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Topic: Dogs in the Kitty Litter Box

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Subject: Dogs in the Kitty Litter Box
Date Posted: 2/1/2009 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 6
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In the process of consolidating two households, I now find myself with two cats (who had never been around dogs) and two dogs (who had never been around cats).  Although they're getting along quite well, the two dogs have been conducting raids on the kitty litter boxes and eating the cat dung.  We've tried squirting the dogs with water, switching to wheat-based litter, and scolding them gently, but it hasn't been working.  For the most part, we keep the cats and the boxes in a seperate room from the dogs while we're gone.  My terrier has already vomited a few times and I'm hoping to avoid it in the future since it can't be healthy for her. 

Has anyone been successful in breaking dogs from this habit? 

Date Posted: 2/1/2009 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,638
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When I had the problem I tucked the litter box in the attic room and propped the door so only the cats could enter; the dog was too big.  Jeez, that was gross.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that you can feed the cats something that will repel the dogs from wanting to eat the tootsie rolls. 

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 28
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We bought a litter box that opens on the top....dogs can't get their heads in the opening......its called Clevercat.  I think we bought it from Petsmart.

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2006
Posts: 361
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We put the cat's litter box in the laundry room and put a baby gate in the doorway. The dogs couldn't get in and the cats could  jump over or go under the gate.

ETA: The dogs in question were greyhounds though.  If you have a small terrier, then they're probably going to be able to fit under the gate too ....

Last Edited on: 2/2/09 1:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/2/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2005
Posts: 571
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i go the prevention route too. eating poop is so self-rewarding that it's next to impossible to stop if the dog ever has access to it, especially unsupervised.

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2008
Posts: 99
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There are two effective products that you feed to the cats - it makes their poop taste nasty to the dogs.  The first is Forbid - you start by giving it for two days in a row and then you may have to retreat from time to time if your dogs start going back.  The other is by Nutri-Vet - Nasty Habit - I'm not certain, but I think you give it for a bit longer than the forbid.  Good Luck!

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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Our cat box is in the basement and we cut a cat hole in the door that the dog won't fit through....one cat does uses the great out doors as her litter box and that is always harder to prevent the dog from digging up "cat crunchies"


Date Posted: 2/5/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2008
Posts: 245
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I'm with the others on prevention. There are several types of litter boxes to consider. Just take a look on line before going to the store to see what might work for you.

On another note... also keep them away from horse poo as well. lol

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 5:24 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 398
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A preventative like Forbid that makes the poo taste nasty and keeping the litterboxes out of the way our really the only two options.  You can't train a dog not to eat cat poo.  In reality, it won't hurt them if the cats are parasite free, other than being a disgusting habit (to us) and making them throw it back up. 

That said, beware of clumping litter!  If you use clumping litter and your dog eats the kitty crunchies it can kill them.  Clumping litter can also kill your cat if they ingest it, that is why they warn to not used clumping litter with kittens as they may eat it.  Clumping litter blows up 70 times it's normal size in the intestines (blocking them permanetely) and releases chemicals that shut down the liver and kidneys (both conditions are fatal).  It is also not a good idea to use clumping litter in a litter box where it is damp (bathroom, basement, etc) because if a cat walks through the water, then through the litterbox and the litter clumps on their paws which they then clean off....they will die.  Most other types of litter are harmless in small amounts (clay, paper based, etc).

Many animals eat poo, it is a natural way for them to replenish the necessary bacteria in their gut.  Which is why baby animals eat poo and sometime adults do to.  Dogs just seem to like poo no matter what animal it's from, part of being a dog I guess.  But it is a normal biological behavior which is why it is nearly impossible to train a dog out of it once they start.

Vet Tech Tory


Date Posted: 4/9/2009 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 1
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Both my C. Shar Pei and my chocolate Lab dip their heads right into our clevercat litter box.

I love the box, but we ended up putting a chain on the door that leads to the litter box (laundry room).

We reach through to hook it, that way a few inches of door stay open and the dogs can't get through,

but the cat can. (we didin't want to put a cat door from the laundry room right into the kitchen,

which may be a good choice for some.......................happy snacking...... :-)


pet sitter,


Date Posted: 4/11/2009 7:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 1,610
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Ahhh the wonderful Kitty Krunchies :)

This is one of those things that, as it has been said, is best left to management, not training.

Put the litter box somewhere the dogs cannot get to, but the cats can :)

Good luck!