The American Kennel Membership (AKC) could have solely acknowledged the breed in 19691, however the Shih Tzu rapidly endeared itself to canine house owners. At the moment, it’s the twentieth hottest breed1 out of the 195 acknowledged by the group. This pup has rather a lot going for it, from its affectionate nature to its playfulness. About 69 million American households1 have a canine. Nevertheless, solely 14% have a canine and a cat.
If in case you have a Shih Tzu, you might marvel for those who can add a feline companion to the gang. You’ll be pleased to know the reply is sure, with a number of caveats.
The Historical past of the Shih Tzu
When confronted with questions like this one, it’s useful to begin with a breed’s historical past. Do not forget that individuals have selectively bred canine by the ages, specializing in fascinating traits. That may present useful clues about whether or not a Shih Tzu will get together with cats. For instance, the Rhodesian Ridgeback1 traditionally hunted lions, making it an unsuitable selection for a family with cats.
The historical past of the Shih Tzu isn’t practically as lively. This pup was the canine companion of Chinese language the Aristocracy, going again tons of of years. Pampering as an alternative of looking was extra possible the order of the day. However, some proof suggests selective breeding with the Tibetan Terrier1. That will clarify different traits of the Shih Tzu, similar to barking tendencies and mouthiness.
Likewise, its royal connections could account for its low wanderlust potential and power ranges. In any case, you don’t need to be an lively pup to get pleasure from life as a lap canine.
The Persona of the Shih Tzu
Different qualities you’ll see in a Shih Tzu embody its outgoing perspective. Do not forget that this pup is used to being the focal point. Being cute would possible end in extra reward—and treats. The latter may also account for its tendency to achieve weight. In that case, having a cat round the home can spur some extra calorie-burning exercise.
The Shih Tzu is a pleasant pup that’s keen to make buddies with individuals and different canine. It is smart, given its historical past. It might have had many alternatives to come across strangers. That tells us this pup is adaptable and open to new issues in its world. However, this breed undoubtedly found out how good it had it. Subsequently, we’d anticipate some watchdog instincts to guard its turf.
The Shih Tzu is an clever canine that isn’t essentially simple to coach. Sitting round and searching cute doesn’t take plenty of ability. AKC classifies it as a Toy Breed, though its historical past might simply put it within the Companion Group. It’s price noting that the United Kennel Membership (UKC)1 categorizes it with these animals.
The Shih Tzu isn’t a big canine, rising solely as much as 16 kilos1. It could be a good match-up with all however the largest of cats, just like the Maine Coon. However, dimension is an important consideration in stopping one pet from bullying the opposite. That’s very true for puppies and kittens. The opposite concern lies with among the bodily traits that make the Shih Tzu so lovely.
Its flat face makes this pup a brachycephalic breed1. Sadly, its shortened snout makes it extra inclined to respiratory points. Consequently, this canine isn’t warmth tolerant. Working round with a younger cat may stress it unduly. Subsequently, you must all the time supervise playtime and separate your pets for those who discover the Shih Tzu experiencing respiratory misery.
The opposite concern is socialization. The interval between 3–12 weeks1 is a crucial time in a pet’s younger life. It’s the perfect time to introduce it to quite a lot of experiences, together with assembly a cat for the primary time. You’ll possible discover the introduction much less annoying on all scores if it happens throughout this age.
Apparently, cats differ within the diploma of aggression between people and different cats partially based mostly on genetic elements related to their breeds. It could play a task in how nicely issues will go between your feline and your pup. For instance, science has discovered the Russian Blue1 to be essentially the most fearful amongst cats, growing the probabilities of an introduction going awry.
The Angora and Turkish Van exhibited essentially the most aggression, whereas the Burmese have been most open to strangers. Socialization at a younger age undoubtedly influences the connection between your Shih Tzu and cat. A rescue animal may also be cautious of latest experiences.
Suggestions for Introducing Your Pets
We’ve touched on the significance of supervising playtime. It’s price noting that canine and cats have completely different sleep and exercise patterns. The previous will snooze for about 12 hours day by day1. Then again, the latter may sleep as much as 18 hours1. Felines are additionally extra more likely to be lively at evening. Nevertheless, to their credit score, many cats alter their schedules to their house owners.
Do not forget that felines have claws and received’t hesitate to make use of them in the event that they really feel threatened. Nevertheless, we don’t advocate declawing1. As an alternative, we propose offering locations the place your kitty can take a nap with no pet’s fixed calls for to play.
The Shih Tzu is an lovely pup, which explains its recognition. It’s a candy canine with a number of like to share. These traits make it a good selection for households with cats. Hold the breed of the latter in thoughts due to its affect on nicely everybody will get alongside. Chances are you’ll discover that your canine and feline companions will turn into the perfect of buddies, particularly in the event that they develop up collectively.
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