Introducing a new pet to the household can be a difficult job, especially when introducing a cat to a dog.
And with searches for ‘best dogs with cats’ increasing by 55% in the last year, just what are the most cat-friendly dog breeds?
Here. experts at dog-friendly holiday letting specialist Canine Cottages reveal six of the most cat-friendly pooches that make purrfect feline friends, as well as top tips for introducing cats and dogs in the home.
And for particular breeds to avoid, terriers and hounds (greyhounds, wolfhounds, deerhounds) tend to be less cat-friendly and can be aggressive towards felines.
So, what’s the best way to introduce a new cat or dog to your existing household pet?
While many furry friends simply won’t bother with a new arrival, if your dog or cat is showing signs of distress upon meeting, for example ears being pinned back, running away or stiffening their bodies, then there are things you can do to help safely introduce them to one another.
Face-to-face method: Try introducing them face-to-face, allowing the animals to sniff each other out and become used to them. Hold your dog on a loose lead and allow the cat to roam freely. If the dog is calm, ignores the cat and doesn’t try to chase or go after them, and the cat is not arching its back or hissing, then it’s a sure-fire sign that your pets will get along just fine.
Desensitization method: If this doesn’t work, then try desensitization – reducing your dog’s reaction to a cat to get into a space of simply ignoring them. This is because, usually, it is a dog who will show more interest and cause more issues with a cat, than a cat would with a dog.
Separate your cat and dog by leaving your cat in a room with a baby gate across the door, always making sure your cat has everything it needs including a litter tray, food, water and access to outside.
Let your dog see the cat through the gate, but then get them to focus on something else, such as a toy or treat. Praise and reward your dog when they can focus on something else, and if not then continue the process until they do. Proceed with these small viewings and soon enough your dog should be desensitized to the cat.
Shannon Keary, Digital PR Manager at Canine Cottages, said: “We’re a nation of animal lovers, and it can be sometimes difficult introducing a new pet to an existing cat or dog already living in your home.
“For anyone looking to get a new cat, we hope this list of feline-friendly pooches will help, as well as tips on how to introduce a new pet to the mix. And do remember that although these are generally good breeds for cats, the relationship between a cat and dog is dependent on the character of the animals and the manner in which the two are introduced and managed.”
1. Golden Retrievers
One of the nation’s most favourite breeds, golden retrievers are incredibly patient and loving dogs that makes them a great choice for feline friends. Even if your cat is unsure or playful upon first meetings, golden retrievers will happily sit back and give the cat the time it needs to settle in without barking back.
2. Basset Hound
With their placid personality and calm demeanour, the doleful-eyed basset hound makes a great companion for cats. They originally are bred as pack dogs, so love being around other pets, and due to being so easy-going and friendly, they will rarely bother with even the most stubborn of cats!
As a hunting dog, you might not think a beagle would be a good cat companion, but they make great feline siblings. Beagles hate being left on their own, so welcome a cat’s company when you’re out and about. Loving and affectionate, they’re a great feline friend.
Due to their small size and gentle nature, pugs are among the most compatible breeds for cats – in fact it’s because of this that many pet owners will find their pug snuggling up to their cat for a nap. Pugs are bundles of energy, so are better off places with a cat who isn’t overly shy or nervous.
5. Bichon Frise
Another great feline friend, bichon frises are exceptionally loving and affectionate dogs and will show this side of them to their kitty companions. However, they can become a bit too clingy at times, so may be overwhelming for a cat who prefers to fly solo.
A lover not a fighter, a Labrador will happily accept any other pet in the household. Labradors are very trustworthy, gentle and tolerant and it’s because of their lovely nature that they make such good companions for cats.