10 Ways To Dog Proof Cat Feeder and Keep Dogs Out of The Litter Box

If you have cats and dogs in your home, then no doubt you have encountered your dog trying to take a tasty “snack” from the cat’s litterbox. 🤢 Dogs also love to get into the cat’s food – and sometimes the cat into the dog’s food.

If you’re looking to keep your dog out of the cat food and dog proof your litter box, we’ve made a list of 10 of the best ideas out there:

Carl, Harlow and Huck on a couch - cats and a dog sleeping together on couch

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If your dog has been getting into your cat’s litter box to indulge in a “treat,” you are not alone – eating cat poop is a surprisingly common habit for dogs with several possible explanations: compulsion, boredom, playfulness, or an interest in the protein or other nutrients in cat poop.

Eating cat poop could be harmful to dogs because of the risk of passing on parasites or allergens, and clumping litter could pose a blockage risk. Typically, the bigger problem is the effect it has on your cat.

The litter box is a sacred space, and if they begin to feel “unsafe” while using it or notice a constant mess around it, they might be more likely to go elsewhere. So this situation necessitates finding a way to keep your dog out of the litter box without constant monitoring.

While training your dog to stay out of the litter box is ideal, sometimes this is just not possible, and your pet is extremely resistant to it, or you need a temporary fix until they learn. Pet owners have found a lot of different strategies for keeping a dog out of the litter box, and solutions vary depending on how many rooms you have in your house, whether you can cut out cat doors, and how much space you have for furniture-style litter boxes for dog proof cat areas. Here are a few possible solutions to try out if you need to dog-proof a litter box:

1. Install a Gate for The Cat, but Not for the Dog

Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Gate with Pet Door with cat walking through
Install a Gate for Cats, but Not for Dogs

Keeping the dog out of the cat’s food and litter box can be quite tricky because you usually don’t keep the cat’s food in the same room as its litter box. So, if you want to avoid stressing the cat, you need to offer it enough space for both its food bowls and litter box.

A great way to do that is to limit the dog’s access to the area where you have these items by installing a gate that the dog can’t get through but the cat can.

The gate is flexible in width, so you can adapt it to the exact size of your walls. It has a lock that neither the dog nor the cat can open, and it has a small door at the bottom, which is large enough for the cat to go through but not the dog. If you want to see what the gate looks like, take a look at our video on how to keep the dog away with a gate.

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”wwzjX0XR” upload-date=”2023-01-22T05:24:37.000Z” name=”How to Keep Dog Out of Cat Food and Litter Box” description=”This video shows how my parents keep their 3-year-old German Shepherd, Parker, out of their 16-year-old Ragdoll cats, Caymus and Murphy’s litterbox and food room. This was a recent change they had to make because Caymus is in renal failure and needs to have food down all the time, to help him eat. They discovered that this gate for cats, but not dogs did the trick but watch the video to learn some other things they have done.” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

Another similar option is to just get a pet gate that doesn’t have a door, but that your cat can squeeze through. If you’re looking for a more finished, decorative gate, check out the freestanding wooden pet gates.

2. Install a Cat Door in Your Door or in Your Wall

Another excellent idea to keep the dog out of the cat food and litter is to install cat doors in your home. This way, you can choose which rooms the dog does not have access to by simply closing the doors in your home.

As for your cat, it can roam freely in every room you install cat doors in. This is extremely useful because you can place the cat’s food far away from its litter box for cat feeding.

Purrfect Portal Door with Brush February 2021 Giveaway cat door installation with cat coming through the door
Install a Cat Door in Your Door or in Your Wall

There are several cat door models you can install. In this video, you can see cat doors installed on the doors. These are great because the cat door is masked. Your door looks the same, but one portion of it is the cat door, which slides in just enough to let the cat in but not enough to let the dog in.

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”5FQqtvhs” upload-date=”2023-01-22T05:20:25.000Z” name=”Keep Dog Out of the Litter Box or Cat Room – Ragdoll Cat Door in a 6-Panel Door” description=”This video shows how my parents keep their German Shepherd out of the cat room, so that their Ragdoll cats can eat in peace. They also did this on their 6-panel basement door to keep the dog out of the litterbox.” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

Another model is the traditional cat door with a flap, which you can install on your door or on the wall.

Yet another option is The Purrfect Portal Cat Door. This is a cat door for inside doors that is available on Amazon. It fits both solid and hollow interior doors, 1.25″ to 1.75″ thick.

