15 Dog Breeds That Are Perfect for People Who Love Cats

bulldog tilting its head
Photo: Getty

If you've always thought of yourself as a self-professed "cat person," you may want to consider one of these canine companions for adoption: the Basenji, the Shiba Inu, or Martha's favorite, the Chow Chow.

01 of 15
Japanese Shiba Inu dog near a window at home
Amax Photo / Getty Images

It's already scientifically proven that you and your cat share a deep emotional bond. Cats have a strong sense of independence and personality, and their daily needs are easy to meet, which makes cats simple to care for. But if you're considering adopting a dog, especially as a self-proclaimed "cat person," there are breeds well-known for their kitten-like behavior.

If you're a lifelong cat owner but a first-time dog owner, Sunny Jackson, a dog trainer and the founder of Jack Pack Training, suggest doing your research beforehand, maybe even fostering before adopting. "My primary advice to picking a dog would be to foster first to see if it's even right for you, and to research the breed you are looking to adopt. So many people make the mistake of choosing a dog simply because they are cute or have the 'look' they want, and many times realize shortly after that the dog is not the best fit for them."

If you're drawn to cats based on their relaxed personalities, Jackson advises against dogs that fall into the herding or working category. It's worth noting that, no matter the breed, all dogs need a certain amount of physical exercise, mental stimulation, and upkeep in their grooming. These are all factors to consider before adopting your first dog. And no matter the species—cat or dog—remember that when adding a new animal addition to your family, choosing a pet that matches your lifestyle is key.

The first pup to consider? The Shiba Inu, pictured here, which resembles a cat is in its independence, aloofness, and oft-mentioned stubbornness. Like cats, Shibas enjoy their own company and seldom make a sound.

Click through to see other dogs that Jackson recommends for "cat people."

02 of 15


Two Basenji dogs stare intently while standing side-by-side on a dirt path through a cultivated garden
Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images

The Basenji is a breed that's independent, poised, and smart. (Sounds like their feline counterparts, right?) Plus, Jackson says, they possess another quality admired in cat owners: they're quiet. "They can't bark," she explains, "but they yodel."

03 of 15

Bichon Frise

bichon frise dog
Lisa Nagorskaya / Getty Images

The Bichon Frise is playful, curious, and even-tempered. Jackson says they make happy lap dogs and—like cats—they're not huge fans of being in the water. With that being said, it's worth noting that their pristine white coats mean frequent brushing, baths, and trips to the groomer.

04 of 15


bulldog tilting its head

Despite its stocky appearance, the Bulldog is considerably reminiscent of a cat. First off, being a couch potato means this breed is low-maintenance in its care. Secondly, it's a strong-willed breed. "Friendly, courageous, calm," describes Jackson, "they only need small spurts of physical exercise and love to snuggle up with their human."

05 of 15


little Chihuahua sitting on the couch in the room
Glida46 / Getty Images

Charming, graceful, and a little bit sassy—that's the Chihuahua. This small breed weighs no more than 10 pounds and can live up to 20 years in age. They're fairly easy to care for but, as Jackson warns, "they can become timid and nervous easily." In other words? They can be a breed of scaredy-cats.

06 of 15

Chinese Shar-Pei

Sharpei dog chewing on a bone
Annie Paddington / Getty

Historically, the Chinese Shar-Pei was bred for guarding. Today, it's an independent breed that's willful, a tad aloof, and quiet at home. "They like to be near their humans often," says Jackson, "but more to guard, not as much cuddle."

07 of 15

Chow Chow

Chow Chow dog
GoodLifeStudio / Getty Images

Martha's favorite, the Chow Chow, is a type of dog that usually forms a loyal bond with one person who provides strong leadership, Jackson says. At home, they have a regal, distinctive stance and develop a strong bond to their immediate family.

08 of 15

Great Pyrenees

white great pyrenees dog in snow
RP Birdman / Getty Images

Although giant in size, the Great Pyrenees is cat-like in its patient, calm, and gentle-natured demeanor. And despite what you may assume for a working breed, Pyrs (as they're called) are low maintenance: They can enjoy a short walk and be satisfied for the day.

09 of 15

Japanese Chin

japanese chin dog in front of black eyed susans
Jhorrocks / Getty Images

As a tiny dog, the Japanese Chin is characteristically "charming, noble, and loving" according to Jackson. While they enjoy a short game, they are mannerly and considered a low-energy companion.

10 of 15

Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier sitting
Dopeyden / Getty Images

The Manchester Terrier was originally bred to hunt all types of pests from squirrels to mice. Although very active and affectionate with their families, they are reserved toward strangers and not typically trusted toward other animals they might see as prey.

11 of 15


carefree Pekingese dog walking in a field
Pekic / Getty Images

The lion-like Pekingese is a dog breed that's affectionate, devoted, and regal. They possess a high intelligence that would lead some people to describe them as stubborn not unlike cats.

12 of 15

Great Dane

Great Dane dog puppy
Erin Vey / Getty Images

A gentle giant by all accounts, the Great Dane is a dog that's friendly, patient, and dependable. Surprisingly for their size, they are huge lap dogs that don't require much daily exercise.

13 of 15

Scottish Terrier

scottish terrier dog
Imagenavi / Getty Images

Of all the terriers, the Scottish Terrier is arguably the most confident, independent, and spirited. They're small in size (less than 25 pounds) and make a great companion for both seniors and young families.

14 of 15

Shih Tzu

gray and white Shih Tzu puppy
Chaoss / Getty Images

What the Shih Tzu lacks in size, this breed makes up for in personality: They're affectionate, playful, and outgoing dogs. Jackson says, "Their personalities will keep you laughing."

15 of 15


Close-Up Of Whippet Dog
Nicole Hammond / EyeEm / Getty Images

The Whippet is a sleek, mid-sized dog that's bred for chasing prey. They're affectionate, playful, and calm. As Jackson describes, "they kind of move like cats and seek heat sources since they have such a small amount of body fat that they lose heat easily."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles