While I’ve never had a dog before, I see a lot of pet parents who have both cats and dogs complain about the fact that their dog sometimes, or even quite frequently, gets into the cat litter box.
I’ve heard some dogs just really like to play around in cat litter, especially puppies. Other dogs will actually snack on cat poop when it’s left inside, which I’m sure must be incredibly frustrating to have to deal with as a pet parent.
The easiest way to keep all the potential mess and not-quite-healthy snacking at by is by grabbing a litter box that’s dog proof. You could replace the litter with what you think might be something less fun for a dog, or scoop out the “presents” cats leave behind for dogs as quick as you can, but honestly, I don’t think either of these are ideal solutions. There’s no guarantee you can find a litter your dog won’t like, and there’s also no guarantee the dog won’t get to a cat poo before you or an automatic litter box gets rid of that poo. It’s safer, I’d say, to grab the type of litter box that a dog can’t get into.
There are quite a lot of either litter boxes or cat houses that would make for excellent buy-it-and-place-it options. Most of these are best for stopping medium and large sized dogs from getting into cat litter, but there are a number of ready made cat litter boxes that are excellent at keeping small dogs out as well. There are also a number of ways you can use various cat doors to DIY solutions to make sure dogs don’t get into a cat litter box ever as well, so if you’re handy at DIY, these might be the solutions that will work out best for you.
I really think which option is best will depend on what your particular situation is. Many are ridiculously cheap and affordable, so if you’re worried about budget, don’t be. In terms of which option is better or worse for you, the primary factor, I’d say, has to do with the size of the dog(s) you’re trying to keep out. There are many options that are great for big dogs, or even medium sized dogs, but not ideal for larger pups.
Another factor that will go into your decision? Whether you’d like to knock another issue out of the park, like space management or cats getting litter on the floor. There are some dog-proof litter box options that are best for dogs that you feel might knock over litter boxes while they play or mess around. There are options that quite easily and affordably give cats a room to themselves, away from the dogs as well.
I’ve spoken about dog-proof cat feeders before and some of the options in this list are duplicated over there because they double as excellent solutions for dog-proof feeding stations. While yes, you can use these solutions to solve either problem, they typically are incredibly good at solving both problems at the same time, with space for a litter box and a feeding station that’s protected from the canines in your home.
I’m sure there are options I haven’t thought of, especially when it comes to DIY and little hacks you can do to tweak things and make them perfectly to your liking. If you have ideas, suggestions, tips and tricks for other pet owners who are trying to dog proof their cat’s litter box, please do take a moment to leave them in the comments below! You’d really be helping a lot of pet parents out. Now for my ideas…
Dog Proof Cat Litter Boxes That Prevent Dogs from Getting into Litter
Top entry litter boxes are ones where the cat jumps to the top of the box, then lowers or jumps down into a hole that allows them access to their litter. It sounds like a strange concept, and one that your cat might not take to, for a while until you get used to the idea. In terms of benefits in the dog-proof department, they’re excellent because small dogs and big dogs shouldn’t be able to get in. Small dogs in particular, which are often tricky to keep away from litter, would have to be able to jump to the top of the litter box, then jump down into it to get in, and chances are pretty high that’s not happening. This amongst other benefits, like the fact that you don’t need a litter mat and the floors stay clearer, means – in my opinion – top entry litter boxes are the best fix for dogs getting into litter boxes.
There are so many top entry litter boxes out there. I personally think this is one of the top options because of the price and because it’s so stinkin’ cute! I’ve personally exclusively used top entry litter boxes for my two adult cats for about three years. They’re fantastic, and honestly not that hard to train your cat to learn to use if they struggle. That being said, neither of my cats struggled with getting to know how to use one of these, it was really pretty much only me who was stressed out worrying over it.
If you have a room you’re happy to dedicate to your cats, say because you have a room you think the dogs wouldn’t mind being away from or that the cats would prefer to have to themselves, you may want to skip looking for a new litter box all together and opt for a door latch instead. Besides litter boxes, you can place the cats’ food and water bowls in the sectioned off rooms as well, which I’ve heard dogs also often get into.
These things are excellent at keeping medium to large sized dogs out, only allowing felines or smaller dogs in. If your larger dogs are the problem, or if you only have large dogs besides the cats, this might be the perfect inexpensive fix, especially since it doubly protects food bowls as well.
This is one type of litter box that shouldn’t allow access to even the sneakiest little dogs around. If you have small dogs, or large and small dogs that are trying to get into the litter to play or “feast” on what’s inside, these types of double-decker litter boxes are excellent, as a pet would have to be able to jump high enough to be able to access the only access point – a hole in the upper level – to be able to get in and go near the litter.
I’ve seen a lot of pet parents use these types of cat houses to place both litter pans (in the bottom section) and food and water bowls (in the top section), creating the perfect dog-proof food-and-litter combo cat house. Really clever if you ask me.
If you don’t have any small dogs, and just want a way to make sure your cat’s litter box can escape the paws of the medium to large sized dogs in your household, you can easily go for something like this long hidden litter box. It’s possible to get one that isn’t so wide, but it makes a bit more sense to use something longer like this considering the fact that dogs will be able to get their paws and faces in through the door and a little into the front of the box. They’d have to be able to reach a long ways in before getting to the litter here, which luckily isn’t possible.
Another fix if you have medium or large sized dogs to keep out of the litter box: use an interior door cat door like this one, either to give permanent entry to a dedicated cat room, while only allowing dogs in when you give them permission, or by using this on a piece of furniture or a DIY’d plastic box that you then place a litter inside of.
Absolutely not as easy as placing a door latch, and it’s much more difficult to reverse if you ever want to get rid of the interior cat door, but if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, or if you have a little space in mind or a piece of furniture you want to use as a hidden litter box, this or any other interior cat door should do the trick perfectly.
If you like the idea of integrating an interior cat door, but have small and large dogs to keep out of a space – either a dedicated room or a piece of furniture – you might want to opt for a SureFlap instead. These microchip cat doors allow only pets that have the right microchip or RFID tag on their collar access to what’s beyond the door. They’re not the cheapest thing on the block, but for a permanent, long-term solution to keep all small dogs out of a specific space, they’re excellent.
I noticed this pet house when I was looking for the best outdoor cat houses I could find for pet parents looking to keep outdoor cats dry in rainy weather. I realized it’d make for a perfect dog proof litter box when I saw how roomy it was on the top floor, which is easily accessible to cats, but not to small dogs. I would definitely cover the hole up with a larger litter pan to make sure to use up as much of the space as possible, but honestly it seems like a viable option to me in this respect. Especially since you have easy access to the litter box with the pop-up lid on the top.
It’s about the same price as a hidden litter box, even though it’s made out of real wood and heavy-duty built for outside. I personally find outdoor cat houses incredibly cute and charming and would love having them indoors even though I definitely don’t need any cat house that’s inside to be so weatherproofed. I love the look of real wood, and of cat houses that look something like human houses, so this aesthetic is definitely up my alley.
There are quite a large number of pet gates with cat doors around so that if you have a space without a door you’d like to section off for cats, it’s quite easy to do. There are some that, like this, are a lot better for doorways that have no door, or narrow hallways, that type of thing. There are others that are excellent for sectioning off half a living room if that’s something you’d like to do instead. Have a peek around a variety of the options out there here if you’re interested in grabbing a pet gate with a cat door.
An alternative double-decker pet house that’s incredibly popular. Here’s a reviewer who happened to use one of these to keep both a litter tray in the bottom portion, and a cat feeding station with food and water in the top portion. Looks quite roomy and well laid out to me!
This is the litter box I personally use and love. It’s fantastic aesthetically, and because of how large and deep it is, it carries a lot of litter. What this means is if you like the idea of using a top entry litter box, but are worried about a dog toppling it over because it’s too light, this particular litter box with some not-too-light litter to weigh it down (I use corn kernel cat litter, World’s Best in particular, here’s my review of the stuff), you should almost certainly end up with a litter box that dogs can’t get into or topple over, albeit trying.
Your Thoughts on Dog-Proof Litter Boxes?
Do you have a dog who gets into a cat litter box sometimes or frequently? How often and why do you think they do this?
Have you ever tried preventing a dog from getting into a litter box by dog proofing a cat’s litter box in some way? If so, how? What do you think are some of the best solutions? Which do you think are unpractical or just not as good as others?
Do you have any other tips, tricks, or stories related to dogs getting into litter boxes? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below, as I’m sure, would absolutely everyone who’s ever dealt with this problem! Looking forward to reading them below.