My new puppy keeps getting into the cat food and eating it! We have tried to put the cat food up high but my cat just cannot adjust and wants to eat her food in the kitchen on the floor as she always has. So, we put the food up while the puppy is being fed. The problem is when we put it down again the puppy always seems to get into it when we turn our heads for a second. We pull her away as soon as we catch her but not before she gets a mouthful or two! Is this harmful?
Yes, cat food is bad for dogs. It can cause gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea and pancreatitis.
Remove the dog from the area and supervise the cat’s meals, allow about 20 minutes then pick up anything left, save for the next feeding. Same thing for the dog, keep the cat away from dog food. Just feed them twice a day.
Unfortunately I cannot change my cat’s meal habits at this point. She is 19 years old and underweight and used to free feeding. I am just going to have to find a way to make sure my puppy stays out of the kitchen.
Doggie gate? Be careful where you place the litter box. Dogs LOVE cat feces. They think it is caviar.
Yes, I have a gate for the kitchen, unfortunately then the cat cannot get in either! Originally the thought was to keep the puppy in the kitchen with her food and the cat with the cat food in the living and dining room, but the puppy hated being in there. I think the tile floors are too cold. We do keep the puppy confined to a play yard in our finished basement when we are not able to keep an eye on her, but we let her run around the living room when we are watching her. Unfortunately she is very quick and sneaky! As I said we turn away for a second and she is already in the kitchen going for the cat food. We will just have to keep a better eye on her. Or train the cat to eat her food off of the coffee table which she can access from the couch (she cannot jump high). We have been trying to do that but she just doesn’t seem to get it. So far so good with the cat litter. The puppy has not tried to go for it at all. Hopefully just a bite or two of cat food will not hurt her now and then. We have had her a week and no digestive issues so far.
The cat litter box has to be in a place where the puppy can’t get to it, he will eat the feces at the first opportunity. Am I right? Cat people please jump in!
And, the puppy will soon be able to get onto the coffee table….
Believe me, you don’t want to go to the emergency vet if you don’t have to. You have to keep the puppy in a puppy proofed small gated room when you are out. Otherwise they chew everything and swallow foreign objects. The chewing goes on till they are at least a year old, they can’t be trusted till they are about 1 and 1/2 years old. It starts with the teething, they chew coffee table legs, door thresholds.
I don’t want to alarm you, but I have been through it a few times….
PS: This would be a good time to start brushing his teeth once a day, see YouTube for how to videos. Small breeds tend to have lousy teeth, by brushing you may be able to avoid professional cleanings for a while.
Oh yes, she is in the crate when we are out (or even just in the shower) and in the play yard when we are home and not watching her 100%. The play yard is great and she has room to run around and play and we put her bed in there too and a water dish. She only has free run of the house for small spurts of time. Unfortunately the cat litter has to be accessible to the cat so it cannot be put away. But as I said the puppy only has access to that area when we are watching her and so far has shown no interest and when she walks in that direction we shoo her away. It is just the food that she keeps getting into. And yes the coffee table- she is chewing that too! I sprayed it with Bitter Apple but it didn’t seem to work. She is a very small breed dog so I am not so sure she will ever be able to jump up to the coffee table or the couch.
PS I also keep the cat box clean so there is never cat poop in there for more than a few minutes.
And yes, thank you. Already bought the toothpaste and brush and gave it a try last night!
Hi anonymously and Sarah H:
I would have to write in my experience with dogs it is individual to them if they develop a taste for kitty feces. My Lab mix and current dog never looked twice at a litter box. I caught my JRT chowing down a few times when she was a puppy early on, then she seemed to lose interest after that. I guess the taste didn’t appeal to her. Another poster on DFA cannot have the litter box anywhere her dogs would have access to it. My friends Labs same thing, they love nothing more than a nice dirty litter box even in their senior years.
My current dog chewed everything in sight as a puppy, thankfully he outgrew it because computer equipment and glasses can get expensive to keep replacing. My JRT was an angel, never any worries with her!
Wysong makes a kibble that is for both cats and dogs. There might be other companies as well, IDK.
Yes, and even more concerning than the cat feces, is the litter. If they consume it, and the feces is usually coated in it, they could develop a GI blockage.
Interesting about the food. Thank you, I will look into this. Thankfully I don’t think the cat litter or feces is an issue in our house (knock on wood).
Sounds like it isn’t an issue or going to be one since you are on top of it!
There are canned foods out there as well that are for both cats and dogs (with added taurine), but I can’t remember which companies make them now. I bought several brands for my kitties in the past. They didn’t like them so I deleted them from their cat food list, and fed them to Bobby. If you feed canned food to your kitty it could be something to look into as well until your pup outgrows the sneaking the food when your not looking behavior (hopefully). My dog still steals the kitty food when I am not looking!
Congrats on the new pup! They sure can be a handful! What kind of dog is it? I can relate to your issue. I have four cats and two big dogs. The dogs are lab mix and, unfortunately they love both cat food and poop. I’ve had to strategically place the boxes and food where they can’t get into them very easily. Like you, I have a senior kitty that struggles to keep weight on and I have to make sure her food is not eaten by the other cats or dogs. She is not very open to change either. A couple of the litterboxes and the cat food are now behind a closed door with a cat door. The bad part of that is that it’s my bedroom. Yuck. I also have some boxes under some shelving and in the garage where the dogs can’t get to them.
It sounds like you are getting things figured out. I wouldn’t worry too much about them eating a little of each other’s food as long as it isn’t all the time. Cats food is usually a little higher in fat and calories than dogs and could be problematic if they ate a lot of it. Cats need more protein and taurine than dogs and could be an issue if they only eat dog food over a long period of time.
Please write back if you have anymore questions. Have fun with your new pup. I’m guessing that you like your new addition a lot more than your 19 year old cat does. 😉
Thanks crazy4cats (love the name)! The puppy is a shih tzu. I was worried about the cat eating the dog food as well, especially since one of my son’s friends told me his cat died from eating their dog’s food – but my vet assured me that just a little bit wouldn’t hurt. I did catch her once or twice eating the puppy’s food, but that hasn’t been so much of an issue since the puppy food is usually put up out of reach except at meal time. It is the cat food that is out all the time. We do have one cat box which is behind a cat door in the basement, but unfortunately my cat had a stroke a couple of years ago and has troubles with mobility so we had to put a cat box in the corner of the living room area so she wouldn’t have to go down stairs all the time. It is behind a cabinet, so it is accessible but not right in the middle of everything. All the more reason to keep it clean! The cat is doing amazingly well with the puppy and doesn’t seem fazed at all.
Very good to hear that your cat doesn’t mind the new pup. It can be stressful trying to keep them apart if they don’t get along. My cats would be long gone if eating dog food was that dangerous. They jump up on the counter while we are fixing the dogs’ meals and sneak a bite before we shoo them away all the time!
I would really try to keep her out of the cat poop though because not only is it very gross, it could make her sick. And as Anonymously posted, cat food is higher in fat and could be a problem for dogs that are prone to pancreatitis if they ate a lot of it. It sounds like you keep the box clean and your pup isn’t interested. You are very lucky!
Hi Sarah- I too have a dog who enjoys my kitties canned food. Usually I can catch him in time and if I make a loud noise he’ll stop. He isn’t interested in her dry food though. I agree with Crazy4cats that a small amount of cat food will not harm them, but eating cat food in larger amounts over time could.
My dog did at one point like the cats poop, however one thing that helped was changing the style of litter box to a storage tub with a hole cut in it. If that ever becomes an issue for you that could be something to try! Cats also really enjoy roomy litter boxes.
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