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Some pet owners choose Chihuahuas because they already own a cat and think that a small dog will make a good companion for other small animals. But are Chihuahuas good with cats?
Both charming and graceful, Chihuahuas and cats make excellent pets. But can they coexist? Let’s find out.
Known for their diminutive size and playful personalities, Chihuahuas are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Though they are tiny, these smart scamps are chock-full of personality. They’re also loyal, confident, and intelligent creatures.
Despite its compact size, a Chihuahua thinks of itself as a big dog. It will stand up to larger dog breeds, bigger animals, and unfamiliar humans. It takes its job as protector seriously and will yap or even become aggressive towards people and animals it perceives as a threat.
Chihuahuas tend to play favorites. According to the British Chihuahua Club, these dogs seem to prefer the company of other Chihuahuas over other breeds. They form close bonds with their owner to the point of excluding other members of their human family.
Chihuahuas thrive on attention and love hanging out with their favorite humans. They want to be close to their owners as often as possible and tend to get jealous when someone—or another pet—gets in their way. If you already have a cat and are thinking of adding a Chihuahua pup to your brood, you will have to teach the two to share.
Can Chihuahuas and cats get along?
In general, Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal and sort of “clannish.” They tend to be overprotective and can be hostile towards strangers or other animals. But this doesn’t mean that a Chihuahua and a cat can’t get along.
Like other small breeds, Chihuahuas are actually known for their ability to coexist peacefully with cats. Go on YouTube, and you’ll find dozens of videos of cats and Chihuahuas being quite sweet to each other. Your cat and your Chihuahua can become best friends, as long as you prepare them for cohabitation.
However, there are also certain factors you need to consider before you attempt to bring a cat and a Chihuahua into the same household.
First, both of these animals are naturally territorial and can become aggressive when they feel threatened by the other animal. Second, a Chihuahua is diminutive and could be seriously injured by a cat three times its size. Third, if your cat is quite old and your Chihuahua is but a pup (or vice versa), they may never be able to get along, no matter how hard you try.
If you want your Chihuahua to successfully coexist with your cat, you’ll need to keep the following in mind:
Tips for bringing your cat and your Chihuahua together
- Before you decide to bring a Chihuahua pup home to your cat (or vice versa), do a test run. Find a friend or a neighbor who has a Chihuahua and bring it home to your cat (but don’t let them get too close to each other). Your cat’s reaction to the tiny pooch will tell you if it’s a good idea to get a Chihuahua or not.
- When you bring your Chihuahua home for the first time, keep him on a leash.
- When you introduce the two animals to each other, stay calm. Dogs and cats are sensitive to the moods and body language of their owners. If you are tense or anxious, the animals will be too.
- If neither your cat nor your Chihuahua seems to care about each other’s presence, that’s a good thing. It means they don’t see each other as a threat.
- Remember that older pets may have little to no tolerance for younger, hyperactive pets. There are cases when an older animal will take on the job of parenting the younger animal. But if you can, try to get both a cat and a Chihuahua as puppies/kittens. This way, they will grow up together and become close.
- Make sure that your cat and your dog have separate food and water bowls. Ideally, the feeding stations should be far apart to avoid territorial issues.
- Both dogs and cats can become destructive or exhibit signs of separation anxiety when they feel neglected. You can avoid this by giving both of your pets equal amounts of attention and affection.
- If your Chihuahua is teething, keep him away from your cat. Your feline friend will not appreciate getting nipped by a pup, no matter how tiny he is.
- If your pets can’t seem to get along, keep them away from each other. Place them in separate areas of the house or use baby gates. Make sure they cannot get to each other, especially when you’re not at home.
Are Chihuahuas good with cats? Not always. But with early training and socialization, you can help your pets get accustomed to each other, such that your household will be a harmonious one.