Finally, the time has come.
After years of waiting, you are going to be the proud parent of your very own hound dog. You’ve spent days researching the perfect food and most comfortable bed, window-shopped for the latest must-have dog gadgets and toys, and bought the smartest matching collar and lead you could find. You are now ready. Ready to choose your new best pal.
But there is one thing standing in your way. And it’s currently staring at you now, looking at you disdainfully from its limited edition, sheepskin-lined modular tower. Daring you to bring one of those muddy dirty creatures into its kingdom. Defying you to make the wrong choice, thereby relegating it to a high shelf for the rest of its life. You don’t want to be the person responsible for this so you need to find out about dog and cat compatibility, and quick.
To help you navigate this danger zone, we've put together a list of the top cat-loving hounds to make sure that any resident feline paws aren't put out of place. But first, are there any particular breed groups that fit better with our feline friends?
Best breed groups
There are certain breed groups that are more inclined to tolerate or dare we say it, even love the waggy-tailed member of the family. Ultimately, however, the relationship between a cat and dog is very much dependent on the character of both concerned and the manner in which the two are introduced and managed. Two ideal types of dog breed groups for cat lovers are the toy and sporting groups:
- The toy group - smaller dogs such as the King Charles spaniel, Papillon and Maltese dogs make sociable and affectionate companions.
- The sporting group - generally made up of spaniels and retrievers, these dogs are friendly and outgoing and ideal for homes with resident cats.
Bear in mind that terriers and dogs from the hound and herding groups tend to be less cat-friendly as they were bred for purpose. You will, however, find many dogs from these groups living in perfect harmony with their feline counterparts so don’t be put off by breed stereotypes as these are only a general guide.
You may think that being a hunting dog, the beagle will not be up for sharing his home with a cat. Not so. Bred to hunt in packs, this can be a distinct advantage when it comes down to cohabiting with other species. Enthusiastic beagles may be tempted to chase a cat outdoors but when indoors, this easy-going affable breed will be keen to snuggle up with even the grumpiest feline.
The golden retriever
The cuddly and patient golden retriever is a great choice for cat-loving families. Adaptable and playful, they’ll often become best buddies with all types of cats. Rarely offended, they’ll happily oblige when their snooty sibling needs some alone time by retreating to their basket and waiting for hostilities to thaw.
The basset hound
This doleful-eyed breed is competition for the most stubborn house cat. More inclined to worry about how much sleep they are getting than playing chase, they are unlikely to cause many problems. Just make sure that you don’t give your cat too much attention though or you’ll be treated to that pitiful basset howl no pet parent wants to hear.
The Cavalier King Charles spaniel
This affectionate and sociable breed was bred to be a companion dog rather than a hunter. As happy on their owner’s lap as out and about, the laid-back nature of these fearless little dogs means that they won’t be bothered by a cat or two around the home. Good for those with bossier cats, they are unlikely to be intimidated.
This bundle of fun is the perfect choice if you have a moggy or three about the house as they count the cat as one of their own. The cheeky pug can often be found snuggling up next to a feline companion, using it as a source of warmth and comfort. They do love to play and tease so are better with cats who are not put off by the pug’s uninvited advances.
The labrador retriever
Playful and willing to learn, the gentle and sweet labrador retriever will pretty much get along with any house companion you put their way. Eager to please and full of fun, this intelligent breed is perfectly suited for those cats who think they are really a dog. Apt to put up with difficult felines, this popular dog will tolerate much more than many other breeds.
The bichon frise
This little white ball of fluff is definitely a kitty’s best friend. Small enough to not be intimidating, they are loving and very affectionate. Often found chilling out with their feline brother or sister, they just want to love and expect that in return. Bichons can become a little too clingy, however, and the more aloof feline may find their neediness a little off-putting.
The shih tzu
This pretty little companion dog is perfect for the feline home. Originally the prized lap dogs of Chinese emperors, they are well tolerated by their feline siblings due to the fact that they consider themselves far too important to get involved in unnecessary skirmishes with the lower orders of the house.
The sweet tiny papillon (butterfly in French) dog is a friendly soul. More than happy to include any members of the house in their games, they are the ideal cat companion. Just make sure you have a willing cat who understands the Papillon’s joie de vivre!
The humble mongrel
One of our favourite types of dog, you will find cat-loving crossbreeds in many of the UK’s homes. Bringing three or four breeds together to make up the perfect mixed package, they can often be easier to train, especially around cats. Without the intense instincts that a particular breed may have, such as hunting or herding, you will often find it easier to manage or train a crossbreed as their instinct isn’t always as strong. Of course, this is dependent on the type of crossbreed you choose as well as proper training and positive reinforcement.
Want to give the cat a break? We have the perfect solution!
Even for those moggies and mutts who get along perfectly, we are sure that the feline members of your family would love some alone time where they can relax without a dog in tow. Why not leave them in the capable hands of a cat-sitter or cattery and take your hound away for a break?
Our dog-friendly cottages across the UK are the perfect getaway for canines and their human families. Some of our rural properties even have cats around to make sure that your dog doesn’t forget his feline manners while away! Give our experienced team a ring to find out which is the best match for you.