Islam faith is unfair to dogs and kind to cats

There is a distorted attitude amongst many Muslims with regard to the dog or there is uncertainty and confusion. The Muslim tradition states that dogs are impure. Where is the logic in it? Unfortunately, many Muslims use this attitude in their faith to justify abuse and neglect of dogs (although many are also kind to dogs). This cruelty must be against the guidelines as set out in the Qur’an. Yet a Muslim veterinarian Dr Ayaoub M Banderker BVMCh says that animal cruelty plagues the Muslim community.

Ramadaan – time to kill dogs!

The vet says that during Ramadan misinformed Muslims ignorant of the true words of the Koran take their dogs (and cats too) to a veterinarian and request that they are killed. The reason: their faith forbids them from keeping dogs. So why kill cats by the way?

Some Muslims also don’t take their dog to the vet when ill because their faith dictates that they are not permitted to touch a dog (this is incorrect). When the dog becomes terminally ill, they take him/her to the vet to be euthanised. This is clearly abusive, cruel and ignorant behaviour which fortunately seems to be decreasing in frequency.

Muslims being cruel to dogs through ignorance should read the Holy Qur’an which says that the well-being of dogs should be promoted (S2:29).

Apparently, it is not haraam (also spelled ‘haram’) to own a dog but it unhygienic to keep a dog in the house. That too is wrong in my view. It means keeping a pet dog outside in kennels all his life. There appears to be no place for the domestic dog in the worldwide Muslim community.

Muslim cares for stray dog

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats


However, many believe that keeping dogs to be “haram” (forbidden or sinful). This is particularly unpleasant and unfair as the cat is meant to be revered and loved. It is worse than unpleasant, it is illogical, stupid and a provocation to be cruel to dogs.


Ahsan living in Pakistan, a wise and gentle person who appears to love animals (but who is sadly dishonest) says this:

As far as Islam is concerned about dogs, This is a matter of SHARI’ah and Shariah has allowed moslems to keep dogs. Islam is not concerned with the cruelty of DOGS/ CATS. I have full proves. What is then going WRONG? ANSWER: IGNORANCE. Lack of Islamic knowledge and behavior of Islamic state governments.

Muslim gets mad at man for walking dog in UK

Muslim gets mad at man for walking dog in UK

The Prophet

Just because, by chance, the Prophet Mohammed liked cats and kept cats, the Islamic faith tells Muslims to be kind to cats. It doesn’t matter whether the cat is domestic, stray or feral. Cats should be treated nicely under “the rules” as set out in the Koran (Qur’an) and the al-Bukhari’s authentic hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed handed down).

But what of dogs? Muslims throw stones at them, beat them and despise them. This is grossly unfair and there is no justification for it other than the fact that the Prophet Mohammed had a preference for cats, which logically cannot be a good reason because if Mohammed was kind to cats, he would have been kind to dogs. He would be kind to all animals. A prophet can’t be especially kind and gentle towards one species of animal and hate another. If he was then he’d have been a fake or have had a rare and unfortunate experience with a particular species of animal.

The Prophet Mohammed lived in 570-632 AD. We know that half the population of the world like cats and the other half like dogs. That is a gross simplification but judging by cat and dog ownership across the developed world it is about right.

Kindness towards animals

Kindness towards animals says the Prophet.

In Mohammed’s time, preferring cats to dogs would have been exceptional. Dogs would have been the primary domestic animal for utility purposes so why the ambivalence in attitude towards dogs amongst Muslims today?

It is not that Muslims hate dogs. Some might but that isn’t the point. The point is that the Koran is almost silent on how to treat dogs yet it is clear and outspoken on the matter of the domestic cat: they should be treated with great kindness. This discrepancy or speciesism (animal racism) must be wrong. Some hadith are hostile towards dogs.

Apparently, The Prophet said:

“Angels do not enter a house which has either a dog or a picture in it.” (Sahih Bukhari)1

Also, it seems that Muslims believe that a dog in the house prevents angels entering the house and Muslims like angels to come into the house because angels pray for the occupants.

