Do Tabby Cats Get Along With Dogs? (Breed Matters Most!)

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If you have ever owned a pet cat, the chances are high that it had a tabby gene. Tabby cats come in a wide variety of colors, and they are identifiable by an M on their foreheads and the Mackerel, ticked, spotted, and striped patterns of their coats. The term “tabby” does refer not to the breed of the cat but rather to its coat pattern. But do Tabby cats get along with dogs?

Some Tabby cats, depending on the cat breed, will get along with dogs.  Other factors besides cat breed that influence if Tabby cats will get along with dogs are past experiences and the living environment in which they grew up.

Let’s dive in a little deeper into the specific factors that can influence the behavior and personality of tabby cats, their relationships with dogs, how to raise a tabby cat that gets along well with your dogs, and the breeds of cats and dogs that are not compatible with each other.

If you wonder what the best products are for your cat, check out this article that will break down all my recommendations for you: Things To Buy For A Cat Right Now!

Tabby Cats and Dogs

Tabby Cat with Dog

Given that dogs and cats are different species, with dogs naturally being predators and hunters that view cats as prey, it can be surprising to learn that some cats (including some Tabbies) and dogs can get along very well. However, the amiability of their relationship depends on several factors.

Age When First Introduced to Each Other

It is much easier for a cat and dog to get along when they are brought together at a young age because they are still developing their instincts and do not have any pre-learned negative behavior. Both cats and dogs go through a socialization period when they are kittens and puppies.

During this stage, they develop their reactions to objects, people, animals, and other stimuli. For dogs, this period is between the ages of 3 weeks and 14 weeks, while for cats, it is when they are between 3 to 9 weeks of age.

With regard to Tabby cats, the cat breed will matter quite a bit since certain cat breeds are known to get along more with dogs.  Some cat breeds that get along with dogs are the American Shorthair, Maine Coon, and Ragdoll.

You will want your dog to have mastery over their impulses (impulse control) when introducing to a cat. A young dog may have less of this mastery and have worse behavior around a cat. One option may be to include your dog in a club to burn some energy while utilizing its aggressive behavior in a more suitable setting, like the outdoors. You can read more about this in this article about prey drives in dogs at Your Dog Advisor.

To learn more about the Maine Coon (mentioned above), check out my article:  Are Maine Coons The Smartest Cats? We Find Out.

Past Experiences

As is the case with humans, the past experiences of tabby cats and dogs play a vital role in shaping how they interact with other animals.

If your tabby cat or dog comes to live with you when they have already reached the adolescent or mature age, they may have already developed fearful or aggressive behaviors towards other cats and dogs. However, it is possible to still train and socialize them even at this age, but it may take slightly more work.


When bringing a tabby cat and dog together for the first time, the best place to do it is at your home (but not necessarily inside your home). This way, you have more control over the surrounding stimuli.

The reaction of the dog or tabby cat outside the home may not be a good determinant of how they will behave at home where they are more comfortable and familiar with the environment.

Additionally, the behaviors of both tabby cats and dogs can change depending on whether they are indoors or outdoors. Some studies have found that indoor pet cats get along better with dogs than outdoor pet cats, and the behavior of some dogs can at times change when they are outdoors where they may become fixated on the cat.


However, certain breeds of cats and dogs find it very challenging to live together despite the age at which their owners introduce them, the socialization they go through, and the exposure they have to each other. Some dog breeds have strong hunting instincts and love chasing cats, and some tabby cats are grumpy and territorial.

Many cat breeds can have the Tabby gene; therefore, some Tabby cats will get along with dogs more than others based on their cat breed.

Tabby Cat Personality

Video: Tabby Cat 101

Tabby cats have a wide range of personalities depending on their breed and also, some owners believe, their coat color.


Orange tabbies, for instance, are generally considered to be more friendly and outgoing than other cats by owners. All orange cats are tabbies and, due to genetics, approximately 80% of orange cats are male.

On the other hand, calico and tortoiseshell colored tabby cats, which are predominantly female, are perceived to be more unpredictable, intolerant, and feistier than other cats.

Additionally, the friendliness of tabby cats also depends on their breed. Persian, Ragdoll, Scottish Fold, and Siamese are examples of cats with the tabby coat pattern considered to be very affectionate. In fact, Siamese cats are so attached to their owners that they exhibit separation anxiety when forced to spend time apart from them.

