20 Worst Dog Breeds For Cats (They Don’t Get Along)

Some pet parents are dog people, others are cat people, and there is the third category of people who want to get the best of both worlds.

For these people, getting the best dog breeds for cats means finding cat-friendly dogs. It also means knowing which dog breeds to avoid.

While there are many exceptions, the enmity between cats and dogs that we see in movies holds truth.

Some dog breeds are not compatible with a feline company, and though good socialization can help, not in all cases.

The feline nature is sensitive. So, if you want a home with both dogs and cats, here are 20 of the worst dog breeds for cats you should avoid.

The Worst Dog Breeds For Cats

1. American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier Dog Playing with Toy on Grass
  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 17 to 19  inches
  • Weight: 30 to 85 pounds
  • Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, strong-willed
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

The American Pit Bull Terrier started as a fighter and participated in the bloody sport of bullbaiting.

That history left a notorious mark on it, one that has been further emphasized by bite statistics.

Many Pitbull enthusiasts have argued that this breed wasn’t developed to be aggressive towards humans, even during its fighting days.

However, that can’t be said for fellow animals. Pitbulls are known to pick fights with fellow dogs and will chase cats and rodents around.

With enough socialization, this tendency can be managed, but it can’t be fully eradicated.

Dive Deeper:
How Strong Is A Pitbull? Pitbull Bite Force and Facts

2. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog Standing Outdoors on Wooden Floor
  • Group: Herding Group (AKC)
  • Height: 17 to 20 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 50 pounds
  • Temperament: Cautious, energetic, loyal
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

The Australian Cattle Dog is well known for its loyalty and activeness. Because it was developed to be a herding dog, this breed loves having work to do.

It is also energetic and enjoys exercising. All these and more are what some pet parents want.

With cats, there is a problem. The Australian Cattle Dog has a high prey drive and will chase any small animal.

When it isn’t doing that, it may try to herd the animals, a behavior your cat won’t appreciate. Good socialization can help, though. 

3. Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound Dog Standing Beside Lake
  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 28 to 32  inches
  • Weight: 75 to 110 pounds
  • Temperament: Dignified, docile, friendly
  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 11 years

The Scottish Deerhound was developed to be a hunter of deer, and its courage, alongside the dignity, endeared it to nobles.

Right now, it is a companion, and those who love it do because of its chivalrous nature. It is gentle, sensitive, brave, and calm.

As a hunting dog, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Scottish Deerhound has a high prey drive, and that hasn’t changed since then.

The Scottish Deerhound will constitute a nuisance to your cat, even after being trained.

4. Beagle

Beagle Dog Walking on Grass
  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 13 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 18 to 30 pounds
  • Temperament: Amiable, intelligent, determined 
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

The Beagle is a well-renowned dog breed, just as good in a household as it was on the fields.

It was originally developed to hunt down rabbits, foxes, and other small creatures.

Now, it is a companion, one that’s also suitable for new pet parents. It is a gentle and sweet breed with a good sense of humor.

Notwithstanding, the relationship between Beagles and cats is strained.

Cats look a lot like the small prey Beagles were developed to hunt, and so these dogs may not give cats any atom of peace. With their energy, they’d tire out any cat they live with. 

5. Greyhound

Brown and White Greyhound Dog Standing
  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 25 to 30 inches
  • Weight: 50 to 85 pounds
  • Temperament: Affectionate, athletic, gentle
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

The Greyhound often symbolizes speed, and it is also one of the most ancient breeds. Like other hounds, this breed was developed to be a hunter.

While modern Greyhounds thrived in England, this breed’s history can be traced back to the Middle East.

The ancestors existed since the days of Pharaoh, and they were mentioned in the Bible.

Given its long history, you can imagine how deep-seated its hunting instincts are.

Greyhounds and other sighthounds Iike the Saluki and nightmares for cats, and though felines are fast, their chances of outrunning a Greyhound are low. 

6. Samoyed

Samoyed Looking Aside
  • Group: Working Group (AKC)
  • Height: 19 to 24 inches
  • Weight: 50 to 60 pounds
  • Temperament: Playful, friendly, lively
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

The Samoyed loves humans, and we love it too! This breed is attractive and always draws people’s attention with its fluffy white coat and foxy expression.

It enjoys being around people and may form a bond with just one person, though not at the total expense of others. 

The Samoyed often looks like it has a smile on its face, and while that’s endearing to us, cats might regard the Samoyed as Pennywise the clown.

This breed won’t hesitate to pursue and kill cats if not stopped. Best to prevent the whole situation than having to deal with a dead cat. 

7. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier Dog Standing on Grass
  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 15 to 16 inches
  • Weight: 17 to 23 pounds
  • Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, spirited
  • Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

The Bedlington Terrier has a soft look, almost like a lamb. It looks like a typical Terrier and behaves like one, but that’s not the initial impression people have.

