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Cat and dog playing on grass

Contrary to popular belief,  many cats and dogs can live harmoniously when introduced properly. But, some cat breeds are notoriously better suited than others for a puppy’s love and energy due to their friendly, gentle, and easy-going nature. The list below is a great starting point if you’re looking for a dog-friendly cat.

1. Ragdoll

Ragdoll cat close up

These plush-coated cats are among the most popular cat breeds in the world. Because of the Ragdoll’s tendency to follow their humans around the house, people-pleasing behaviors, and general laid-back personality, these cats often have an easy-going nature and would make for a great addition to a home with a dog.

Facts about the Ragdoll

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 12-18 years
  • Temperament — Gentle, affectionate, and calm

2. Maine Coon

Maine coon cat exploring outside

Bred in Maine, this friendly, large cat breed is lovingly known as “the gentle giant.” Maine Coons have dog-like qualities and outgoing nature, meaning they’ll likely follow you around like a puppy and demand cuddles.  They are also considered highly intelligent and trainable. Plus, pound-for-pound, male Maine Coons are the size of a medium-sized dog.

Facts about the Ragdoll

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 12-15 years
  • Temperament — Social, gentle, and calm

3. Birman

Birman cat sitting outside

The fluffy Birman has a posh appearance with a beautiful, silky coat and deep blue eyes. Combined with their gentle, charming personality, the Birman makes a wonderful feline companion. Look no further if you want a cat that loves to chase, play tag, and even fetch a ball around with your canine family member.

Facts about the Birman

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 12-16 years
  • Temperament — Playful, gentle, and loyal

4. British shorthair

British shorthair cat lying on a bed

With a dense coat and distinguishable appearance, the British shorthair is one of the most chill and easy-going cat breeds out there. Though they love their peace and quiet, British shorthairs make lovely, patient canine companions.

Facts about the British shorthair

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 12-20 years
  • Temperament — Loyal, affectionate, and playful

5. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat close up

The slender and short-haired Abyssinian is an extroverted breed that loves to explore and play, making the cats great companions to a young puppy or high-energy, playful dogs. Abyssinians are known to be highly affectionate and tend to grow attached to their family members — pets included.

Facts about the Abyssinian

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 9-15 years
  • Temperament — Playful, loving and affectionate

6. Japanese bobtail

Japanese bobtail cat lying on rug

In some East Asian cultures, the chatty, playful Japanese bobtail symbolizes good luck. These cats are known for their intelligence and devotion and are best suited for homes with pets and children as they don’t always enjoy being alone. Similar to dogs, the Japanese bobtail is highly trainable; they can learn commands, tricks, and even play a game of fetch.

Facts about the Japanese bobtail

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 15-18 years
  • Temperament — Active, outgoing, and friendly

7. American shorthair

American shorthair cat stretching outside

The even-tempered American shorthair is easy to groom, train, and adapts well to a new home with a dog. Expect your medium-sized working cat to dote on you for attention, but don’t be surprised if it needs a little alone time to decompress from all the company.

Facts about the American shorthair

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 15-20 years
  • Temperament — Playful, affectionate, and good-natured

8. Norwegian forest cat

Norwegian forest cat

Known for being highly sociable, Norwegian forest cats are curious and large. These dog-like cats are generally adaptable and have a gentle, mellow temperament ideal for households with children and other animals.

Facts about the Norwegian forest cat

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 14-17 years
  • Temperament — Sociable, curious, and calm

9. Tonkinese

Tonkinese cat staring at camera

The Tonkinese, a hybrid of Siamese and Burmese cat breeds, is another cat with a dog-like personality that adores the company of other pets. They’re known to be incredibly lovable, goofy, and always eager for affection.

Facts about the Tonkinese

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 12-16 years
  • Temperament — Goofy, affectionate, and extroverted

10. Siberian

Siberian cat

The affectionate, curious, and cool Siberian cat loves giving and receiving attention. They make for great pets for young children and are known to adjust to — and even welcome — canine family members. Expect lots of singing from your vocal kitty!

Facts about the Siberian

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 15-18 years
  • Temperament — Strong, adaptable, and smart

11. Devon rex

Devon rex cat on a red bed

The friendly, playful Devon rex has a distinct elven appearance, kind eyes and an endearing personality. Expect lots of clowning around and loud purrs with this breed. Devon rex cats are especially great for cat-friendly dogs and young kids desperate to hold and pet their new feline friend.

Facts about the Devon rex

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 14-17 years
  • Temperament — Friendly, playful and outgoing

12. Turkish Van

Turkish Van cat lying on street

This large, muscular cat with broad shoulders is jokingly called the jock of the cat world, but don’t be fooled: Turkish Vans are as loving as can be. They have an even-keeled temperament and get along well with dogs and kids that aren’t especially hyper.  Turkish Vans are also notorious for being water lovers, so you might have a swimming cat on your hands!

Facts about the Turkish Van

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 12-17 years
  • Temperament — Playful, energetic, and affectionate

13. American curl

American Curl cat

Photo by: Cljk (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The American curl cat is characterized by its unique ears, which curl backward, and walnut-shaped eyes. These cats are lively and people-loving, but they’ll also get along with other cat-friendly pets. If you’re bringing an American curl home, be sure to provide lots of options for climbing and jumping. It’s important to note that the American curl may be more susceptible to certain conditions, such as osteochondrodysplasia or ear infections.

Facts about the American Curl

  • Intelligence — High
  • Life span — 12-16 years
  • Temperament — Playful, curious, and sociable

How to properly introduce your new cat to your dog

Introducing your new cat to your dog doesn’t have to feel daunting.

  • Understand behavior cues. If possible, make sure you understand how to read both cat body language and dog behaviors. You likely know your existing pet well already, but how much do you know about your new feline friend?
  • Praise good behavior. Give your resident dog lots of support and praise when they react well to the newcomer. Both pets should be praised with love and treats when they behave well during introductory meetings. Positive reinforcement is key.
  • Create a safe, separate space for the newcomer. Put together a safe space in a spare room, basement, bathroom, or anywhere your cat will be able to self-isolate. This space should have everything your cat needs: a litter box, food, water, toys etc.
  • Keep introductory meetings brief. The first meetings should be short and sweet, especially if you find your dog is eager to chase your cat. During these meetings, consider keeping your dog on a leash and your cat on a harness. Slowly increase exposure and reward good behavior until both pets can calmly coexist.
  • Consider professional help. If your pets are having a hard time getting along, don’t hesitate to contact a professional trainer or pet behaviorist to intervene.