It comes in white and is more secure than other cat doors because it is secured with 4 sturdy screws on each side of the door instead of relying on adhesives as other products do.

It also comes with a brush that lines the passage portion, providing your cat with a quick full-body brush every time it passes through it. The brush slides into a track designed to keep it securely in place. However, the brush is optional.

You can also use the cat door with and without the brush. The size of the Purrfect Portal Cat Door is 6″ x 7.2″ (with the brush) and 7.5″ x 10.3″ (without the brush), which makes it a good fit for small and large-sized cats alike. It can fit cats of up to 20 lbs. If your cat is larger than that, there is also an XL version of the Purrfect Portal Cat Door available. The Purrfect Portal Door with Brush can be purchased on Amazon.com or their website.

How to Install the Purrfect Portal Cat Door

This interior cat door is very easy to install (in 30 minutes or less) because it comes with a template that you can use to cut the exact space needed. Here are the main steps you need to follow:

  1. Unhinge your door and place it on a work table or on a support to keep it elevated for cutting.
  2. Use the template in the Purrfect Portal Cat Door pack to find the best place for the cat door on your interior door.
  3. Use a pencil to outline the template – this will serve as your cutting pattern.
  4. Use a jigsaw to cut on the penciled line to create the hollow portion of the cat door.
  5. Place the Purrfect Portal Cat Door sides A and B on each side and secure it with the four screws.
  6. Slide in the brush lining on the track inside of the cat door.
  7. Place the door back on its hinges, and you are done. If you want to visualize these steps, you can watch their video for their cat door installation. 

3. Install a Dog Proof Door Latch

The dog-proof door latch is a minimally invasive way to keep a dog out of the cat’s food and litter box. It is a band that only allows the door to open wide enough to let the cat in, but not the dog.

And compared to cat doors, it is not permanent. To install it, all you have to do is peel and stick the parts on the door and the wall. The band is connected to the part that goes on the wall, and it has a hook at the loose end, which you can use to hook it to the part that goes on the door.

Door Buddy Door Latch Plus Door Stopper. Dog looking through opening in the door
Install a Dog-Proof Door Latch

You can adjust the band size to control how much the door can open. The dog-proof door latch also comes with a door stopper, which you stick on the wall to prevent the door from closing. This way, the door always stays open just enough to give the cat space to use its paws to open it more and pass through.  

4. Use An Elevated Cat Food Bowl

If your dog has a bad habit of eating your cat’s food, then it’s time to take action. You can put the differences between cats and dogs to good use by placing the cat’s food bowl up high or on a shelf or stand where its raised high enough that the cat can get to it and enjoy its meal from up above but where the dog can’t climb to.

The best way to do that is to install a cat tree in your home and place the cat’s food bowl on the top level or on a shelf near the top where the cat can climb and reach it. This is also the best way to keep small dogs away from the cat’s food during feeding.

Cat trees for climbing with food bowls
Elevate the Cat’s Food Bowl

For tiny dogs like Chihuahuas, installing a cat door, a door latch, or even a dog fence does not work because they can fit through the same places that cats can. What they can’t do is climb up a cat tree so the elevated cat food is safe up there. If you want some ideas for cat trees, make sure to check out our list of cool cat trees.  

5. Get a Dog-Proof Cat Feeder

If the issue is that your dog is eating your cat’s food or drinking from its water bowl, then the solution is to create a dog-proof cat feeding station. This is a place the food in a place where the dog can’t get to. A very simple way to do this is to get a dog proof cat feeder station. This is a small enclosure where you place the cat’s food bowl, during feeding, that comes with a cat door to keep the dog out.

You have several models to choose from based on price and what you think works best. This dog proof cat feeding station from MeowSpace is very efficient because it has an automatic cat door that reads your pet’s microchip and only grants access to your cat at this cat feeding station.

This makes it very useful if you are trying to keep a small dog away from your cat’s food dish. Even though small dogs like Chihuahuas fit through the cat door, it will not open for them.

Dog Proof Cat Feeding Station Meowspace
Get a Dog-Proof Cat Feeding Station

You can also try a wood-based cat feeding station which is the basic model. You can even try a DIY version if you have a talent for crafts.

6. Use an Automatic Cat Feeding Bowl

The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder feeding station is a straightforward way to keep all dogs away from your cat’s food, including small dogs like Chihuahuas. This feeding dish is very simple; the food bowl has a transparent cover that only opens when your cat is feeding. The SureFeed automatic cat feeder reads your cat’s microchip and only opens the cover for that cat.

