Best Big Dog Breeds for Cats: Feline-Friendly Large Dog Breeds That Get Along With Cats

Best Big Dog Breeds for Cats

Best Big Dog Breeds for Cats

When it comes to choosing a big dog breed that can peacefully coexist with your feline friends, you'll want to make an informed decision. After all, the harmony of your household depends on it. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the best big dog breeds for cats, helping you find the perfect canine companion for your furry companions. From understanding the characteristics that make a dog cat-friendly to exploring specific breed recommendations, we've got you covered.

What Makes a Dog Cat-Friendly?

The age-old rivalry between fighting like cats and dogs has intrigued pet lovers for generations. While it's true that these two species often share a complex relationship, it's essential to recognize that not all dogs are good with cats the same when it comes to coexisting peacefully with our feline friends.

In this in-depth guide, we aim to shed light on the nuances of what makes a dog cat-friendly, particularly focusing on the best big large dog breeds that are good for harmonious living with cats.

Whether you're a dedicated cat enthusiast contemplating the addition of a large canine companion to your household or a passionate dog lover who wants to ensure your resident kitty feels comfortable and safe, our guide has you covered.

We'll take you on a journey through the fascinating world of feline-friendly giant dog breeds, helping you identify the ideal match for your unique home dynamics. With our comprehensive insights, you'll be better equipped to foster a harmonious coexistence between your cats and dogs.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Dog Breed

Before delving into the particulars of specific dog breeds, it is of paramount importance to grasp why the choice of a dog breed holds such significance when you share your home with cats.

The dynamic between dogs and cats hinges heavily on their individual temperaments, energy levels, and social tendencies. Opting for a dog breed that complements your cat's personality can serve as a linchpin in averting potential conflicts and fostering a tranquil and harmonious cohabitation for all residents of your home.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into how various dog breeds align with the needs and temperaments of your feline companions, providing you with valuable insights to make an informed choice.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Big Dog Breed for Cats

When contemplating the inclusion of a big dog breed into your household alongside cats, it's imperative to consider a range of factors to ensure a harmonious living environment for all your furry companions. Here are the critical aspects to weigh:


The temperament of a dog plays a pivotal role in determining their compatibility with cats. Seek out breeds that have established reputations for being gentle, patient, and non-aggressive. These traits can significantly enhance the likelihood of peaceful coexistence.

Energy Level

Dogs come in various energy levels, from high-energy breeds that thrive on activity to more laid-back counterparts. It's essential to select a breed with an energy level that aligns with your cat's preferences. A balanced match can prevent situations where exuberant playfulness overwhelms or stresses your feline friend.

Size and Strength

While we are focusing on big dog breeds in this guide, it's still critical to consider the dog's size and strength concerning your cat. Ensure that the dog is not overly imposing, which could lead to accidental harm or injuries to your cat. A size-appropriate choice is vital.


Breeds that possess a natural proclivity for sociability and friendliness typically adapt more easily to cohabiting with cats. Conversely, dogs with pronounced territorial or dominant tendencies may not be the most suitable choice for a multi-pet household. Assessing a dog's social inclinations is key to fostering a peaceful atmosphere.


Adequate training is fundamental for any dog, but it takes on added importance when cats share your home. Prioritize breeds known for their trainability and responsiveness to commands. A well-trained dog is more likely to respect boundaries and follow house rules, minimizing potential conflicts with your feline companions.

Some of The Best Big Dog Breeds for Cats

Best Big Dog Breeds for Cats

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a renowned dog breed celebrated for its exceptional family-friendly qualities. This breed's outstanding temperament, characterized by its gentle and friendly nature, positions it as an ideal choice for households where cats are part of the mix. Their remarkable patience is a particularly valuable attribute when coexisting with feline companions.

  • Temperament: Golden Retrievers are renowned for their friendly, tolerant, and easygoing disposition, making them a perfect fit for families and multi-pet households.
  • Energy Level: While they possess a moderately high energy level, Golden Retrievers also exhibit remarkable adaptability, ensuring they can comfortably cohabit with more tranquil households.
  • Size and Strength: These dogs are on the larger side, but their gentle and non-aggressive nature significantly reduces the likelihood of causing harm to a cat or other smaller pets.
  • Socialization: Golden Retrievers are inherently sociable creatures and tend to form harmonious relationships with other pets, including cats, due to their friendly and amicable demeanor.
  • Training: Their highly trainable nature, combined with an eagerness to please their owners, sets Golden Retrievers apart as a breed that responds well to training and is often quick to learn and obey commands.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers share several characteristics with Golden Retrievers, making them another excellent choice for households that include cats. Their friendly and outgoing personalities, along with their adaptability, make them a top pick for families with a variety of pets.

