What’s your pet’s most annoying habit?

animal behaviour, pet peeves -

What’s your pet’s most annoying habit?

We all love our pets but sometimes their behaviour can drive us up the wall! A new study commissioned by pet insurance providers, Petplan has revealed 25 of our pets’ most annoying habits. Does your pet peeve appear on the list?

According to the study, at least 25% of pet owners are frustrated by their pet’s behaviour at times – but more than 80% find their behaviour endearing! We’re pretty sure that this doesn’t include ‘Doing a poo in a shoe or a slipper’ which made number 25 on the list!

Get down! photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash Get down! photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Researchers spoke to 1,000 cat and dog owners about their pet’s behaviours – here are the top 25, which ones resonate with you – and does your pet do anything that didn’t make the list?

1. Being sick on the carpet
2. Waiting by the door to be let out – then deciding against it when you open the door
3. Leaving fur/hair everywhere
4. Waking you up in the middle of the night
5. Begging for food when you cook
6. Making strange sounds in their sleep
7. Refusing to go out in the rain
8. Walking across your laptop when you're trying to work
9. Knocking something off a shelf
10. Bringing a live animal back into the house
11. Stealing food
12. Howling or meowing in the middle of the night
13. Constantly trying to get into a cupboard or another area they have no need to go into
14. Ignoring the toys you bought and chewing on everything they're not allowed to instead
15. Stealing food from the countertop when your back is turned
16. Jumping on you when covered in mud
17. Walking muddy footprints across the kitchen counter
18. Chewing a shoe or slipper
19. Lying on your head when you're sleeping
20. Rolling around in fox poo
21. Licking the butter off your toast when your back is turned
22. Deciding they want a walk late at night
23. Pulling the duvet off you in the morning when they want feeding
24. Using the human toilet
25. Doing a poo in a shoe or a slipper

Playful pup photo by Daniël Maas on UnsplashPlayful pup photo by Daniël Maas on Unsplash

Sometimes they do a few of these things in combination. Our cat Missy likes to try and get into the wardrobe (13) in the middle of the night (4). She sits and scratches at the door as if there is something important in there and her life depends on getting inside. We like to joke that she’s trying to get to Narnia! Often this kind of kooky behaviour can give us something to talk about at work and 59% of respondents admitted that they enjoy telling their friends or colleagues about their pet's antics.

Speaking about the results of the study, Petplan spokesperson - and TV presenter - Helen Skelton said:

“Like humans, pets have strong personalities, and for many they are a key companion and member of the family – especially if they’ve been by our side for a while, like my dogs Barney and Spiderman.

“Lots of our pet friends have quirky traits, and mine are quite different – one is forever disappearing into the garden with a shoe, and our lab is no stranger to helping himself to the fruit bowl either, or bringing in a special 'present' or pinching sausages from the barbecue.

“Living on a farm surrounded by animals means that funny antics are a common occurrence.

"My dogs have been keeping me on my toes since day one, but like any other family member, that’s just their personality.”

Cat and dog photo by Louis-Philippe Poitras on UnsplashCat and dog photo by Louis-Philippe Poitras on Unsplash

Looking at the list, some of the items included, such as 'making strange noises in their sleep' are rather endearing, but there are some that we can certainly do without! Most cat owners recognise the trauma of dealing with the gift of a live animal being brought into the house in the middle of the night. Sometimes cats like to let them go and chase them around. I had one cat that liked to put them in my shoes and a mouse once chewed the zipper off of some very expensive boots.

If you know what your pet is like then you can plan ahead to make sure that they don’t do too many naughty things. For example, 14% of study participants said that their pet had licked the butter off of their toast when their back was turned. Just make sure you don’t leave your toast within reach next time you turn your back! Sometimes you have anticipate any problems and adapt your own behaviour in order to address any potential issues.

Despite all this, 74% said they have a good relationship with their pet (I have to say I’m worried about the other 26% here!) and even when they’re being naughty they would not change them in any way.

Cute cat photo by Paul Hanaoka on UnsplashCute cat photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash
Did your pet’s bad habit make the top 25? Have you done anything to address their behaviour? As always, let us know in the comments section below!

Main photo, cat and puppy by Andrew S on Unsplash

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