Staying Healthy

When Your Dog Eats Cat Poop

If you’re like us and have both dog and cat pets, then you have probably experienced what happens when your dog eats cat poop. When they feast on the cat’s “goodies”, well, it’s just…I don’t know, disgusting. We would definitely want our dogs to avoid being in this kind of mess, and that is why in this article, we are going to discuss on the reasons why this happens and how it can be prevented.

As weird as it sounds, dogs actually find cat stools very appealing and attractive, and this is why they always look for a cat’s litter box. They think it’s very tasty! It was explained this way by our veterinarian: because cat feces contain high amounts of protein and fat and extra elements, dogs have cravings for them. And now that we know why Fido is a litter box junkie, it’s time we put an end to it. He also took pains to assure us that it is not normally a danger to the dog, if the cat is healthy.

When Your Dog Eats Cat Poop

Although cat stools normally do not come with health risks for dogs, there are still potential problems, such as possible parasites, and some stools may also cause dogs to have diarrhea or constipation. Some dogs may have gastrointestinal problems and strain in defecating due to having eaten them. Other symptoms may occur such as lethargy or nausea, and even appetite loss.  If such symptoms occur in your dog, contact your vet right away.

So how do you keep your dog away from the litter box?

The answer is simple – you just have to know how to outsmart your dog. First, try covering the litter box (when not in use by your cat) with a piece of cloth that is not currently in use, preferably one that can stop the smell of the cat stools. Fortunately in our case, and old towel covering the entrance to the box worked — the dog would go sniff for several days, but never tried to enter. After several days, she finally quit even the sniffing. There are also covered litter boxes available in the market for your convenience. Some of these are even too small for a dog to fit in but large enough for the cat to stay.

Because cats have more agility and flexibility than dogs, try putting it in a space where only your cat can reach it. You can put some baby gates, obstacles/barriers or small fences so that only your cat can pass through, but not your dog.

A chain or doorframe can also be used to narrow down the space where your cat’s litter box is located, so that only your cat can pass through without getting disturbed. Latches can hold doors and make them partially open – you can try this too.

As a last resort, you can also try cleaning up the litter box in regular intervals and more often. In this way, your dog will not have much opportunity to get his “treats” as you have already cleaned them up. Although there can still be some goodies left, there will not be as many as when you don’t regularly maintain it.

If none of these work for you when your dog when your dog eats cat poop, there is still help available, according to an article on the eHow.com website:

Purchase a chemical solution you can feed your cat to discourage coprophagia. The main ingredient is glutamic acid, which causes the poop to become bitter to taste.

Visit your vet for a prescription for glutamic acid or other medications that have been clinically proven to do the trick.

By putting these tips into practice, you are ensuring your dog’s diet doesn’t get messy and you will eliminate the occasions when your dog eats cat poop.

Have you had this problem? Please share any tricks you may have used to stop Fido’s visits!

47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. M

    Jun 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    YOU CAN ALSO GO TO CLEVERCAT.COM AND BUY A CLEVER CAT LITTER BOX. THAT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN USING FOR AROUND 20 YEARS TO KEEP THE DOGS OUT OF THE LITTER BOX. ALSO THE POWDER THAT YOU MIX IN THE FOOD IS CALLED FORBID.

  2. Jenn

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I'm at wits end
    We have community cats,about 7 or 9…. they poop all over our complex…. other than getting spay/neutered they don't get any kind of vaccines…
    I'm worried she is going to get sick, also the fact it's just gross….
    She has recently started eating her poop and other dogs poop at the dog park…
    I heard I can give her something orally to distract her
    Does anyone know anything about this

