Yorkshire Terrier Blog

Yorkies & Cats: All you need to know

yorkies and cats

Oh, the Yorkies! Tiny, gentle, fragile, and shivery creatures. Or are they? Well, they are, but there is always the other side of the story. The nickname Yorkies does sound like an adorable and friendly breed, but it is still short from Yorkshire Terriers. If you are a proud owner of a Yorkie, you are aware of its personality, and if not, you should be aware of it. Yorkies are tiny and sometimes so cute it is hard to bear it, but the real Terrier personality is living within them. This breed is friendly and extremely active, playful, and energetic, so there still are some chances your Yorkie will accept the kitty in its environment. On the other side, the Terriers inside them are making them competitive and protective over their owners, and over themselves. Seeing a stranger in their home can stress them out. As a cherry on the top, they can be real drama queens. Yorkie’s intense bark is not only a sign of frustration and attracting attention, but can be a stress for the cat. Although Yorkies can be tough, they are easy to train. A huge amount of energy, sometimes unexpected for these tiny bodies, is making Yorkies great candidates for training. So, if this little one is giving you and your cat a hard time, or it’s having a hard time on its own to accept the kitty, training is a great option! It will probably resolve this issue.

Still, your dog is a dog. Yes, it can be easily trained, it is smart, funny, and your best friend, but it doesn’t have a level of self-awareness as you do. If Yorkie is being aggressive or hysterical, are you sure you have done everything you could to prevent or stop it? It is not just a hard time for you and your neighbors, but it is a sign of frustration and stress happening in your dog. Any dog is defending its own territory, whether it is a room, a map, its favorite nook, or your lap. But don’t let it be an excuse for Yorkie being aggressive to your cat. They are a similar size and have great predispositions to be friends. Their personalities can even be seen as similar. So, reassess your way of treating and training your dog. If you are sure you have done all that was in your power, and you are still having a hard time with Yorkie – cat friendship development, try with a professional trainer. The training should be done while the Yorkie is young, before the age of two. Yorkshire Terriers aren’t just “toy size, loud dogs”. That is a myth. They are big personalities in small bodies and need to be taught as well as a little kid needs boundaries and behavior rules. Let Yorkie know who is the boss (definitely not the Yorkie, but it is not aware of that). If your cat is also dominant, not friendship, but enmity will be established. You need to show the Yorkie and the cat that they are equal! 

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Get to know your dog. If you have a Yorkie and want to get a cat, try informing about the cat’s personality. And the same goes for getting a Yorkie while there’s a cat in your household. Observe the Yorkie for a while, how it is behaving around cats. Your dog will certainly be a bit confused when a new animal with the same rights arrives, but Yorkie’s reaction to cats, in general, can be a good indicator of how this relationship will develop. Still, you should be careful. Although Yorkie doesn’t have to be aggressive to cats, or aggressive and protective in general, the problem could be that your pets just do not get along. When introducing these two waggers, the old-timer should be in another room, while the newbie should explore your home and make itself comfortable. Their smell will make them aware of each other. When introducing each other, Yorkie should be on a leash, just in case. They will be confused, angry, or scared, but step by step, the process of getting used to each other will be easier. 

If Yorkie’s first response to the cat is good, or just not bad and aggressive, that may be good enough for you. But, they will need some time, and so will you. After 2 or 3 weeks, you can be sure that first impressions settled down, so you can be satisfied or make a training appointment, depending on the relationship’s quality. Problems you may experience are Yorkie chasing the cat, attacking it, and being frustrated. Yorkies are very brave and dominant, so they will try to show the cat who is in charge. The cat can even grow bigger than the Yorkie, which will make your dog scared, or too aware of the Terrier inside it. In that manner, the best option is to introduce these two while they’re still young. Not only because of the size but because of getting used to each other and accepting new rules of behavior. While Yorkies are defending you and itself from strangers, cats are curious, which is kind of a contrast. But, on the other side, both of these animals are lovable and a big friendship can blossom between them.

READ ALSO: Yorkie Separation Anxiety: Treatments, Causes & More

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The relationship between a cat and a Yorkie can turn out very well! It is possible they will become best friends, sleeping, playing, and even cuddling together. There is nothing you should be afraid of, just try to get as much information as you can both about the cat and about the Yorkie. Information about their personality, and their past with other cats and dogs. If you noticed your Yorkie being aggressive when it comes to cats, or in general, training is the best option. Seeing your dog aggressive for the first time when the cat arrives, is possible. Professional training, setting some behavior rules, showing equality both to the cat and the dog, can easily make you and your pets feel better. Give them both enough love and attention, personal space, and time to get to know each other and get used to new life. You can be a perfectly happy family.

Photo credit ig: @yorkie.and.cat

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