Are Cats Cleaner Than Dogs?

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Yes, they certainly are!

Are you a cat person having the same old debate with a dog person on which is the cleaner animal? Or maybe you are looking to adopt a pet, and you’re a stickler for cleanliness? Are you asking yourself, are cats cleaner than dogs?

If so, keep reading as we will give you several reasons why cats are so much cleaner than dogs. 


Potty Time


Cats resemble humans in many ways when it comes to potty time. For one, they much prefer doing their business away from the prying eyes of those around them. 

They also have a pretty decent habit of covering their mess with cat litter, which gives them a sense of cleanliness and reduces odor. Think of it like humans being considerate enough to use the Lysol spray after the fact.

The real reason that cats cover their mess goes back to their ancestors. The scents of urine and feces could alert certain predators of their whereabouts. 

But it still gives cats better bathroom habits than dogs. Cats are actually so clean that if their litter box isn’t in tip-top shape, they won’t use it at all.

And dogs will pretty much go to the bathroom anywhere. They don’t seem to care much about leaving a scent behind, even if it’s on the living room carpet.

And dogs have been known to eat their own poop. Enough said there. 


Self Hygiene


Cats are wonderful self groomers. If you have ever felt a cat’s tongue or looked closely at one, you’ll notice that they feel like sandpaper due to the rough little spikes that cover it. 

These are almost like the bristles on a toothbrush and help the cats clean themselves. These barbs help remove loose hair, old skin cells, and even bugs. 

Cats also have an advantage over dogs in self-care as they are more flexible. We’ve all seen cats with their back legs up over their shoulder so they can clean everything from their rear end to their legs and back. They also seem to make it a more than daily habit as they are obsessed with self-grooming. 

On the other hand, dogs are only flexible enough to clean their privates. Figures.


They Love to Clean Each Other


Aside from that self-love, cats love to groom and clean each other as well. It’s a form of bonding, and aside from cleanliness, it brings them closer together. If you ever notice your cat grooming you, it’s a great sign that they are pretty fond of you. 


They Are Less Messy


Cats, for the most part, don’t get into things that cause them to get dirty. When was the last time you saw a cat roll in the mud, or worse, poop? Dogs seem to have a knack for attracting filth, and cats, not so much.


They Don’t Stink


Have you ever walked into someone’s home and noticed that dog smell? It’s in the air, on the furniture, everywhere. Especially if someone has more than one dog and they aren’t regularly groomed, the smell lingers.

In contrast, cats don’t have a bad smell. Aside from the smell of cat urine, which can be due to a medical issue or dirty litter box, most felines don’t give off an offensive odor.

Because cats are such great self groomers, they can rid themselves of any dry skin or dander, potentially leading to a foul odor. 

Most cats, unless they are a specific fury breed, don’t need to be regularly groomed. Most dog breeds, on the other hand, require some form of professional grooming. Both cats and dogs should still be routinely brushed by their owner, but it’s the dog who makes more trips to the groomer.


Their Breath Doesn’t Smell


Yes, when a cat is done eating her food, her breath may be a little stinky. But it’s only short-lived. For the most part, cats don’t usually have bad breath. 

But dogs, especially the smaller breeds, are more prone to bacteria in the mouth which causes tooth decay and horrific breath.

With that being said, cats’ mouths are just as dirty as a dog’s. The mouths of both are breeding grounds for bacteria, some of which can be harmful to humans. 


When to Be Careful


While cats are overall cleaner than dogs, there are some things to be aware of. As mentioned, both cats and dogs have dirty mouths. 


Pasteurella Multocida

The bacteria Pasteurella multocida could cause quite an infection in humans if a cat were to bite or scratch them. These infections can even lead to abscesses and sepsis. 


Toxoplasma Gondii

We know that cats are great self groomers. But this also means that they are great groomers of their behinds. So it’s almost a guarantee that they are ingesting some fecal material. The feces in cats can contain an organism known as Toxoplasma Gondii.

Toxoplasmosis can cause serious complications in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. So it is imperative that you do not touch your cat’s litter box or rear-end throughout your pregnancy. 




Cats are far cleaner than dogs in several ways. But they also need to be taken care of properly and receive regular veterinary care. And while cats are much cleaner, it doesn’t mean they are entirely spotless.

As an owner, it’s essential to keep a clean litter box as well. And don’t be afraid to pick up a brush to help get some of that loose fur off of your pet too.



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