Monday, October 26, 2009

But Dad, I Don't Want To Ruin My Doors

Recently our dog discovered the cats' litter boxes and has helped herself to the poop. Twice now she has vomited poop, once when I was home and once while I was out. It smells awful and what a mess! I heard dogs are attracted to cat poop so I was so happy that Abby wasn't . . . until recently.

I know if dad were still alive, he would have a simple solution. He would offer to just cut a small hole that our cats could go through in our two doors to our upstairs rooms that have the litter boxes our cats use most often. This would be a simple solution all right, but somehow if we ever wanted to sell the house, I doubt if people would like holes in their bedroom doors.

I know this would be a viable solution for dad because he cut out the whole bottom half of two of his doors so he could see where the cats were before he opened it. He put pieces of Plexiglas in them and when I was getting ready to sell the house, the realtor gave me a whole long list of things I should fix in order to sell it quickly and those doors were on it. Fortunately, my dad saved everything and I found the panels to the doors close by.

In my case though, I'd really rather not cut up the door. Other than creating a way of access for the cats that the dog can't get through, such as installing a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, the second most popular suggestion is to put some Cayenne pepper on some poop for the dog to find and it will probably cure her of the habit real quick. This sounds mean to me and she'd probably vomit it up.

My idea is to just train her to leave it alone and stay downstairs, but the dog trainer said she'd be really impressed if I could pull that one off because it's instinctive behavior--it's part of being a dog. She said it would be very hard to do that and the vet agreed. Abby will stay at the bottom of the stairs if we tell her to. I can be upstairs for 30 minutes and come back down and she'll still be there. Now if I could just think of a way to teach her to stay down when we're not home, that would be great!

In case that doesn't work, I have seen automatic self-cleaning litter boxes at PetSmart for over $100 that I though we could try. Does anyone have any experience with these? On second thought, maybe I could use dad's solution on the closet door . . . hmmm. Have to give that some thought.

Anyone else have this problem? Sandee at Comedy Plus told me about an article "How to Stop Dogs from Eating Cat Poop" on in the comments on my other blog where I mentioned I just learned about this happening this week. Thanks, Sandy!

UPDATED 10/31/09: Here's how I solved the problem:
Here's the link to the cats' post about it: Litterbox Fences Solve Poop Problem

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
Tweet This

Tweet Me from My Funny Dad, Harry


admin said...

In the past we put the kitty litter in a cupboard under a bathroom sink. The cats could open the cupboard but the dog could not. We then got a dog that was able to open the cupboards.

Now we have to barricade the kitty litter in our house. Our kitty litter is under our basement stairs. We have a large piece of plywood covering all but a small enough area for the cats to fit in.

Kim said...

I really hope you can get your dog to stop eating the kitty *poop*. Thankfully this is one problem I've never had to deal with. LOL

Helene said...

We don't have a dog but my mom and stepdad have two and I'm not sure if they've had this issue. Maybe they did because they got one of those self-cleaning litter boxes that you mentioned.

It seems to work just fine but the dang thing is LOUD!! And it didn't really seem to help with the smell of the litter box for some reason.

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Good morning. Visiting via SITS. You were two roll callers above me today. I never knew that dogs did that. I learnt something new today.

Twincerely,Olga said...

stopping by from SITS! great blog! Stop by

Tracie Nall said...

I don't have any experience with this subject, but what about buying a really cheap door and putting a kitty door in it. That way the cats can get in, but you don't have to mess up your resale value (because you keep the old door) it just depends on if this would be cheaper than the self cleaning litter box or not.

Happy SITS Saturday!

tammy said...

Oh...the things that dogs love to instinctively EAT!! We don't have cats, because several of us are allergic to them. Have no fear for our poor poochie, though. He finds all sorts of poo in our backyard. Yep, nothing like rabbit poo thrown up in your kitchen to get your day started!LOL

Hope you find a solution to your troubles! :)

"Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest"

Jude said...

I don't have cats, but we visited someone that did and shadow enjoyed the cat poop, I was told by the vet that dogs consider these treats because of the food they are fed...Yuck.

Looks like you've solved the problem.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Melissa: That sounds like a great idea. Too bad the dog figured out how to open the cupboard.

Kim: I think we have a solution!

Helene: I'm not sure our cats would even use a self-cleaning box, especially if it's loud. It seems like it would be harder to empty too.

Fruitful Vine2: Glad you learned something from your visit here.

Twincerely Olga: Thanks for stopping by. I'll visit yours too.

Tracie: Thanks for the suggestion but I think I figured out a cheap way, so far so good.

Tammy: Thanks for visiting here and sharing about your dog. YUCK! I think I came up with a solution, so far so good.

Jude: Funny that dogs are drawn to that.

Sherri said...

I have the same problem unfortunately. We had to go with your dad's solution and put a kittie door in our basement door. It just got too hard to keep her from having a snack.

Corrie Howe said...

I just had to laugh about how your dad would've handled it. It reminds me of my very resourceful grandmother. I bet they knew each other in a past life.

"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.