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Aster's avatar

Do pets care if they live with a hoarder? (open for details)

Asked by Aster (18985points) October 13th, 2010

On an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive, a counselor said, “your pets deserve more than to live in this.” Did I take it wrong? I mean, do dogs and cats really care if things are piled to the ceiling or do they prefer neat as a pin?

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17 Answers

MissA's avatar

Somewhere in between.

diavolobella's avatar

I don’t believe cats or dogs care in the sense that they are upset about it. However, I think that cats and dogs can feel confusion and pain from being in uncomfortable circumstances and from the illness that comes from not receiving proper care. If you can’t walk around, things smell bad and are dirty, you don’t have a place to use the bathroom, you are dirty, sick, covered in fleas and constantly having litters of puppies and kittens, I don’t think you’d be a contented animal. You would be stressed, frightened, confused and in pain.

Likeradar's avatar

I’m pretty sure my dog doesn’t care if dishes are left out or if there’s dust bunnies under the sofa.
I think the counselor probably meant the dogs deserve a home with comfortable room to sprawl out instead of paths surrounded by towers of garbage, a safe environment where crap isn’t falling on them, and a home free of the smells and germs of rotting food piled up.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m with @diavolobella – plus, if it’s SERIOUS hoarding, pets can get into places and get stuck, or knock something over and get crushed. It’s essentially the same as having an infant – would you be concerned with your child crawling around through stacks and stacks of stuff?

diavolobella's avatar

@iamthemob. Yep, on the vast majority of episodes of that show “Hoarders” they find several dead pets while cleaning up all the junk.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @diavolobella

I certainly take pleasure out of my cats living in my nice little home and in a clean, healthy and attractive environment. I am sure they do not notice the dust on the furniture but yes, if given a choice to live in filth and clutter with the negative vibes associated with a mentality unwell human, well…I think any creature would prefer the healthier environment.

Of course animals are subject to picking up on their owners neuroses, and I am sure animals that live in squalor are most certainly effected on many levels just as a human would be.

JustmeAman's avatar

I can give a small example. I rescued a kitten that looked like it was beaten and left for dead. It had trouble finding food and was sick with being outside and no shelter. I took it in and you would not think this is the same cat. Her fur is shiny and beautiful. She seems much happier and enjoys laying around the house just cleaning itself. I know she would have died had I not taken her in and had her taken care of. She did go through two surgeries to fix problems related to being so filthy and unclean.

john65pennington's avatar

Dogs are dedicated to humans, not their trash.

A good example is a homeless person with a dog. the dog does not care about the cardboard box he shares with his master. just as long as he and his master are together, where and how a dog lives, makes no difference.

This statement was actually not true.

zen_'s avatar

I think dogs and cats are different, and they are both different from, say, jellyfish and goldfish.

They require love and attention- and they adjust to their master. More so dogs. If the master is a hoarder so be it. It’s all good – just a pile of junk in the house instead of neatness.

syz's avatar

Are you talking about animal hoarding?

I haven’t watched the show, but I’m very familiar with the animal hoarding cases in my area, and yes, animals do suffer under those conditions.

Too many animals means not enough resources; for veterinary care, for preventative medicine, for a clean environment, for food, for exercise, for mental stimulation, for play, for affection.

diavolobella's avatar

@syz Most of the hoarders on the show hoard stuff, but also animals.

Aster's avatar

@syz no, not the animal one. The human one. She said “your pets deserve better than to live in this.” And it made me wonder…

erica_animalhoardingproject's avatar

40% of hoarders also hoard animals!

If you know some one who has too many pets and can not look after them all – please visit our website for more information and to get help.

Animal Hoarding Project

Kayak8's avatar

My dogs only WISH I was a hoarder—they would particularly love it if I had a bad habit of leaving food all over the place!

Coloma's avatar


LOL Yeah, I think dogs do sloppy pretty well.

partyparty's avatar

No I don’t believe they do care. Give them shelter, food and a kind heart and they will be more than happy.

erica_animalhoardingproject's avatar

For more information about animal hoarders please visit our website.

Or email

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