Cats and labradors cause more damage around the house than other pets

Tabby moggy causes household damage
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Tabby moggy causes household damage. Photo: Pixabay.

British Shorthair is less destructive than the Sphynx. However, take this with a pinch of salt, please! A poll run by the website into the destructiveness or otherwise of companion animals in the home found that among the cat breeds the British Shorthair is far more destructive than the hairless Sphynx. The most destructive pets according to owners are moggy cats. The poll produced a list of the percentage of owners who state that a certain companion animal, either purebred or non-purebred, is the most destructive. The infographic below sets out the results. I’m indebted to for the infographic.

Top 10 most destructive companion animals

Top 10 most destructive companion animals. Poll results by Take these with a pinch of salt for the reasons stated in the article. Infographic: – thanks.

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We have to be a bit (greatly!) cautious about the source of statistics. They will not be very accurate. They are the results of questions and answers and the answers depend upon the perceptions and attitudes of the people providing the answers. For instance, if the owner of a British Shorthair is particularly fussy and houseproud then that person may find even minor, inconveniencing household damage to be annoying. Whereas a very tolerant labrador owner may accept almost anything and not consider damage caused by their dog to be severe enough to justify listing it. I’m just making a point about polls based on questionnaires.

Of the cats listed, the most destructive is said to be the moggy (9.3%), followed by the British Shorthair (6.3%), followed by the Bengal (2.3%) and the Sphynx (0.2%). A significant problem with this poll is that it is dependent on how many cat owners in the UK live with purebred cats such as the ones listed. This must distort the results. So, for instance, if there was one respondent in the poll who lived with a Sphynx but 20 who lived with a British Shorthair and 30 who lived with a moggy cat then there’s bound to be more moggies who they consider to be destructive than Sphynx cats. Another reason why we should take this poll with a large pinch of salt.

Perhaps the more interesting result is the labrador dog. Eight percent of pet owners stated that this breed of dog is the most destructive. However, I am compelled to think that perhaps this is because this is a very commonplace dog. I’m beginning to believe that this poll is not that useful although it might interest some, which is why I am publishing it. Although it may actually be so distorted as to be dangerous.

They state that examples of the type of damage caused by cats include: chewing Venetian blinds, chasing flies (which I presume leads to breakages) and knocking over plants on windowsills. We know that domestic cats of all kinds, either random bred or purebred, can get bored and they like to knock items off shelves and mantelpieces etc. to watch as they falls to the ground. This is not malicious criminal behaviour! This is just amusing oneself. To stop this the owner should play more with their cat. Therefore you can’t blame this sort of household damage on the cat.

Labradors have been accused of chewing holes in plasterboard walls and opening Christmas presents with their teeth, I presume! This must lead to destruction of some kind. Thirty-five percent of respondents in the poll said that their pet had dug up the flowers or grass. Also, ripping and tearing furnishings like cushions and sofas is a very common form of household damage caused by, I presume, dogs. Cats are more prone to scratching the armrests of sofas and armchairs because of a lack of suitable, large, scratching posts or scratching boards! I’m putting the blame back on the people here. Sometimes you can’t stop cats scratching sofas but you can minimise it or mitigate the damage.

Dogs chewing on clothes and shoes is also another problem. We know about that. Cats don’t chew on shoes. And if a cat causes damage to the carpet by peeing on it (inappropriate elimination as it is described euphemistically) once again owners should look to themselves for the cause. Classically this is caused by cystitis which is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract brought about by stress and perhaps diet. Stress can be due to separation anxiety.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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