  • Temperament: Labrador Retrievers are known for their outgoing, even-tempered, and gentle nature. This disposition aligns well with the needs of multi-pet households and enhances their compatibility with cats.
  • Energy Level: While they do have a high energy level, Labrador Retrievers have the remarkable ability to adapt to different living situations. This adaptability allows them to coexist comfortably with cats, whether in an active or more relaxed environment.
  • Size and Strength: Labrador Retrievers are a larger breed, but their friendly demeanor and non-aggressive behavior reduce the likelihood of posing a threat to cats. Their size is generally not a hindrance to peaceful cohabitation.
  • Socialization: Labrador Retrievers are highly social animals and thrive when surrounded by other pets. Their sociable nature makes them a natural fit for multi-pet households, where they can develop strong and positive relationships with cats and other animals.
  • Training: Renowned for their intelligence and eagerness to please, Labrador Retrievers are easily trainable. Their ability to learn and follow commands enhances their compatibility with cats and other pets, making them a versatile choice for families seeking a harmonious pet environment.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds, while not as imposing in size as Golden and Labrador Retrievers, possess distinctive qualities that render them excellent companions for cats and other pets. These unique characteristics contribute to their suitability for households seeking a harmonious pet environment.

  • Temperament: Basset Hounds are renowned for their relaxed, easygoing, and patient disposition. These traits make them well-suited for cohabiting with cats, as their calm demeanor can help create a tranquil atmosphere.
  • Energy Level: Their energy level falls within the low to moderate range, making them an ideal match for cats that prefer a quieter and less active environment. This aligns with the preferences of feline companions, promoting a peaceful coexistence.
  • Size and Strength: Although not as large as some other breeds, Basset Hounds maintain a sturdy build that reduces the likelihood of accidentally harming a cat. Their relatively smaller size is balanced by their gentle and non-threatening presence.
  • Socialization: Basset Hounds typically exhibit a friendly and adaptable nature when interacting with different pets in the household. Their amicable disposition fosters positive relationships with cats and other animals, contributing to a harmonious living arrangement.
  • Training: While Basset Hounds can display a touch of stubbornness, they are trainable with patience and consistent training methods. This willingness to learn and adapt, albeit at their own pace, allows them to integrate well into households with cats, ultimately ensuring a peaceful and cooperative pet environment.
Best Big Dog Breeds for Cats


For those seeking a colossal canine companion with a disposition as gentle as a giant teddy bear, the Newfoundland emerges as a remarkable choice. Despite their imposing size, these dogs are celebrated for their endearing and composed nature, making them an attractive option for families and households that include cats.

  • Temperament: Newfoundlands are characterized by their gentle, sweet-natured, and patient temperament. This combination of qualities aligns perfectly with the desire for a pet that can coexist harmoniously with cats, emphasizing their calming and soothing presence.
  • Energy Level: While their size might suggest otherwise, Newfoundlands maintain a moderate energy level, occasionally punctuated by bursts of playfulness. This balance in energy makes them versatile companions, suitable for both laid-back and active households.
  • Size and Strength: Newfoundlands are indeed massive in stature, but their temperament is typically gentle and non-aggressive. Their size, rather than being a concern, often adds to their allure as a formidable yet docile presence within the home.
  • Socialization: Newfoundlands generally exhibit friendliness towards other pets, including cats. Their amicable nature fosters positive relationships with feline companions and contributes to a tranquil and unified pet environment.
  • Training: With their intelligence and responsiveness to training, Newfoundlands prove themselves as highly trainable dogs. Their willingness to learn and follow commands further reinforces their suitability for households with cats, ensuring a well-behaved and cooperative pet dynamic.

Great Dane

The Great Dane stands as one of the largest dog breeds globally, yet their immense size is paradoxically juxtaposed with their gentle and affectionate personality. Renowned for their status as loving giants, Great Danes can seamlessly coexist with cats, showcasing a remarkable blend of size and serenity.

  • Temperament: Great Danes are characterized by their gentle, affectionate, and friendly disposition. These traits underline their aptitude for forming peaceful and harmonious relationships with feline companions, fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and camaraderie.
  • Energy Level: While their size might imply high energy demands, Great Danes maintain a moderate energy level. However, it's crucial to note that due to their substantial size, they still require regular exercise to keep them healthy and content. This consideration ensures their overall well-being and enhances their compatibility with an active lifestyle or household.
  • Size and Strength: Great Danes are undeniably enormous, yet their temperament is generally gentle and non-threatening. Their size, rather than being a source of concern, often contributes to their appeal as majestic and mild-mannered companions within the home.
  • Socialization: Often referred to as “gentle giants,” Great Danes typically live up to this description by being friendly with other pets, including cats. Their affable nature and gentle demeanor facilitate the establishment of positive and harmonious bonds with various members of the household, creating a unified and tranquil pet environment.
  • Training: Possessing intelligence and a readiness to respond to training, Great Danes are regarded as highly trainable dogs. Their willingness to learn and follow commands not only supports their integration into households with cats but also ensures a well-behaved and cooperative pet dynamic, reaffirming their suitability as gentle giants in the family.

