Cav-A-Malt

10-13 lbs
10-12"
United States
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Maltese
Cav-A-Malt, Malt-A-Lier, Maltalier


Both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Maltese are popular canine companions lying on the smaller end of the size spectrum. When bred together, you get the Cavamalt — sometimes also referred to as the Cav-A-Malt — a friendly and loyal hybrid that’s an ideal choice for less active parents who also have the time to look after their dog’s lustrous coat.

In this introduction to the Cavamalt, you’ll learn that:

  • The hybrid only needs half an hour’s walking a week
  • Cavamalts are easy to train and socialize, although prone to separation anxiety
  • They can suffer with eye problems, such as glaucoma and tear stains
  • This isn’t a heavy-shedding breed, but they’re not hypoallergenic either


Cavamalt Breed Overview

The craze for hybrid dogs has shown no sign of slowing over the course of the 21st century and you can understand why when you meet charming crossbreeds like the Cavamalt.

Much like their parent breeds, this is a small creature, which means they’re more than content with living in apartments or houses without large yards. Cavamalts aren’t known for being hugely energetic and can be satisfied with a short walk each day — this is a big plus for the less-mobile or elderly seeking a companion.

And they couldn’t hope for a cuter one — the Cavamalt is one of those breeds that are sure to draw ‘awwws’ from passers-by and much of that is down to their long, silky fur. Don’t be put off by this, by the way. Yes, they need regular brushing, but you don’t have to be a master groomer to keep this tamed.

And to top it all off, this isn’t a tough dog to train, although repetition and a bit of patience will be required. Socialization is also important and a Cavamalt will grow up to be kind and curious around other people — however, it does also mean that they don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time.

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purpose Purpose
Companion
history Date of Origin
Unknown
ancestry Ancestry
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Maltese

Cav-A-Malt Health

Average Size
Male Cav-A-Malt size stats
Height: 10-12 inches Weight: 10-13 lbs
Female Cav-A-Malt size stats
Height: 10-13 inches Weight: 10-13 lbs

Cav-A-Malt Breed History


Like a lot of hybrids, the Cavamalt is a relatively new addition to the canine canon and not too much is known about where or when they originated.

Both of the parent breeds have longer histories that we can speak of more confidently. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel takes their name from the 17th-century English monarchs, in whose Royal Courts these dogs were particularly popular — an urban legend recalls how the toy breed was decreed by the King to be allowed into Parliamentary buildings, although this has been proven to be false.

This breed remained popular with the upper echelons of British society, particularly with the Duke of Marlborough, who developed a red and white spaniel — this colorway is still known as Blenheim after the aristocrat’s residence.

At the end of the 19th century, it became fashionable to breed these spaniels with other Asian toy breeds in order to achieve a shorter muzzle. Consequently, two distinct types of King Charles Spaniels emerged and they were often entered into the same category at dog shows.

Eventually, it was decided to split these two similar-looking dogs up — the older type of spaniel was given the title of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, while the newer version was called King Charles Spaniel. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was set up in 1928 and the breed was recognized by the Royal Kennel Club in 1945. The American Kennel Club (AKC) didn’t follow suit until 1995. 

By contrast, the AKC were much quicker to set standards for the Maltese, doing so in 1888. The toy breed had long been a cherished lapdog by this point and historic evidence dates these delicate white dogs back to Ancient Greece, specifically the island of Malta.

Throughout the centuries, the Maltese continued to find favor among the ranking elites of the Roman Empire, as well as being adopted by Chinese breeders after the fall of Rome. It’s likely that the Maltese line was mixed with Asian breeds during this time, before finding their way back to Europe.

When the 19th century rolled around and dog shows began to be commonplace, the Maltese was frequently entered and often successful.

Cav-A-Malt Breed Appearance


A Cavamalt full grown dog might be small in size, but they’ve got a confident stance and a spunky attitude to match. These hybrids tend to have silky-soft coats, often coming in a tri-color mix involving red, tan, pied, apricot, brown, and black. 

