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Dog eats cat poop.

Species: Dog
Breed: Border Collie
Age: Less than 3 mon
I've caught my dog eating out of our kitten's litter box twice in the past two days. The box is now out of her reach, but I want to know if I should be concerned about her getting kitty litter. She couldn't have gotten much (about a mouthful or two...but she mostly got kitty feces). What would you recommend?

(Just so you know, we use Kitten Attract brand litter.)

Thank you!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for a great question!

It's crazy how much dogs enjoy eating cat poop. I will never understand the mind of a dog.

There really isn't much of a concern about a dog eating a small amount of litter. In theory, if a dog ate enough litter it could cause a big clump that could cause an intestinal blockage, but in 12 years of practice I have never seen this happen, and I have seen a LOT of dogs that eat cat feces.

There could possibly be a concern for parasites. If the kitten had parasites such as roundworms these could be transmitted to the dog when he eats the stool. However, roundworms are only contagious if the stool has been sitting for 2-3 days. So, if you are cleaning the box regularly this shouldn't be an issue.

Other than this being kind of gross, there really shouldn't be a health risk.

There are some things you can do to try to stop this habit:

1. Stand hidden and watch your dog go towards fresh stool in the litter box. The moment he puts his mouth on it make a loud noise, such as shaking a can with rocks, or using a compressed air can that is made to produce a loud noise.

2. Booby trap some poop. What you do here is buy some bitter apple spray and spray it on top of your cat's poop. Then, when your dog eats it it will truly taste gross. However, if you do this, change the litter each time. You don't want your cat getting it on his paws and then licking it off.

3. Create a room where the door is only big enough for the cat to get through. You can do this by putting a chain on the door so that it only opens a crack (enough for the cat to get through), or by cutting a hole in the door that only the cat can get through.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.