Cats are quite territorial. So, when you think of keeping a cat in the barn with your horse, it might seem like an unlikely pairing. But then, there are many documented instances of cats and horses sharing a close connection. In fact, both animals share some significant similarities, and they almost always get along with each other.
Horse lovers know not all horse breeds have the same temperament. Some horse breeds are antsy, while others are typically calm. Of course, this influences how they relate to other animals, including cats.
Generally, horse breeds that get along with or love other household pets are calm, gentle, and friendly. So, in a way, their tolerance adds up. Below, we will compile a list of 11 horse breeds that love cats. After reading this article, selecting a horse companion for your cat should be much easier for you.
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American Quarter Horse
The American Quarter horse has one of the calmest temperaments of any horse breed. So, unsurprisingly, the horses of this breed get along with other pets, including cats.
Besides having a calm, gentle temperament, American Quarter horses are large and fast. So, cats and other smaller domestic animals are unlikely to get aggressive with them.
You could say a combination of respect on the cat’s side for the Quarter horse’s size and the calmness of the horse makes this combination work.
Besides being a horse breed that loves cats, Quarter horses are kid-friendly. They are also intelligent and easy to train. So, you should have little or no trouble having Quarter horses around your kids and cats.
The Appaloosa horse is one of the breeds typically used for training children. Horses of this breed are generally fun, calm, and amiable. They have the ability to get along with livestock and pets like cats and dogs. In fact, Appaloosa horses sometimes function as cattle horses – an indication of their tolerance for other animals.
Appaloosa horses do not readily get spooked. So, they are unlikely to fret with a cat around. But then, the overall relationship between your Appaloosa horse and your cat depends more on the cat.
Appaloosa horses will remain gentle as long as they are not mistreated. So, provided that your cat is friendly and not aggressive to the horse, their relationship will work out.
Being one of the heaviest horse breeds, Clydesdale horses might appear intimidating. But on the contrary, they are giant sweethearts.
Clydesdale horses are calm, gentle, and easygoing, and they do not spook easily. Thanks to these traits, they get along with cats and other pets just fine.
Besides being easygoing, Clydesdale horses are intelligent. Their intelligence makes them easy to train. So, you can further shape their behavior to allow them to get along with cats even better.
Connemara ponies are generally calm, loyal, and sweet-natured. These characteristics help them relate well to cats.
But besides their warm temperament, Connemara ponies are humble and easy to manage. They will do whatever you ask of them. So, even if you have to get them to bond with your cat, they will.
In addition to the ease of managing them and their warm temperament, Connemara ponies are also of medium size. On average, they are only about 13 to 14 hands tall. Their relatively short height makes it easy for cats to jump on their backs for a ride.
Besides getting along with cats, Connemara ponies are also great with children.
Falabella horses are intelligent, so you can readily train them to be sociable. But then, they are already even-tempered and friendly. So, any training they get for sociability is only a plus.
Thanks to their naturally calm, friendly, and gentle nature, Falabella horses can share their space with various other domestic animals. You can keep them with cats, dogs, and other farm animals, including chickens and larger-sized horses.
You may keep your Falabella horse as an indoor pet alongside your cat. Even though cats are naturally territorial, you’ll find that both animals will most likely get along. You may even find your cat riding on the horse’s back.
While Falabella horses are miniature horses, they are still pretty strong. So, if you intend to keep one as an indoor pet, you must make necessary adjustments to accommodate it.
Friesian horses enjoy staying in a herd with other horses. But even if there are no horses around, your Friesian can get along with your cat. Friesian horses make new friends quickly, so if there is a willing feline around, your horse will make it their companion.
The stunning Friesian horse is one horse breed that loves cats. And it seems cats also love Friesian horses. Both animals are typically seen enjoying each other’s presence.
And this adds up because Friesian horses quickly adapt to having other animals around them. Whether it’s a cat or not, as long as the animal does not threaten them, Friesian horses will have no problem with them staying around.
Friesians do not get spooked easily. They are typically friendly and unaggressive towards other horses and other animals. So, if your cat is not aggressive or unfriendly, its relationship with your Friesian will blossom.
As with many cold-blood horse breeds, the earliest use of Irish Vanners was for pulling wagons. Over the years, horses of this breed have lived with people. As such, they have become familiar with the restlessness of young children.
Besides being comfortable and calm around children, Irish Vanners are comfortable around many other animals – even animals that move around a lot. So, you can keep your Irish Vanner with other animals or pets – whether they’re horses, cats, or dogs.
Irish Vanners are generally peaceful, calm, and predictable. These traits make them a lovely addition to any family group. These qualities are some of many reasons that make them one of the horse breeds that love cats.
The Morgan horse was one of the breeds used in creating the American Quarter horse. Unsurprisingly, they are just as loving and sweet-natured as Quarter horses.
It helps that Morgan horses are social herd animals. They enjoy having horses or other herd animals around. But even if they cannot get that, they will co-exist with other domestic animals like cats without any issue.
This goes without saying, but your cat must be of similar temperament as your Morgan horse for an optimal relationship. If both animals are sweet to each other, they will most likely form a strong bond.
All in all, the relationship between your Morgan horse and your cat depends more on the cat. With a well-mannered, even-tempered cat, Morgan horses will do just fine.
Note that Morgan horses can readily get spooked by small animals like birds, lizards, and butterflies. These equines are pretty sensitive to small, rapid flashes of color. So, if a butterfly or colorful bird were to fly past them, they may go into fright mode.
While Norwegian Fjord horses can be pretty energetic when you want them to be, they generally have a warm personality.
Like many cold-blood horses, Norwegian Fjords were originally used as carriage horses. This work exposed them to people and all types of animals. So, over the years, they have become comfortable with all kinds of creatures.
As we have already hinted, Norwegian Fjords get along with cats. They can be very friendly and pleasant with cats, horses, and other domestic animals. In fact, you may just find your cat riding on the back of your Norwegian Fjord when they become more familiar with each other.
While Norwegian Fjords are relatively small-sized, they are still pretty strong. If spooked, they could kick or stomp in fright. So, if you intend to have them around a cat, ensure the cat is well-trained.
Weighing around 1,900-2,100 pounds and standing at 15-19 hands, Percherons are one of the heaviest horse breeds for sure. But even with their intimidating physique, they are amiable equines.
The typical Percheron gets along with cats and any other family pet. In fact, given enough time, they may even bond with your cat.
Percherons are, by and large, harmless to cats. But their size does pose a potential danger to cats; Percherons can accidentally hurt cats for various reasons. So, to ensure the interaction between your massive equine and little feline is accident-free, always supervise them when they are together.
Tennessee Walking Horse
The beautiful Tennessee Walking horse is one of the heaviest horse breeds today.
Besides being large-sized, Tennessee walking horses are super strong. With this combination of strength and size, one would think they are hostile to cats. But on the contrary, Tennessee Walking horses are calm, friendly, and easygoing.
Consistent with their overall temperament, Tennessee Walking horses hardly ever show any aggression towards cats, horses, and other domestic animals. Besides, considering their massive size, most cats and other domestic animals will try not to get aggressive with them.