While I’ve never had a dog before, I can imagine some of the struggles pet owners with both cats and dogs must face. From dogs getting into cat litter boxes, making enormous messes by digging in them, and maybe even at times “snacking” on what a cat’s left inside, to nabbing food from a cat until the food bowl’s empty, even though the cat may need to graze the whole day to prevent stomach sensitivity issues and vomiting – let’s just say there’s a lot that can go wrong, and I can picture it being quite difficult at times having both cats and dogs at home.
Obviously, we can’t pretend cats don’t get up to their own shenanigans in multi-pet households with a canine friend or two. Cats attack dogs sometimes, steal their beds and bones – they absolutely can get up to no good if they want to.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat & Dog Feeder – Amazon / Chewy
I’ve also heard that in many multi-pet households, naughty kitties will sneak-thief dog food, stealing bite after bite, day after day. And while this is okay in very small portions because cats can technically have dog food as a snack – if cats eat enough dog food to lead them to skip out on their main meal of cat food partially, or worse, altogether, it’s really dangerous. Cats shouldn’t be eating dog food as a main meal. They need taurine – dogs don’t, so dog food has no taurine, and with a taurine deficiency, over the years this can cause cats can suffer from heart disease. Cats would also be missing out on a few other things dog food doesn’t have enough of, since dogs don’t need everything cats do in their food, so please keep this in mind if your cat happens to start going after the canine grub.
But back to the topic of dogs doing naughty things, because this is an article about dog-proof cat feeders, so that means you’re almost certainly here because one or more of your dogs steals one or more of your cats’ food.
Is there a way to solve this problem without going mad? Absolutely, plenty of ways – some that are free and a bit finicky (like finding that perfect up-too-high-for-the-dogs spot in your household), others that are very cheap that will do the trick if you’ve got the space, to options that are more on the pricey side, but provide really simple to keep up long-term solutions, and can even help you out with other problems you may happen to be facing in your home. Certain pets may be over-eating or need specialized diets, for instance, or the dogs may also be getting into the litter box as I mentioned earlier – and one product in a bunch of cases is able to solve both these problems in one go.
I have the smallest multi-pet household one can physically have – just two pets, both cats – and I’ve struggled with figuring out how to balance the needs of only these two furries in my household for many months without even having the additional obstacle of having multiple types of pets. I can imagine if I added a dog to the mix, things would get considerably more tricky, so my heart goes out to you if you’re currently struggling with these types of issues. If one or more dogs getting into a cat food bowl isn’t the only multi-pet dilemma you have, please leave a comment down below letting me know what else you struggle with; I’m happy to do some digging on helpful solutions if you need them. Basically I scour the web for solutions other people have come up with to the same problems, and compile an article on the “fixes” I’ve found.
But back to the issue at hand! Without further ado, dog-proof cat food stations, bowls, furniture, and basically a slew of other, lesser thought of options that should help out if you need to dog-proof your cat’s food. Hopefully one or a combination of these will work out, and maybe even fix an additional problem or two in the process.
Dog-Proof Cat Food Stations, Bowls, Furniture & More
1. Felines Only – the Purrrfect Cat Dish – Veterinarian Designed Cat Feeding Bowl that Keeps Dogs Out of the Cat Food
There are products on the market that are marketed as cat-only food bowls, but it seems a lot of times, these types of products don’t end up keeping the smartest of dogs out. While you may think it’d be easy enough for humans to outsmart a dog, it seems like it may be harder than most think. Especially when it comes to simple gadgets like these, dogs definitely manage to outsmart human inventions quite a lot more often than we likely think they should.
Just want to make getting paws on kitty grub a smidgen harder? Think your dog won’t bother putting up a fight to get at the cat food if there’s even a little challenge? These types of feline-only pet dishes may be worth a shot in your home, though to be completely frank, in my opinion it’s better to assume the worst and go for a better alternative. In terms of the absolute cheapest option that works hands down if you’ve only got medium- to large-sized dogs in your household…
2. The Kitty Pass Interior Cat Door Hidden Litter Box Pet Door for Cats
Integrating an interior cat door like the Kitty Pass into one of the doors to a room you’re happy to allow kitty access to, but no doggies allowed, means you can allow the cats to have access to food and water without being disturbed by any dogs. You can keep cat toys, and even protect litter boxes from your dogs this way, and if your dogs ever fight or chase after your cats, it also leaves them a peaceful escape, and an oasis to rest away from the canines in your household.
Yes, integrating an interior cat door means cutting a hole into the bottom of your door, but if you have no problem with that, it is a cute little addition, in my opinion. Want to check out more options before committing to The Kitty Pass? Check out more interior cat door options here.
3. Petsfit Espresso Double-Decker Pet House Litter Box Enclosure Night Stand
Love the idea of having the litter box hidden away since your dog(s) gets into the kitty loo every so often as well as the cat food? You can easily tuck both a feeding station, with food and water bowls, and a full-fledged litter box into one of these with no stress or worry. Obviously, any dogs you have can retain access to the room this hidden litter box is in as well. Using this method also works for those who have small dogs instead of or as well as large dogs, unlike the interior cat door trick, as small dogs simply can’t jump as high as cats, and thus, can’t physically get themselves into the high door.
A lot of pet parents seem to be having success with using a double-decker hidden litter box/cat house for preventing canine cat food and litter box break-ins. Check out how much space there is for all the kitty essentials! Some pet parents also keep food and water on top instead of hiding absolutely everything inside. This system works quite well, too.
