Are Chihuahuas good with cats?
Yes, I strongly believe that Chihuahuas are mostly good with cats. I personally know many households housing both Chis and cats.
However, it also depends on the individual Chihuahua and cat in question. Mainly it depends on how well you have trained your Chihuahua to accept other pets.
The bottom line, I feel, is that a Chihuahua has a great potential to accept and welcome a cat in the family.
In this guide, I will tell you exactly how to introduce your Chihuahua and cat to make sure they get along well from the start!
Are Chihuahuas Good with Cats?
Yes, most Chihuahuas get along with other house pets, including cats.
Of course, this mainly depends on how well you have desensitized and trained your Chihuahua to cats.
I will discuss later on in this guide, the exact steps you can take to introduce the two pets so that there are no territorial wars or displays of aggression.
In general, this dog breed is quite likely to get along well with cats. The experts over at Hills Pets have also called Chihuahuas one of the best breeds to cohabitate with kittens and cats since their personalities match.
Of course, a larger cat might chase a Chi and show dominance. In such cases, you might want to supervise the interactions. Mostly though, with time, cats and Chihuahuas could develop mutual love and respect for one another.
Rarely, you might encounter an aggressive or angry Chihuahua who does not get along with anyone – let alone a cat, but that is an issue with inadequate training, past trauma, or improper desensitization.
Temperament of Chihuahuas and Cats
Here is a comparative study of the temperament of cats and that of Chihuahuas:
|Agreeable Traits||Non-agreeable traits|
|Cats||Affectionate, people-loving, gentle, active, vigilant, curious, alert, inquisitive, inventive, smart||Neurotic, impulsive, dominant, aggressive towards other cats and dogs.|
|Chihuahuas||Lively, alert, quick, devoted, loyal, courageous, comical, entertaining||Small stature, delicate, sensitive digestion, prone to injuries, aggression, anger issues, do not tolerate rambunctious cats, get cranky when their comfort zone is encroached upon, highly dependent on the Chihuahua owner.|
Reasons why Most Chihuahuas are good with Cats
Here are some reasons why a Chihuahua will gladly welcome a cat into the family:
1. They hate being left alone
Most Chihuahuas hate being left home alone. So if you work for prolonged periods, your Chi will be glad to have company from your other pet/s, even if it is a cat.
2. Mostly they have a playful nature
While Chihuahuas have gotten a bad rap as aggressive and angry dogs, well-trained and socialized Chihuahuas are quite sweet and loving.
Their playful nature also means that they will gladly chase the cat around but there is always a mutual respect and love for each other.
Being territorial and loyal dogs, your Chihuahua will gladly extend its loyalty and protection to the house cat as well.
3. They were bred to be companion dogs
Unlike many dog breeds that are used for the purpose of herding, trapping animals, chasing prey into holes, Chihuahuas were mainly bred for food, sacrificial rituals, and companionship.
This is why most Chihuahuas do not have a chasing or herding instinct in them. This quality makes them generally get along with small house pets like cats and kittens.
4. Early socialization and desensitization
In most households where there is a Chihuahua dog and cat living together, the peace is only possible because of early socialization and training.
If you already have a Chihuahua at home and wish to get a kitten or a cat, then you may want to make sure that your Chi meets several cats before you bring yours home.
Are Chihuahua Puppies Good with Cats?
Yes, as a pet parent, you must introduce your Chihuahua puppy and cat properly, so there is a high chance that they will take to each other.
Remember: puppies are like sponges and they will gladly absorb anything you teach them.
That is why you must use this phase to expose them to different things, animals, people, and situations. Introduce your Chi puppy to your friends’ cats or neighborhood kitties.
Chances are that this will help your Chihuahua get along well with your cat/kitten later when you adopt/buy one.
Are Chihuahuas Good with Kittens?
Yes, a gentle Chihuahua will love to have a kitten around.
The two animals mostly have the same size, similar personality, and more or less the same energy levels.
That is why a well-trained and socialized Chihuahua will gladly play with a small kitten and might even let it share its bed.
Naturally the key to having the two get along well is to make sure you desensitize your Chi to kittens from an early age.
Kittens and cats can sometimes be naughty. They might pick a fight or chase or disturb a peace-loving Chihuahua. In such a case, it could take some time for them to adjust. That is why it is very important to introduce the two animals in a proper manner.
I will discuss this in the subsequent section.
How to Introduce your Chihuahua and Cat to Help Them Get Along Better?
If you have a Chihuahua and want to adopt or buy a cat (or vice-a-versa), then please be sensitive to the fact that cohabitation is a big deal for both animals.
That is why it is important that you take the following precautions:
A. Never spring a surprise on your existing pet
Introduce the two animals gently, preferably in a neutral setting.
A Chihuahua is fiercely territorial and may not like another animal encroaching on its premises. Likewise, a resident cat can be very jealous and could even become depressed if you suddenly start showering your affection on the other pet.
B. Supervise interactions always
When you first introduce your two potential pets, keep your Chihuahua on leash.
Remember that this is a little dog and large cat could easily hurt or injure it. The chances of a cat chasing a small Chihuahua are more although some feisty Chihuahuas might also chase the cat.
