Eww, My Dog Eats Litter Box Delicacies & My Cat Eats Plants & Paper!
Eww, My Dog Eats Litter Box Delicacies and My Cat Eats Plants & Paper!. How do I know if my dog has a disease and will it make him sick? And my cat keeps eating paper and plants! What’s wrong with my furry children?
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Well, this type of behavior is called Pica and what are the behavior warnings you might ask? What can cat parents do to thwart such behaviors and get their house back to “normal”?
Well. I have good news for all of you! Just recently I asked myself these exact questions and I have answers for all of us! For example:
My son’s dog, Connor, started sneaking tootsie roll treats from Sammie’s litter box. It totally grossed us out for sure and as I walked into the living room there was cat litter all over the carpet…
And this sweet Lil’ doggy was crunching on something. “What are you eating, Connor?”
As my son turned his chair around he stopped! But just for a moment and then Connor started licking the carpet. He told him to stop and I said;
“What the heck is he eating?” and it was then that I realized he had helped Sammie’s turds and I thought to myself again: Eww my dog eats cat poop from the litter box!
Eww, My Dog Eats Litter Box Delicacies – How Do I Stop this Behavior?
Why do dogs enjoy eating such delicacies from the litter box and why do pups enjoy protein-packed snacks! Researches in the behavior claim that the reasons your dogs eat kitty cat turds are because cat poop tastes like cat food.
How they know this is beyond me and makes me wonder if they… umm second thought… I doubt they did a taste test haha 🙂
However, I was surprised, to say the least when I read that and so I dug a little deeper and how does one stop this behavior before it becomes a habit for your pup?
The ASPCA advises on what you can do to prevent your dog from sneaking a snack from the kitties litter box:
- Make the litter box inaccessible by elevating the cat box where fido can’t feast on the protein-packed logs!
- Be sensitive to your feline’s needs when you move the litter box.
- Talk to your veterinarian about adding a commercial taste deterrent to your kitty’s diet and it will make her poop unappealing to your pup!
- Teach your kitty to use the toilet! Umm.. say that again? Using the toilet? What do you all think of this idea?
Toilet train your cat this video is hilarious! (all rights reserved to Ryland Adams)
Have You Ever Heard of Toilet Training Your Kitty?
I know a lot of people have taught their cats to use the toilet and it’s all over Youtube. But what if they forget to flush or miss like so many men do and ugh… no no no!
Haha, Sammie is so small I would be afraid that she would go swimming instead of potty and that wouldn’t be good!
So Back To The Drawing Board!
Let me ask you this… just knowing that your pup loves to eat cat turds, yet, many doggies parents let them lick their faces and uhh… yes we do… you know you do too! All the while knowing they love to eat poop!
Believe it or not, there is a scientific name for this behavior and its called:
Coprophagia or coprophagy= the consumption of feces: “Coprophagia (/ˌkɒprəˈfeɪdʒiə/) or coprophagy (/kəˈprɒfədʒi/) is the consumption of feces. The word is derived from the Greek κόπρος copros, “feces” and φαγεῖν phagein, “to eat”.” google search results
Consult your family veterinarian if the behavior modification is not working. There could be an underlying health issue that might need to be addressed. Ranging from mineral or vitamin deficiency. Just stay alert for your pups activities. And if at all possible, play with them more and get them new toys so that they don’t become so bored that they want to eat from the cat box.
My Cat Eats Plants & Papers – Coprophagia and Feline Pica Behaviors
I didn’t know that when my kitten eats non-food items that there is a scientific name for that too. It’s called Feline Pica.
New mother cats do eat their kitten’s feces for grooming purposes and to keep their bedding nice and clean. This is normal behavior so don’t be alarmed if your cat does this.
This is called Coprophagia. Yes, felines can have this, but it’s more common for dogs than cats.
A new mama dog cleans her babies the same way cats do and when the pups watch their mama do this, sometimes they will copy their mom and they will do it too. Be careful and watch to make sure your new pup doesn’t pick up this bad habit.
What are the signs of feline Pica and how will you be able to recognize the symptoms when you observe your cat or kitten exhibiting eating the following:
- Dirt, clay, rocks
- Paper, string, hair
- Soap, garbage, feces, and litter
The most common items associated with pica:
- Eating blankets, socks, jackets, plastic grocery bags, and shoelaces
- Or any other non-food items that can be bad for their health.
The largest organ system that is most affected by this behavior is the gastrointestinal tract. which can lead to vomiting, loose stools, or diarrhea.