Looks can be deceiving with the Bedlington Terrier. It is a good family dog, however, and can flow with humans of all ages.

The problem it has with cats is its alertness. The Bedlington Terrier makes a good watchdog but can terrify a cat even if it has no intention of hurting the feline.

Generally, the Bedlington Terrier is not pet friendly. 

8. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier Terrier Dog at Park
  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 10 to 15  inches
  • Weight: 13 to 17 pounds
  • Temperament: Intelligent, fearless, energetic
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

The Jack Russell Terrier is also known as the Parson Russell Terrier, and it originated in England when hunting was a common pastime.

This breed hunted foxes and soon became a favorite of hunters. These days it still has a fanbase, though it hunts less and is more of a companion. 

Because of its hunting background, the Jack Russell Terrier has a high prey drive, higher than many other Terriers.

It is dangerous to leave one around cats, and once it gets on a chase, it hardly backs down. 

9. Schnauzer (Standard)

Groomed Standard Schnauzer Dog Standing Outdoors
  • Group: Working Group (AKC)
  • Height: 17  to 20 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 50 pounds
  • Temperament: Intelligent, lively, devoted
  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years

There are three different Schnauzer breeds, and while our focus is on the Standard Schnauzer, other Schnauzer breeds could also have difficulties with cats.

The Standard Schnauzer is a good family dog and makes a good guard dog too, but it isn’t a cat’s best friend.

Schnauzers have the habit of chasing animals around and generally putting them at risk.

While rodents might be too small and can escape this breed, felines may not be too lucky, making Schnauzers the worst dogs for cats.

Good socialization can teach a Schnauzer to live better with your other pets, but it won’t take away the chasing habits.

10. Weimaraner

Weimaraner Dog Standing Outdoor
  • Group: Sporting Group (AKC)
  • Height: 23 to 27 inches
  • Weight: 55 to 85 pounds
  • Temperament: Steady, powerful, intelligent
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years

Before it became a household pet, the Weimaraner played the role of a hunter. It went after big prey like deer, wolves, and even bears.

It wasn’t limited to that, however, and it didn’t take long before it began to hunt smaller prey like birds, rabbits, and foxes. Weimaraners are strong, intelligent, and friendly.

Well, friendly to only humans. With cats and smaller pets, the Weimaraner is anything but friendly.

The Weimaraner won’t give your cat any minute of peace unless you socialize it from a very young age. That can only minimize it, however. 

11. Shih Tzu

Long Haired Shih Tzu Dog Standing on Grass
  • Group: Toy Group (AKC)
  • Height: 9 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 9 to 16 pounds
  • Temperament: Playful, clever, affectionate
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 16 years

The Shih Tzu is a popular Toy dog that has been around for centuries.

They were developed to be the companion of royals of old, so unlike other breeds we’ve mentioned so far, it has no hunting instinct.

Shih Tzu still enjoys being a companion and has affection for everyone.

So, what makes this breed unsuitable for cats? The answer is attention. The Shih Tzu enjoys attention, and so do cats.

When your Shih Tzu sees you doting more on the cat than on it, it might become jealous and chase the cat away. 

12. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky Dog Standing on Grass Looking Aside
  • Group: Working Group (AKC)
  • Height: 20  to 23 inches
  • Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
  • Temperament: Outgoing, friendly, intelligent
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

The Siberian Husky is one of the most popular and easily recognizable dog breeds. It hailed from Siberia where it was a sled dog, just like the Samoyed.

The Siberian Husky has since thrived in other parts of the world, including the United States.

It has become a permanent fixture in many homes, where it is loved by its pet parents.

In its sledding days, the Siberian Husky had to adapt to unpleasant environments and source food on its own. Due to that, it has a high prey drive.

This drive was an asset for the Siberian Husky, but not so much for cats around. Without proper socialization, the Siberian Husky will chase your kitty constantly. 

13. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Standing on Grass
  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 14 to 16 inches
  • Weight: 24 to 38 pounds
  • Temperament: Intelligent, reliable, bold
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

The first impression the Staffordshire Bull Terrier leaves is that of an imposing and intimidating breed.

Any intruder would be cautious in the face of a Stafford. However, those who pet parent this breed know that it isn’t as fierce as it looks.

The Stafford is a sensitive pooch, and it enjoys playing. 

This breed is laid-back around cats. That is, until its strong prey drive sets in. Then it becomes ruthless, unstoppable, and dangerous around the cat. 

14. Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound Dog in Profile
  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 32 to 35 inches
  • Weight: 115 to 180 pounds
  • Temperament: Generous, loyal, thoughtful
  • Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 years 

The Irish Wolfhound is a noble breed hailing from Ireland where it served as a hunter.

It is one of the tallest dog breeds around, but its size doesn’t stop it from moving fast. The Irish Wolfhound has a lot of speed.

It is a sweet dog and is affectionate towards everyone. Oddly enough, that includes cats.

