These Are the 7 Worst Dog Breeds for Cats
by Janine DeVault - 7/26/19
Choosing the perfect dog for your family is no small task. When you already have a cat at home, it becomes even more complicated. Not only do you need to pick a canine that will fit into your lifestyle, now you have to find one that will work with your cat’s lifestyle as well! If you’re determined to be both a cat person and a dog person, familiarize yourself with the worst dog breeds for cats.
Rest assured, there are many dog breeds that do very well with cats. These are not them.
1. Australian Cattle Dog
This adorable herding breed makes a loyal and devoted pet, but your cat may have a different opinion. Because Australian cattle dogs have historically been bred as herding dogs, they have strong instincts and can’t resist the urge to put them to work. Herding cats is no small feat, but this breed is up to the challenge.
An Australian cattle dog may chase your cat in an attempt to keep it with the pack. While these dogs aren’t typically aggressive toward small animals, your cat may not feel comfortable being pursued by a large creature with pointy teeth. If you have a cat and are considering adding an Australian cattle dog to your family, a trainer may be able to help you set boundaries for your dog.
Because beagles were traditionally bred to hunt small game, they may be among the worst dogs for cats. While historically this breed was used to hunt animals like rabbits, the prey instinct typically carries over to other small animals as well.
If you have a cat in your home, the chances are high that a beagle would find great joy in chasing it. They are energetic dogs and love to have a job to do. If you don’t find creative ways to redirect a beagle’s energy, it will just be a matter of time before it begins pursuing your feline companion.
Greyhounds belong to the sighthound group and were historically used to hunt small game, such as rabbits and foxes. A greyhound’s strong prey drive may compel it to chase your cat. Given the fact that greyhounds can sprint up to 45 miles per hour when in pursuit of prey, they aren’t typically a good fit for households with cats.
4. Jack Russell Terrier
Any type of terrier is typically a poor match for households with cats and the Jack Russell terrier is no exception. These feisty canines were bred to hunt small game and theyhave a very strong tendency to chase small animals. There’s no doubt that Jack Russells make for lively companions, but your cat would likely be happier with a more laid-back dog breed.
5. Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature schnauzers are known for their high energy and intelligence. They are constantly searching for an outlet for their seemingly boundless energy, and chasing cats may appeal to them. A miniature schnauzers isn’t likely to be aggressive toward you feline friend, but it may give him a bit of a scare. With plenty of patience and dedication, it’s possible to train a miniature schnauzer not to chase your cat. However, this breed was originally bred to hunt, and overcoming its instincts to chase prey will be an uphill battle for both of you.
6. Siberian Husky
The handsome Siberian husky has become increasingly popular among dog owners, but it may be one of the worst dog breeds for cats. Huskies are notoriously energetic, intelligent and headstrong. Not only will a husky be prone to chase your cat, but it will be difficult (though, not impossible) to train him out of it. If your heart is absolutely set on adding a Siberian husky to your family, be prepared to work with him and your cat consistently to help them live in harmony.
The Weimaraner is athletic, affectionate and beautiful. Its friendly disposition makes it an attractive breed choice for families, as the Weimaraner loves nothing more than spending time with its family. As wonderful as Weimaraners are, families with cats at home may wish to choose a different breed. Traditionally a hunting dog, the Weimaraner often has an innate urge to chase small animals. Still, experts suggest that if you work with your Weimaraner from puppyhood it may be possible to train him to be indifferent toward your cat.
Before bringing a new pet home to your cat, we highly recommend seeking the assistance of a trainer who can show you how to introduce a cat and a dog.
Remember, while these breeds are not expected to make good companions for cats, there are exceptions to every rule. Every dog is different and different circumstances may yield different results. If you adopt one of these breeds as a puppy and work diligently with a trainer to desensitize it to your cat, you may never experience issues. However, as a general rule of thumb, hounds, terriers and herding dogs are known for their prey drives and aren’t likely to make good companions for cats.
Janine DeVault is a pet writer, animal rescue advocate, and former celebrity dog walker. She lives in Mexico with her three rescue pets, Maia, Fozzy, and Kesi.