10 Dog Breeds That Don’t Get Along Well With Cats

worst dog breeds for cats

Despite the fact that dogs and cats have a reputation for being mortal enemies, it’s entirely possible for a dog and a cat to coexist happily under the same roof.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. There are some dog breeds that simply aren’t good housemates for cats, and will love nothing more than chasing and terrorizing your cute kitty at every opportunity.

So if you’re looking for a canine friend for your cat, these are the 10 worst dog breeds for cats.

1. Beagle

beagle dog and brown cat

The Beagle has a hard-earned reputation as an excellent family dog. He’s friendly, cheerful and inquisitive, and he’ll usually get on like a house on fire with all the human members of his family.

But that doesn’t mean he’ll be your cat’s best friend. Beagles were developed in England, where they were bred as pack hounds to hunt rabbits. Their pack hunting origins made them quite social animals, but they also resulted in a breed with a strong prey drive.

It’s that prey drive that means many a Beagle gets a thrill out of chasing cats and other small animals. And while that can be a whole lot of fun for your Beagle, it can be downright terrifying for your precious kitty.

If you’re keen to welcome a Beagle into your family, it’s important to remember that these are intelligent, energetic dogs. By giving your dog regular exercise and mental stimulation, and by introducing him to your cat from a young age, you’ll maximize the chances of a successful inter-species relationship.

2. Greyhound

greyhound on a forest trail

It probably won’t come as a major surprise to see the Greyhound on this list. If you’ve ever seen a Greyhound race, you’ll know just how motivated these majestic dogs are to chase small, fluffy animals.

Greyhounds are an ancient breed with a history dating back to ancient Egypt. Originally bred to hunt in harsh desert surrounds, they boast a top speed that’s unrivalled in the canine world. And with a very strong prey drive, there’s a very good chance your Greyhound will love setting off in hot pursuit of your cat.

But while Greyhounds aren’t a cat-friendly breed, many people don’t realize that they can actually make a wonderfully loving pet. They’re sweet-natured and gentle, and they don’t require as much exercise as you might think.

In fact, they’re commonly recommended as a great breed for apartment living. If you don’t have a cat, a Greyhound might just be the perfect pet.

3. Jack Russell Terrier

Before we look at why the Jack Russell Terrier isn’t the best choice for a cat owner, let’s get one point of confusion out of the way. While the breed was originally known as the Jack Russell Terrier, it has since evolved into two separate breeds: the Parson Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier.

While there are differences between the two breeds, they’re both brave and spirited terriers. They’re alert and full of energy, and despite their small stature are usually big on personality.

Unfortunately, they also have a reputation as not being a great choice for cat owners. Because their ancestors were developed for the sport of fox hunting, these adorable little canines have a strong desire to chase small animals.

Combined with their terrier tenacity and independent streak, this means they’ll struggle to live happily in a home with cats.

4. Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a working breed that’s as tough as they come. Bred to herd cattle in harsh Australian conditions, these smart and resilient dogs will happily work all day long. They’re also known for their loyalty, and form very strong bonds with the people they care about. But they’re not usually known for forming strong bonds with their feline counterparts.

Unlike many of the other breeds on this list, Australian Cattle Dogs weren’t bred to hunt small animals. But thanks to their natural instincts, there’s a high likelihood your four-legged friend will try to herd your cats.

Herding cats is a notoriously difficult pastime, but the Australian Cattle Dog is an excellent herder and one very determined fellow. He loves being given a job to do, so don’t be surprised if he decides he needs to chase your cats and round them up.

This can be a stressful and downright frightening experience for your kitty, so it’s pretty easy to see why the Australian Cattle Dog is one of the worst dog breeds for cats.


5. Schnauzer

Next on our list of the 10 worst dog breeds for cats is the undeniably adorable Schnauzer. With his gorgeous facial hair and devoted nature, he can make a wonderful family pet.

Schnauzers are also intelligent and active, and they’re a great companion for children. There are Miniature, Standard and Giant versions available as well, so there’s a Schnauzer size to suit just about everyone.

The only problem is that Schnauzers have a strong tendency to chase small animals. Bred in Germany as all-purpose farm dogs, the earliest Schnauzers performed a wide range of duties to help out their masters. One of the key responsibilities was to eliminate vermin from the farm, so Schnauzers are known as skilled ratters.

