11 WORST Dog Breeds for Cats (with Photos)

Reviewed and Fact-Checked by Veterinarian Dr Alice Adams BVSc (Hons)


Some dog breeds might not be the best match for cats. Why? It’s all about their instincts. Breeds with a strong prey drive might chase cats, thinking they’re prey. Others, bred for hunting or herding, can be too rough for a cat’s liking.

Knowing these breed traits helps keep peace between your furry friends. Remember, it’s all about understanding each breed’s nature!

Many cartoons, comics, movies, and more often portray cats and dogs as mortal enemies, many families get along just fine with both types of animals under one roof. 

However, that’s not always the case. 

worst dog breeds for cats
11 Worst Dog Breeds for Cats

Every dog is different with its own temperament and varying tolerance levels for people, other dogs, and, of course, cats. But certain breeds may be more prone to negative reactions to small animals like felines. 

Whether it’s due to instincts or a bad attitude, here are the 11 worst dog breeds for cats. 


Beagles are adorable, small, fun-loving dogs that make excellent pets. They’re great with kids and typically get along well with other dogs. Because this dog was originally bred to hunt in packs, it usually does well surrounded by lots of people and dogs.

old Beagle front shot
An old Beagle front view.

But this same historical fact about the breed is also the reason why Beagles shouldn’t be around cats. 

Not only are Beagles born hunters, but they specifically hunt small game – mainly rabbits. It’s a Beagle’s nature to run after small animals, and a cat fits the bill. If you own a cat, a Beagle probably isn’t the right breed for you. 

Jack Russell Terrier 

Another spirited, small dog, the Jack Russell Terrier, is another breed to steer clear of if you’re hoping for peace between your pets. 

two Jack Russell Terriers together
Two Jack Russell Terriers posing together for a photoshoot.

These energetic dogs were once a popular choice for fox hunting. They are brave, independent, and determined canines with strong instincts when tracking down prey. Many people like to keep them on their property to sniff out small pests like moles, squirrels, and rats.  

Of course, cats can do the same thing. It’s safe to say you only need one or the other – never both together

Scottish Deerhound 

The Scottish Deerhound is a widely misunderstood breed. Because of its large size and wiry coat, people mistake this gentle giant for a mean-looking dog. The truth is, Scottish Deerhounds are very docile, friendly, and polite creatures. 

two Scottish Deerhound
Two adults Scottish Deerhound tongues out.

The massive dogs are lean but tower over other breeds at up to 32 inches tall. And like other dogs on our list, this breed was created to hunt

While the Scottish Deerhound’s original purpose was to stalk deer, these tall pups have been known to chase down small animals like squirrels, mice, and even smaller dogs. It certainly wouldn’t stop at chasing down an unsuspecting cat. 

Siberian Husky 

When we think of dog breeds that shouldn’t be around cats, we typically picture all the dogs from the hunting groups. Although the Siberian Husky is not a hunting dog, it is one of the worst dog breeds for cats. 

three Siberian Huskies colors
The three Siberian Huskies with different colors are sitting together.

Huskies are very energetic, stubborn, and intelligent dogs. Not only will this fun-loving breed chase your cat, but his stubbornness will make it extremely difficult to train him out of this behavior

Not to mention, Huskies are notorious escape artists. Your cat isn’t safe, and neither are the other cats in the neighborhood. 


Greyhounds are known best for their lean, athletic bodies and impressive ability to run very fast. But what many people might miss about these canines is that they are very gentle, sweet-natured pups with a lot of love to offer. 

brown Italian Greyhound
A brown Italian Greyhound standing on the grass.

Unfortunately, that love likely doesn’t extend to your family cat. 

Plenty of people also don’t realize that Greyhounds are a part of the hunting dog family. Specifically, they are called Sighthounds. Sighthounds can see movement from very far away.

Once they see their prey, they sprint after them.

If you’ve seen a Greyhound track race, you know how fast they can run. Your cat wouldn’t stand a chance. 

Miniature Schnauzer 

What could be so terrifying about a Miniature Schnauzer? The breed’s small stature and adorable mustache are certainly appealing to us. 

Miniature Schnauzer stretches body
Miniature Schnauzer stretches body on the field.

Miniature Schnauzers are smart, obedient, and affectionate. Their unique appearance is endearing to many, making it among the top 20 most popular dog breeds. 

But the spunky breed was made for farm life. Its fluffy ancestors strutted around farmland and hunted rats along the way, keeping them out of the barn and away from the other animals. This instinct can easily kick in around other small animals, including Fluffy, the family cat. 

Mini Schnauzers are highly trainable, so it’s possible to instill harmony between your pets early. But other cats are fair game. 


