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Keeping the cat litter box away from the dogs

Keeping the cat litter box away from the dogs
Keeping the cat litter box away from the dogs
Lyn Lomasi

If you've ever parented cats and dogs in the same house together, then you know all about the litter box treats that the dogs seem to find so appetizing. However, it isn't exactly healthy for them (or appetizing to us) when this becomes a habit. That's all you need is an even worse scent coming from your dog's breath or to find one of these “tasty” nuggets somewhere unexpected. So, how do you keep the cat litter box away from the dog?

Do covered litter boxes really work?
This may depend on the individual household. But whenever we've tried this option, even with cat boxes that claim to keep dogs out, the dogs simply tip over the box to create an even worse mess. Either that or they just force their head or paw inside in whatever way they can. Oftentimes, the more we try to cover up the box, the more the dogs want to get into it. This only compounds the problem. However, I have heard from a few friends that specific ones that failed for us did work for them. So, this may be an area where you will need to experiment on your own.

What about keeping the cat box in a specific room?
This option was a failure from the start. Why? We are the type of family that doesn't like to restrict our animals to one area of the residence. Our pets are a part of our family and we do not lock family members away from others. The only occasion in which our pets are separated is at night when everyone is asleep or the rare occasions when no one is at home. This is for the safety of the animals. Dogs are not allowed alone with cats without someone around, even if they get along well. However, to restrict one or more pets to just one room would be cruel and make them feel abandoned and alone. Therefore, during most waking hours, any room that the cat litter box is in would be accessible by the dogs as well.

So what did eventually work for us?
I knew that in order to be useful to the cats but inaccessible to the dogs, the litter box needed to be enclosed somewhere. But that somewhere had to be easy for cats to get in and out of and move around in. At the same time, the dogs could not have the ability to access it. That was the tricky part. I finally figured out the solution. We do not use our fireplace due to asthma and allergies. It is basically a hole in the wall with no purpose, other than for a decoration area. The fireplace was empty, so I placed the litter box inside and then put a shelf in front of the opening, leaving a crack only small enough for the cats to get inside. The dogs are unable to access it. The bonus to this option is that because it is a fireplace, the litter box is in a well-ventilated area. The shelf is easy for me to push aside but the dogs are unable to move it. I also love having the litter box hidden to the human eye.

Have you found another creative way to keep the cat litter box away from the dogs? Share your tips in the comment section.

**I originally published this here:

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