The messiest domestic pets to keep at home

The messiest domestic pets to keep at home

Life As A Pet Parent

A lot is written about the fact that several of our most popular pet animals tend to be very clean and fastidious about having everything just so-like the cat, which buries its own waste and spends a significant amount of its time grooming its fur and generally staying clean. Cats dislike messy living situations too, and will often turn their noses up at litter trays that are not scrupulously clean, as well as having a hearty dislike of anything mucky or wet getting onto their fur!

Whilst the fact that some animals are relatively clean is a strong plus point in terms of their desirability as pets, this does of course mean that some animals are comparatively messy, and this is something that tends to be glossed over to some extent when you try to research them before making a choice on what sort of pet to get!

In this article, we will look at some of the most potentially messy domestic pets commonly kept in the UK, along with some information on exactly how messy they are, and in what ways. Read on to learn more.


Goldfish might seem like the very lowest maintenance pet of all to keep, and it is certainly true that they are a lot less trouble than the vast majority of other pets. However, given their size, goldfish are actually pretty dirty animals, due to the sheer volume of poop that they produce, which can soon pollute their tank water and cover the surface of their gravel.

All goldfish need a reasonable sized tank with a good filtration system in order to thrive, and they need their tank cleaned out properly every week as well-failing which, the tank will soon start to look and smell dirty, and your fish will not thrive.


Rats themselves tend to be fairly finicky about their personal grooming, and they look and feel clean to the touch. However, rats seem to greatly enjoy making a big mess of their tank or enclosure, and they tend not to be too careful about where they pass waste, sometimes even leaving poop in their food or water dishes!

They also like to pull their bedding around and leave a mess in their wake too, so once again, rats need a reasonable level of effort to be made when it comes to keeping their homes clean!


Tortoises are going through something of a resurgence in terms of their popularity as pets in the UK these days, and once more, they might seem like a reasonably low maintenance pet compared to many others. However, tortoises produce a large volume of faeces too, and again are not that bothered about where they leave it.

They will also go on a rampage in your garden given half a chance, eating all of your greenery and even digging up plants!


Budgies, canaries and other small birds are popular with people who want a chatty, lively and entertaining little animal for company, but these small caged beauties are not really a good pick for the house proud!

Birds do of course poop all over the floor of their cages and tend to make quite a mess with their food as well-and when you let them out to fly around the house too, they will not be afraid to poop when on the loose!


Rabbits are another animal that heartily dislikes being dirty themselves, but that tend to leave quite a mess in their wake. While house rabbits can generally be trained to use a litter tray, if you do not teach your rabbit to use one specific corner, they are apt to leave little pellets all over the place, making it hard to clean out the hutch, and they will also dig up your carpet or garden too if they can, while trying to make burrows!


Ferrets dislike having faeces or food strewn about their cages, and will generally use a provided litter tray in order to keep their homes clean. But ferrets can also be pretty pongy if they neglect their grooming, particularly in unneutered males, and when they are out and running around they often enjoy being very destructive, ripping things up and digging at the carpet and anything else within reach!


Finally, no list of messy pets would be complete without giving a mention to perhaps the messiest pet of them all: the dog. While dogs do lick and groom themselves to some extent, they also have a somewhat questionable approach to general hygiene and cleanliness.

All dog owners will have at least one horror story of their dog rolling in fox pooh, eating something questionable or generally being delighted to get as mucky, muddy and pongy as possible, which is why dogs need to be groomed and bathed regularly to keep them healthy and smelling sweet.



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