Around 75% of Yorkies get along well with Cats, there can be some instances where both of them refuse to stay around each other. In that case, you will have to socialize and train both of them. If you introduce a Yorkie and a Cat when they both are young, there are more chances that they will get comfortable around each other.
Are you thinking of getting a Yorkie when you already have a pet cat? Or is it vice versa? Whatever is the case, it’s natural to wonder if a Yorkie and a cat get along with each other or not?
Will they be able to live under the same roof or will they end up fighting with each other every day? You might wish that they cuddle each other to sleep but what if your Yorkie chases your cat every day to make sure that the cat stays outside the house?
You have ended up at the right place as it’s always better to make sure if a Yorkie and a cat can stay under the same roof before getting both of these.
I am Daniela Carrera, a professional dog trainer and a Yorkie owner for the last 7 years. So you rest assured that you are getting an expert opinion on this. First, let’s talk about the size of a Yorkie and a Cat.
Size Comparison between a Yorkie and a Cat
An adult Yorkshire Terrier can weigh around 7 lbs and be 7-8 inches tall. A popular cat breed, Savannah, can weigh around 12 to 15 pounds at least. Savannahs are around 14 to 17 inches tall.
Therefore, Cats are normally larger in size when we compare them to the size of Yorkshire Terriers. This is the reason that most of the Yorkies do not tend to harm a cat, especially when the cat is fully grown.
But if you a larger than average and place him under the same roof with a small Kitten, that may not work out. In that case, I have seen Yorkies barking excessively and aggressively.
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If you introduce Yorkie to a cat before the cat has fully grown, there are more chances that they can befriend each other.
Do Yorkies like to Chase Cats?
Yorkshire Terriers were bred to chase rats and other small rodents. Naturally, they have a strong chase instinct to hunt and kill small rats and animals. But surprisingly, they don’t really like chasing cats.
Size could be a reason behind that as most cats are either same in size as a Yorkie or even larger.
But, if you place a small kitten and a more than average-sized Yorkie together, then your Yorkie’s strong chase instinct might get triggered. In general, Yorkies don’t chase cats.
How to keep a Yorkie and a Cat in the same House?
1. Test the Waters
Before getting a cat in your house, try and introduce a friend’s/neighbour’s or someone else’s cat to your Yorkie. Analyze his behavior and observe how he reacts to the cat’s presence.
Supervise their meeting and do not extend the interaction for too long. If your Yorkie or that cat doesn’t behave properly, don’t worry as the bonding will get better with time.
If you already have a cat and are looking to get a Yorkie, do the same process with any smaller dog breed. It’s better to assess the situation and analyze your cat’s behavior around other smaller dog breeds before you buy a Yorkshire Terrier. There are some smaller dog breeds that don’t get along well with cats, so make sure not to bring a dog from that breed around your cat.
2. Best time to Introduce a Yorkie and a Cat is when they both are Young
If you don’t want your house to turn into a pet war zone on their first meeting, it’s best to introduce a cat and the Yorkie when they are a kitten and a puppy, respectively.
There’s a very high chance that they both will feel comfortable with each other at that time and may even play together as well. Also, they will grow up together and get accustomed to each other’s size, behaviors, and temperament.
So, if possible, you should get a kitten when your Yorkie is a puppy and vice versa.
3. Supervise the first few meetings where you Introduce both of them
Supervise the first few times when the Yorkie and the cat meets and watch out for the signals. If they ignore or avoid each other, it means that they don’t see each other as a possible threat.
If both of them come closer to each other and don’t do anything aggressive, that’s a huge win.
After you have brought both Yorkie and the cat under the same roof, observe their behavior and supervise them for the first 3 weeks. It will take them at least 21 days to completely get along well.
During this initial phase of 3 weeks, whenever you have to leave your Yorkie alone at home, make sure both of them are separated. Also, during this phase, try to limit the amount of time that they spend together and gradually increase it. Give both of them time to understand each other.
4. Introduce your Yorkie and your Cat Gradually
Even if both of them have proven that they can get along well, always be careful in the beginning.
For example, if you already have a Yorkie and you bring a new cat to your home, place your dog in some other room and let the cat explore the home and get comfortable with the surroundings. Mind you, when you leave your dog in the other room, your dog shouldn’t feel that he’s getting some sort of punishment. So, you can leave him there with someone else or with a lot of your Yorkie’s favorite toys.
If you already got a cat and Yorkie is the new member of the house, make sure to let him roam around in your house and get accustomed. After that, you can let both of them meet.
You should keep Yorkie on the leash and cat leash-free.
5. Both of them deserve their own private spaces.
If you have ample space in your house for both of them, only then you should think of getting two dogs or two cats or a Yorkie and cat.
I have seen Yorkies and cats becoming the best of friends and even wanting to sleep with each other. But, always give them their own private spaces in the house. You can learn about a Yorkshire Terriers’ sleeping habits here.
6. Don’ let them eat each other’s food
The food items for both Yorkie dogs and Cats are different with different ingredients and compositions. Therefore, you need to be aware that they don’t consume food from each other’s bowls.
Cat food contains more amount of protein and a lower percentage of fat. If your Yorkie eats that cat food in ample amount for a long duration of time, he can suffer from various kinds of issues such as constipation, upset stomach, and even liver or kidney damage.
7. Keep Cat’s Feces away from Yorkie
It is very important to be alert and never let your Yorkie eat your cat’s poop or feces. Generally, Yorkies may get attracted and want to taste it but you need to be alert at that moment, especially during the initial time of a Yorkie and cat being together.
You can use a litter box for your cat to poop and potty train your Yorkshire Terrier properly. If your Yorkie eats your cat’s poop, he can eat worms and germs in that feces as well which can upset his stomach or make him sick.
You can check out how you can stop your Yorkie from eating his or the cat’s feces.
What Problems you could face with a Yorkie and a Cat together?
Small Fights between the two
It is very common that while playing, your Yorkie can get tired first and your cat keeps on playing. In this situation, your Yorkie can get exhausted and get really tired.
Also, when there’s a huge age difference between the Yorkie and the cat, the senior pet will not tolerate hyperactivity from the smaller pet and want to dominate him/her.
If this turns into a fight, separate both of them and command both of them with a stern “NO” while raising both arms. Gradually, you should be able to be the pack leader that controls both the Yorkie and the cat.
Serious Fights between the two
If both of them fight a lot and it turns out to be serious most of the time, wait for 3 months and keep on using the command “No” with a stern voice. If they keep on fighting or one of them keeps attacking the other, you would need to separate them for some days or even permanently.
Most of the Yorkies get along well with cats (around 80%), but sometimes it just doesn’t work out due to various issues like the age difference, cat breed, size, social behavior, etc.