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Can Dogs Use Cat Litter?

Little pup is using cat litter
Written by Mark Braeden

Cat litter boxes are generally used for cats that are never let out of the house for reasons such as medical or maybe for safety, and for just normal indoor cats. I believe that this is what most dog owners are interested in and are looking into from time to time as to whether or not it is advisable to use litter boxes or trays for dogs, and if it is safe for them to use or not. 

The simplest answer for this is yes as some dogs can be easily trained to use them in no time. Dogs are generally trained to do their business usually in the backyard, however, there may be situations where they may be unable to do so. For instance, if you are not home and you are forced to leave your pup at home for a while, if your dog is unwell, or if the weather is awful and it makes it impossible to go outside. I mean, there are even dog potties specifically designed for them.

These are some reasons that some dog owners become keen on getting cat litter for their pups, for when the need arises, it is available for them to use and not leave their dogs in discomfort. But first, we have to find out…

Are Cat Litters Toxic To Dogs? 

One of the worries that dog owners might face is that cat litters are toxic to dogs. Dogs are very playful and they may start digging and playing with it or worse, chow down a mouthful or two. 

The good news is that most clumping and non-clumping litters are not really toxic to animals and even humans, e.g. Pretty Litter. Therefore, if your pup mistakes the cat litter for treats or kibbles and snack on them, you can rest assured that they won’t get intoxicated but the worst they could get is only an upset stomach. However, if these are consumed in large quantities, it may result in something worse and if the symptoms become worse, just consult your pup’s resident veterinarian. 

Take note that the above-mentioned is in case you only use the cat litter for your dogs but if you have a mixed household, meaning, you have both cats and dogs, then the situations will be different. This is because your dog might mistakenly eat cat litter with your cat’s poop clumped in it. This may tend to clump in more in your dog’s body and accelerate blockage which results in swelling of the intestines causing them to vomit or suffer from constipation. However, if caught early, these symptoms can be treated quickly by their vet. 

Keep in mind to check on the symptoms as if you accidentally neglected them, it may cause fatal gastric rupture which may lead to more suffering for your pup. 

The key 

…is to train them properly in using the cat litter box and if you have a playful pup, watch out for any odd symptoms when you can just in case they ingest cat litter with poop. 


  • Mark Braeden

    Mark is a Boston University graduate and former electrical engineer. In 2017, he decided to combine his tech knowledge with his love for dogs. He spent a year familiarizing himself with the latest GPS tracking collars, invisible fences, and other hot pet gadgets before he wrote his first product review. After selling Technobark, Mark remained a writer and consultant but spends more time on his other passion now: raising and training his growing family of dogs.

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