I have read articles written by Muslims in Islamic countries where there are stray dogs and they say people throw stones at stray dogs. They treat them callously.

Muslims with cat at mosque

Muslims with cat at mosque. Photo in public domain.


The problem seems to be that some hadith are false or fabricated. They distort the Islamic faith. On the website the author says that it is traditional for Muslims to treat the dog as a dirty animal that carries impurities and infectious agents. Don’t go near one, is the implication. The dog is a diseased animal that will hurt you, make you dirty.

So, some of the sayings in hadiths, which Muslims are meant to abide by, are fabricated, I am told. Great. That doesn’t give me much faith in the religion of Islam.

In one hadith, it is stated that people should kill black dogs because they are devils. Ridiculous, obviously. Some hadith mislead Muslims while the Quran is more or less silent. This is bound to lead to abuse of dogs in undeveloped countries such as Pakistan. An educated scholar of the Islam faith and the Koran will normally understand and treat dogs properly but many less educated Muslims, of which there are many in undeveloped countries (through no fault of their own), will develop misguided attitudes and abuse dogs for no good reason.

Muslims are unfair to dogs

Photo by David Lisbona

Individual Muslims per se like and dislike dogs just like non-Muslims

As expected, individual Muslims can dislike and like dogs. They can love dogs or be ambivalent about them. It is the teachings of the Koran which paint this picture of dogs being dirty. The fact of the matter is that Muslims are like any other people. Some don’t care about dogs while others (probably the majority) like dogs and animals in general.

Therefore, many Muslims disregard the teachings of the Koran and don’t treat dogs as dirty and aren’t highly preferential towards cats in regarding dogs as unclean and a lower species. Most Muslims don’t exercise speciesism. It is the Koran and the Islamic Faith which seems to be teaching people to exercise speciesism.

Muslim lady and cat

Muslim lady and cat. Photo: Pinterest and in the public domain.


This is a failing of the Islamic faith. It needs to be rectified. Imams need to teach and educate followers that all animals are to be treated with respect including all dogs, stray or otherwise. A truly decent Muslim will be tender towards the most unhealthy and neglected dog because that is a charitable and decent way to behave. The Prophet Mohammed would have wanted it that way.

Ref: 1. This information comes from Yahoo Answers.

P.S. I have republished this page because it needs to be re-aired. The original comments will be dated in line with the original date of publishing.

Below are some more pages on Islam and cats.

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
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

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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24 Responses

  1. M E King says:

    It’s worth mentioning here Micheal that I have many times referred to the perversions of faith that inspire the animal cruelty we have had to deal with regarding my in-laws, brother in law and my sister in law. While I’m not sure the actual church is on board with all their nuttery they nonetheless support them as members.
    Religion is often cited as an excuse why an otherwise unacceptable social behavior must be tolerated.
    Religion can be twisted into anything. Literally and it can and does attract people with severe narcissistic tendencies as a means of control. Not helping but to control thus the hash-meat of punishments and threat of eternal flames if you don’t do what I say the holy book says per my interpretation.
    I give this link to lots of people. It is in fact for believers and non-believers. Animal abuse itself is a worldwide issue that knows no race, religion or border.

  2. M E King says:

    I wanted to add that sometimes it’s not a matter of caring it’s a matter of resources. There are a number of people from other countries who frequent another cat blog who are willing to pay but there are no DVMs or the ones there are few , far between and poorly equipped. It’s important when assigning any behavior to anyone you know the full range of circumstances. Even more important to not group people by nationality or religion because once you separate the individual from that and see them as a person only then do you have a complete picture of each circumstance.

  3. Dee (Florida) says:

    By some definition, YOU are a terrorist.

  4. Ahsan ul Haq says:

    As far as Islam is concerned about dogs, This is a matter of SHARI’ah and Shariah has allowed moslems to keep dogs.

    Islam is not concerned with the cruelty of DOGS/ CATS. I have full proves.

    What is then going WRONG?

    IGNORANCE. Lack of Islamic knowledge and behavior of Islamic state governments.