Cause and Affect: My Cat Has Pica
Why would my kitten or cat eat non-food items? Possible medical conditions:
- Malnutrition- are you feeding your feline enough food?
- Vitamin deficiency- Is your cat getting enough vitamins in their meals?
- Increased appetite- Not getting enough intake of food?
- Inflammatory bowel disease:
- Feline diabetes
- Intestinal Parasites
- Anemia (low iron in the blood)
- Neurological disease
- Thyroid disease
*I am in no way a veterinarian so make sure you consult with one to address any and all questions that you might have.
Sometimes your cat will eat feces if there is undigested food in her poop. Another thing to consider is that animals, in general, who eat poop may be doing so as a response to recent punishments/time-outs (I wrote a recent article that contains “time-outs” for your feline’s here) or the addition of a new furry child in the house that will lead your cat to “act out” to draw your attention to them and away from the new family member.
Some pets chew on objects and non-food items out of stress or boredom.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase
Treatments and Solutions
- It depends on whether the underlying cause is medical or behavioral in nature.
- Try limiting access to non-food items in your house. Be aware of what gets dropped on the floor from little kids to husbands and teens or vice versa because neither one picks up after themselves but I digress… 🙂
- Keep your furry child’s living area clean and free from clutter.
- Dispose of waste promptly (clean litter box daily) More often if more than one cat.
- All nutritional dietary needs must be met.
Other Solutions For Your Cat
- Make sure to keep household plants, blankets, papers, clothing, and electrical cords out of your cat’s reach! If there is such a place… I will let you know and if you know of such a place, please let me know right away because I have never found an out-of-reach place for felines!
- Your cat may be eating strange things out of boredom. Increase the amount of attention and exercise your cat receives every single day.
- Play with them more often to help them get their excess energy out. The plus side of this activity is bonding! Yes, you got that right.. can I get paws up!? Oh yeah!
- More bonding moments are the most interactive activity for both of you!
- Give lots of hugs and love to your kitty! This will alleviate getting attention from bad behavior! Always praise good behavior with treats!
- Reduce stress: Examine what could be stressing your fur baby out? Is there another pet causing tension? Is there stress with her cat parents or cat siblings?
- Try to decrease any stress for your entire home, not just for your cat but for you too. Look at your cat’s environment from your cat’s point of view and see if there should be anything that needs to be changed.
- Provide mental and physical stimulation. A bored cat will look for something to do and I know with Sammie, this can lead to trouble.
What Else Can You Do To Help
- Increase play activities with interactive toys, cat trees, scratching posts and other forms of stimulation.
- Place the cat tree near a window so she can watch the outdoor activities. Sammie sits on the back of the couch so she can look outside. She will watch the outdoor activities for hours.
- We live in the country. There are all kinds of critters and kids outside. This has kept her attention for quite some time!
- Does your feline love to play outdoors? Does she love to go outside? Perhaps she would like some organic sunshine to bathe in?
- Purchase or create a safe outdoor enclosure for your kitty to run and play in. You can make one or buy one.
- There are a variety of designs to choose from. They come in all kinds of sizes and lengths. Some are even made for windows and a more elaborate walk-a-way for your cat.
Some Helpful Tips to Help You and Your Furry Child Out
- Train your cat to walk on a leash and harness or ride in a cat stroller. Get them to go outside and run off some of that energy!
- Safe alternatives for chewing: try growing some organic greens for your cat. Rye, oat, wheatgrass or catnip. Please refrain from giving them grass from your lawn because it’s treated with fertilizer and chemicals that could make your cat sick.
- You can find kitty greens at your local pet store or buy an already grown square of grass from an organic health food store.
I do believe that if we keep our cats (and dogs) free from boredom and with providing nutritional-balanced meals full of the vitamins and minerals hopefully will stop this behavior.
Keep their litter boxes clean and provide cat trees, scratching posts and window lounging furniture, take them for a walk and for those outdoorsy kind of felines to build them their own cat walk-away cat space.
Take them to the vet for annual check-ups, if your pet shows any signs of medical issues please make sure to take them to the vet clinic right away.
When we make these changes you can be sure that your cats or dogs will be the happiest on the planet!
Let us know what works for your furry children. Leave your advice or suggestions in the comments section I would appreciate it.
Thank you for stopping by.
Donna Rayne & Sammie
Copyright © 2019 Donna Rayne Blogs, All rights reserved.
Founder of mrsparrowshealthycat.com
Writer and member of the partnership program at Quora.com