To learn more about Siamese cats (mentioned above), check out my article:  9 Best Siamese Cat Traits (Supreme Analysis).


Based on their interactions with humans, researchers have found that various breeds of tabby cats are very smart, with some contending that their intelligence can even compete with that of dogs. Some tabbies can learn to sit, fetch, roll over, walk on a leash, open faucets or unhook latches, and even flush toilets, among many other feats.

Some of the smartest cats that have a Tabby variety include Abyssinians, Bengals, and Maine Coons.

To learn more about cat affection, check out my article:  Are Female Cats Loving? Revealing Details About Cat Love.

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that your cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that it will keep your cat hydrated!

Are Tabby Cats Aggressive?

Tabby Cat with Dog

Some Tabby cats may be aggressive based on their cat breed.  Other factors influencing a Tabby cat’s aggressiveness would be their experiences and upbringing. The Serval cat is an example of a more aggressive cat that has a Tabby variety.

Cats can exhibit several types of aggressive behavior based on different situations, including territorial, fear, maternal, mating, defensive, redirected, and play aggression. Some of the signs that tabbies will present to indicate impending aggressive behavior are hissing, tense body posture, swishing tail, or a direct stare.

If you see any of these signals, depending on the cause, intervention techniques can range from removing the stimuli causing the behavior to completely ignoring the cat.

Given that many tabby cats are smart, they can also learn to respond to their name when called, and that can be another way of diffusing the tension and distracting them when they display signs of aggression.

To learn more about cat aggression, check out my article:  Are Female Cats Mean? Answers About Cat Aggression.

Cats Who Love Dogs

According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), several cat breeds with tabby coat patterns get along well with dogs.

  • Tonkinese. With characteristically blue or green eyes, Tonkinese cats come in twelve different colors and patterns. They are incredibly playful, make friends quickly, and easily make themselves at home in their surroundings. They love company and readily welcome dogs, children, and other cats in their circle.
  • Scottish Fold. Known for remaining calm and collected under most circumstances, Scottish Folds get along very well with dogs and other animals. They swiftly adjust to their environment and are not easily scared by noise or movement.
  • Siberian. Fluffy and cuddly, the Siberian cat loves to be around people and other animals. They don’t often make much noise, and they are adventurous by nature, eager to explore and test their physical boundaries with jumps and flips.
  • Devon Rex. The oversized ears and tiny face of the Devon Rex make it easily recognizable anywhere. They are an energetic and enthusiastic breed that loves to cuddle and play at all times. Not only do they do very well with dogs, but even with birds and rabbits.
  • American and Japanese Bobtail. Known as the Bobtail because of their naturally truncated tails, these two breeds of tabby cats are very loving, smart, and friendly with dogs. The American Bobtail, in particular, is easy to train, and they can go for walks on a leash.

To learn more about the American Shorthair (mentioned above), check out my article:  American Shorthair vs. Scottish Fold (Best Big Comparison).

Worst Dog Breeds for Cats

While there are specific techniques to acclimate different dogs with cats, some dogs have deeply ingrained instincts that make them highly antagonistic to cats and will rarely get along with them.

  • Hounds. Dogs in the hound group, including Basset Hounds, Beagles, Dachshunds, Greyhounds, Whippets, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks, have an intense prey chase drive. Consequently, these dogs are easily triggered to chase moving objects and are wired to stalk – and at times bite and kill – cats and other small animals.
  • Terriers. Explicitly bred to hunt, terriers are very energetic dogs with a strong instinct to chase, corner, and flush out small animals. Therefore, they can be pretty aggressive with cats.
  • Herding dogs. Cattle dogs, sheepdogs, border collies, and other dogs in the herding group may make quite irritating companions for cats because of their overwhelming desire to herd. These dogs are even known to herd their owners.


In many circumstances, Tabby cats and dogs can live harmoniously together. The compatibility and behavior of both dogs and cats with tabby coat patterns largely depend on the breed of each animal and their socialization. If introduced to each other at an early age and trained to get along well with each other, you will have a decent chance of having your cat and dog live harmoniously together.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out a few more:

  • Do Tabby Cats Shed? (6 Ways To Limit Cat Shedding):  Click Here.
  • Do Tabby Cats Like Water? (Swim, Bath, Drink):  Click Here.
  • Do Tabby Cats Have Black Paws? (Clear Answers):  Click Here.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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