The Irish Wolfhound can get along with cats, but like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, its high prey drive can become an issue.

The Irish Wolfhound dog doesn’t pursue cats to hurt them, but its size can put Tommy at risk anyways. 

15. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Toy Dog STanding on Grass
  • Group: Toy Group (AKC)
  • Height: 8 to 9 inches
  • Weight: 4 to 6 pounds
  • Temperament: Independent, bold, intelligent
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Yorkie, as it is affectionately called, is a little Terrier dog. Though classified as a Toy breed, it has all the qualities you could find in a terrier.

It is bold and spirited, more than you’d expect from a typical small dog. The Yorkshire Terrier has a lot of dignity and often seems full of pride. 

Yorkies are territorial, and will even fight bigger dogs if given the chance. Cats make it jealous, similar to the Shih Tzu.

Yorkies don’t fancy sharing their owners’ affection with cats and will react when that happens. 

16. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound Dog Breed Standing On Grass
  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 24 to 26 inches
  • Weight: 50  to 60 pounds
  • Temperament: Aloof, clownish, dignified
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

The Afghan Hound is another popular and easily recognized breed.

Its looks and hair are unique, and the Afghan Hound moves with the assurance of a dog that knows of its beauty.

This breed is not overly friendly but has its mischievous moments. 

But beware, the Afghan Hound is not a posh couch potato. This breed was developed to be a hunting dog, and it even considered snow leopards as prey.

Can your cat compete with that? The answer is obvious. The Afghan Hound will constantly want to chase your cat, even for fun. 

17. Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier Dog Standing on Ground
  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 15 to 16 inches
  • Weight: 12 to 22 pounds
  • Temperament: Devoted, keen, alert
  • Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

The Manchester Terrier is not known to be aggressive, but it has the Terrier’s strong spirit.

It is easy to train, however, and can even be a good first-time dog for active beginners.

Manchester Terriers enjoys being around its people and is generally pleasing, but can be a bit stubborn.

This breed was developed to be a ratter, so it shouldn’t be found close to a rodent pet. It can also consider the cat to be a prey, especially if the latter is a small one. 

18. Schipperke

Black Schipperke Dog Standing on Grass Outdoors
  • Group: Non-Sporting Group (AKC)
  • Height: 10 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 11 to 18 pounds
  • Temperament: Curious, fearless, agile
  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

The Schipperke was given the nickname Little Black Devil, or LBD, and the nickname is accurate given its black coat and wolfish face.

You wouldn’t want to be alone with a Schipperke at night. 

This breed is a fantastic guard dog and companion. It is loyal, intelligent, and adaptable.

As long as you give it enough exercise, it can cope in any household. It poses no life threat to cats but can be highly mischievous and stress your kitty. 

19. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound Dog Standing in Profile
  • Group: Hound Group (AKC)
  • Height: 21 to 25 inches
  • Weight: 45 to 55 pounds
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful, affectionate
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years

The Pharaoh Hound is a very old breed, and its ancestry can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, though modern ones have roots in Malta.

While it was bred to be a hunting dog, the Pharaoh Hound is a lovely family dog. It can be a good first-time dog. 

Its affection doesn’t extend towards cats, though. The Pharaoh Hound’s prey drive will make it go after any cat around, and during those moments it may not listen to you. 

20. Smooth Fox Terrier

Close Up Smooth Fox Terrier Standing Outdoors
  • Group: Terrier Group (AKC)
  • Height: 13 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 15 to 19 pounds
  • Temperament: Alert, playful, intelligent
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

The Smooth Fox Terrier is the final dog on our list, and like other Terriers, it can be very spirited.

Nowadays, it isn’t common, but if you can locate one it can be a good family dog.

Some new pet parents can handle it too, especially if they are active and ready to give it enough exercise. 

As its name implies, the Smooth Fox Terrier was used to drive foxes out of the den for the master to hunt.

It is used to pursue animals, and its target could always become your pet cat. Socialization can help, however. 


Why do dogs chase cats?

Dogs that chase cats have different reasons for doing so, but they can all be regrouped into jealousy and a high prey drive. 

Do all dogs chase cats?

While there’s a stereotype about dogs chasing cats, not all dogs chase cats. Some dogs can cohabit with cats and not feel the urge to chase them.

Can a dog kill a cat? 

Some dog breeds are dangerous to live alone with a cat, especially those with high prey drives. These dogs can end up killing the cat, not just chasing it for fun. 

Can dogs and cats get along?

Some dog breeds are friendly to everyone, and they extend to cats. They are generally cooperative and may even be overly affectionate towards your kitty. 

Wrap Up

If you envision having a home filled with different pets, some dog breeds should be avoided.

It’s better to go for a dog breed that’s genetically predisposed to be pet friendly than one that would cause you stress and traumatize your other animals.

Felines are especially sensitive to rough play and mistreatment, so they’ll thrive better without these worst dog breeds for cats we mentioned above.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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