Are Cats Cleaner Than Dogs – The Interesting Facts!


Cats and dogs are the most common options that will come to your mind if you plan to get a pet friend for yourself. Along with the joy of getting a pet, there also comes the responsibility of maintaining them. This may often lead you to think: Are cats cleaner than dogs?

Cats are cleaner than dogs. With their naturally barbed tongue, paws, and teeth, cats spend most of the time grooming themselves. Dogs, on the contrary, do not groom themselves regularly.

So, let’s get started on the cats’ cleanliness vs. dogs’ cleanliness, how their physical features affect their hygiene and a few things you should watch out for.

Reasons Cats Are Cleaner Than Dogs

Cats are cleaner than dogs, and there are many behavioral and physical reasons for it. Let’s walk through the main five reasons to understand why cats are cleaner than dogs.

Cats Are Self-Groomers

Cats are self-groomers, and being a cat owner; you will not have to worry much about their cleanliness. A cat will keep itself clean by licking. Moreover, mother cats also lick their kittens to groom them.

You might be surprised at the fact that kits start grooming themselves as early as four weeks.

In addition to being excellent groomers, cats tend to shed more than dogs. Now, this varies by the breed of cat, but all of that shedding has a lot to do with your cat being clean. Any dirty hairs that a cat may have missed fall off anyway, and you can just vacuum them up.

On the contrary, a dog will only clean its private areas and feet. Hence, they require regular bathing sessions to clean the dirt, dead skin, or any parasites on their fur.

Cats Are Easier To Potty Train

You can quickly potty train a cat as compared to a dog. A cat will usually poop in the litter box compared to a dog, who would want to do his “stuff” in an open area, probably your garden or backyard. Also, cats will usually cover their litter, whereas, for dogs, it is the dog owner’s responsibility! 

With dogs, the poop must be immediately cleared out, or else it can result in an awful smell. But, with a cat, provide them with a self-cleaning litter box, and you wouldn’t have to bother much of the mess. The cat itself will hide and cover its litter.

You should note here that, with a kitten, once it is weaned from its mother cat, it can easily use the litter box. Puppies, on the other hand, require continuous effort to be potty trained.

In addition to using the litter box, cats tend to groom immediately after as a response to being in a less than clean area.

Cat Odor Is Less Intrusive As Compared To Dog Odor

Cats do not have a strong odor, as they regularly groom themselves. Thus, the dead skin and dander do not remain on their skin. As a matter of fact, cats are known for smelling really good in general.

That’s not necessarily the case with dogs. Since they do not clean themselves regularly, the dead skin, dander, and parasites can cause the dog to smell. 

Many times, a dog owner has to get air fresheners, give regular baths, and more just to keep the scent reasonable in the home. Moreover, a dog’s skin also secretes oil, along with slight perspiration from its paws. All these factors combined cause the dog to smell more.

Cats Are More Flexible

Cats are more flexible as compared to dogs. Hence, they can lick and clean almost all their body parts without much intervention from the owner. 

That’s really an advantage. No matter what kind of mess was made during play, using the bathroom, or just moving around, a cat is able to quickly and efficiently clean those areas without assistance.

For dogs, its not really that easy, especially for the larger breeds. Most dogs are unable to lick and clean all their body parts well.

Dogs Urinate To Mark Their Territory

Both cats and dogs love to mark their territory. The only difference is how they do it. 

Being the cleaner ones, Cats will rub against another cat or anything that it wants to mark its territory over. The scented oils from the cat’s skin will be transferred, and you don’t need to worry about the smell being in your house!

At most they might claw a few items, but there is no need to worry about urination as a sign of dominance.

On the other hand, dogs urinate to mark their territory. This means you can expect the dog urine’s smell if you have one.

Why Are Cats So Much Cleaner Than Dogs

Cats have natural, gifted capabilities that help them to groom and keep themselves clean. They use their barbed tongue to lick and clean their hair. This also removes any dead skin on the cat’s fur, parasites, or loose hair. 

Apart from this, these intelligent creatures use their teeth to dig out the dirt. You will always find a cat moistening its paws with saliva to clean its face and other areas that its tongue cannot reach. 

On average, cats will spend roughly 40 to 50 percent of their waking hours grooming themselves. 

Dogs, on the other hand, love to roll over on dirt and mud. Moreover, there is a good chance that the dog’s fur will have dead skin and dander accumulated on it. Dogs do not have the barbed tongue to clean themselves as cats do, neither do they lick themselves enough.

Owing to all the above-stated reasons, cats are much cleaner than dogs.

Are Cats Mouths Cleaner Than Dogs

No, cats’ mouths are not cleaner than dogs. Cats and dogs both have numerous bacteria in their mouth, which can be extremely harmful to humans.

A cat and dog both are capable of transferring parasites to humans if they lick or bite them.

If you’re bitten by either one of these pets, it’s important to clean the area and seek further assistance if the area starts to look infected.

Are Cats Mouths As Clean As Dogs

Cats and dogs both do not have a clean mouth. While cats tend to clean off all the dirt using their tongue and teeth, dogs will lick almost anything, even the poop and fecal waste.

As they cannot brush their teeth or maintain oral hygiene, we cannot consider cats and dogs to have a clean mouth.

Why Do Cats Clean Themselves And Not Dogs

A significant reason cats clean themselves and not dogs is backward-facing spines on their tongue, whereas dogs have a smooth tongue. 

The difference in this physical characteristic is mainly due to the differences in the size and lifestyle of cats and dogs.

Owing to their small size, wild cats need to protect themselves from predators. Hence, they need to hide their scent, which they do by constantly licking and grooming themselves.

Dogs constantly roam in packs, and hence, they are safer and do not need to hide their bodily scents. 

These instincts are carried forward in the domesticated cats and dogs too, and hence, cats clean themselves, and dogs don’t.

Do Cats Need Baths

Cats usually do not need baths, as they clean themselves. However, if they have rolled in something that they cannot clean themselves, or their long hair has become messy and matted, it is best to bathe a cat. 

Be careful to use the right kind of shampoo when bathing a cat. Some shampoos are too aggressive and can mess up the PH levels and oils in a cats skin.

Final Thoughts

Even though cats are known as self-groomers, there are few things you should watch out for.

Pay Attention If Your Cat Isn’t Grooming Itself

If your cat is not grooming itself, it can be due to the below potential reasons:

●     You have an older cat

There is nothing to worry about if this is the case.

●     Your cat might be ill

If your cat has suddenly stopped grooming itself, it can indicate an illness like any gum or dental disease or joint disease. It is best to consult a veterinarian in this case.

●     Your cat might be overweight

Your cat might have difficulty grooming itself if it is overweight. It is best to switch your cat to a healthier diet in this case.

Too Much Grooming Can Indicate An Illness In Cats

If your cat has suddenly started grooming itself too much, it might be out of stress, or your cat might have an allergy, causing its skin to be itchy. It would help if you got it checked at the earliest by a vet.

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Welcome to FAQCats! We are a team of cat owners and writers who love to write about everything related to cats. We strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about cats through extensive research and caring for our own fur-pals!

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