Are Yorkies good with cats?
If you are asking this question, then probably you are planning to get a Yorkie or a cat when you already have the other one at home.
The bad news is, Yorkshire terriers, like most terrier breeds, might instinctively chase a cat as they would consider it their prey. This is an instinctual habit that the breed simply cannot help.
However, the good news is that, with a bit of training and socialization, you can make sure that your Yorkie and kitty get along fairly well!
In this guide, we will discuss:
- Are Yorkies good with cats?
- How to train your Yorkie to get along with a cat?
- Can a Yorkie kill a cat?
- How long will it take for my Yorkie and my cat to get along with each other?
- Some more FAQs
Also Read: Are French Bulldogs Good with Cats
Are Yorkies Good with Cats?
Yorkshire terriers were bred to be rat exterminators in mines.
This instinct is still present in them, to an extent. Resultantly, they do not do so well with other animals, and particularly animals smaller than them.
This includes cats, kittens, hamsters, gerbils, etc. Your Yorkie will want to chase and pounce on them all the time!
However, all is not lost. If you already have a cat or kitten at home and are planning to bring home a Yorkie next, then make sure you socialize them with each other, preferably from an early age.
According to a study conducted in Tel Aviv University in the late 2000s, it was determined that cats and dogs had a better chance of getting along with each other provided you brought home the cat first (preferably less than 6 months of age) and then get the dog (preferably less than 12 months of age).
In short, the answer to the question – are Yorkie good with cats – is that yes, Yorkies can get along with cats provided you bring them together at the right age and also socialize the two before they reach adulthood
Also Read: Are Yorkies Good with Kids
How to Train a Yorkie and Cat to Get Along with Each Other?
Cats and dogs are meant to be lifelong foes of each other.
However, this stereotype has now been broken as we have seen from so many examples of cats and dogs getting along marvelously.
The key to ensuring that your Yorkie gets along with your kitty is to raise them in positive and loving environment.
Here are 8 steps to follow when training a Yorkie to like your cat:
1. Consider the Personalities of Both Pets
It is important to consider not only the breed, but also your Yorkie’s and cat’s personalities.
If you are bringing home an older Yorkie, find out what kind of home it previously belonged to. In case you are adopting, talk to the shelter about the Yorkie’s past.
If it has been raised to get along well with kids and other house pets, then chances are that you won’t have an issue with it getting along well with your kitty.
In general, Yorkies are territorial and also quite aggressive. If you bring home your Yorkie first and a cat later, chances are that your Yorkie won’t take this well, at least in the beginning.
Cats, on the other hand, are aloof and also startle easily. So, they might not like a dog coming into their personal space.
In case your Yorkie and cat’s personalities are the opposite, you’d want to keep them separated for a couple of weeks in the beginning or consider some other household arrangement.
The use of baby gates is recommended in the initial phase to minimize contact between your Yorkie and cat.
2. Train your Yorkie
Training your Yorkie is the best way to ensure that it gets along well with your cat. Socialization and training can go a long way in helping your Yorkie control its predatory instincts.
Before you bring your cat home, take your Yorkie to meet other neighborhood cats. You can also visit your friends that have cats. Introduce the two pets to each other and observe their reactions.
Always supervise the interaction and never leave your Yorkie and cat alone in the room.
You can also teach your pet the ‘Stop it!’ or ‘drop that!’ commands before you bring your cat home. This will help you have more control over your Yorkie’s movements.
Despite teaching these commands, it is still important to either crate your Yorkie or place it on a leash. This is important to follow at least during the first couple of interactions between your cat and Yorkie.
Also Read: Are Yorkies Easy to Train
3. Provide your Cat with a Safe Space
Cats need a safe and comfortable space, preferably high up, so they get a vantage point to keep an eye on their surroundings.
You could consider investing in a cat tree or cat condo that stable and tall so your cat can easily climb up and feel safe.
Make sure you also locate your cat’s litter boxes away from your Yorkie’s prying eyes. This way, your feline pet can get all the privacy it needs while doing its business.
4. Help your Yorkie Unleash its Energy
Exercise your Yorkie daily so that it can expend all its energy and is too tired to do get predatory with your cat.
Instead of simply walking it around the block, conduct an obstacle courses, or give it some kind of herding or fetching activity to perform.
This will help channelize its preying and herding instincts in the right manner.
5. Let both Pets Sniff each other’s Sleeping Areas
Whether you decide to bring home your cat or your Yorkie first, it is a good idea to let either pet sniff the other’s bedding.
This will help familiarize them with each other’s scents. The action will also let your Yorkie know which the cat’s turf is and vice a versa.
6. Introduce Them During Meals
When you first introduce your cat and Yorkie, try to do so at meal times.
Give both pets their food and place them on the opposite sides of a door/baby gate/ screen. This way, they can smell each other but not be able to see each other.
