How to protect our car from dogs, cats and monkeys?

Though most of us love animals, especially the fur balls – cats and dogs. However, sometimes they may cause a lot of nuisance, e.g. they may cause damage to our vehicles or leave unwanted marks. In some areas, other animals like monkeys may also cause us some headache for the same reason.

This is more of a concern for those people who park their cars outside their house in open areas. You may often see stray dogs and monkeys sitting on the hood and roof of such cars. Cats are infamous for scratching and may even start living under the hood of your car. This happened with me, and it’s not easy to stop cats from doing so in a humane manner.

So, in this article we will list down some measures to prevent such animals from causing damage to our cars, bikes, etc. Even if we can’t stop them completely, we should at least try to mitigate the damages caused by them.

Table of Contents
  • Car Protection from Dogs and Cats
  • How to protect car paint from dog and cat scratches?
  • Ways to prevent dogs from climbing on your car roof

Car Protection from Dogs and Cats

Here are some tips to help you protect your car from these furry friends. We will focus both on strays and your pets.

Use Car Covers

Invest in a high-quality car cover to shield your vehicle from paw prints, scratches, and fur. This is probably the easiest and the most common method employed by vehicle owners.

However, make sure it fits snugly to deter animals from crawling underneath. Otherwise, you may just be providing a perfect home for such animals, which may attract them towards your car even more.

Also, there’s another related issue - dogs tearing car cover. Car covers may not hold for long against the sharp claws of cats and dogs. Invest in a high-quality, durable car cover designed to resist tearing. Look for covers made from sturdy materials that are less likely to be damaged by a dog’s claws.


This is more of an issue caused by stray animals. If your own pet is doing this, then it would be much easier to train him and maybe restrict the areas where it may go. Give your dog alternative items to chew on, such as dog toys or dental chews. This can redirect their chewing behavior away from the car cover.

Use Deterrents

Apply pet-friendly deterrent sprays on the exterior and interior surfaces of your car, and on the car cover. These sprays often have scents that dogs and cats find unpleasant, discouraging them from approaching or scratching the vehicle and chewing or tearing the cover.

Install Pet Barriers or Pet Seat Covers

If you frequently transport pets in your car, consider installing a pet barrier. These barriers create a partition between the cargo area and the rest of the vehicle, preventing pets from accessing the interior.

However, if you prefer to keep your pets on the car seats, you may place seat covers designed for pets on your car seats. These covers are typically waterproof and can be easily removed and washed.

If you frequently travel with pets, consider training them to be comfortable and calm in the car. Gradually introduce them to the vehicle, rewarding them for positive behavior. Training is the best solution, at least when it comes to pets.

Pet-Friendly Restraints

You may also consider using pet restraints, such as seat belts or harnesses to secure your pets during car rides. This not only prevents them from damaging the interior but also ensures their safety.

Apart from these measures wherein we need to make some investment, there are some very simple, free, and common-sensical things that we may do to solve this problem.

  • Keep windows rolled up: When parked, keep your windows rolled up to prevent pets from entering the car.
  • Avoid leaving food in the car: Animals may be attracted to the scent of food. So, avoid leaving any food items in the car that could entice them to scratch or paw at the doors or windows. Clean your car regularly to remove any pet hair, animal scent or food crumbs – you may use a vacuum cleaner for this purpose. Dogs are often attracted to scents left by other animals. So, once one of them starts lingering around your car, others may follow suit soon. Cleaning the car regularly will also remove such a scent.
  • Park your vehicle strategically: Choose parking spots away from areas with high pet traffic or abundance of stray animals to reduce the likelihood of curious dogs or cats approaching your car. Park indoors in a garage, if possible.

By implementing these measures, you can help protect your car from potential damage caused by dogs and cats, ensuring a clean and undamaged vehicle interior.

How to protect car paint from dog and cat scratches?

Apart from the obvious methods listed above, if you are more concerned about stray or pet dogs/cats scratching your car, then you may also explore the following:

  • Apply Vinyl Car Wrap: Consider applying a clear vinyl car wrap to areas prone to scratching. This protective film creates an additional layer that can absorb scratches, keeping the underlying paint safe.
  • Regular Grooming: Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to minimize the risk of scratches. Regular grooming will reduce the sharpness of your dog’s claws. Though this can only be done in case of pets, not stray animals.
  • Use Soft Paw Caps: Soft paw caps, also known as nail caps, can be applied to your dog’s claws. These caps are soft and blunt, reducing the potential for scratches. Ensure they are applied correctly and replaced as needed. Again, this is a solution that can only be applied in case of pets.

Ways to prevent dogs from climbing on your car roof

Though car covers may prevent scratches, it won’t be of any help if big heavy dogs and monkeys sit on the roof of your car often and create a dent. Let’s see how to sort out this problem.

Secure the Area

If possible, create a physical barrier around your car to prevent dogs from accessing it. This could be a fence or other structures that limit their access to the vehicle. Though it’s the best possible method, it may not be feasible for many; otherwise, they wouldn’t be having this problem in the first place.

Provide Alternative Perches

Try to find the reason behind their behaviour – maybe they do so for safety reasons, or maybe because car roof feels cold and comfy in a summer night, etc.

Offer an alternative, more comfortable and accessible perch for dogs. This could be a designated area with a comfortable bed or blanket. You may even build a dog/cat shelter nearby. So, instead of pushing away dogs and cats away from your car, you may create a pull factor nearby. Here, you will need to be a bit creative.

Though it will be more of a gamble – there are chances that it won’t work. In worst case scenario, it may attract even more strays to come and stay in your locality.

Install Roof Racks

Roof racks can make it challenging for dogs to find a comfortable foothold. Ensure that the racks are properly installed and not easily accessible by the dog.

If you are using car covers, make sure that its surface is smooth. A smooth surface will make it harder for dogs and cats to get a good grip. This will not only make it harder for them to jump onto the car roof, it may make it harder for them to sit comfortably there.

Use Motion-Activated Devices

Consider installing motion-activated devices that emit a sound or spray a harmless burst of air (or water) when they detect movement on the car roof. This can startle the dog (or cat or monkey) and discourage further attempts.

Spikes for car roof

If you have exhausted all options, then you may adopt an extreme step of placing spikes on the car roof. It may sound a bit inhumane, but animals are smart enough to avoid such places. They probably won’t get hurt.

To be doubly safe, the spikes should not be sharp enough to impale the body; just uncomfortable enough to sit on them. If the animal gets hurt, not only will it be counted as animal cruelty, but will also create a big mess on your car. Kindly keep that in mind!

As an alternative, you may place visual deterrents on the car roof, such as inflatable balloons, aluminium foil, or objects that move with the wind. These can startle the dog and make the roof less appealing. The idea is to make the car roof more irritating for them and less comfy. It’s kind of a negative reinforcement to modify their behaviour, without being overtly cruel towards them and chasing them away with a stick now and then.

Winding Up

Remember that different dogs (& cats, monkeys) may respond to different deterrents. So, you may need to try a combination of methods to find what works best for your specific situation.

In case of strays, you may have to focus more on mild negative reinforcements. Though avoid applying methods that may hurt them. Just let them know a couple of times that they are not welcome in that area. Animals like dogs, cats and monkeys are smart enough to understand that. Though in case of your own pets, positive reinforcement may play a more crucial role in training them to stay off your car.

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