Catastrophic cats vs disastrous dogs: Who causes the most damage?

Can’t decide between a cat or a dog? Admiral research shows which one may be a bigger liability to your home!

In light of National Cat Day on Saturday 29th, Admiral investigated whether or not it’s felines or canines that are causing the most destruction within their owner’s homes. After looking at all home insurance claims involving either dogs or cats, it’s clear that doggy disasters are causing more headaches for UK homeowners.

Of all the home insurance claims caused by pets in the last year, Admiral identified that 51 incidents were caused by cats, while 195 were caused by dogs. Out numbering the cat-astrophes by four to one, it’s clear that dogs are more likely to be the troublemakers in the family.

Why more dog-related incidents?

Is it just because there are more pet dogs than pet cats in the UK? Apparently not. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association there are roughly 16 million cats and dogs in the UK, with dogs accounting for only slightly more than half of them at 53%. But what is it about dogs that make them account for 79% of all the accident claims Admiral received involving cats and dogs?

Head of Household Claims at Admiral, John McSherry, said, “Our data suggests dogs are just more accident prone than cats. So if you’re house proud, are looking to get a pet and can’t decide between Fido or Mittens, I’d suggest you go for a feline friend.”

The idea that dogs are simply more accident prone is supported by the types of claims involving the two different pets. Cat claims tend to involve clawed furniture or items being knocked off shelves and tables – in particular, glasses of red wine or iPads and tablets.

Doggy destruction, on the other hand, tends to be caused by their teeth, examples being destroyed phones and glasses. Since dogs tend to get more over-excited than cats, it’s also more likely for them to knock over furniture. And then there are ‘accidents’ – dogs are typically more likely than cats to have ‘accidents’ of their own around the home (probably because it’s a lot harder to teach dogs to use a litter tray!)

“That said, a dog can deter potential burglars, and while I’ve known some feisty cats in the past, I’m yet to meet a guard cat. I guess you just need to decide what you want from your pet and do what you can to prevent accidents involving either of them happening in the first place.”

Cat-astrophic home claims

Five cats who have seen better days...

  • The cat who brought in a pigeon and decided to eat the head on its owner’s peach coloured carpet
  • The cat who knocked over bright red candles during a power outage and walked the wax through the living room
  • The cat that decided to jump against the glass in the French doors, eventually causing the glass to crack
  • The cat who knocked a full bottle of red wine all over a brand new, light grey carpet
  • The kitten which managed to switch on the hot water tap in a sink with its plug in, causing the sink to fill and over flow

Doggy home disasters

Five destructive dogs...

  • The dog that managed to switch on a hairdryer while its owners were out – it was on the sofa and melted a hole in it
  • The puppy, whose owner is a model maker, who got hold of a small pot of red paint which he then dragged through the hall and up the stairs
  • The dog who knocked over a 30 litre fish tank in its owners dining room
  • The dog that got so excited when it saw another dog on the TV it jumped up and knocked it over, cracking the screen
  • The dog which chewed two hearing aids belonging to the gentleman who was dog-sitting him, causing irreparable damage

How can home insurance protect your home? Find out more with this helpful guide.