What Dog Breeds Are Not Suitable for Living with Cats?

If you’re considering adding a canine companion to your home, it’s important to make sure that the dog breed you choose is compatible with your existing feline family members. Not all breeds are suitable for living with cats, as some can be prey-driven and may cause harm.

In this article, we’ll take a look at which dog breeds are not suitable for living with cats, and what makes a breed suitable for such a situation. From hunting breeds like terriers and pointers to herding breeds like collies and shepherds, we’ll cover it all. Read on to learn more about how to choose the right breed for living with cats.

What Makes a Breed Suitable for Living with Cats

When it comes to living with cats, not all dog breeds are suitable. It is important to consider the breed of dog so that both pets can happily coexist in the same household.

Generally speaking, hunting and herding breeds are not ideal for homes with cats. This is mainly due to their strong prey drive. Pointers, Retrievers, and Setters are all hunting breeds, and should be avoided if possible.

The herding breeds Collies, Shelties, Shepherds, and Corgis should also be avoided due to their high energy and instinctive need to herd. It’s also important to consider the individual personality of the dog when it comes to living with cats.

Some breeds are more adaptable than others and can learn to coexist peacefully with cats. If you do decide to bring a hunting or herding breed into the home, it is important to provide them with additional training, activities, and socialization in order to help them learn to live with cats. It is important to consider which dog breeds are best suited for a home with cats to ensure that both pets can live happily together.

Hunting Breeds

Hunting breeds like terriers, pointers, retrievers, and setters, are generally not well-suited for living with cats as they have high prey drives and can easily become aggressive towards cats. If you’re looking for an animal friendly pup and you have a cat at home, it’s best to steer clear of these breeds. Herding breeds such as collies, shelties, shepherds, and corgis, can also be unsuitable for living with cats, as they can be very possessive and territorial. While many of these breeds can be trained to live peacefully with cats, it’s best to research the breed thoroughly and consult a professional trainer to ensure the best outcome for both pets.


Terriers are typically not a great choice for living with cats. These breeds have a strong predatory instinct and have a tendency to chase and even attack cats they come across in their homes. They can be quite energetic, so they need a lot of exercise and stimulation to keep them occupied.

In some cases, they might be able to live with a cat if they are introduced in a controlled environment and the dog is properly socialized and given good, consistent training. If you decide to bring a terrier into a home with cats, it’s important to supervise their interactions at all times.

Keep in mind that some terriers can be quite territorial and may not take kindly to having a cat as a roommate.

It’s also a good idea to gradually introduce the two animals to each other and provide plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior. It’s best to find a breed that is more naturally compatible with cats. If you do decide to bring a terrier into the house, make sure that you are prepared to invest the time and energy into making sure he is properly socialized and trained. With the right approach, your terrier can learn to live peacefully with your cats.


Pointers are high energy, strong-willed, and have a strong desire to hunt. They can be quite possessive of their owners and need an abundance of exercise and mental stimulation. Pointers don’t typically make good companions to cats.

They may view cats as prey, and may not be able to resist the urge to chase them.

If you have a pointer and a cat, it’s important to be careful and provide supervision to ensure the safety of the cat. It’s important to provide ample attention, exercise, and playtime for the pointer to ensure that their needs are met and to reduce any potential predatory instinct.

When considering adding a pointer to your home, it’s important to remember that they are not the best breed for living with cats. If there is a cat in the home, it’s important to be vigilant and provide ample safety to ensure that the cat can live in peace. If you’re looking for a breed of dog suitable to live in a home with cats, you may want to consider a breed other than a pointer.

Pointers are an energetic, active breed that require a lot of attention and care. They are strong-willed, and can have a strong prey drive which can make them unsuitable for living with cats. It’s important to remember that if you do decide to get a pointer, you’ll want to take extra steps to keep your cat safe and provide your pointer with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.


Retrievers might be one of the most beloved and popular dog breeds, but they are not the best choice when it comes to living with cats. Their inbred prey drive makes them far too likely to chase cats, which could lead to serious injury or even death. Even if your retriever isn’t aggressive towards cats, their size and boundless energy can still make the cats feel uncomfortable and threatened.

If you must have both in the same household, it would be wise to discuss the idea with an animal behavior specialist first, and ensure that the two get along well before making any commitments. When it comes to retrievers, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Choose a breed that isn’t known for having a high prey drive, such as a poodle or a Shih Tzu, and keep cats and retrievers separate when possible. The cats should always have access to a safe, secure space where they can retreat when feeling overwhelmed or threatened, and the retriever should be trained to respect their boundaries. With the right owner and the right conditions, cats and retrievers can sometimes live in harmony, but it’s best to avoid the situation if at all possible.