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  4. Deana

    Aug 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    We had the exact same issue with our dog. I was going to get a pet gate with a cat door, but being pregnant I was scared that my baby girl would be able to crawl through the opening when she does start to crawl eventually. I stumbled onto a product that someone commented on at a different blog and decided to give it a shot. It is called Door Buddy and we absolutely love it. It is so easy to use and it keeps the dog out no problem. Plus now it keeps out little one out too. And, I am so glad I don’t have to fight the baby gate because it would be such a pain because we keep the litter box in the laundry room. Check it out at https://www.thedoorbuddy.com

  5. Anra deeson

    Jul 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Hi, I am here to share my story about my dog. Her name is Doggy. She grew up with us. I got her from adoption she is a stray puppy with her mother just walking around everyday. They survive from eating garbage and eating poop of cats. One day, I saw them infront of our house to rest. It broke my heart so I let them in to eat and take a shower. later one day her mom got away but Doggy is left. So we decided to adopt her. She is 4 years old now, and then she got back what she used to from eating poop of cats. We have 6 cats., she got sick for one week, vomiting and dont want to eat. After that she is not standing anymore and playing with me.. i realized ..SHE IS ALREADY BLIND 🙁 her eyes is popping out, its called glucoma. They said she got it from bacteria of cat poops. It really breaks my heart i dont know what to do. I dont have money to take her to vet. Please help me.

    • Kelly

      Aug 30, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Dogs don’t get glocoma from cat poop. My dogs ate cat poop and lived until 16 and 17. Maybe it keeps them young!?

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  7. P

    Apr 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    My little dog and I mean little smaller than a cat little, adorable thing she is, from four months of age will just gobble up poo. But her absolute favourite is our male cats poo. She goes and sniffs it out the flower bed then digs it up an eats the lot. She stinks for days as she is tiny and the smell comes out of every pour in her body. The biggest frustration is she is such a fussy eater even turning her nose up at tasty treats.
    The only thing I can do is try to fill her up at breakfast so she is to full to eat another morsel and go and sniff it out myself dig it up and dispose of before I let her loose.
    her name is Winnie, Winnie the poo

    • Jan A Riddle

      Sep 22, 2017 at 9:36 am

      my tiny little dachshund does the same thing as soon as he goes out to play in the yard he can find cat poo from I swear a mile away. He used to eat out of the litter box but I change the litter to the celica type and he doesn't like the taste but finds it hilarious to knock poo out off the box and roll it on the floor I am starting to think he is getting great pleasure out of seeing me run with the paper towel. My husband says I have turned into an obsessive poop scooper

  8. Kate

    Feb 22, 2016 at 1:41 am

    We have a ton of stray cats in my town. The apartment complex caught 68 cats near their single dumpster this past summer. Cats love my house because it’s on a corner and near a wooded area. I’ve tried to get TNR, but animal control only works M,W,F and the ones that get pregnant are too smart for a live trap. I caught 3 kittens instead of mom and AC told me he could not take them because they weren’t weaned. Then the den moved, so I couldn’t help them at all. I caught an adult male, but AC told me they called out for the day and dh had to release him because I just couldn’t leave him trapped from Friday to Monday.

    My dog usually potties in the front yard with supervision, but no leash. The feral cats hang out in the back yard, so it hasn’t previously been a problem. Recently, our visitors have been dropping bombs all over our yard and my dog is pretty slick about sniffing them out and gulping them down fast. I’ve started taking him out on a retractable leash, but dh thinks walking beside him will remedy our dog’s sneaky feline fetish. It does not and our dog’s loose bowel movements prove that. Darn right I stick check my dog’s poop. I also comb his butt with a flea comb and brush his teeth once a day. Shoot, I’ve caught child and dog vomit in my hand. I’m not squeamish!

    I’m worried that my dog will get worms or kennel cough from eating cat poop or an infection from getting scratched by rude guests. I’m ANGRY that our town doesn’t have a TNR, but will gladly euthanize cats if you live trap them on a certain day of the week. They want $40 to neuter and $60 to spay Unless you’re giving the cat to them. They talk a lot of smack about being no kill, but they’re well known for ODing pets with doxy even after they’re adopted. Guilford county in Nc was just investigated for that, but they brushed it off as money shuffling with no evidence and the case was dropped.

