January 17, 2021

10 Small-Sized Dogs That Get Along With Cats

by Lauretta Williams


Most pet lovers will tell you that they are either a cat or a dog person, while others can’t think of their lives without both. If the latter describes you, then you know that some dog breeds can easily get along with cats. Some dogs see cats as small-sized members of the family that should be taken care of.


Remember, some working dogs were bred to protect and watch over human and animal family members. Others were developed to work closely with a pack; therefore, they are friendly with cats. So here are some small-sized dogs that get along with cats.


Cocker Spaniels

Cocker spaniels are a lively small-sized bundle of joy that love playing with cats, especially if they are socialized at a very young age. Introducing mature dogs to cats can go one of 2 ways. They will either be afraid or love them. Some dogs can become aggressive when introduced to cats. However, if the introduction phase is done correctly, Cocker Spaniel can get along with cats.

Remember they are naturally friendly and love all their family members, including cats. And the fact that they were bred to hunt birds and not mammals play a key role in Cocker Spaniels getting along with cats. But, the cocker spaniel is prone to hay fever just like human beings. So make sure your pet gets the best food for Cocker Spaniel with allergies.


Maltese is a beautiful dog with silky white hair that can flow to the floor if not well-trimmed. This beautiful pup has a charming face that is accentuated by a black button nose and dark expressive eyes. Weighing about 6 pounds, this cat-friendly dog makes a great lapdog. This smart dog is always eager to please its family members, and the fact that it’s a fast learner means that you can teach it to never chase your cat.

This gentle-mannered creature can become a great companion to your felines. But despite being great pals, make sure these two creatures don’t share food. Friendly Claws says that feeding your cat dog food can be detrimental to his health. Remember, they all have different nutritional needs.


Weighing between 3 and 7 pounds, a Pomeranian looks like a little ball of fur that is well-equipped to befriend any equal-sized cat. Pomeranians are intelligent, loyal and active dogs which are very easy to train. Therefore, you can easily train your Pom to get along with your house cat. And even if they don’t become friends, you can teach him to respect the cat’s space. Poms get along with cats and all pets in your home, especially if they are raised together. Pomeranians can protect your cat from other dogs.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles is a perfect definition of a lap dog that gets along with human beings and cats. This breed is a fast learner; obeys commands and loves cuddling with anybody who sits still for a few minutes. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love smaller creatures, including cats. This 18 pounds dog can bow to a cat’s wishes provided they are introduced to each other at a young age. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel playing with the cat, especially if it’s a good-natured and outgoing cat.

Boston Terrier

A Boston Terrier can be taught to give any cat ample space. And that is just one of the main reasons why this all-American dog is considered cat friendly. This intelligent and determined dog is relatively easy to train. Weighing about 25 pounds, Boston Terriers were developed as fighting dogs in Boston.

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested dogs are elegant creatures with a shoulder height of approximately 12 inches which brings them eye-to-eye with most cat breeds. This largely hairless breed, except for the tail, lower legs, head and neck, is relatively smooth and soft to touch. But what most cat lovers can appreciate about this breed is its playful and loving personality. And since most Chinese Crested dogs are timid, it’s the cat that you might have to watch out for.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog also referred to as Sheltie is a small-sized herding breed from Scotland that resembles Border Collies. The Shelties have an intelligent and alert disposition. They are adept at everything from agility to basic obedience, and they understand commands including “don’t chase the cat.” Shelties are tolerant and patient, especially when facing an equally sized creature like a cat. But make sure you introduce them to each other at a very young age.

Japanese Chin

A Japanese Chin is a great companion that can become pals with both human beings and cats. Despite its name, the Japanese Chin originated from China and has spent a huge percentage of its early years warming the laps of Chinese aristocracy. The Japanese Chin is an affectionate dog with an even temperament that can get along with both adult cats and kittens.


Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise has all the qualities of a great companion. Bichon Frise is a gentle, playful and cheerful creature that can easily become friends with your house cat, significantly if they grew up together. It is quite common to find a cat and a Bichon Frise wrestling and playing together like siblings. Even if they are introduced later, a Bichon Frise can learn how to get along with a cat that isn’t flighty or aggressive. And with proper training and positive reinforcement, you can train your reluctant dog to tolerate cats. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are devoted, tranquil and highly adaptable creatures that get along with all the pets in the house including cats and rabbits. However, they have a persistent arrogant streak that can be managed with early socialization and training, especially if you want him to get along with cats. With proper training, this breed can get along with cats.   

Final Thoughts

Cats can get along with a wide range of dogs that vary in size. However, small-sized dogs make great companions, especially if they can get along with your cat. Small-sized dogs that are cat friendly are ideal for apartments with house cats. Other than being excellent pets, they can also keep each other company during the day while you are at work.  

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