At the same time, they will associate the ‘scent’ of the other animal with the scent of their food.
You must diligently do this during each meal time for it to be effective.
Over time, you can remove the door/baby gate/screen until they are eating side by side while ignoring each other!
(Of course, we still recommend keeping your Yorkie leashed, just in case its predatory instinct takes over).
7. Keep Their Food/Toys Separate
Dogs are not always protective about their toys and food but cats are.
At the same time, cats are known to steal from dog’s food bowls and that is never a good thing.
In fact; you should never feed your cat dog food and your Yorkie cat food. This can be very bad for the pets’ health as many ingredients in dog food aren’t suitable for cats and vice-a-versa.
So, keep all toys, food bowls, food, and bedding separate – at least until you know how the animals react.
Competition over food and toy can also provoke aggression and fighting in your pets.
Also Read: 30 Most Toxic Foods for Dogs
8. Bring them Together when they are Young
Puppies and kittens are both like sponges – they will absorb everything you teach them.
So, the chances of your Yorkie and cat getting along well would be greater if you raise them together right from their young age.
Naturally, you should still keep an eye out on both especially when they reach their mature rambunctious age.
Can a Yorkie Kill a Cat?
Yorkies were bred as rat exterminators which means that they were used to trap and kill rats, mice, rodents, and other small rodent-like animals.
However, a Yorkie killing a cat is unheard of. Yorkies can be aggressive dogs but not enough that they could kill a cat.
A well-trained, well-raised Yorkie would not viciously attack any human, pet, small animal or even birds.
Many Yorkshire terrier owners have even kept birds (cage-free) with Yorkies around, without any issues.
So, to answer the question ‘can a Yorkie kill a cat?’ we can safely say that it cannot, provided it has been socialized and trained well.
Having said that, always supervise all interactions between your cat and your Yorkie.
How Long will it Take for My Yorkie and Cat to Get along with Each Other?
There is no simple answer to the question ‘how long will it take for my Yorkie and cat to get along with each other?’
Some pairings work within days, others might take about 2-3 weeks.
The problem with many Yorkie and cat interactions is that it can be difficult to tell which ones are playful and which ones are predatory.
That is why, it is very important to supervise all interactions in the beginning to prevent either pet getting injured.
If you notice your Yorkie chasing, stalking, or showing signs of aggression towards your cat (or vice-a-versa), then it is an indication that that pet needs more socialization and training.
Most Yorkies take 2-3 weeks to get along with a cat. However, if you aren’t able to supervise all interactions, it is best to separate the two pets for safety.
FAQs on Are Yorkies Good with Cats?
1. Why does my Yorkie hate my cat?
Yorkies are affectionate, loyal, and extremely territorial dogs. They have a lot of ‘personality’ in their small personas and they are not afraid to show it.
Consequently, if they are not properly trained or socialized to cats and other household pets, they might bark, chase, stalk, and even try to bite the other house pets.
If, despite adequate training and socialization, your Yorkie continues to hate your cat, have it examined by a vet or a canine behaviorist.
You may even have to rethink the arrangement and have your pets separated from each other.
2. Are Yorkies good with other house-pets?
The answer to this question again depends on the amount of socialization and training your Yorkie has been exposed to.
Most Yorkies get along with other house pets provided you have raised all pets together from their early age.
Yorkie puppies are like sponges and they easily absorb everything in their surroundings.
So, if you raise them in a loving environment with other house pets, they will have a greater chance of getting along with them.
Having said that, they are also clingy dogs and can demand a lot of attention from their owners.
They even get attached to one person and could get ‘jealous’ if that person shows more affection to the other house pets.
Also Read: Do Yorkies Get Attached to One Person
3. Can two Yorkies live together?
Yes, in fact, since Yorkies are prone to separation anxiety and hate living alone, one of the solutions is to get another Yorkie to give it company.
Many Yorkie lovers are even known to keep more than 2 Yorkies in their homes!
These loving dogs all cuddle and sleep together and that goes a long way in alleviating stress and separation anxiety.
Having multiple Yorkies can be a great solution for people that have to be away from home all day.
Also Read: Do Yorkies like to Cuddle
4. Are Yorkies jealous dogs?
The inherent personality traits in Yorkies are: loving, affectionate, curious, alert, territorial, and protective.
However, many Yorkies are known to be possessive about their owners and can show streaks of jealousy if they were to pet or praise other house pets.
Also Read: Can Yorkies be Left Alone
Conclusion – Are Yorkies Good with Cats
The answer to the question ‘Are Yorkies Good with Cats?’ depends on the nature of the two pets, their past history, and their age.
If you train and socialize your Yorkie to cats from an early age, then there is a pretty good chance that they will get along well with each other.
We hope this guide helps you train your pet Yorkie to get along better with your house cat!