  9. Smitty

    Oct 13, 2015 at 3:48 am

    A New Level of Filth
    This is why I waited ten years to say yes to a dog.

    I wash my feet before getting in bed to get all the cat litter, feces, trace urine etc. off.

    It’s so disgusting!!! The animals have taken over the house and ruin things on a daily basis.

    The best kept secret in the pet industry is all the wonderful things you get to touch and smell.

    We even have to deal with headless rat bodies our precious cat leaves around and the parasites they give it (and maybe us, cringe). My Mom lets her little Pom lick inside her mouth and shares food with it. My God.

    Eating the cats poop is gross, but I see worse on a regular basis.

    Like when my cat killed a bird and the dog ate it before I could dispose of it…

    My husky just ran away again tonight and came back smelling like a skunk.

    Usually she just comes back after rolling in cow manure.

    My cat had tape worms crawling out of his but onto my daughters bed as a kitten.

    Then got an abscess that bust and leaked brown slime all over the house.

    The vet just gave us antibiotics. It was so infected it was farting gasses and puss out of the whole six inches away.

    I can only image what our family has been exposed to and what might be crawling around inside us.

    Anyone know where I can get pills for humans to kill parasites?

    I don’t want those things eating away at my brain or my heart or anyone else in the family.

    It is true they can pass on to humans. Look it up smarty pants.

    The reality of pet ownership can be so much worse than imagined.

    I know not everyone has such nasty pets, but be careful!!!!

    • HoneyHawk

      Apr 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      >>Eating the cats poop is gross, but I see worse on a regular basis.
      Like when my cat killed a bird and the dog ate it before I could dispose of it…<>The reality of pet ownership can be so much worse than imagined.<<

      Oh, yes. I'm finding that out. I've had cats for decades, and while they can bring challenges to the table, you ain't seen nothin' yet 'til you've had a dog. For real!!!!!!!! Cats are SO much easier. Love our puppy, but NEVER AGAIN with a dog. NEVER. She's our first and will be our last. This is just craziness, all day, every day. She's obsessed with the cat's poo, the cat's food, the cat's toys, and, of course, she wants to eat the cat. She's obsessed with the stray, too, but he'll give her a few swats if need be and put her in her place.

  10. rod fuller

    Jul 1, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    my cats litter box is in my spare bedroom, i just put a small barrier near my doorway and solves the problem, my dog is 80lbs and very old

  11. Casey

    Jun 16, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    We had a similar problem when our cousin’s dog came to visit. We solved it using our own invention that we created to keep one cat out of the other cat’s food. Today we sell it online. It’s called the MeowSpace, and does indeed keep the dogs out of the litter box. http://www.meowspace.biz. Hope this helps some of you!

  12. KYLE EVAN RHODES

    Jan 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    MY PUPPY EATS POO POO

  13. meghan

    Jan 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    my dog has started eating OUTSIDE cat cat poops. how do i stop him??? they poo all over the backyard

    • Mona

      Mar 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      This worked really well when my dog was eating poop in the back yard. Sprinkle cayenne pepper or chili powder on it. They won’t eat it. My problem is her eating the poop out of the litter boxes now. Can’t put the pepper in there

  14. Liz Shibata

    Dec 30, 2014 at 5:25 am

    My pup just started eating cat poop.The cat’s here are not someone’s nice house cat no these cat’s are from the getto,,Since it’s a young pup what can I do to stop it.

  15. Roger

    Aug 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    …Hm, this explains everything.
    “Patches! I know it’s tasty! But quit eating Chubby’s POOP!!!”

  16. pamela

    May 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    hi my dogs eat cat poop not good when they lick you my dogs eat rice vegs rawl meat cook to my dods eat cat poop from out side they find it in the garden what can i do to stop this ..

