Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Keep Your Dog Out of the Litter Box

Both cats and dogs make wonderful companion animals.  Many times, they can co-exist in the home without many problems, especially when they are introduced to each other at a young age.  However, one common problem cat and dog owners face is that the dog will eat kitty's feces out of the litter box.

Carmine: Us kitties are so much more dignified than that!

When we lived with roommates, the dog in the house actually raided the litter boxes quite often, so we had to figure out some ways to prevent her from accessing the boxes.  We hope some of these tips are helpful if you are also experiencing this problem.

  • Use a baby gate: You can put a baby gate up to block access to the room where you keep your kitty's litter box.  Young kitties will easily be able to jump over the gate.  If you have an older cat or a cat with arthritis, you could set up the gate about a foot off the floor so that your cat can easily go underneath it.  If you don't have a small dog, he or she won't be able to crawl under the gate.  Alternatively, you could get an accordion-style gate, and leave a space big enough for your cat to get through but not big enough for your dog.
  • Cat door: Another way you can block access to the litter box is by installing a cat door to the room where the litter box is located.  This may or may not work for your cat, though, as some cats refuse to use cat doors.
  • Hooded litter box: A hooded litter box may also keep your dog from eating your cat's feces.  Please be advised, though, some cats won't use a covered litter box.  If you find that this is the case with your cat, uncover his or her box, and try a different solution.

Photo from Wikipedia Commons
  • Put the box up high: If your cat is able to jump up to a higher place to use the litter box, this may be a good way to keep your dog from eating the feces.  For instance, a friend used to put his cat's litter box up on a plastic bin for her so that she could easily get to it, but the dog could not reach it to steal feces.  Ensure that wherever you choose to put your cat's litter box is a stable, secure, safe place.
  • Taste deterrent: Finally, you can teach your dog that feces do not taste good by using a taste deterrent.  Try spraying Bitter Apple on your cat's feces to deter your dog from eating them.  In order for this to work, the ASPCA states that you need to consistently spray your cat's feces with the deterrent, and keep your dog from drinking water 10-20 minutes after he eats the bad-tasting cat feces.  
If your dog enjoys raiding your cat's litter box, try using these tips to deter him.  With some time and patience, your dog should learn that cat feces are off-limits to him or her.

Do you have other ideas on how to deter a dog from eating from the litter box?  We'd love to hear your suggestions!


  1. Good info! We don't have a dog but know families that do have this problem and we'll send them this way!

    1. Thanks! We really appreciate it :)

  2. Great post. Fortunately, we don't have any woofies here in our house, but we can see how this would be a problem!