Many people adore the lively, courageous, and devoted nature of Chihuahuas. As a result, I’ve received numerous inquiries about how to introduce a Chihuahua to a cat. That’s why I’ve decided to write this helpful article just for you!
So, how do you introduce a Chihuahua to a cat?
It requires a secure, specialized, and proven introductory method, close supervision, and some tactics. Furthermore, your patience, perseverance, and following the process correctly are essential.
Here are the seven steps to follow:
- Set up at least two safe places for your cat.
- Keep the cat in a safe place and close the door.
- Spend time alone with the cat.
- Allow them to smell each other through the door.
- Start introducing them through a baby gate.
- Introduce them face to face.
- Considerations to keep in mind after the introduction.
By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a smooth and successful introduction between your Chihuahua and cat. So, let’s dive into the world of Chihuahuas and cats and learn how to introduce them the right way!
Set up at least two safe places for your cat: #1
When you are about to bring a new Chihuahua to your home and introduce him to your cat, it’s so crucial to arrange two different safe places for your cat.
In fact, those places should be easily accessible to your cat in a matter of seconds.
But why would you do that?
Well, you know that the chihuahuas are kinds of an aggressive breed, which is hard to tame.
In any case, if he starts chasing your cat, there should be a place where the cat can easily go and hide.
I would recommend setting up baby gates in those safe rooms. Moreover, those safe places are should be your cat’s favorite places.
In my case, our cat’s favorite room is the laundry room. To be honest. You can do these introduce sessions even with one safe room.
But having two safe rooms makes it easier for your cat to introduce the Chihuahua.
After fixing the baby gate, make sure to provide the following things.
- A litter box
So when you start to introduce a new chihuahua to your cat, if somehow, if he moved to chase after the cat, the cat exactly knows where he should go.
Here I wanna tell you something special and important.
IMPORTANT: You need to teach your chihuahua a command to focus and look at you. So you can simply use the “Focus” command for that.
Moreover, you can use puppy treats to make things efficient. So reward them with puppy treats when he doing perfectly. And say “good boy.”
So, finally, if you tell him, “focus, look at me,” he should be able to look at you. Remember, It’s an essential thing in order to introduce the new chihuahua to your cat.
Recommended reading: Here is why do chihuahuas sleep under covers.
Keep your cat in a safe place and shut the door: #2
We all know chihuahua is a kind of aggressive dog. It takes some considerable time to tame them.
Meanwhile, you need to protect your cat as well. So, now you should have prearranged safe places.
Then place your cat in that room and shut the door. Don’t worry. He has everything he needed, and it’s just only a few days.
IMPORTANT: When shutting a door, always ensure cats have easy access to the freshwater, litter box and etc.
When you bring a new chihuahua home, your full focus should be on that dog. Do not let cat and chihuahua meet face to face for at least 3-5 days.
Sometimes it can be more than one week. If you are willing to introduce a Chihuahua to your cat, you probably know the personality of this breed.
So, it can be a little bit of difficult work. But if you follow the steps, everything is gonna fine. So don’t worry.
KEEP IN MIND: even your dog not running straight cat’s room, he can smell the cat. And the cat also can smell the dog.
That means they can hear each other. This is an introduction to each other using fragrance.
Spend time alone with the cat: #3
Now your cat has spent enough time in the safe room. Probably he may have burnt out. So, it’s time to spend some time with your cat.
But here I would like to mention, Do not skip any of these steps. Otherwise, it will be so much challenging to introduce the new chihuahua to your cat.
Now you already spent enough time with the dog. Put him in a safe place, and those places can be,
- A crate
- With your family member
- In a dog room
Now go and spend some alone time with your cat in his safe place. Don’t forget to close the door. Talk to him, cuddle him.
Can you guess what the cat feels about you?
Since you have spent some time with your chihuahua, your cat can feel the scent of the dog from you.
To introduce them to each other, let your Chihuahua and cat sniff through the door: #4
After a few days, your dog will likely approach the door where the cat is on the other side. Examine him closely, gently, and you will see that the dog is curious about the door. Then he will start to sniff the door.
Here, your cat is also most likely to approach the other side of the door. Then he also will start to sniff it. In most cases, your chihuahua often begins to bark when it recognizes the cat.
I assume that you have already taught your dog the command to focus. So, when the dog is tempted to bark toward the door, You need to grab his attention as soon as he starts barking.
To grab his attention, you can simply use puppy treats or his favorite toy with the focus command. I mean that he must feel looking at you should be something more fun and attractive than to bark at the cat.
Then he thinks,
“if I pay attention to my master, I can eat puppy treats. Or I can get my favorite toy, Or I can play with him.”
So keep doing this until he no longer cares about the door. But I would say you can make it in two days.
Start to Introduce the chihuahua and the cat through the baby gate: #5
Okay, now is the most suitable time to introduce the chihuahua and the cat visually. But still, they cannot be allowed to meet each other face to face without any safety barriers.
But how do identify the right time to do this?
But there is always a problem. You have just completed step 4. But how do identify the most suitable time for this?
Understand this, the personality and behavior of each individual chihuahua aren’t the same. They are different.
Every chihuahua is not the same. They are different. When you are doing step 4, it’s essential to read his body language.
But how to read the body language? Once they get to the right point where the dog is not super enthusiastic and super involved with the cat, it’s the most suitable time.
So then open the door for about one inch. It’s better to have a leash with your dog. Then do the same things as you have done in step 4.
Even though the chihuahua sees the cat, you must be able to keep his attention towards you. Which means the dog is no longer caring about the cat.
So likewise, stay there for some time. You can try this multiple times per day, and each time when you are doing this, open the door one more inch.
Sometimes the cat also will come to the other side of the gate. At even such times, If you can keep Chihuahua’s attention towards you, It would be a great achievement.
If you were successful with this step, congratulations! You have completed 85% of the introductory session. That means you do not need worry to introduce the chihuahua to your cat face to face.
So, continue this process for about 2 days. Then proceed to Step 6.
Introduce the Chihuahua to your cat face to face: #6
Here, you have to bring your chihuahua to the living room. Then open the baby gate and the cat’s safe room. Then let the cat come out.
But remember, don’t force your cat to come out. Let it happen naturally. Moreover, It is better to keep the Chihuahua on a leash.
So once the cat comes out naturally, your full focus must be toward the dog. If the dog starts to give a little bit of attention to the cat, immediately use the puppy treats and focus command.
Meanwhile, your cat will gradually get used to the chihuahua. He will get used to the smell, sound, movements of your dog. Let him explore everything.
If any case, the cat wants to run into that room, you need to make sure to keep the baby gate open all the time.
If the dog starts to chase after the cat, don’t punish him instead of starting everything from the first step.
Things to consider after the introduction #7
- Do not cuddle anyone too much. I meant to treat them both equally.
- Even though the chihuahua doesn’t chase the cat, close supervision is required.
- Crate the chihuahua whenever you are leaving the house.
- Sometimes your cat tends to eat from the chihuahua’s food bowl. Don’t let him do that. Because the Chihuahua can be a little aggressive in those situations.
- Keep them close whenever you spend time with them.
Suppose you already own a cat and willing to buy a chihuahua. In that case, you might have a problem like “How to introduce a chihuahua to a cat?”. So this whole article is dedicated to this problem, and you can easily do it with these 7 steps.