Cat using the Feeder SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder by SureFlap in a kitchen
Use an Automatic Cat Feeder

The SureFeed even has an intruder mode, which makes it extremely useful because even if your dog tries to push the cat away while it’s eating and gets to its food like that, the SureFeed detects that the absence of the microchip and immediately closes up the cover. This cat food dispenser is also useful for your cat feeding station if you have two cats and only one of them is supposed to eat the food inside.

7. Use a Cat Puzzle Feeder

A simple idea to dog proof your cat’s food is to use a cat puzzle as a cat feeder. This is also a great choice if your cat has a bad habit of gobbling down its wet or dry food quickly and is one of many favorites for cat owners.

We have a list of awesome cat puzzles you can browse to get ideas. Of those on the list, this simple cardboard puzzle from CatAmazing is a top choice because it requires a cat’s dexterity to get the food out of the puzzle, which means that the dog will not be able to use its paws to get the food out.

cat playing with CatAmazing Puzzle Toy on tile kitchen floor
Use a Cat Puzzle Feeder

However, using a cat puzzle is only efficient if your dog is not very stubborn. Since it’s so easy to implement compared to other ideas, it’s worth trying out, but you might be surprised to discover that your dog is also a puzzle fan.  

8. Use a Dog Proof Covered Litter Box

If your dog is eating your cat’s poop from the litter box, it is time to take action. One thing you can do is get a dog proof litter box. This is a covered litter box with a narrow entryway that is only small enough to fit your cat, but not your dog.

Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box 3 Colors- with cat inside
Use a Dog-Proof Covered Litter Box

The Booda Cleanstep Litter Tray is a simple, yet efficient model. It also has a stairway inside the litter box, which prevents the cat from spreading the litter in your home. This type of covered litter box may not be all that dog proof if you have a small dog, though.

You can also try using a specially designed litter box that is both difficult for dogs to access and is nicely disguised as a piece of furniture, like a Litter Box Chest.

9. Use a Self-Cleaning Litter Box

A very good idea to keep the dog out of the cat’s litter box is to eliminate its interest in it. An automatic self-cleaning litter box like the Litter-Robot cleans the cat’s litter immediately after it uses the litter box, so there is no waste to spark the dog’s attention. By keeping the cat’s litter clean all day, the dog will soon stop scooping the litter box.

Litter Robot 3 Connect in light gray and dark gray
Use a Self-Cleaning Litter Box

10. Dog Proof Cat Litter Box Furniture

Just like the dog proof cat feeding station, you can find a dog proof cat litter box enclosure that keeps the litter box in a safe space for your cat. The MeowSpace enclosure can be used for food, as well as a litter box because it is large enough to fit a traditional litter box.

Please note that using the enclosure for both the cat food and the litter box is not a good idea. If you are trying to keep your dog away from your cat’s food as well as its litter box, then you can simply get two MeowSpace enclosures. These have an automatic cat door that reads the cat’s microchip and only grants access to the cat.

What Not to Do

There are plenty of ideas on how to keep a dog out of the cat’s food and litter box, but there are some things you shouldn’t do. One of them we’ve mentioned above – do not place the cat’s food and litter box in the same enclosure, or even in the same room, if possible because it is not hygienic.

Some pet owners have written about putting pepper, chili, or hot sauce into the cat’s litter box to keep the dog away. This is a very bad idea for the cat and the dog alike. If the dog eats the hot sauce along with the cat’s poop from the litter box, it might get severe digestive issues because the hot sauce is too strong for dogs.

As for the cats, when they enter the litter box where the hot sauce was placed, they will get it on their paws. Then, when they wash, they will ingest the hot sauce, which makes them prone to the same digestive issues. Moreover, the hot sauce could also damage their skin, so they might develop dermatological problems.

With so many good ideas to keep dogs away from the cat’s food and the litter box, resorting to these potentially-harming methods can be easily avoided. Of course, offering your pup some healthy dog treats as a reward for staying out of the cat’s litter box area is a good idea too.

Whether you go with the cat feeding station, the cat litter box enclosure, the door latch, or the dog gate,  you can safely separate your cat’s space from your dog’s. Have you had to keep your dog away from your cat’s food or litter box? Did you use any of the ideas on our list? How did it go? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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One Comment

  1. Wonderfully fabulous & pawesome post, Jenny honey! TYSVM for all the very helpful info! I’m sure many people with doggies & kittehs will find all of this info very valuable! Very well done! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

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