Do you have a Shih Tzu or thinking about adding one into the mix of your furry family but you also have a cat? Will they get along or will there be issues? If you’re wondering how to tell if a Shih Tzu is aggressive with cats, here’s what you need to know.
How to Tell if a Shih Tzu is Aggressive With Cats
A lot if not most Shih Tzus do get along with cats, but once in a while you might run into a Shih Tzu that wants nothing to do with them and might even be aggressive with them.
This happens most often when you adopt a Shih Tzu that comes from an abusive home from a shelter or rescue.
Because the Shih Tzu has been abused in the past it may not have learned how to get along with other animals.
The Shih Tzu could be skittish and scared.
And when animals are scared they tend to lash out.
If you are adopting an adult dog, go ahead and ask lots of questions.
The shelter or rescue might be able to tell you something about the Shih Tzu’s background and whether or not they get along with cats.
Sometimes you will see on the dog’s card on the crate whether or not they get along with cats and kids.
Take this information to heart.
How to Introduce Your Shih Tzu to Your Cat
First off, you want to make sure any first contact between your Shih Tzu and your cat is supervised just in case things go sideways.
Your cat might not like this new pup or adult dog you have brought into the house any more than the dog likes your cat.
So, care needs to be taken.
Keep in mind the age difference between the two.
If you have a new puppy and an older cat, the energy level of the puppy might be too much for your cat.
It’s not the end of the world if your pup gets a little swipe from your cat.
It will be a quick lesson for your Shih Tzu puppy and help in creating boundaries.
Of course, if your cat is going full-on attack mode that is something completely different and you will want to separate them immediately.
On the other hand, if the puppy seems too much for your older cat to handle, be sure your cat has a place to go that the puppy can’t follow.
Your cat might need some alone time.
Having some higher places for the cat to retreat to such as a cat tree will provide your cat a nice place to get away as well.
If you adopt an adult Shih Tzu, you will also want to be careful when introducing the two.
Depending on the life your Shih Tzu had before they came to live with you, things could go well or not.
Let your Shih Tzu and cat size each other up and then give them a break.
If things go well, put them together again, but continue to supervise.
Eventually, they will figure out the hierarchy in the home and settle in.
Years ago I had a Bouvier named Claude and while he wasn’t a cat, he was a wonderful, but large dog.
I then adopted a little black and white Shih Tzu that I named Sushi.
Claude did not like her at all.
In fact, he went after her once and I thought he was going to kill her.
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I scooped her up as quickly as I could and the look on Claude’s face, well it looked like he was weighing whether or not taking us both out was an option.
It was a scary few seconds and keep in mind my Bouvier was not vicious at all and got along with everyone.
I kept the two apart as much as possible, but nothing bad happened after that one moment.
In time they became the best of friends.
My Sushi would curl up next to my Claude and they would cuddle as they slept together.
So, even if your cat and Shih Tzu don’t get along at first, there is hope.
The nice thing is even if your Shih Tzu wants to chase your cat around, there is little chance it will be able to catch it.
My Shih Tzu, Sammy loves to chase the wild bunnies that come into the yard, but she is never a danger to them.
Actually, I doubt she would know what to do if she even came close to cornering one of them.
But it sure is cute to see her get all excited and chase them.
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To Sum it All Up:
As pet owners, it can be difficult to introduce a new pet into the household when you already have one. It is important to supervise their interactions to make sure all goes well and you can intervene if necessary. Most Shih Tzus get along well with cats, so it is unlikely you will have an issue.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.