Are Shih Tzus Good With Cats? What You Want To Know!

shih tzu dog and tabby cat outdoors

The American Kennel Membership (AKC) might have solely acknowledged the breed in 19691, however the Shih Tzu rapidly endeared itself to canine homeowners. Right now, it’s the twentieth hottest breed1 out of the 195 acknowledged by the group. This pup has loads going for it, from its affectionate nature to its playfulness. About 69 million American households1 have a canine. Nonetheless, solely 14% have a canine and a cat.

In case you have a Shih Tzu, you might marvel should you can add a feline companion to the gang. You’ll be comfortable to know the reply is sure, with a couple of caveats.

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The Historical past of the Shih Tzu

When confronted with questions like this one, it’s useful to start out with a breed’s historical past. Do not forget that individuals have selectively bred canine by means of the ages, specializing in fascinating traits. That may present precious clues about whether or not a Shih Tzu will get together with cats. For instance, the Rhodesian Ridgeback1 traditionally hunted lions, making it an unsuitable selection for a family with cats.

The historical past of the Shih Tzu isn’t almost as energetic. This pup was the canine companion of Chinese language the Aristocracy, going again a whole bunch of years. Pampering as an alternative of searching was extra seemingly the order of the day. Nonetheless, some proof suggests selective breeding with the Tibetan Terrier1. That will clarify different traits of the Shih Tzu, akin to barking tendencies and mouthiness.

Likewise, its royal connections might account for its low wanderlust potential and power ranges. In spite of everything, you don’t must be an energetic pup to take pleasure in life as a lap canine.

shih tzu dog running outdoors with tongue out
Picture Credit score: Nikolay Tchaouchev, Unsplash

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The Character of the Shih Tzu

Different qualities you’ll see in a Shih Tzu embody its outgoing perspective. Do not forget that this pup is used to being the focus. Being cute would seemingly lead to extra reward—and treats. The latter may additionally account for its tendency to achieve weight. In that case, having a cat round the home can spur some extra calorie-burning exercise.

The Shih Tzu is a pleasant pup that’s prepared to make pals with individuals and different canine. It is sensible, given its historical past. It could have had many alternatives to come across strangers. That tells us this pup is adaptable and open to new issues in its world. Nonetheless, this breed undoubtedly found out how good it had it. Due to this fact, we’d anticipate some watchdog instincts to guard its turf.

The Shih Tzu is an clever canine that isn’t essentially straightforward to coach. Sitting round and searching cute doesn’t take lots of talent. AKC classifies it as a Toy Breed, though its historical past may simply put it within the Companion Group. It’s value noting that the United Kennel Membership (UKC)1 categorizes it with these animals.

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Canine Caveats

shih tzu dog playing with training toy on the grass
Picture Credit score: Castorly Inventory, Pexels

The Shih Tzu isn’t a big canine, rising solely as much as 16 kilos1. It might be a fair match-up with all however the largest of cats, just like the Maine Coon. Nonetheless, dimension is a vital consideration in stopping one pet from bullying the opposite. That’s very true for puppies and kittens. The opposite concern lies with a few of the bodily traits that make the Shih Tzu so lovable.

Its flat face makes this pup a brachycephalic breed1. Sadly, its shortened snout makes it extra vulnerable to respiratory points. Consequently, this canine isn’t warmth tolerant. Operating round with a younger cat may stress it unduly. Due to this fact, you must all the time supervise playtime and separate your pets should you discover the Shih Tzu experiencing respiratory misery.

The opposite concern is socialization. The interval between 3–12 weeks1 is a vital time in a pet’s younger life. It’s the very best time to introduce it to a wide range of experiences, together with assembly a cat for the primary time. You’ll seemingly discover the introduction much less anxious on all scores if it happens throughout this age.

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Feline Issues

Apparently, cats fluctuate within the diploma of aggression between people and different cats partly primarily based on genetic components related to their breeds. It may well play a job in how properly issues will go between your feline and your pup. For instance, science has discovered the Russian Blue1 to be essentially the most fearful amongst cats, growing the possibilities of an introduction going awry.

The Angora and Turkish Van exhibited essentially the most aggression, whereas the Burmese had been most open to strangers. Socialization at a younger age undoubtedly influences the connection between your Shih Tzu and cat. A rescue animal may additionally be cautious of latest experiences.

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Ideas for Introducing Your Pets

shih tzu puppy and tabby kitten beside each other
Picture Credit score: Photobox.ks, Shutterstock

We’ve touched on the significance of supervising playtime. It’s value noting that canine and cats have totally different sleep and exercise patterns. The previous will snooze for about 12 hours day by day1. Alternatively, the latter may sleep as much as 18 hours1. Felines are additionally extra more likely to be energetic at night time. Nonetheless, to their credit score, many cats regulate their schedules to their homeowners.

Do not forget that felines have claws and gained’t hesitate to make use of them in the event that they really feel threatened. Nonetheless, we don’t advocate declawing1. As a substitute, we recommend offering locations the place your kitty can take a nap and not using a pet’s fixed calls for to play.

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The Shih Tzu is an lovable pup, which explains its recognition. It’s a candy canine with numerous like to share. These traits make it a sensible choice for households with cats. Hold the breed of the latter in thoughts due to its affect on properly everybody will get alongside. It’s possible you’ll discover that your canine and feline companions will develop into the very best of pals, particularly in the event that they develop up collectively.

Featured Picture Credit score: Eli S, Shutterstock

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