  17. jeremy

    Apr 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    My dogs follow our cat around like he is a soft-serve machine, when the cat drops a fresh loaf its like he turns the “hot and ready now” sign on…

  18. idiot

    Feb 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    hi my name is tai glenn. i am an idiot i kno nothing.

  19. Dennis Speer

    Jan 23, 2014 at 1:12 am

    just think how much you can save on doggie treats?

  20. Dennis Speer

    Jan 23, 2014 at 1:10 am

    just think how much you can save on dog treats?

  21. Cat hater

    Dec 23, 2013 at 1:06 am

    I don’t and would never have a cat. My dog eats cat crap from my backyard when she goes outside to do her business herself. Why is it ok for someone elses cat to wander into my yard and crap all it wants in my yard? I keep my dog and animals in my yard. My animals don’t crap in other’s yards. How do you stop a dog from eating cat crap from neighborhood cats that won’t stay out of my yard!?! I am very close to trapping cats one at a time and taking them to the shelter. If someone doesn’t care enough for their cat to keep it in their home/yard, then it probably isn’t a good home for a pet anyways.

    • Jodi

      Mar 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Um yeah kidnapping other people’s cats is illegal. Just learn to try to deal with your neighbors and their cats……….and try to get along with other people in the world maybe?

      • LS

        Apr 10, 2014 at 7:06 am

        I also live in a city where it is illegal to let animals roam free. Ferrel cats use my yard as a litter box and I’m concerned my dog will get fleas or a parasite from these cats passing through my yard. There are at lease 5 and if blocking off my yard doesn’t help then my next option is to turn them in to the local shelter. These cats are not spayed, neutered, or vaccinated and it creates a problem for the animals to do actually have a home. Sure some of the cats may have a home but they can’t be left out in the wild to damage people property or pets. Would you let your dog run lose at night, I doubt it. It’s irresponsible and illegal.

        • LS

          Apr 10, 2014 at 7:07 am

          Sorry for typos, I’m using my phone

      • Molly

        Nov 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

        The owners should keep their cats in their own house/yard. If it is consistently wandering into my yard, it is NOT illegal to trap them. In fact the shelter will loan you the trap. I get tired of the stench from other people’s filthy cats shit.

      • Dawn

        Feb 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm

        Probably depends on where u live. I live in Ga. and I trapped 29 cats that belonged to a lady down the road. Why anyone would want that many cats is beyond me. These cats would get under my house when mating and fight and get very loud. Also I am allergic to cats and they were spraying pee all over the place. I got tired of them keeping me awake, sneezing, watery eyes, and the stinking smell they left so I got a medium size animal trap, baited it with cat food and when I would trap one I’d call animal control to come pick it up. 29 calls later I was finally cat free! The owner found out I was trapping the cats and removing them and another neighbor told me she was very angry but seems to me if she’d have wanted them she would have made sure they stayed home. Right or wrong, I did what I had to do because I am not going to learn to deal with my neighbor’s cat’s or any other kind of animals because the pet(s) are the owners responsibility and not mine.

  22. louise Pallet

    Nov 26, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I put chilipeppers near the catpoop as soon as i see my dog go near it.

  23. anonanonanonanon

    Nov 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

    My dog eats poop from feral cats!!!!!!!! I can’t keep my dog from going outside to do his business!!!!!! What’s a poor girl to do????????

    • The wife

      Nov 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      My cat does the same thing. There are so many cats in my neighborhood they always use the bathroom in my backyard and my dog loves the cat poop gross.. I don’t know what I’m gonna do..same problem..

  24. Laura

    Nov 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    My problem is similar to yours Linda. We have an indoor/outdoor cat with no litter box, he goes in the yard. Our lot is heavily wooded with pine trees and english ivy so it’s impossible to figure out where. You can bet money that the dogs will find it, though! I’ve heard they make a chemical to put it your cat’s food that will make it taste bad, wonder if that’s worth a try?

