dog and cat in separate areas.
  • Reward Calm Behavior: Reward both pets with treats and praise for calm and non-aggressive behavior during their interactions. This helps build positive associations with each other’s presence.
  • Respect Each Pet’s Pace: Every pet is different. Some may adjust quickly, while others take longer to accept a new animal into their home. Respect each pet’s pace, and don’t rush the process.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.