Whippets are silly dogs to look at. They resemble miniature versions of the Greyhound, sporting thin, athletic bodies and a long, sleek tail. Their slender faces and long necks are adorable, coupled with tall, skinny legs. 

gray whippet
A gray Whippet. Ash would be a great name for such a cute gray dog!

These pups are incredibly gentle, but their independent nature can make them challenging to train. Despite that fact, they make great house dogs. They generally remain calm and rarely bark.

However, once they’re outside, Whippets display bursts of energy. They are fantastic jumpers and can easily clear low fences. They also love to chase things – anything.

And like Greyhounds, they’re speedy. 

All in all, Whippets aren’t a good dog to have around cats, especially outdoor cats. 

Shih Tzu 

Making a surprising appearance on our list of worst dog breeds for cats is the Shih Tzu. Shih Tzus are very small, affectionate, and playful pups. They’re not hunters by any means, so what makes them a threat to cats?

Shih Tzu approaching
Shih Tzu approaching a stranger.

Shih Tzus are attention-loving dogs. They’ll bark and paw at you to get your full attention and affection. Because of this temperament, they’re also actively jealous creatures.

This breed’s jealousy can quickly turn to aggression if you have a cat that steals your attention. 

Your Shih Tzu wants to be your sole focus, so there’s a good chance he’ll chase away a cat who tries to come near you. And because they’re small, they can squeeze into your cat’s best hiding places. 

Australian Cattle Dog 

Australian Cattle Dogs are beloved canines adored for their unique, colorful coats and innate loyalty to their owners. As their name suggests, these dogs were made to chase and corral livestock. They also make great hunting dogs. 

an Australian Cattle dog
An Australian Cattle dog. They are whip smart and talented workers.

This dog’s instinct to chase and hunt and it’s high energy and muscular body make it a dangerous companion for your family cat. Without proper training and stimulation, this dog can also become very bored and mischievous, causing it to get into all kinds of trouble. 

This working breed is impressively agile and has no problems catching the quickest of cats. 

Manchester Terrier 

Manchester Terriers have pointed ears, muscular bodies, and dark fur – all of which make them seem like mean dogs. But these graceful pups are quite affectionate and very loyal pets. 

Manchester Terrier stands on the grass
An alert Manchester Terrier stands on the grass.

However, these Terriers have the ratting instinct. Their sleek, lightweight, and muscular bodies make it easy for them to overtake anything they chase. They are quick-witted and fearless, and their sharp attention span can help them home in on any prey they choose.

In short, the Manchester Terrier is a pro at chasing and catching small animals. Training can help, but their ratting instinct will make it challenging to have them live safely with a cat. 


We saved one of the best (which is actually one of the worst) breeds for last: the ever-energetic and often overwhelming Weimaraner. 

Weimaraner looking up the tree
A Weimaraner looking up the tree in the backyard.

Weimaraners are hunting dogs, but even in that class, they’re not always the number one choice of hunters. Although the breed has plenty of energy and is very intelligent, it’s also stubborn, sensitive, persistent, and, well, a bit goofy. 

Weimaraners can be a force on land and in the water, and when they get on the scent of something, it can be tough to stop them. Strict training can make them great pets and even better hunters, but they’ll seldom be safe around cats and other small animals. 


Learn more about dogs and their behaviors toward cats below. 

Why do some dogs hate cats?

Most dogs hate cats because of their instinct to hunt. Dogs may not specifically hate cats, but their instincts can trigger the need to hunt any small animal that comes across their path. 

why do dogs hate cats
Why do dogs hate cats? (Cat-Dog Relationship Explained)

Do puppies hate cats?

Puppies tend to be less aggressive around cats. They’re small and undeveloped and much more playful than adult dogs. Young pups find everything around them interesting and exciting; their curious nature allows them to explore more freely. 

You may find that a puppy will love your cat, and raising them together can help solidify a peaceful and happy relationship between the two. 

Border Collie meets cat
Border Collie puppy meets the cat for the first time.

Can cats and dogs get along?

Dogs and cats frequently live together in peace and get along just fine. While factors such as breed, temperament, and training can impact a dog’s attitude toward cats, proper introductions and training can take you down the road to success.

Many experts recommend introducing your dog to your cat while your dog is still young. Raising them together can help them become used to one another and even teach them various social cues between the species. 

dog chases the cat
The puppy chases a cat above the table at the park.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and they’re also known as a cat’s biggest enemy. While many dogs and cats live together in harmony, some breeds can be a little riskier to bring the family feline around. These are just a few breeds to avoid adopting if you have a cat.