While some dogs break the cliché and get along just fine with cats, clichés do exist for a reason. The following breeds just aren’t very compatible with their feline counterparts.
That’s not to say that every breed on this list is a certified cat killer. Every single dog has its own unique personality that may make them love or hate cats. However, this list contains 20 different dog breeds that are more susceptible to being dangerous or menacing than others. If you have kitties, you might want to avoid these breeds.
Top 20 Worst Dogs for Cats
1. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is known for its intense energy and high intelligence. However, they also possess a super-high prey drive. While they can peacefully coexist with cats, this is often only when they are raised with them.
The curious Beagle was originally bred to hunt small game, including rabbits, foxes, and other small furry creatures. While that role has somewhat taken a back seat nowadays in favor of companionship, their prey drive remains just as high. And since they have seemingly boundless mischievous energy, they’ll be more than happy to terrorize your cat all day long.
Greyhounds and other sighthounds (such as the Saluki and Whippet) are notorious cat hunters. As natural-born coursers, they have a true instinct for chasing down and hunting anything small and furry — including cats. While they are great family dogs, Greyhounds don’t do well in houses with cats. And because of the Greyhound’s speed and agility, they not only chase your cat but have an exceptionally high chance of catching them as well.
4. Jack Russell Terrier
Terriers in general are not a good mix for cats, and that especially goes for the Jack Russell. These little guys have one of the highest prey drives around, even when compared to other terriers. And once they set their mind to catching something, they’re absolutely ruthless, letting nothing stand in their way between victory.
The Schnauzer is a strong, fearless pup that makes a great family dog and guardian for children. However, they’re also known for their lack of ability to cohabitate with any smaller pets, especially cats. And since the Schnauzer can be stubborn at times, they might not respond to commands when their prey drive has kicked in and they’re on a mission.
6. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies can be some of the sweetest dogs on the planet. They’re often known as the dog that’ll actually help the burglars break into your house and show them where all the valuable stuff is. And when raised properly with cats, they can live long harmonious lives together. However, the Siberian Husky is still a working and hunting dog with a fiercely strong instinct. If not fully broken, the Siberian Husky won’t hesitate to chase and hunt down your precious kitty.
This hauntingly beautiful dog was originally bred as a hunting dog designed to take large game such as boar, bear, and deer. So, it’s not much of a stretch to say that they’ll go after your cat as well. Even cats and Weimaraners raised from birth together aren’t on a positively firm standing. Weimaraner instincts are just so overpowering that it could just be a matter of time before your cat starts to look like a snack.
8. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is actually pretty relaxed when it comes to cohabitating with cats, especially for a terrier. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their prey drive altogether. And once Stafford’s mindsets in to catch your cat, very little can be done to change it. They’re fearless and tenacious, and they will stop at nothing once they’re on a mission.
9. American Pit Bull Terrier
Pit Bulls are known to have exceptionally high prey drives, and that’s partly because they are originally a terrier breed. While you can see videos and hear firsthand accounts of how Pits and cats can get along amicably, this is often not the case. They aren’t mortal enemies, but it shouldn’t be a risk you’re willing to take.
10. Afghan Hound
If there’s any breed that can be considered the archenemy to cats, it’s the Afghan Hound. Don’t let their long-haired elegance fool you. These hounds are natural-born hunters known for catching rabbits, wolves, and even snow leopards! A domesticated house cat just doesn’t stand a chance. And it’s not like they’ll chase down your cat out of frustration. An Afghan Hound will go out of their way to find your cat because they just enjoy the chase and hunt.
11. Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds are wonderful family dogs and among the world’s tallest dogs. They’re honestly just giant sweethearts that want to get along with everybody and often that includes cats. However, they also belong to the sighthound family. Just like the Greyhound, these dogs have a high prey drive that can take over and cause them to chase down your kitten. And while the Irish Wolfhound may perceive this as simple play, their size and strength make it that much more dangerous to your feline friend.
Fluffy and totally adorable, the Samoyed is a wonderfully nice and loving pup. But don’t underestimate this breed. They still come from a long, ancient bloodline of Siberian working dogs. They are, in fact, one of the oldest purebred lineages on the planet with a deeply rooted prey drive and herding instinct. And there’s no way that you can say with 100% certainty that your Samoyed’s instincts won’t kick in when dealing with your cat. It’s best not to risk the possibility.
13. Manchester Terrier
Manchester Terriers are among the greatest ratters of all the terrier group with their super high prey drives and tenacious personalities. Unfortunately, this makes them quite dangerous for your kitty. And they’re also extremely protective and jealous of their masters. If they see you with your cat, there’s a good chance that jealousy can have the Manchester Terrier perceive your cat as a threat.
The Schipperke once accompanied boatmen through the canals and waterways of Europe staving off cats and other vermin. Needless to say, they will not hesitate to attack your cat given the opportunity. Although they’re very obedient and loyal pups, it’s in their blood to hunt down small animals and protect their homes. It’s best to raise them in a cat-free home.
15. Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth Fox Terriers were originally bred and owned by farmers looking to clear out vermin from their property, including rats, burrowing creatures, and even foxes in underground dens. But now, they tend to live simple lives playing with their families. However, that doesn’t mean that their prey drive has altogether disappeared. In fact, they absolutely still love the thrill of the hunt and will chase after your cat if given the chance.
16. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier is a unique looking exotic dog breed. And when trimmed, it has a goofy, almost comical appearance. But looks are very deceiving when it comes to the Bedlington Terrier. When it’s face to face with small furry creatures — such as cats — they are stone-cold killing machines. They’re fast, ferocious beasts and once they’re dedicated to the chase, there’s nothing you can do to really change their minds otherwise.
17. Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is another large breed similar to the Irish Wolfhound. When actually raised together with cats, they’ve been known to coexist peacefully. However, Deerhounds may see all others as a threat and chase them down accordingly. And with their large stature, strong gait, and tremendous speed, other cats or small, furry animals just don’t stand a chance.
18. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu might not be the deadliest on this list to your cat, but they’ll do their absolute best to be the biggest annoyance. And that’s not necessarily due to their high prey drive either. Shih Tzus have been ultimate companion dogs for hundreds of years and become exceptionally protective of their owners. In fact, anyone giving their masters more attention than them immediately becomes the target of a Shih Tzu’s nippy little wrath. Cats and Shih Tzus have been known to live together in the same household, but the acclimation process is often a long and arduous one.
19. Yorkshire Terrier
This is another small breed that may cause damage to your cat — although it may be more psychological than physical. Like the Shih Tzu, Yorkies don’t like to share their owner’s love with any other animal, or even humans for that matter. And while normally content (or just standoffish) with other people showing affection to their masters, cats are a completely different story. They won’t hesitate to defend or protect their standing as top dog in the relationship.
20. Pharaoh Hound
These extremely loyal hounds have been used for thousands of years as hunting dogs dating back to the time of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. And although Pharaoh Hounds are very obedient to commands, breaking millennia of natural instincts can prove to be exceptionally difficult. Their abnormally high prey drive just doesn’t make them suitable for households with cats.
While there are plenty of other breeds that can cohabitate the same space as cats — such as the Pug or Labrador Retriever — you should avoid putting cats together with the above breeds. These worst dogs for cats are very unlikely to mesh well with your kitties.
And while we can’t guarantee that each one of these dogs will viciously attack your cat, we can say that you’d be putting your feline friend’s life at much greater risk with one of these breeds around.