There’s a little bit of variation in appearances — for example, their tail might be curved like a Cavalier’s or completely curled over the back as seen in most Malteses. Some Cavamalt puppies are born with the signature domed head of a Cavalier, while others have the short, tapered muzzle more associated with the Maltese.

Their ears are often spaniel-esque in appearance, i.e floppy, long and feathery. Eyes are large, round and occasionally bulbous, while the nose is usually dark and upturned.

Similar Breeds to a Cavamalt

Aside from the parent breeds, there are several canine varieties similar to a Cavamalt in terms of size and spirit. Here are just a few:

Cav-A-Malt Breed Maintenance


The Cavamalt requires some grooming, but perhaps not as much as you might first think. Regular brushing with a pin brush (and possibly dry shampoo) is necessary to prevent matting, while fur around the eyes, ears and foot pads might need trimming for comfort and mobility. They’re not hypoallergenic, but aren’t heavy shedders, either.

Another thing to stay on top of is tear stains, a genetic hand-me-down from the Maltese side of the family. Parents will need to gently wipe their Cavamalt’s eyes every day if this looks to be an issue.

Aside from this, it’s important to also stay on top of the routine tasks required for all breeds. That means brushing teeth, trimming nails (at least twice a month) and checking ears for signs of infection or inflammation — their furry ears are especially good at trapping dirt and moisture, so they might need to be cleaned, too.

Cavamalt Health Risks

There are some canine experts who believe interbreeding to be beneficial for dogs’ health. That being said, we know that hybrids are still prone to some of the hereditary health conditions which plague their parent breeds.

One way to substantially lower the risk of Cavamalt puppies growing up with congenital conditions is to only deal with responsible breeders who carry out screening on their animals — don’t be afraid to ask for proof of this.

The main disorders to which Cavamalts are more predisposed include:


Eye Issues

For many, Cavamalts’ expressive eyes are among their best features, so it’s a shame that these can be affected by disease. The most common is glaucoma, or increased eye pressure. This can lead to a changed appearance in the eye — often cloudiness or inflammation — as well as pain and uncharacteristic behavior. Unfortunately, around 40 percent of cases lead to blindness in one year.

A vet will try to relieve pain, reduce eye pressure and address the cause if one can be identified. They will seek to do this through the use of medication or surgery. As cases can often lead to blindness, one of the most helpful things is to catch the disease as early as possible.

Cherry Eye is a slightly less common condition, but one which parents of Cavamalts should be aware of. This genetic defect gets its name from the red swelling that occurs when the tear gland expands and protrudes through the eyelid. Your pet might paw or scratch this site of irritation, increasing the risk of infection.

Fortunately, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication can treat an instance of Cherry Eye, although it can often return in some instances. If it’s particularly persistent, your vet might recommend surgery to either suture the gland or create a new pocket for it.


Hip Dysplasia

Although Hip Dysplasia tends to affect medium-to-large-sized breeds, it has been noted to affect Cavamalts, too. This happens when one of the hip bones fails to develop correctly, leading it to move against the corresponding socket with friction. This can result in limping, reduced movement and pain.

There are various treatment options available depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases might be helped with weight loss and supplements, but more severe instances might require physiotherapy and surgery.


Deafness

There’s a strong link between white pigmentation in a dog’s fur or skin and congenital deafness, which spells bad news for Malteses and hybrids involving the breed.

Parents might be able to spot hearing loss in their pets; for example if they don’t respond to loud noises or commands. Vets will be able to test your dog’s hearing and arrive at a diagnosis.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for deafness and parents will have to adapt their dog’s lifestyle. This could mean using a vibrating collar or communicating with them via hand signals.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best practice to catch disease in its early stages — a wellness plan includes regular testing and screening for this very purpose.

What to Feed a Cavamalt


First and foremost, the Cavamalt is a very small breed and they should be given dog food designed around their specific dietary needs — this will often be more nutritionally dense so as to pack more into smaller portions, while kibble will be appropriately sized for small mouths.