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Like other hunting breeds, generally don’t make for great housemates with cats due to their strong prey drive. These dogs are bred to hunt birds and other animals, so they’re likely to view cats as prey and chase them.

If you have a Setter, it’s best to keep them away from cats. That means no letting them spend time together unsupervised, and absolutely no letting them off-leash where they might be able to run after your feline friends.

If you need to introduce cats and Setters, make sure to do so slowly and to supervise them closely until you’re sure they can coexist peacefully. It’s also important to understand that even with the best of intentions and careful supervision, your Setter may not be able to resist the urge to chase cats. This is why it’s so important to take measures to ensure that cats and Setters are kept separate.

If your Setter has already been chasing cats, it’s best to work with a certified dog trainer to help get their behavior in check. It’s never too late to help your dog learn and adjust, but it’s best to take preventive measures to ensure the safety of your cats.

Herding Breeds

Herding breeds, such as Collies, Shelties, Shepherds and Corgis, should not be living with cats due to their natural instinct to herd and chase. These breeds can be quite vocal, barking and whining to try to control and herd the cat, which can be quite stressful and overwhelming for the cat. They can also give the cat a lot of unwanted attention, which can be tiring and irritating for the poor feline.

Because of their strong prey drive, these breeds may find it difficult to resist the temptation to chase the cat if it runs. For this reason, if you have a herding breed and are considering living with cats, it is best to look for another breed that will be better suited to having a feline friend.


Collies are often considered one of the best family-dog breeds, but they are not ideal for living with cats. As working dogs, they instinctually chase and herd animals, making them not the best housemates for cats.

Although they can be trained to curb their herding behaviors, it is still important to consider the individual’s nature before introducing a cat into a Collie’s home. For those who have a collie and want to adopt a cat, it is important to socialize the two properly and keep them separated for a few days. When it comes to introducing a cat and a Collie, it is important to keep the environment calm and relaxed.

Do not let the Collie off its leash and give the cat a safe spot to escape and relax. Monitor the initial interactions and reward the Collie for positive reactions.

If the Collie begins to show signs of aggression, remove it from the situation and seek professional help. With enough patience and time, a Collie can be taught to coexist peacefully with cats.


Shelties are intelligent and sensitive dogs that are not usually suitable for living with cats due to their strong herding instinct. Shelties have a strong tendency to herd and nip small animals, including cats, which can make them dangerous if they are not properly trained.

Shelties have a lot of energy and can be very active, which can make them too overwhelming for cats to handle. It is best to avoid introducing a Sheltie to cats in order to keep them both safe.

It is important to remember that the sheepdog-like behavior of Shelties is a part of their nature and must be respected. If you do decide to bring a Sheltie home, be sure to provide plenty of environmental enrichment and regular training to ensure that your pup is not exhibiting any dangerous behavior towards cats or other small animals. If you have cats in your home, it is best to keep them separated from the Sheltie in order to prevent any accidents or injury.


Shepherds are not the best choice for living with cats. They are intelligent and loyal, but their strong herding instinct can make them difficult to live with cats. Shepherds have an innate desire to control and will often try to herd cats as if they were sheep.

This can be dangerous for cats, and their herding behavior can quickly become aggressive if not corrected. Shepherds may also have a strong prey drive, making it difficult to trust them around cats.

If you have a Shepherd and would like to introduce a cat, you may be able to do so successfully.

It will require patience, time, and training to ensure your Shepherd and your cat can coexist safely. Start by establishing a safe, separate space for your cat.

Introduce them slowly, and reward your Shepherd with treats when they show good behavior around the cat. Consistently remind your Shepherd that the cat is off limits, and use distractions if they seem to be getting too close.

Shepherds may not be the best choice for living with cats. If you have your heart set on getting a Shepherd, make sure you are able to commit to the training and dedication that is required to ensure your cat’s safety. With patience and practice, you will be able to create a safe, harmonious home for both your Shepherd and your cat.


Corgis are notorious for their high prey drive and can be quite intimidating to cats, as they have a tendency to chase smaller animals. While a Corgi may be able to learn to coexist peacefully with a cat, it is important to consider that this breed can be quite aggressive and territorial, and should be supervised when interacting with a feline companion.

It is also important to understand that the introduction of a Corgi to a household with a cat will likely require a lot of patience, as it may take some time for the two animals to become comfortable with each other. If you feel that you can provide the necessary training and guidance to help your Corgi and cat to live peacefully together, then a Corgi may be a good fit for your home. If you are looking for a breed of dog that is more likely to adapt to living with a cat, then other breeds may be a better option.