One alternative if you like the Petsfit but want something a little different: the Trixie Double Decker Cat House.
4. Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder
Your dog not the only furry stealing a particular cat’s food? Have one overweight little feline fluffy who also likes to steal away too much grub, or have cats who need different types of food, with one always getting at the wrong plate due to it being too tasty to resist?
You may want to opt for a Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder instead of any alternative solutions to your food-theft woes. This thing works by scanning pets who come nearby for either the correct microchip, or the correct RFID tag (it comes with one, but you can buy extras separately here). Right now, it’s the only microchip pet feeder that seems to work, but I’ve used one myself and they do quite a good job. All you have to do if you have a really sneaky food-thief pet is to place this feeder into something like a cardboard box, to prevent a pet who’s not supposed to have access from eating away at the back, while the correct pet is having their meal at the front.
5. Door Buddy Door Latch Plus Door Stop. Keep Dog Out of Litter Box and Prevent Door from Closing. Easy Cat and Adult Entry
An alternative solution to an interior door cat door like the Kitty Pass – one you don’t have to cut the bottom of the door of to integrate. I don’t know if these things work with smaller dogs, I would guess they wouldn’t, as a small dog could likely squeeze through this latch nearly as well as a cat could, but if you’ve got big dogs and are happy to section off a bedroom, a laundry room, a basement, or wherever else that’s closed off with a door for your cats, and refuse entry to your dogs, this is perfect.
6. Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Pet Gate with Small Pet Door
Haven’t got a door to a room you’d like to section off (like the kitchen)? No problem, you can probably still section it off with something like this – a pet gate that has a small pet door, so large dogs, again, can’t get through, but cats absolutely still can. You can also use it to section off the top or bottom of a staircase, to make access to an entire upper floor difficult. This could come in handy, say if you currently have a hyperactive and/or sometimes destructive puppy and want to limit access to the upstairs level until your new pup has undergone training, but you still want to allow access to the cats.
7. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat and Dog Feeder
I bought this automatic feeder because I have two furballs who polish off everything I give them, leaving no food for later, but one of my cats throws up if his stomach is too empty for too long. I finally gave up trying to solve the problem myself when I had to be out for extended hours, did some research on the most cat-proof automatic pet feeder, and decided on this one. I love it, it’s absolutely perfect for my uses, and if you’re curious, you can check out my full review of it here. Currently have it rigged to drop 1/8th of a cup of food into a cat feeder toy, the Catit Design Senses Food Maze (otherwise my cats eat too fast) every 4 hours. It’s perfection.
Why do I think this system would work if you’ve got cats who don’t finish off all their grub and the dogs just up and go after their kibble? One of my cats just knows when the feeder is going to go off, and the one who doesn’t immediately runs to eat once it does go off. That food is polished off by them since it’s a small portion, then they go on with their day. I’d imagine this would work similarly in your household, and the dogs would have nothing left to get at. They can’t typically can’t get into one of these to chomp away at the food inside either, since they’re made to be used as dog feeders as well. Some very large dogs have managed to crack them open I think, but it seems to be incredibly rare.
Heck, if it works out for you, you may even want to grab a second for your dogs as well, and time them to go off at the same time so no one gets jealous. Based on my experience, my cats are a lot less hangry, a lot more engaged and active during the day (thanks to this waking them up from long naps), and will only ever whine for food, which they used to do a lot, when they think I’ll give them some instead of the machine. It’s calmed my new cat Bjorn, a stray we took in who had a lot of behavioural issues when he was hungry (he chews plastic, and actually actively licked hand soap! I thought that was something only dogs do). Give it a shot if you think it can help in your home.
8. Trixie Cat Homes and Enclosures 3 Storey Cat Home
Want something cuter, or more multi-purpose, or even something you can stick outside to use in your yard instead of indoors, that will protect your cat’s food and water from man’s best friend? I absolutely think the Trixie 3 Storey Cat House is a great outdoor cat home that would double as a solution to this problem. A great place for a cat to hide from potentially aggressive, chase-happy, or just kind-of-annoying-for-the-time-being dogs as well. Couldn’t imagine a much better place to lounge around, have a cozy snooze, then a bite to eat all in one space.
Catit Design Senses Food Maze – Amazon / Chewy
Your Thoughts on Dog Proof Cat Feeders?
Do you have a dog or two who gets into the cat food on the regular? Do you have an idea of how you’d like to solve this problem?
Already tried a few things that didn’t work out? Something that did work, but wasn’t ideal?
Have any new ideas on which solution would probably work out best in your household after browsing this post? Have any tips I didn’t mention? Any recommendations for solutions that work better than others?
Please share your ideas and experiences with us in the comments below! You’d be helping a lot of pet parents out with your advice.
I’ve been waiting for a topic like this!
Unfortunately my 13 year old rescue dog Sasha has recently learnt a new trick, in getting up on the dining room table (and high surfaces) to knock the wet cat food off at meal times. We tried removing all chairs around the table, hasn’t helped, moving the bowls to the kitchen counter, hasn’t helped… At the minute we are just having to make sure we wash the food bowls as soon as the cat are done eating, not always an easy task since one of them is a “take a little at a time and come back later”.
It doesn’t help shes a large dog (masiff cross) so now shes figured out how to get onto tall surfaces I don’t know if there is any going back. The only thing I can think of trying to find is, maybe a bowl that has suction cups underneath so even if she got ontop of the table, she can’t knock it off?