Good day, Cat Lovers.
On this week’s Cats vs Dogs, thought Cosmo and I would be fun to address the issue of dogs and the litter box; specifically how to keep your dog out of the cat’s litter box with the help of Sarah Rexman. We’re happy to share that none of the dogs have found the delicacies that we leave behind in our litter box and I’m certain that Mother is quite happy about this too since she loves puppy kisses.
I must also admit a little litter box envy. This feline here has it made.
Dogs seem to love to eat anything. Of course, they LOVE cat food and cat treats. Turns out that many actually like another kind of cat … er … treat.
Many pet owners find that it can be difficult keeping their dog out of the cat’s litter box. There could be a number of reasons for this behavior, including a nutritional deficiency in your dog’s diet, behavioral issues, or — though hard to understand — just because it plain tastes good to your dog.
No matter the reason, most pet owners don’t find thoughts of their dog eating their cat’s litter to be too pleasing. If you have a dog who can’t seem to stay away, here are a few tips on how to keep your dog out of the cat’s litter box:
See a Vet
First, make sure there’s no underlying medical reason for your dog’s behavior. Go see a vet and make sure that your dog doesn’t have a health problem or isn’t missing something in his diet. If your vet gives you the all clear, consider some of these other suggestions.
Elevate the Box
Cat’s are spry little things, but dogs have to put in a bit more effort to get up high. If you put your cat’s litter box on a raised surface, your cat should be able to get it but your dog can’t. Try on top of a counter that’s not being used or a shelf that is constructed just for that reason. Make sure the surface is higher than your dog can reach just by getting up on his back paws. Otherwise, he’ll just view it as a buffet.
Put it Behind a Barrier
If you don’t have a free surface for the litter box, just put it behind a barricade. You can use a baby gate to block the entrance to the room, making it either low enough for your cat to jump over or just high enough for your cat to slip under. You could also attach a chain link to the door, allowing it to open enough for your cat to get through but not enough for your dog.
You could also put up a pet door that’s only big enough for your cat to get through. This would allow you to put the litter box in a bathroom or even a closet undisturbed.
Put it in a High-Traffic Area
As good as cat litter may be to your dog, eating it may still be a somewhat shameful activity — if only because he knows it will upset you. It may be possible to curb this behavior by putting the litter box in a high-traffic area where your dog’s litter-eating ways will be seen by everyone if he attempts it. The only trouble is that you’ll have to deal with the sight and smell of a litter box where you might not want it to be.
Many pieces of furniture are now made to conceal a litter box, including end tables, shelves, and even ottomans. You can put your litter box out of sight, keep it from your dog, and get a piece of functional furniture out of the deal. Browse popular styles and options online to see what might work for you.
We may never know why dogs love to eat cat litter — or pretty much anything else that find on the ground. Instead of trying to wrap your head around this inexplicable behavior, just follow these tips to keep it under control.
Does your dog try to eat your cat’s litter? Tell us how you handled the problem in the comments!
Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for bedbugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a degree in environmental science. Her current focus for the site involves researching bedbug online guides.