Do Shih Tzu Get Along With Cats?

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Shih Tzus are famously known for being the toy breed that makes a home a haven. They have an extremely friendly demeanor and outgoing personalities. You will rarely ever come across an aggressive Shih Tzu.

The breed has a royal ancestry and a special story attached to it. Shih Tzus are linked by people with China, although they came from the Western Neighbor Tibet.

The sovereign nation is the homeland of the mini Shih Tzu dogs. Tibet may have sent these dogs as gifts to the Chinese royalty. The Chinese bred them and created the present-day Shih Tzu. It is also why Shih Tzus are also called the “Lion Dog”.

Shih Tzus are famously identified with their short snouts and big round eyes. They have a long coat of hair on their bodies and floppy ears. To bind the cute package together, Shih Tzus are generally short and tiny with a stout posture.

The small dog makes for an adorable bundle! Shih Tzus love nothing more than to lounge around in the laps of their owners or run around outside with children.

You might be wondering how to build a bond between a Shih Tzu and a cat. It is quite a common inquiry from established cat owners who wish to get a puppy as well or the other way around.

There is no hard and fast answer to this question. We, humans and animals are temperamental and unpredictable beings as well. Therefore, the process must be well thought out and tested before implementation.

This article will discuss how to make a happy home with a Shih Tzu and a cat. We will also deliberate on some tips on how to introduce them to one another. Doing your research will allow them to live together in harmony.

Do Shih Tzu Get Along With Cats?

Most of the world has moved past the fiction of dogs and cats being mortal enemies. If you are one of those people who harbor as much love for the feline animal as much as you do for dogs, welcome to the club!

You must be toying with the idea of bringing home a little kitten or adopting a Shih Tzu when you already have a cat at home.

In this scenario, one of the primary concerns that come up is the probability of these two getting along and becoming friends. A stereotype of cats and dogs has painted the two entities as eternal adversaries.

Although it can be different in some scenarios, people have had amazing experiences when introducing dogs in a home where a cat already lives. The whole process can work out brilliantly if executed with precision.

No matter how well you execute the meetup, the key question to ask is if Shih Tzus are good with cats. Practically, Shih Tzus get along amazingly well with them! They can absolutely reside together under one roof and have peaceful lives.

However, the degree to how well they get along is grounded on numerous factors. At the core of it is the method of their first few encounters and the temperament that each of them has.

Although if you wish to generalize the entire concept, then Shih Tzus are actually considered to be the category of dogs that is the most cat-friendly.

This dog breed is exceptional when it comes to living in a cat home. The only thing a dog owner will have to consciously take care of is the introduction part.

There might be issues in this phase of the plan. We must understand that just like humans, each dog and cat have distinct and unique personalities. Therefore their reactions to the situations can vary.

The Steps For Guiding Them To Get Along

The Steps For Guiding Them To Get Along

How can you introduce a Shih Tzu to a kitten? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to execute the plan perfectly!

Step 1: Prepare The House

When you have decided to bring a Shih Tzu inside your home, the first step that you need to take is to prep a place that is safe for your cat.

It should be a room that the dog is unable to gain access to. Next, you will have to move all the essential things for your cat in that area such as their bed, food, water, litter tray, and scratching post.

Step 2: Start With Initial Introduction

When you get your Shih Tzu to its new house, it will be critical that you keep these both animals separated for a while. You should keep the dog in one room in the beginning.

Once your Shih Tzu begins to settle in, you can start the method for the initial introduction. The first step would be to expose each animal to the other’s scent.

For doing this, also, you can start by swapping their beds. An alternate way to get the cat and the dog used to each other’s scent is that you can pet them both Shih Tzu and the cat without washing your hands first. The objective is to mix both scents and give them the space to become comfortable.

After this, you can enclose your cat in one room and then allow the Shih Tzu to roam around. It will allow him to become comfortable with his new surroundings and the scent of the cat. Do this alternatively with the cat as well.

After a few days of this activity, you can make the dog meet the cat face to face. However, make sure the Shih Tzu is calm.

Step 3: Let Them Have First Interactions

Let them observe each other in the same space for a while and be patient when they become comfortable.

Step 4: Closer Contact

In a neutral space, then bring both animals closer. However, you might still require a leash to keep your Shih Tzu in check.

Stage 5: Peaceful Co-Existence

You can leave them alone together after these supervised meetings. With constant training, the duo will become inseparable over time.