  25. Linda

    Oct 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I live on an acre in the country and needless to say there are cat feces. My pup can’t wait to go outside and feast on them. Unless I keep him on a leash I can’t police his activity. So you think the only solution is to make sure your cats are wormed and don’t worry about it. He is fed a high quality dog food and a supplement. It’s like he prefers the cat feces. He down eat dog feces just cat. Any other suggestions.

  26. problem solver

    Oct 12, 2013 at 12:28 am

    My cats were (people) toilet trained and did well, but eventually decided to use my oriental rug or bath tub. Now back to the litter box, and the dog starts eating their feces. So I just purchased a $60 piece of furniture to hide the litter box in. What a life!

  27. Larry

    Sep 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    ‘As a last resort’ clean up the litter box?????? This should be the first thing to do. It makes a much happier cat and removes the source of this problem. I scoop into a small, 13 inch kitchen garbage bag that I keep in a small metal trash can next to the litter box with a clothes pin on it to keep it sealed up. Also, scoop the litter box no mater what hits it. You cat/s will be much more happy and overall, this area will smell much better.

    As I said, I mainly do this to keep the cat more happy. The dog is small and for some reason ‘knows’ she is not to get into the litter box, so it actually is not a problem. Her problem is that cat potty outside she thinks is ‘hers’, and we have a couple of ‘roaming’ cats that seem to come to our yard mainly to potty there. I have to watch the dog closely and walk the yard picking up stray potty in the yard when the dog is let outside. I pick up my dog’s potty in the back yard as well, I don’t want the yard to become a sewer.

    I know, my animals probably get more attention that many of yours. But a litter box can be hidden or raised or made unavailable to your dog some way, but still be accessible to a cat. A friend even cut a small ‘cat door’ thru a wall into the garage and put the litter box there – a door too small for her dogs to go thru, but large enough for the cat. It worked very well.

  28. Nancy

    Aug 30, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    I have three inside cats and two small dogs. I put the litter pans high enough that the dogs cannot reach them.

  29. Rob

    Aug 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    When your dog goes sniffing around the cat box, sneak up from behind and fire 2 blasts with a shotgun. Don’t shoot at the dog or cat. This will divert his attention.

    • Dean

      Sep 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      I’m no professional, but I’m thinking it might be a good idea to use blanks to avoid damaging the ceiling, or floors or whatever you shoot at.

    • Kevin

      Oct 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Come on Cletus, you know you’re going to get kicked out of the trailer park trying some nonsense like that.

    • Jodi

      Mar 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Oh yes please do that. And then let me know where you live so I can call the cops on you…and also report you for animal cruelty. Duh.

    • Jean

      Apr 25, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      We’re still laughing about the shotgun solution… I’m glad he advised not to shoot the dog or cat… We have declined to utilize this suggestion, however, as it would require the purchase of said shotgun, blanks, & a great deal of cleaning solution to get the dog feces off the walls after we scared the *** out of her!! I think we’ll keep looking for a solution to the cat poop addiction from which our little dog suffers…

  30. Melissa

    Aug 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I have 5 large dogs that think dog gates are agility equipment and 2 cats. I make sure that the cats and dogs are wormed regularly and never use clumping cat litters. I tried putting the litter box in the bottom bathroom cupboard with a short chain across the front so the cats could get in but not the dogs. On the third morning I woke up to find the cupboard door ripped out from the hinges.

  31. holly

    Aug 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I have put up a dog gate to the bathroom so only the cat can get in.

  32. Andrea

    Aug 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    My only suggestion is to regularly deworm your cat.

  33. Sheila

    Dec 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    My cats have figured out how to use dog door.. any suggestions on how to keep them in? If not, they have taken to going outside.. I cannot find where; my dog apparently eats feces before I get in. I worry because they could bring parasites to her. Any suggestions there?

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