Benefits of Having Big Dog Breeds for Cats


Cats are known for their independence, but they can still benefit from the companionship of a friendly dog. Big dog breeds, especially those with gentle temperaments, can provide your cat with a playmate and a source of comfort.


Larger dog breeds, like Newfoundlands or Great Danes, can offer an added sense of security to your home. Their imposing presence alone can deter potential intruders and make you and your cat feel safer.

Exercise Partners

Dogs often require regular exercise, and having a big dog can encourage you to engage in physical activities with your pets. This can be especially beneficial for indoor cats, as it promotes a more active lifestyle.

Emotional Support

The presence of a big, gentle dog can provide emotional support to your cat, especially if they are anxious or shy. The dog's reassuring presence can help reduce stress in your feline friend.


Introducing a friendly big dog breed to your cat can improve your cat's socialization skills. Cats that are accustomed to living with dogs tend to be more confident and adaptable in various social situations.


Dogs often have playful and energetic personalities. They can engage in interactive play with your cat, providing mental and physical stimulation that can prevent boredom.

Temperature Buddies

In colder climates, larger dog breeds can generate extra body heat, which can be comforting to your cat, especially during the winter months.

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FAQs about Big Dog Breeds for Cats

What are the best big dog breeds for cats?

Some of the best big dog breeds for cats include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, Newfoundlands, and Great Danes. These breeds are known for their friendly and gentle temperaments.

Why is it important to choose the right dog breed when you have cats?

Choosing the right dog breed is crucial because it can significantly impact the harmony and safety of your household. The compatibility of the dog's temperament, energy level, and size with your cat's needs is essential for a peaceful coexistence.

What factors should I consider when choosing a big dog breed for my cats?

When choosing a big dog breed for your cats, consider factors such as temperament, energy level, size, socialization, and training. These factors will help determine how well the dog can coexist with your feline friends.

How can a big dog benefit my cat?

Big dogs can benefit cats in various ways, including providing companionship, protection, exercise partners, emotional support, socialization opportunities, entertainment, and extra warmth in colder climates.

What if my cat is shy or anxious around dogs?

If your cat is shy or anxious around dogs, it's essential to introduce them gradually and under controlled circumstances. Start with short, supervised interactions and use positive reinforcement to reward both pets for calm behavior.

Are there any precautions I should take when introducing a big dog to my cat?

Yes, when introducing a big dog to your cat, keep them on leashes or behind baby gates initially to prevent direct contact. Gradually allow supervised interactions, and be patient, as it may take time for them to adjust to each other.

How can I ensure a successful introduction between my big dog and cat?

To ensure a successful introduction, focus on positive reinforcement, provide separate spaces for each pet, and give them time to acclimate to each other's scents before face-to-face meetings. Consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if needed.

What if my big dog shows aggression or prey drive toward my cat?

If your big dog displays aggression or prey drive toward your cat, it's essential to seek professional help immediately. Consult with a certified dog trainer or behaviorist to address and manage these behaviors for the safety of both pets.

Can a big dog and a cat become best friends?

Yes, with proper introduction, socialization, and training, a big dog and a cat can develop a close and friendly relationship. It may take time, but many households successfully have both species living harmoniously together.

How do I ensure the safety of my cat when living with a big dog?

To ensure your cat's safety when living with a big dog, always supervise their interactions, provide safe spaces for your cat to retreat to, and ensure the dog is well-trained and responsive to commands. Gradual introductions and positive reinforcement are key to a safe coexistence.


Choosing the right big dog breed for your cats is essential for ensuring a peaceful and harmonious coexistence between your pets. Factors such as temperament, energy level, size, socialization, and training should guide your decision. The breeds discussed in this guide, including Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, Newfoundlands, and Great Danes, are known for their feline-friendly characteristics.

Remember that every dog is an individual, and it's crucial to consider the specific personality and needs of both your cat and the dog you're considering. Proper socialization and training are key to a successful introduction between your feline and canine companions.

With the right choice and a little patience, your big dog and cat can become the best of friends, enriching your home with love and companionship for years to come.


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Written by Ken Pach

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