In either case, supervise the interaction and do not leave the two pets alone.
C. Prepare your home
In the beginning, you might want to separate the two pets, especially if there is a lot of snarling, barking, or other display of aggression.
Place your Chihuahua in a crate or provide your cat with a perch or cat tower. Cats love vantage points to view their surroundings.
D. Maintain separate resources for the two
Chihuahuas are fiercely possessive and they will not take it lightly to a cat eating from its bowl.
Make sure to keep their food and water bowls separate.
E. Remain calm
Chihuahuas and cats are both highly sensitive animals and they can easily pick on your moods. If you display anxiety and nervousness, chances are that your pets will be anxious and nervous as well.
Stay calm when your cat and dog interact for the first time.
F. Feed them at the same time
Many expert vets and canine behaviorists recommend this technique of introducing your dog and cat at the first time.
For the first few days of the interaction, separate your cat and Chihuahua using a screen or a door. Feed both animals at the same time so they can sniff but not see each other.
Do this for the next few days. Soon your pets will start associating meal times (which is generally a pleasant time for both) with the scent of the other animal.
After a few more days of doing this, you can remove the screen and feed both pets at the same time. Very soon your Chi and cat will get along well or even ignore each other (which is a much better sign that show signs of aggression!).
How to Prevent your Chihuahua and Cat Chasing Each Other?
With proper training and early socialization, you can prevent your Chihuahua from fixating on your cat and even from chasing, lunging at, or growling at it.
Here are some steps that could help:
1. Make sure their personalities match
Avoid bringing a cat when you have a senior Chihuahua at home. Most aging dogs do not have too much energy and may not take too kindly if a kitten encroaches on their personal space.
Preferably bring a cat/Chihuahua whose energy matches with that of your existing pet.
2. Teach basic commands to your Chi
Use a word such as ‘Stop’ or ‘NO’ to prevent your Chihuahua from lunging at or chasing your cat. You can also use ‘Stay’, ‘Leave It’, or ‘Come’.
The key is to teach these commands before bringing your cat home.
3. Redirect your Chihuahua’s behavior
The key to preventing your Chi from chasing your cat is to ensure that it never does it even once. It can be very tough to get your Chihuahua out of the habit once it is fixated on chasing your cat.
Therefore, you must stop your Chi in its tracks the moment it first chases your cat.
You can also keep offering small treats to your Chi when you first introduce your cat and dog (on leash). This will bring positive associations so your Chi is no longer fixated on the other animal.
What are Some Signs that your Chihuahua and Cat Aren’t getting Along?
It isn’t always easy to tell if your Chihuahua and cat are getting along. They might behave when you are around but the moment your back is turned, they might chase, growl, or snarl at each other.
Here are some signs that your Chi and cat aren’t getting along:
1. They cannot stand the sight of each other
The moment your cat and Chihuahua are in the same room, there might be barking, snarling, and growling. Either animal might chase the other.
2. They won’t cuddle together
Most pets that get along will gladly snuggle close together. Your Chihuahua is prone to feeling cold so it will love snuggling and cuddling with anyone, including other house pets.
If you DO NOT see this happening, then they probably aren’t getting along.
3. Your cat develops litter box issues
Cats and Chihuahuas that get along well will gladly share one litter box. However, the ones that don’t get along might end up squabbling inside or outside the box.
Some cats start showing inappropriate behavior such as urinating outside the box. This is a surefire sign that something is troubling your kitty.
4. Aggression, anger, anxiety
Chihuahuas are highly sensitive dogs and might suddenly turn angry, aggressive, and anxious thanks to the arrival of a cat in the house. Some Chis also lose weight as they might eat less.
5. Fighting and bickering
Even if a cat and Chihuahua ignore each other, it is a good sign that they get along well as they are still peacefully co-existing.
But if they are fighting all the time, then it is not at good for either pet.
FAQs on Are Chihuahuas Good with Cats
1. Will my cat kill my Chihuahua?
Chihuahuas are a tiny dog and many are smaller than the average house cat. If there is a fight, chances are that your Chi won’t start it but the chances that your cat could easily injury your Chi are very high.
Yes, many cats are known to end a fight with a small Chi.
Cats have strong hunting instincts and are known to easily maim and kill rabbits. A Chi is not too different.
2. Do Chihuahuas hate cats?
Most Chihuahuas do not hate cats as long as they are socialized and trained well from the beginning to get along with cats.
However, some larger cats could chase a small Chi. Also, a feisty and aggressive Chihuahua might pick on the cat that may not hesitate to launch a counter attack and even maim your Chi.
3. Can a Chihuahua cohabit peacefully with a cat?
Yes, when you introduce the two properly, there is no reason why your Chihuahua cannot coexist peacefully with a cat.
Are Chihuahuas good with cats?
The answer depends on your Chihuahua’s socialization and training. In general though, these small dogs can peacefully coexist with a cat and the two can form loving and affectionate bonds.
Make sure you introduce the two pets properly and also desensitize your Chihuahua to cats from an early age. This will increase the chances of success!