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Top 10 Best Small Dog Breeds For Families With Cats
So your family has cats. You love cats, but you’d like to add a small four-legged friend of the barking variety to your family.
Here are Top 10 Best Small Dog Breeds for Families with Cats.
Starting off our list at number 10 is the much-beloved Pomeranian. It’s hard to make a video about small dog breeds without including the Pom. If I do, the comment section goes wild, telling me I forgot the Pomeranian.
According to pomeranian.org, the Pom can definitely get along well with cats. Usually around the same size as the cat, can become a companion to your feline friend.
As a true toy dog, the Pomeranian was bred to be a companion animal. Poms are generally not aggressive and have a perky, friendly demeanor.
Like all dogs on this list, introduction to your cat or cats should be well-supervised to make sure no harm comes to either animal.
9: Shih Tzu
The docile temperament of the Shih Tzu makes this breed a great choice for cat lovers. The Shih Tzu gets along with other dogs, children, and yes even cats. The Shih Tzu gets an overall friendliness rating to 5 out of 5 stars from dogtime.com.
Like the Pom, the Shih Tzu was bred solely to be a companion. The Shih Tzu is an affectionate, happy, outgoing housedog who loves nothing more than to follow its people from room to room.
In general, the Chihuahua is known for being very well behaved around cats. In some households, a Chi and a cat can become best friends, seeing one another as a peer, even going so far as to become protective of one another.
The introduction should be taken carefully though as most cats can weight 2-3 times as much as the average Chi.
Tip: When you have two animals that haven’t met in the same room, your behavior must be calm and casual. Don’t anxiously sit and stare. If you tense up, the animals can pick up on those feelings. You do not want your actions to silently be telling a dog or cat that something is wrong or that danger is imminent.
The Maltese is a slacker who sometimes just lies around on the couch and ignores anything else going on. Sound familiar?
Normally this small dog doesn’t care for much more than hanging out, which makes them one of the best breeds for a first-time dog owner.
However, if they have an opportunity to play and their opponent doesn’t outweigh them ten to one, the Maltese can be an entertaining companion for the household cat. This is a great dog breed for both young and older cats because they are fine with either a cat that just wants to be left alone or to engage with a playful cat.
One of the most endearing and unusual traits about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is its affinity for felines. Cavaliers love cats and will try to cuddle, lick, and love any cat that comes within sight.
Most cats will allow these little dogs to be their friends, and often interspecies cuddling can result.
Perhaps this is because Cavaliers think they are cats, or at least they sure think so when they try to perch on the back of your chair, your neck, your table…
Like the Chihuahua, the Cavi is a tiny breed though, so make sure the cat is as friendly as your new Cavi is.
While in general Terriers are not good with cats, the Boston Terrier tends to be a little less terrier than most terriers, lacking the hunting background of most terrier breeds.
The American Gentleman is too cordial for any feline chasing shenanigans and gets a five out of five stars for cat friendliness. Of course, the Boston Terrier is friendly with everyone, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Tip: Dogs must not be able to reach the litter box. If given the chance, the dog will eat the contents which can lead to serious health issues and a yucky mess in your carpet. Since cats are more nimble than dogs, try to place the litter box in a spot that the dog cannot reach or use top entry litter boxes.
4: Chinese Crested
This small breed of dog is willing to please and shows intense devotion to its family. The Chinese Crested is good with everyone, including the cat.
By nature, the Chinese Crested combines qualities of a sensitive companion, a calm lapdog, and playful elf.
Like the Cavi, the Chinese Crested loves to perch on top of things to get a better view and it never tires of playing with other pets. When it comes to quiet time, this little dog will definitely seek a warm place and if your cat is willing, a good kitty cuddle is as good as it gets.
3: Shetland Sheepdog
When I first started researching this video, I didn’t think a herding dog would end up making the list.
Even though Shelties have a strong urge to herd other animals, they are quick learners, a cat will generally teach them that it’s not going to happen and then they can become good playmates.
A YouTube search will show many videos of shelties and cats having fun together.
The Shetland Sheepdog is gentle and playful. They are active, intelligent dogs that are easy to train and, providing they are properly introduced, will quickly adapt to sharing a home with a cat.
2: Japanese Chin
Like most of the dogs on this list, the Japanese Chin was first bred as a companion dog.
Which means, it is naturally affectionate and loving and can get along well with kittens, adult cats, other dogs, even small children.
If you’re looking for a small breed that’s likely to pair well with one of them, the Japanese Chin might be your answer.
1: Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise, the cousin of the aforementioned Maltese, is a gentle, playful, cute ball of fluff that tends to get along well with other pets, especially if introduced at a young age.
When raised together at the same time, a Bichon and a cat will probably become best friends, even playing and romping together regularly. They’re great companions for humans and other pets!
Even if there is an age gap, the Bichon is an intelligent quick learner that will adapt quickly to your kitties quirks, likes, and dislikes.
Keep in mind that this is only a short list and that there is no guarantee that every dog of any one of these breeds will get along with your cat or that your cat will tolerate a dog of any breed.
In addition, many dogs not on this list can become best friends with an unlikely cat companion. And don’t rule out mutts. In general, mutts are well-balanced, less extreme dogs and can adapt to a wide variety of living situations.