At the same time, it’s important for dogs prone to Hip Dysplasia — such as the Cavamalt — to avoid obesity as this can worsen the symptoms.

Finally, an excessive amount of tears can often be a dog’s attempt to flush out allergens. If they’re suffering from a food allergy, a limited-ingredient dog food might help.

Our partner Dog Food Advisor has compiled a list of the best dog food for small breeds — check it out here

Cav-A-Malt Temperament


If you’re looking for a gentle introduction to the world of parenting, a Cavamalt could be an excellent choice. The hybrid is generally considered easy to train, especially with positive reinforcement and encouragement. Be sure to be consistent, otherwise undesirable behaviors such as yapping and overprotectiveness might arise.

Socialization is also important and when done correctly, the Cavamalt is curious around all sorts of people and will get along with all members of the family, including young children. Kids should be taught to handle these tiny dogs with care. 

At the same time, it’s important to recognize this is a dog prone to separation anxiety and they’ll get distressed if left alone for long periods of time.

Cav-A-Malt Activity Requirements


When it comes to the Cavamalt and the small matter of exercise, it really is a small matter — Cavamalts aren’t very energetic and can get by with half an hour’s activity a day. Ideally, this would be outside of the home, to bring them into contact with other dogs and people.

Their size and activity level makes Cavamalts a good candidate for apartment dwelling. They don't demand much space and are quite content with a couple of short walks per day. They enjoy a meet and greet in the neighborhood; this is a good activity for practising the social skills learned in obedience training.

The Cavamalt is also known for talent in the agility ring; give him a chance to show off their eager personality. He or she will enjoy a home with a back yard as well — just be sure to accompany him when outside as he doesn't like to be left alone.

Cav-A-Malt Owner Experiences

ROSIE
8 Months
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
NEVER WANTED A SMALL DOG BUT I LOVE HER SHE VERY LOVEABLE. SHE MAKES ME SO HAPPY SHE LICKS ME SO MUCH.IS THAT NORMAL.SHE DOES NOT LIKE TO BE GROMED, ANN
2 years, 6 months ago
Gigi
5 Months
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My pup is as sweet as can be!! I highly recommend this breed!
2 years, 8 months ago
Bauer
7 Years
2 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My cavamalt, Bauer, is a very loving and affectionate dog. He loves everybody and gets along with strangers and other dogs. He is an absolute joy to our family.
6 years, 2 months ago
Dolly
9 Weeks
2 People
Condo
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
She loves to cuddle and is doing great at potty training and commands.
5 years, 3 months ago
Teddy
9 Months
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Snuggles
Fetch
Walks
Teddy plays very well with our 5 year old and enjoys playing actively. He tires quickly and likes long naps on a lap or on the couch. He sleeps well through the night in his kennel and is excited and playful in the mornings. He is the perfect job for our family, as we are home a lot in the evenings but gone for longer stretches during the day.
5 years, 2 months ago
Freckles
4 Years
5 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Beautiful little dog, very inquisitive around strangers - does a little wee every time she greets us still ! She’s a good girl
5 years, 1 month ago
Sebastian
8 Years
1 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Highly intelligent, affectionate, lives belly rubs. He did like walking and on outings until he started getting ill. Protective and will announce when people approach unfamiliar.Playful, and likes to cuddle
3 years ago
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - New pet
Question

Are cavamalts hypoallergenic

Answer
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - New pet
Question

Hello I am looking at getting a Cav-a-Malt and want to find a reputable breeder. Do you have information you could supply? Thank you for your time.

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Question - Other
Question

I'm considering getting a Cav-a-malt for my senior citizen parents. Are they hypo allergenic, and do they shed?

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Question - Other
Question

Expected life span having been diagnosed with a possible collapsing trachea,

Answer
Hello, many of these dogs can live a long and normal life if they have a mild condition and are kept calm. If it is very severe it would be best fir your dog to see your vet for diagnosing and treatment. They can discuss things that you can do to extend your dogs life as well as give you a prognosis for this disease
3 years ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
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