Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that think they’re giants. They have oversized personalities stuffed into their little bodies, and it leads to many aggressive behaviors. These dogs tend to be loud and will often bark viciously at dogs that are several times their size. Of course, proper socialization and training can go a long way, and if a Chihuahua is well-trained and socialized, these behaviors may not be quite so apparent.
But even if your Chihuahua is trained and socialized, it doesn’t mean it will get along with every other pet, though it could. Your Chihuahua could be friendly with lots of dogs, but can it get along with a cat? Cats and dogs are often sold as mortal enemies, but in truth, any dog can learn to get along with cats. Once again, it comes down to socialization and training. If your Chihuahua is raised with cats and gets used to them, then it shouldn’t have much trouble getting along with cats, just like it might get along with any dog.
Why Chihuahuas and Cats Might Not Get Along
As we’ve established, Chihuahuas can get along with cats. That said, there’s a very long road between can get along and do get along. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s always going to happen or that it’s even easy to make a reality. In fact, there are quite a few barriers in the way that might prevent cats and Chihuahuas from being friends in many situations.
In most cases, cats are larger than Chihuahuas. This can be a problem for several reasons. First, cats are natural predators. If the size difference is substantial enough, it’s always possible for your cat to start looking at your Chihuahua as prey. Even if they get along, your cat could potentially hurt your Chihuahua by accident due to the size difference.
Many Chihuahuas and cats will be fine with a member of the other species in their household, so long as they grow up together. If you introduce them when they’re both young, they’ll have time to acclimate. But if you introduce a kitten into a home with an older Chihuahua or vice versa, you’re asking for trouble.
Another issue arises when one animal is new to a house that the other animal has been living in for some time. The animal that’s used to the home may feel that the space belongs to it, which can result in territorial tendencies. This might even cause fighting between your pets.
Cats and Chihuahuas are both creatures that are prone to bouts of jealousy. If your Chihuahua sees you’ve brought a new cat home, it might be jealous at the attention that cat is getting, and a cat might feel the same way if you bring home a new Chihuahua.
How to Help Your Chihuahua Get Along with Cats
Just because Chihuahuas and cats aren’t naturally best friends, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a Chihuahua and a feline that get along. If this is your goal, then here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Introduce Your Animals in Crates
Rather than letting your Chihuahua and cat run up to each other the first time they meet, you should keep them both in their crates so that neither can lunge at the other. This gives them a chance to safely and securely get used to the idea of each other.
Keep Belongings Separate
Perform a Test
Before purchasing a new cat or Chihuahua, have a friend bring over a similar pet and see how your current pet reacts. This can give you a good idea of how it might handle having a new pet in the home.
Pets pick up on our physical cues, even if we aren’t aware we’re giving them. So, when introducing your pets, make sure you’re completely calm so that they are as well.
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Introduce Them Young
If possible, you want to introduce your cat and Chihuahua when they’re both still juveniles, allowing them to grow up together in the same household.
Get Pets the Same Age
If you can’t get them when they’re both young, at least ensure both are a similar age. Don’t bring a kitten home to an adult Chihuahua, for example. Most mature dogs and cats won’t tolerate young ones as well as they might handle other adults.
Give Them Equal Attention and Time
Both pets will need equal amounts of love and interaction. If you end up giving one pet more, then it could cause jealousy issues or even separation anxiety. Pets that feel neglected often start to display negative behaviors, and this can easily get in the way of your pets getting along.
Chihuahuas and cats might not be the best of friends naturally, but they can become friendly, or at least cordial with coaxing. Introduce them young if possible, and if not, at least ensure they’re a similar age. Follow the other tips we’ve included here, and you’ll have a great chance at getting your Chihuahua and cat to cohabitate in peace.
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