What Are The Cleanest Animals in The World? (7 Examples)

When you think about animals, their cleanliness certainly isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Animals, by definition, are creatures that live in the wilderness, which doesn’t make it easy for them to stay clean.

Can you imagine how it is like to live outside in the dirt, sand, mud, and all kinds of weather conditions 24/7? It indeed isn’t a lifestyle that lets you stay super clean. But don’t get tricked, some animals are cleaner than others, and they manage to make that happen under challenging conditions.

If you want to read more about those animals, be sure to continue reading this article because we will share the cleanest animals alive with you.

List of Cleanest Animals in The World

  • Pigs
  • Cats
  • Rabbits
  • Polar Bears
  • Dolphins
  • Tigers
  • Rats


pink piglet walking in the shallow water

Scientific name: Sus

Class: Mammalia

We can bet that you never thought that pigs are among the cleanest animals? And if you ever did hear this statement, we assure you that it is true. Yes, it sounds insanely bizarre, but pigs are clean.

Many believe that pigs are dirty because they like to roll in the mud and dirt. And in popular culture, pigs are often used as an example of something disgusting and dirty. But the reputation these cute and intelligent animals have isn’t justified.

Pigs like to roll in the dirt but not because they like to be dirty; instead, they do it to keep themselves cool. Rolling in mud is also a way of naturally applying sunscreen to be protected from the harmful sun rays.

Pigs don’t like to defecate near the place where they sleep, nor the place where they eat. They like to keep themselves clean, and rolling in the dirt helps them with that.


gray cat cleaning herself

Scientific name: Felis catus

Class: Mammalia

Maybe you don’t think about pigs when it comes to clean animals, but cats indeed come to mind. And it’s for a reason; cats are the representatives of the cleanest animals in the world. If you have a cat, you undoubtedly saw a cat cleaning itself nonstop.

It’s something that every cat knows, and it’s something that every cat learns from its mother. Also, if a cat is separated from its mother early on, it can easily be trained to use the litter box.

More than 50% of their time cats spend cleaning themselves. Cats enjoy licking their fur and grooming themselves because they enjoy being clean. Even stray cats that live in the street take their time to groom themselves.

Cats have a specific tongue with minuscule barbs that make it easy to comb their fur. The barbs also help stimulate the production of the sebaceous glands, which make their fur shiny, clean, and fluffy.


white rabbit grooming himself

Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus

Class: Mammalia

These cute and fluffy animals like to keep themselves clean. Like pigs and cats, rabbits also don’t like to defecate near where they eat or sleep.

Rabbits possess the same skill as cats, and they can successfully groom themselves and keep themselves clean. They do it with the help of their tongue and paws, and they don’t need to bathe. It’s even enjoyable to observe a rabbit grooming ritual.

They first like to lick their paws and use them as tiny brushes to brush off any dirt caught on their fur. With this practice, they also manage to clean themselves even if they severely get dirty. And they also maintain their fur looking pristine because, with their grooming, they’re also getting rid of any shedding fur.

But, looking clean and staying clean is not an easy job, so you’ll see rabbits clean themselves constantly. They do it every day, most of the time.

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Polar Bears

polar bear standing on two legs

Scientific name: Ursus maritimus

Class: Mammalia

Polar bears are also spotless animals. But they don’t clean themselves just because they like to be clean; they do it for practical reasons. Living in the Arctic is difficult, and you need all the help you need to survive.

One of the things that help polar bears live in the freezing cold is their thick fur. And for their fur to be a good insulator, it needs to be clean.

Polar bears often bathe themselves in the water or even roll in the snow in order to keep their fur clean. You’ll see them rolling in the snow often, but not because they are playful animals; it’s because they are trying to keep their fur clean.

Also, regularly cleaning their fur and bathing polar bears manage to regulate their temperature and avoid overheating. Yes, they can overheat during the summer months.


cute dolphin underwater

Scientific name: Delphinidae

Class: Mammalia

Even if you can’t imagine that an animal living in the water can be dirty, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Unfortunately, water, especially oceans around the world, can be filthy. So, creatures living there can also be dirty.

That’s because some ocean creatures have their rituals of keeping themselves clean. And one of the cleanest ocean creatures are dolphins, which is not surprising due to their high intelligence.

Do you know how dolphins love to jump out of the water? Well, it’s not because they like to show off their skills. Scientists think that besides the communication, it’s the way they manage to clean themselves off parasites, dirt, or any other bacteria they’ve accidentally picked up in the dirty waters.

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bengal tiger grooming himself

Scientific name: Panthera tigris

Class: Mammalia

Just like their tiny little relatives, tigers also love to stay clean. But unlike domesticated cats, they also love to bathe in the water. When they are not sleeping and resting, they like to dip in the water to make themselves cool and clean.

It’s not common for a tiger to use the same water they drink and clean themselves to defecate. And they also don’t do it near the place where they eat.

Tigers groom themselves often and like to keep themselves clean, just like house cats. They have the same tongue as their little cousins, just way bigger, and they use it for bathing.

Another great habit of tigers is that they don’t bring food into their dens, and that’s also a way of staying clean and pristine.


white and gray rat on a brown table


Scientific name: Rattus

Class: Mammalia

It sounds unreal, but rats are one of the cleanest animals in the world. Despite being associated with dirt and diseases, rats, in fact, spend more time grooming themselves than cats do.

Rats, for example, are less likely to transmit parasites and viruses than dogs or cats. (source)

For rats, grooming is a part of social bonding, and these rodents will spend a couple of hours per day making sure their fur is clean and tidy!

They’ll start cleaning themselves by rubbing the face with their tiny paws. Once the face is clean, rats will move on down the body and finish with their tails.

Apart from that, rats’ sense of smell is remarkably well developed, which is super sensitive to unpleasant smells in particular. So then it is no surprise why these tiny rodents make sure they always remain fragrant.

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