Tips For Leading A Peaceful Life With Your Shih Tzu & Cat

  1. Make sure that you keep the cat food out of reach of your Shih Tzu. Most owners have a complaint about how their digs end up eating the cat’s food. Since cat food is higher in fat content than dogs should consume, it is better to keep the two separate.
  2. When your Shih Tzu is having their meal, do not let your cat get too close to it. When the dog eats, they need to feel its food and not be threatened. Keeping the eating bowls in separate places would be better.
  3. Also, keep the cat’s little box in a place where the dog cannot reach it. Put in a place that is out of reach of the Shih Tzu. Even though the Shih Tzu is a little dog, if they manage to get their hands on the latter, they might ingest it.

It is quite a common issue with dogs, where they ingest feces or even poop. Termed Coprophagia, this behavior can be dangerous to your dog. The top of the washing machine or dryer is a smart option to place the little on so the Shih Tzu cannot reach it.

  1. In case the dog and the cat are getting along, there might be a time when they get on each other’s nerves. Sometimes they will test each other’s patience which is why they never leave them alone in the home with each other.

If this situation arises it is better to have someone babysit or leave them with a friend. You can also leave them locked in separate rooms till the time you come home.

Do Shih Tzus Get Along With Other Pets?

Do Shih Tzus Get Along With Other Pets?

One of the most renowned properties of a Shih Tzu is its perky nature and temperament. Their liveliness allows them to get along very well with individuals of every age group. Additionally, other dog breeds and pers of various species also become quick acquaintances of the Shih Tzu.

Are Shih Tzus Jealous Dogs?

Overall Shih Tzus are extremely affectionate and happy dogs. Although sometimes jealousy does tend to rear its ugly head. Then have the tendency for it.

Shih Tzus will convert into the green-eyes monster when it comes to kids or pets if you fail to do something that will make sure that they feel your attention in the household too.

This jealousy normally manifests itself for their owner as Shih Tzus becomes possessive of them. They might feel this emotion from anything that makes them sense some threat of diverting their attention.

Shih Tzus may exhibit this emotion by getting in between you and other people or by whining, barking, and nipping. Shih Tzus are intrinsically protective of their owners, the members of their families, their toys, or other pets who belong to the same house.

They could even be protective of their food. This resulted in Shih Tzu being an alert watchdog. This trait should be consistently observed, and owners should aim for training to subdue it.

There is always a chance this might turn into a damaging incident. An alteration in the routine might trigger this jealous behavior pattern in Shih Tzus. The body language of the Shih Tzu will mirror this emotion the most.

Building A Happy Household: Shih Tzus And Cats Edition

There is no conventional reason why you cannot create an environment where your cat and Shih Tzu do not get along. They are capable of building a life together if the introduction happens during the puppy months.

Shih Tzus are a happy-go-lucky breed and have a laid-back personality that is quite playful. The introduction part of the strategy has to be moved at a very slow pace.

When you permit the animal to have a gentle introduction, the probability of the Shih Tzu and the cat getting along in the future will enhance significantly.

At this stage, however, you cannot leave the two animals alone in each other’s presence. It is a particularly crucial point to be aware of if you have rescued an older dog.

The overall character of the Shih Tzu dog is inviting. A critical part of the nature of this breed is how needy they are. Also, the dog’s outlook is not daunting as it is a fairly small dog with a luxurious coat and a bit of an underbite.

Shih Tzus adore being part of a pack, and your cat could be the addition that they need.

Final Words

From an overview, getting these two opposing animals to become friends may seem like a daunting task. However, there have been numerous success cases across the world. By making a little effort, you can create a home with a puppy and a kitten.

It is just a guideline for how to go about the process of introducing both animals to each other. If you do not have enough space in your house to provide a separate space for both animals, you can sanction off a portion.

It can achieve it with the help of a baby gate, a cat gate, or a foldable dog pen. Work the steps out as they suit you, and do not get overwhelmed.

Animals have an internal instinct as well. All you have to do is let them follow their intuitions. You will have to give both animals the space to get the right feeling in their guts.

As a potential dog and cat owner, you will have to practice immense patience. Not only will you require it in the beginning but for the rest of your life with these animals as well.

Even though Shih Tzus are generally a docile breed, you will have to allow time to take its course. The relationship between your cat and dog will nurture over time and become something amazing in the end.



I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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