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Are Cats Cleaner Than Dogs?

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One of the biggest concerns of people looking to add a pet to their homes is keeping their house smelling fresh and clean. Cats and dogs do bring their own unique odors into a home, and homeowners want to best understand what they can do to own and love a pet without having a home that smells like one. 

An important part of this consideration is whether or not the new addition to the family should be a dog or a cat. It has long been believed that cats are the cleaner of the two animals due to their penchant for constantly grooming themselves. However, most cats make use of an indoor litter box which does contribute to the overall scent of the home. When it comes to pets, which animal is cleaner— dogs or cats?

Dogs vs Cats — Grooming

Cats love to groom themselves so much it could almost be considered an addiction. It has been estimated that most cats spend approximately 50% of their day attending to their own grooming needs. But they don’t limit themselves to giving themselves the old spit shine, they also like to groom their housemates as well to ensure their grooming is top notch. Since cats possess tongues that are barbed to the touch, they are easily able to remove dirt from their fur, leaving their coat relatively clean. Cats also prefer to groom the entirety of their bodies, making use of both their teeth and their tongues to keep their coat as fresh and debris-free as possible.

Most dogs also do some basic grooming on themselves though they tend to limit their cleaning efforts to their paws and genital regions. Since dogs clean only certain areas of their bodies, it is necessary for them to receive regular grooming, brushing, and baths to maintain a healthy, clean, and fresh-smelling coat.

Dogs vs Cats — Bathroom Habits

Cats are unique creatures who prefer to do their business in private. Indoor litter boxes should be placed in low traffic areas of the home to suit feline bathroom preferences. The location of the litter box in an out of the way area of the home will help to keep the smell from permeating the entire house; however, there is still an odor that must be dealt with through frequent and thorough cleaning.

Cats do prefer their living environment to be pristinely clean, and this includes their litter boxes. They will bury their feces with sand or litter to maintain a fresh-looking appearance and will refuse to use a litter box that is not cleaned to their standards. Many are so particular that they will not use a litter box that is shared with another feline member of the family.

Dogs display no real preference for where they do their business. Grass is typically the most popular locale, but if the urge strikes and there is no grass to be found; even the pavement will do.

Dogs can be trained to reserve their bathroom breaks for outdoor activities only though accidents can still occur on occasion.

Dogs vs Cats — Natural Odors

Cats are not known for having any unique odors unless they are suffering from an underlying health condition or are unable to groom themselves. When a cat begins to smell, it is most often from the accumulation of urine and feces particles.

However, cat litter boxes have a particularly unpleasant smell. The only way to prevent this problem is through meticulous cleaning. Some cats will even deliberately defecate outside their litter boxes if they are not kept to their own cleanliness standards.

Dogs possess a different type of tongue to cats, and thus, are not able to clean themselves are rigorously as their feline counterparts. As skin cells slough off and are trapped within the coat, odors can occur. The skin of a dog also naturally produces oil, and their paws secrete perspiration. Both of these elements increase the smell of the dog.

Infections caused by yeast can also give the dog an unpleasant smell, so regular ear cleaning is very important to prevent these types of problems from occurring.

The best course of action to keep doggy smells to a minimum is regular bathing and brushing.

Dogs vs Cats — Hair

In the war against shedding, dogs and cats come out equal. They both shed, and that lost hair contributes to the environment of the home, making it appear dirty and messy.

Dogs vs Cats — Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene plays an important part of how clean a dog or cat smells. Both dogs and cats require assistance to maintain clean teeth, healthy gums, and fresh-smelling breath.

When it comes to cleanliness, who takes top marks—dogs or cats? While both make excellent family companions and both have habits which contribute to the odors in a home, cats have the slight edge when it comes to being clean. With a little bit of effort, you can keep your dog or your cat smelling April fresh, allowing you to choose whichever pet is the best fit for your home!

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