Cats Vs. Dogs - Which Will Cause More Havoc To My Home?
Cat Vs. Dogs? They each have their own innately curious, albeit destructive sides, at least until they're trained. But even then, mischief often continues. Cats have a need to scratch, and dogs... well, dogs will be dogs, but which of the two can be more destructive to your doors, furniture, walls, windows and other items? Our team dives in with this comparison piece and provides some helpful tips and products to curb their behavior and help protect their paws, teeth and most importantly, your home!
While we’re all animal lovers here at Clawguard, everyone knows if they’re a “cat person” or a “dog person.” Whether it’s how you grew up or the kind of lifestyle you currently lead, almost everyone has their preference of pet.
According to Lemonade, over 90 million homes in the U.S have at least one pet. That is 70% of households in the United States alone!
If you’re a dog person, you’re probably apt to argue that they’re the superior pet in all aspects. If you’re a cat person, you’re probably apt to argue the same about cats.
Maybe you’re researching about what kind of pet would best fit your lifestyle. Maybe you’re curious about how to stop pet destruction with your current pet. Whatever the reason, we’re here to help!
The following will explore which is more destructive – dogs or cats.
The Temperament Of Cats Vs. Dogs
It comes as no surprise that the first thing we’ll want to dive in to is the general temperament of your pet. While all animals differ, there are some well-known traits that each animal tends to exhibit.
According to the American Kennel Club, “temperament has been defined as an animal’s personality, makeup, disposition, or nature.” Below are some examples of stereotypical temperaments of dogs and cats.
The Reasons Dogs Can be Destructive
Did you know that dogs often participate in destructive behavior due to anxiety or boredom? If you’re currently working through how to best support your destructive dog, CLAWGUARD products can help to protect your home while you work with your pup to identify their needs.
According to MSPCA – Angell, “Because destructive behavior has many potential causes, a careful analysis of the dog’s history and environment is necessary to help identify the cause of the problem so that effective behavior modification techniques can be recommended.”
Dog Anxiety Due To Fear, Separation Or Aging
Anxiety stemming from fear can come from anything your dog may have had a negative experience with as well as anything they’re unfamiliar with. Dogs can be scared of loud noises, people in hats or hoodies, new environments, brooms, etc.
“Separation anxiety is estimated to affect around 14 percent of dogs. Dogs with separation anxiety are unable to find comfort when they are left alone or separated from their family members. This anxiety often manifests itself in undesirable behaviors, such as urinating and defecating in the house, destroying furniture and furnishings, and barking.” (AKC.com)
Dogs can also experience fear due to aging. As dogs get older, their cognitive function can decline, just like people, leading to confusion and anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety can look like:
Destruction of property
Urinating or defecating in the home
Your dog may also be destruction due to isolation or boredom. If that is the case, consider how you can work more time into your schedule for your pup.
Even making small changes like giving them new toys, especially interactive toys that exercise their brain muscles, will go a long way!
Similar to destruction due to boredom, your dog may be destroying things they shouldn’t because they know it elicits a response from you.
You may not realize that you pay the most attention to your dog when they’re misbehaving.
They may participate in destructive behavior, or any negative behavior, while you’re around in order to get your attention.
If this is the case, we recommend calling in a professional dog trainer experienced in positive reinforcement training.
Some dogs may also be destroying things due to a medical condition. “Upper gastrointestinal irritation, dental or gum pain may cause destructive chewing in adult dogs. Some diseases may cause excessive hunger (polyphagia), or eating non-food items (pica). Consult your veterinarian if you suspect these problems.” (MPSCA)
Don’t hesitate to consult your vet if you suspect your pet’s behavior may be due to an underlying medical issue.
If you have a dog who turns to destruction for whatever the reason, our full line of pet-safe home protection products can help keep your home free from destruction while you work with a positive reinforcement trainer and or your vet to get to the root cause of your pet’s needs.
The Reasons Cats Can be Destructive
While cats may have a bad wrap for being “vengeful,” most of the time your cat is destroying your property because they just want to scratch. Scratching provides an outlet for cats to satisfy needs.
“Scratching is largely a marking behavior that deposits scent from special glands on the cat’s paws into his territory and removes the translucent covering, or sheath, from the claws. The scratch marks and claw sheaths left behind may also be displays of confidence.
Because scratching is an innate behavior like grooming or burying waste, it can be difficult to stop. However, cats can be taught to scratch on more appropriate objects like scratching posts.” (Cornell)
In order to redirect your cat’s scratching, give them appropriate scratching tools/toys and praise them when used. Pay attention to the surfaces your cat seems to like scratching the most so you can purchase or build something similar to increase the odds of it being satisfying for your cat.
While there are a number of scratching posts, pads, etc. available to buy, you can also make your own scratching outlet! You can cover a piece of wood with carpet or fabric or even use empty cardboard boxes as a scratching outlet. Just make sure they’re easily accessible for your cat and you give them lots of praise when they use the correct items!
When introducing new products into your home, make sure you praise your cat any time they use the appropriate tool or toy. At CLAWGUARD, we’re fans of positive reinforcement training – meaning that we believe pets and their people are most successful when rewarded for good behavior vs. punished for poor behavior.
“Positive reinforcement training uses a reward (treats, praise, toys, anything the dog finds rewarding) for desired behaviors. Because the reward makes them more likely to repeat the behavior, positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog’s behavior.” (HSUS)
While you work to find appropriate outlets for your cat’s scratching, protect your home with CLAWGUARD Cat Training Tape, made especially for scratching cats.
Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed will help during this process too!
Cats Vs. Dogs? So, What’s The Verdict?
Who is more destructive to the home - dogs or cats? With so many factors going into why a pet may be destructive, it’s hard to say which is more destructive than the other. In general, cats will need less attention than dogs, which could mean the potential for less opportunity for destroying your home out of boredom.
While your pet’s behavior can never be guaranteed, we recommend protecting your home with CLAWGUARD products on the off chance your pet starts to become destructive. If your pet does become destructive, we recommend working with a positive reinforcement trainer and/or your veterinarian to get to the root cause of your pet’s needs.
When it comes to successful pet parenting, patience is key!