    What kind of behavior of Islamic state governments?
    I mean they do not pay any attention to their PUBLIC welfare so DOGS/CATS are not anything in front of their INTERESTS.

    No we have not, Because the rulers are acting more worst than KINGS.

    Are these people MOSLEMS which live in so called Islamic states?
    I am doubtful, If you just consider that person a MOSLEM who just bark out loudly ALLAH is GOD and MOHEMMUD SAW is my prophet. He has just entered the door of ISLAM, but he has not walked through the full CASTLE of ISLAM. My question is, who will obey the rest orders and obligations???? And when???? 🙁

    I was 18 years old, a feral puppy was beaten by four kids. I went to them and I was an angry man in the youth. I loudly said to kids,”Stop or I will smash your A_S !” They ran away because they knew me that I was always looking for trouble with PAKIS.

    I took the puppy in arms and she was weeping, I abused as many words as I could to these (So called ) MOSLEMS. It is the duty of parents to teach the right ISLAM to their children so they become a nation, they know what is to be done for human / animals welfare. But no! They them self don’t know, what shall they teach children. My D_ck.

    I raised the puppy. Out side the terrace. She grew up and one day I came to know that a boy killed her and burnt her ALIVE.

    So, my DAD never accepted that girl (puppy) nor my MOM. No family member no neighbor.

    I wept, Yes MICHAEL YES, A strong bodybuilder, athlete, Blue Belt in Marshall Arts Weaponry specialist boy AHSAN UL HAQ wept. The you AHSAN who never felt any pain on his body WEPT like children as to cry over “Where is my TOY? give my toy back”

    Islam is not to do with the cruelty, It is so called MOSLEMS who do it. And I straight away say they are not MOSLEMS until they will not adopt MERCY on humanity / animals. Thats ALL.

    You can not hate a single religion because they do not follow the orders of (their )GOD/messenger.

    Sorry I don’t agree with the results about faith of ISLAM what you have determined. Its not ISLAM, its people. (I don’t call them moslems) sorry.

    • Excellent comment. Wonderful comment. Very emotional and it educated me. Thank you Ahsan. I’ll change the article.

      ANSWER: IGNORANCE. Lack of Islamic knowledge and behavior of Islamic state governments

      Education is the great cure for humanity. Ignorance is the killer of humanity.

      • Ahsan ul Haq says:

        Thanks Michael! I know you as you know me <3

        • M E King says:

          I see this as a cultural not a religious issue. Animal abuse in the US is what I consider to be cultural and often handed from one generation to the next. Much like bigotry and racism.

  5. Ankara Kedisi Derneği says:

    I am not here to defend Islam. I consider myself non-believer, but it’s important to be objective in all cases. We should ask in which countries and societies all of this happening? Arabic countries which follow strict Sharia law? What about Turkish Republic then? Many people here identify themselves as Muslims. Do they stone or abuse dogs? Do they regard them as dirty animals? Certainly not, many keep them as pets. Do not forget that Kangal dog breed also comes from here.

    A hate for dogs comes from Islam? Is there direct correlation?

    Does it written in Koran? No, it’s not.

    Hadiths not accepted by many scholars(99 % lies, fabrications) have claims that dogs are”dirty”, prohibited animals. But Koran or Mohammed never said this… Blame imams for spreading this nonsense even further.

    My uncle is very religious person who reads Koran in Arabic and when asked if there is anything written about dogs being ”haram”, he said ”No”. Besides dogs are the only animals he likes.

    Talking about pork Turkish in general don’t eat it. It is available in touristic resorts however.

    • Michael says:

      Good, I am pleased to hear that a lot or most Muslims ignore this hadith. But the point is that the cat is held up as clean and nice etc. by the teachings and the dog is not. If Muslims ignore these hadiths or hadith then they should be deleted, erased and a new one written that states that dogs should be looked after and treated well as should all animals. It just seems very backward to me.

      There is no point having a hadith that people ignore. There is no purpose and in any case some Muslims do believe in this hadith. I have seen comments about it. There are a lot of uneducated people around in undeveloped countries.

      • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

        Sadly there are many uneducated people in all countries, just consider the declawing of cats for a start, most people who still do that to their pets in the USA and Canada are uneducated as to what it really means, only a minority know but don’t care.
        There is too much hatred in all countries of the world, how many times do we hear ‘I hate cats’ ‘I hate dogs’ ‘I hate kids’
        What is all this hatred? Why can’t people live and let live and respect each other and all other living beings?
        But while even in civilised countries animals are treated as disposable possessions, nothing is going to change in Islamic countries.

        • Michael says:

          Excellent point Ruth. We don’t have to go to undeveloped countries to find uneducated people. They’re everywhere in developed countries. If religious teachings are defective then they should be rectified because uneducated people are more likely take religious teachings as the gospel truth.

          I think we have a world war going on but not in the conventional sense. It is endless terrorist bombings by extremists, usually Muslims. There was a time when there were no terrorist bombs. Now they are routine. Lives shattered by the hundreds monthly.

      • Ankara Kedisi Derneği says:

        Agreed Michael. Those Hadiths and various nonsense preached by İmams are very influential in most of underdeveloped Muslim countries, with the exception of Turkey…

        (there is a mistake in my previous comment I wanted to say Quran* (not Koran). I think it needs to be corrected. Thanks).

  6. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    Well as sorry as I am for dogs because I love all animals, it’s a change for cats to be loved and dogs to be hated!
    It’s usually cats targeted and chased and abused and hated and blamed for everything!
    I think every religion should value and respect all living beings, people, animals, birds and fish, but while people continue to consider themselves superior and to use and abuse them and to eat them then this will never happen.

  7. Marc says:

    Animals and people should be equal.

    The US military understand how musilms feel about dogs very well because many of the people they capture in muslim countries get stripped down and subjected to dogs barking at them – a hugely offensive thing to do.

  8. I had visited Kashmir in March-2013, a Muslim population dominated State of India and was surprised to see numerous stray dogs on the streets but not a single stray cat ! I had previously mentioned this subject on a previous topic on “P.O.C”.In any Indian city its common to come across stray dogs and cats and i have traveled most city’s and states barring the North-East region of the country. Srinagar in Kashmir was the only city where i found it difficult to spot cats but saw numerous stray dogs, especially near the “Dal Lake” tourist locality.This means that Muslims are not offensive to dogs and tolerate them but the mystery of the missing stray cats of Srinagar baffles me.I have attached a photo of a stray dog foraging in a street side waste dump in Srinagar. Normally such a place would be a common food source for cats.

    • Michael says:

      Interesting Rudolph. Firstly although the Islam faith is unkind to dogs, Muslims seem to be generally ignoring the writings in the hadith, which is great. As for the lack of cats might it be because there are so many stray dogs attacking cats? Wild guess? I don’t think there is a policy of killing cats nor are there any TNR programmes.

    • Dee (Florida) says:

      That poor dog looks to be starving to death.

  9. Harvey Harrison says:

    It’s not just with dogs that they choose to differ. Pork, bacon, and any kind of booze you like is freely available. They have the English type “Off License” shops. I don’t know why because the supermarkets stock everything from Johnny Walker Blue Label to Becks beer from Germany. On the way to town there is a shop with a big sign “Pork Butcher” and nobody gives it a second thought. There are lots of English style pubs and great restaurants where you can order wine, beer, or spirits with your food. It’s pretty much the same in Turkey but I don’t know about pork being on sale.

  10. Harvey Harrison says:

    In Turkish North Cyprus many Turks have dogs and many prefer them to cats. That doesn’t mean that cats get ignored . Many families have at least one cat and multi-cat outdoor colonies depending on daily handouts are common.

    • Michael says:

      Thank you Harvey for that information. I presume they are Muslim. Clearly not all Muslims apply the sayings of Mohammed as stated in the hadiths. Thankfully. They apply common sense and decency instead. Great. I don’t like this aspect of the Islam faith because of the stark contrast in treatment with respect to cats and dogs.

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