That’s bad news for any rats your Schnauzer comes across and just as disappointing for your cat. He may be cute, loyal and loving, but the Schnauzer isn’t the ideal choice if you’re looking for a dog to share a home with a cat.

6. Whippet

whippet is running in the park

The graceful Whippet looks a lot like a Greyhound, only smaller. This sweet-natured and easy-going breed may not be as big as the Greyhound, but he’s still pretty damn fast.

Whippets are capable of running at speeds of up to 35mph and they love plenty of regular exercise. But when they’re not running at blinding speed, these lovable dogs are the ultimate couch potatoes — if you’re settling in for a night of watching TV on the couch, your Whippet will want to be right there beside you.

The Whippet retains a strong prey drive to this day. This means these dogs love chasing small animals of all varieties, and often won’t think twice before setting off in hot pursuit of your poor, unfortunate kitty.

7. American Pit Bull Terrier

The Pit Bull is one of the most recognizable breeds in all of dogdom — and unfortunately, it’s often not for the right reasons. Originally bred for the barbaric sport of bull baiting, the Pit Bull was later used as a fighting dog once bull baiting was outlawed.

With such brutal origins, the breed has become a magnet for irresponsible owners over the years and has something of an unenviable reputation.

However, this reputation ignores the fact that Pit Bulls are amazingly sweet-natured and affectionate dogs. When properly socialized and trained, the American Pit Bull Terrier absolutely adores people and has plenty of love to share with its humans.

Unfortunately, the breed also has a very strong prey drive, which can spell danger for your cat. While a Pit Bull can make an excellent companion for the right owner, the safest option is to keep your dog well away from any cats.

8. Irish Wolfhound

A huge breed that grows to a minimum height of 30 inches, the Wolfhound is generally seen as one of the gentle giants of the canine world. Amiable and affectionate, this gorgeous pooch is quite happy to take each day as it comes. He also loves people of all ages and thrives when included as a part of the family.

But the Irish Wolfhound is also a sighthound that was bred for many years to hunt and bring down game. These included elk and later wolves, which are obviously a whole lot larger than your cat, but this still means your Irish Wolfhound may have a strong desire to chase small animals.

In reality, some Irish Wolfhounds won’t have any problems with cats. But others will, so this breed isn’t recommended for cat owners.

9. Weimaraner

You’d be hard pressed to find any other dog as strikingly beautiful as the Weimaraner. With that silver coat and amber or blue-gray eyes, this “gray ghost” is one breed that really stands out from the crowd.

Today, the Weimaraner is best known as a friendly and devoted family member. When you welcome one of these gorgeous dogs into your life, you’re rewarded with a pet that’s easy to train, easy to groom and easy to love. Weimaraners also get along well with children and relish every opportunity they get to spend time with their humans.

If they get plenty of exercise and jobs that challenge their intelligent minds, these big dogs will fill your life with joy. What they won’t do, however, is get on well with the family cat.

The Weimaraner was developed in 19th-century Germany as a big-game hunter. Originally tasked with taking down bears, wolves and mountain lions, the Weimaraner would later excel at hunting a wide range of game.

So if you welcome a Weimaraner into your home, you need to be aware that you’re adopting a dog with a high prey drive. And if you already own a cute kitty, this probably isn’t the right breed for you.

10. Manchester Terrier

Last but not least in our selection of the dog breeds cats hate is the Manchester Terrier. Named for the English city where he was developed, this fine-looking fellow is one athletic and fearless dog.

Alert and inquisitive, the Manchester Terrier is always on the lookout for action and adventure. He thrives with regular exercise, is highly intelligent and loves nothing more than pleasing his people.

What he doesn’t love is your cat. That’s simply because he was bred for two main tasks: killing rats and hunting rabbits. The Manchester Terrier was highly adept at both of these skills, and he retains his strong hunting instincts to this day.

While this may be great news if you happen to have a problem with vermin at your home, it’s terrible news if you’re a cat owner. Manchester Terriers and felines simply don’t mix, so this lively and loving dog is best suited to life in a cat-free home.