Despite common belief, many cats and dogs that live together don’t fight like…well…cats and dogs. Canines and felines can share space in peace and harmony, and are capable of forming lifelong friendships with each other. All pets are individuals with their own likes and dislikes, and there are some dog breeds that don’t get along well with cats. To increase your chances of harmony, there are some cat breeds that are more compatible with dogs than other felines are. These breeds also get along well with kids and other cats.
This breed was brought to England during the Roman invasion; they arrived with the troops and were kept for their mousing abilities. When English settlers came to America, they brought their cats with them to control vermin on ships and in the home once they arrived. It’s likely this breed was here before the Mayflower sailed, brought by the Pilgrims to early settlements like Jamestown. The American Shorthair is an affectionate, fun-loving, confident and friendly kitty.
One of the natural cat breeds, the Japanese Bobtail is considered to be good luck in Japan, her native country. An ancient breed that goes back at least 1,000 years, this loving kitty with a short, rabbit-like tail likes to sit and talk with you. The smart, active and inquisitive feline will play in water, fetch, and can learn feline agility.
This ancient and natural breed originated in Turkey in the Ankara area (once known as Angora). This silky long haired beauty has a slender but solid build. The Turkish Angora is agile, quick witted and affectionate; she will happily share her home with other cats and dogs, as long as they understand who the boss is. This mischievous cat likes to play tricks on people and dogs, and will get your attention by knocking things off a table.
One of three Forest Cats (the other are the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat), the Siberian originated near the top of the world in the Taiga Forest of Siberia at least 1,000 years ago, and is another natural breed. She’s Russia’s national cat and referenced in children’s books and fairy tales. This medium to large laid-back kitty is a picture of physical conditioning, strong and well balanced with powerful legs. She has a dense medium to long triple coat that’s water repellent.
The Maine Coon probably evolved from natural selection in the forests of Maine around 300 years ago. It’s unknown how these large cats ended up in New England. One story suggests they were brought here by English sailors in the 1600s, or they could have come with earlier colonists. It’s possible the Vikings brought cats with them when they visited Canada and the New England area. Maine Coons do resemble the Norwegian Forest Cat. Weighing up to 20 pounds, the Maine Coon is confident, laid back and friendly, and enjoys a good game of fetch. (Read more about the breed in this article from the CANIDAE RPO blog archives).
The Birman is thought to have been bred by natural selection in her native country of Burma (Myanmar), and is considered the sacred cat of the Kittah priests. She’s a loyal, talkative, intelligent, affectionate and gentle kitty with deep sapphire blue eyes and a silky semi-long single coat. This playful kitty enjoys chasing, fetching and playing tag, even with dogs.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Bred by natural selection in the forests of Norway some 4,000 years ago, this hefty cat has a thick water resistant coat. According to Norse legend, Norwegian Forest cats were charged with pulling the goddess Freya’s chariot across the land as she blessed the crops. She’s a gentle kitty who loves being with her people. The smart, agile cat enjoys being in high places, will engage you in conversation, and can keep most dogs in line. (Find out more about this cool cat in Ancient Breed Has Mythological Origins).
This American made feline was developed in the early 1960s, and is one of the largest cat breeds with some males weighing up to 35 pounds. The breed is appropriately named because when you pick up a Ragdoll, she goes limp. They have strong hind quarters, are big boned and have a wide chest, a rabbit-like coat and blue eyes. Playful, laid back, gentle and affectionate, the Ragdoll plays well with the entire family and will follow you around the house like a dog.
Another ancient breed bred by natural selection, the Turkish Van originated in eastern Turkey and has been called “the swimming cat of Turkey.” The cat is loyal, affectionate, very intelligent, quite active and can be mischievous. She loves high places and playing in water, a perfect fit for an active dog who likes to swim. (For more information about the Turkish Van, read our breed profile).
American Shorthair photo by Nickolas Titkov
Japanese Bobtail photo by Valter Wei
Red Maine Coon photo by Tambako the Jaguar
Ragdoll photo by Peter Munks
Read more articles by Linda Cole