Yorkies need attention. Lots of it.
If you can’t give you Yorkie the attention it craves, you might want to think about getting it a friend.
Of course a Yorkie friend would be best, but what if you want a different animal.
Like a cat, for instance. Can a Yorkie have a kitten as a friend?
Do cats and Yorkshire terriers get along, or do they just end up fighting all the time?
Obviously, it depends. No two Yorkies and no two cats are alike.
But in general, it’s good news. Keep reading to learn if Yorkies and kittens make a good match, or if if it best to avoid the combination.
- 1 Can A Yorkie Have A Kitten?
- 2 Are Yorkies Good With Cats?
- 3 How To Introduce A Kitten To A Yorkie
- 4 Can A Yorkie Have A Kitty: Related Questions
- 5 Can Yorkies Have Cats: Final Thoughts
Can A Yorkie Have A Kitten?
Most Yorkies can have a kitten and get along well with them. Cats can make wonderful companions for Yorkies. However, Yorkies tend to have a strong hunting instinct. Their personality also differs from that of cats.
That is why you need to socialize your Yorkie with cats from a young age and make the introduction slowly. We will show you exactly how to do that further down below. First let’s examine how well the average Yorkie gets along with cats.
Are Yorkies Good With Cats?
If you are thinking of getting a kitten for your Yorkie, it is important to consider whether they will get along with each other. After all, the last thing you want is your pets chasing or bullying each other or showing other forms of aggression.
Unfortunately, we cannot say for sure whether your Yorkie will get along with the kitten. No two dogs are the same, even if they are from the same breed. Just because one Yorkie is known to get along very well with cats, that does not mean that another will too.
In general, though, Yorkies get along well with other pets, including cats. Yorkies usually dislike being alone, and they love company, whether from humans or other pets.
They often suffer from separation anxiety upon being left alone and gladly welcome the company of a cat or kitten. However, we also must consider the Yorkie’s breeding and genetics here.
The breed was developed to exterminate small animals like rats and rodents. Even though Yorkies are lap dogs today, they have still retained their preying instincts, which they got from their humble origins as ‘ratters’ in mines and mills.
That is why many Yorkies are known to chase small animals, including kittens. Therefore, it is especially important that you train your Yorkie to curb its hunting instincts and this training should ideally begin in its puppyhood.
If you suddenly introduce an adult or senior Yorkie to a kitten, chances are that it will not take too kindly to the intrusion. Your pet may also be used to being pampered and having all your attention. Naturally, a new pet could trigger feelings of insecurity or jealousy in the Yorkie.
This can lead to disharmony between the two pets. Therefore, it is particularly important to introduce the two pets gradually and over a period of time. We tell you how, in the next section.
How To Introduce A Kitten To A Yorkie
Here are the steps to introduce a kitten to your Yorkie in such a way as to minimize the chance of any problems arising.
Step 1: First Introduction On Neutral Ground
It is best to make the introduction on neutral grounds. Yorkies are territorial dogs, and they do not take too kindly to other animals on their premises.
You can choose a neutral space such as a friend’s home or an enclosed dog park with a fence to make the introduction. Always keep the first introduction short.
Step 2: Keep The Animals Contained
Keep your Yorkie leashed. If the kitty is used to a leash, you can keep it leashed too. Alternatively, keep the kitten in its pet carrier. This will prevent the two animals from jumping over or lunging at each other.
Step 3: Stay Calm
Allow the two to sniff each other. Make sure you stay calm and do not show any stress. Your Yorkie can pick up those types of cues from your body language, so it is important that you remain calm.
Step 4: Feed Them At The Same Time
Next, you can bring the kitten home. Again, it is best to keep your Yorkie leashed. You can feed both pets at the same time but keep them separated by a screen or a door.
This will allow them to smell each other but not see each other. And since they are eating, they will associate the other animal’s scent with a positive association.
Step 5: Safe Spots For Your Cat
Make sure your home has plenty of safe vantage points or perches for your kitten to feel safe while it observes your Yorkie.
If your Yorkie shows any signs of aggression such as growling or chasing the kitten, separate them right away. You can try introducing them again after a few days.
Can A Yorkie Have A Kitty: Related Questions
Next, we will answer some common questions related to Yorkshire terriers living with cats or other animals. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.
What Animals Get Along With Yorkies?
Yorkies that are socialized with other dogs from a young age, usually get along well with them. Some Yorkies prefer their own kind, while others get along fine with different dog breeds. We have an article discussing the best dog companion for a Yorkie.
One thing to consider is that larger breeds could accidentally injure the Yorkie, especially if they roughhouse with each other. For that reason, it may be best to have a similar-sized dog.
Well-trained Yorkies also get along well with cats and kittens. In fact, there are many videos showing Yorkies and cats playing with each other like best buddies!
Some Yorkies even get along with hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, degus, and guinea pigs.
Do remember that many Yorkies have strong hunting instincts, and they might not be the best choice of pet if you already own mice or other small animals.
Do Yorkies Need Another Dog?
Yorkies often suffer from separation anxiety. They hate being left alone, especially for prolonged periods. For this reason, it is a good idea to get another dog to provide company to your Yorkie.
Please remember that bringing home another dog requires a huge commitment in terms of time and money, at least for the next 10 to 12 years. So, make sure you are up for it.
You can always train your Yorkie to stay alone. But even if it can stay home alone for a while, no dog should have to stay home alone for more than 6 hours, 8 at the absolute maximum.
If needed, enroll your pup in doggy daycare or enlist the services of a pet sitter to watch your pet and let it out to relieve itself.
What Dog Breeds Get Along Best With Cats?
Many dog breeds get along very well with cats. These include:
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Basset Hounds
- English and French Bulldogs
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Siberian Huskies
Should I Get A Yorkie Or A Cat First?
There is no definite answer here. There are many people who have adopted either a Yorkie or a cat while already having the other pet at home, and things have worked out fine.
The choice will depend on many factors. In general, though, it may be best to have a well-mannered, well-trained, and socialized Yorkie first, who does not pay much attention to cats.
You can also teach your Yorkie some basic obedience commands like ‘sit’, ‘heel’, ‘leave it’, and ‘off’. This is important for the safety of both pets and for maintaining peace and harmony between them.
Can Yorkies Have Cats: Final Thoughts
Yorkshire terriers and cats can get along quite well, if the Yorkie is used to having cats around, or has been properly socialized from a young age.
Even if not, it could still work. But you will need to take your time introducing the two animals. Do it gradually and carefully. Eventually, your Yorkie and your kitten are likely to become fast friends.