Can Dogs Use Cat Litter? – Behaviorist Answered

Are Cat Litter Toxic To Dogs?

About the Author: Jean Colt, a valued writer at MyPetDoggie and a dedicated student of English Literature at Yale University. Jean’s love for dogs, coupled with her literary skills, allows her to create engaging content that resonates with our pet-loving community. Her work reflects her passion for dogs and commitment to enhancing pet care knowledge.

Most dog owners are keen on using cat litter for their dogs. Cat litter is a silica clay that works as a magical substance for pet deposits. It is generally used for pets who are unable to leave the house.

As a dog owner, do you have an intent to get cat litter for your dog? But wondering, is it useful or suitable for your canine or not? Can dogs use cat litter if they are facing any medical issues or going to an older age? 

Edward Lowe discovered this magical, granulated clay which is most absorbent and traps bad odors and releases a good scent. This is an instant hit for all the dog and cat parents.

Pet owners curiously look for any kind of pee tray filled with cat litter to avoid accidents at home and they will be stress-free at their workplace. I know, as a pet parent, you always consider the best things and choose which is the most beneficial one for your dog’s health. 

 Dog owners are wondering, Can dogs use cat litter? The Simple and straight answer is Yes, you can use cat litter for your dog as well. You can train puppies to use it. Thus, most Older dogs use their garden, backyard, and outdoor area to do their business, so it is not worth it for them.

Before getting cat litter at home, it’s necessary to be aware of the uses of cat litter for your dog. Dogs and cats have different instincts. In this article, we will discuss how dogs can use cat litter, its precautions, and its benefits. Without any further ado, let’s dive into it. 

Can Dogs Use Cat Litter?

Cat litter is a good invention for dogs as well. Whenever you have to go outdoors and the dog cannot come along with you, or there is awful weather, a dog cannot go outside, or you have a small puppy, in these situations using cat litter is a better option.

Whenever you are away from home, it provides you peace of mind that your dog is not facing a lack of bathroom facilities. 

Can Dogs Use Cat Litter
Cat using litter while watching pictures

Can dogs use cat litter? Nowadays, this question arises in every pet owner’s mind. You can consider it. Select cat litter for your canine according to his size. Your dog needs a larger pee tray than a cat. And remember, cat litter should not be clumped. Clumpy cat litter may cause some health issues if he ingests it. 

Training small puppies to use litter or pee trays is quite easy. But training an adult dog is much harder. Keeping a litter tray outdoors is a way to train a senior dog because they are habitual in the backyard to do so. It is also necessary to provide them with bathroom needs at a suitable and comfy place. 

Dogs and cats both are capable of using cat litter. Different kinds of cat litter you can try, and bring the best one for your dog. You can try ‘’Non-clumping, Flushable, Scented litter, Silica gel crystals, and clay-based’’ cat litter. These all contain different properties and help you to keep cleanliness and avoid inappropriate elimination. Before selecting any type of cat litter, it’s better to consult with your dog’s veterinarian for guidance. 

Are Cat Litter Toxic To Dogs?

After knowing about Can dogs use cat litter? You can Train your dog to use a litter box as their indoor toilet. But sometimes cat litter boxes are toxic to dogs. The cat litter box is appealing to them. You have to keep a close eye on your dog’s interaction with the box. Here are some reasons why litter boxes become toxic for dogs. 

Are Cat Litter Toxic To Dogs (1)
A Dog and Cat laying down with each other peacefully

Dogs often play with litter clay. Clumping clay particles are made from bentonite clay, which can be solidified after getting moisture. If your dog ingests this clay accidentally while playing or digging, it may lead to blockages, and create stomach, intestine, and digestive issues. 

Not All but some cats are allergic to the material used in litter clay. With cats, clay in the cat litter is not suitable for some dogs. If they contact with the litter, it may cause allergies and skin irritation for your dog. 

Some litter clay is dusty. Your dog can inhale it through air, these dusty clay particles can damage his respiratory system, causing coughing and breathing problems. Some cat litter also contains chemical additives. Its fragrances and antibacterial properties are harmful to the dogs by inhaling or consuming it. So it’s better to get a litter box with minimal chemical additives. 

These are some reasons that make cat litter toxic for dogs. Parents of dogs always want to do the best for their dogs. It’s a big responsibility to take good care of your furry friend. Dog Interaction with cat litter makes you mindful. Consulting your dog’s veterinarian to seek guidance about beneficial cat litter for your dog will be a wise approach to your pet’s health and safety. 

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Signs Your Dogs May Need To Use The Litter Box

Cats have a great instinct to use litter boxes, sometimes their feline mother trains them to do so. But dogs don’t. Dogs don’t like to bury their deposits in the clay. But It doesn’t mean that you cannot train your canine to use a litter box.

To train your dog, first, you have to acknowledge whether Can dogs use cat litter. After that, it’s important to be aware of the signs your dog needs to use the litter box. You have to look at his body language and common signs which your dogs do. 

Signs Your Dogs May Need To Use The Litter Box
A dog lying down on a bed

Barking, sniffing, pacing, and scratching are body language and unusual bathroom behavior, indoor accidents, inappropriate elimination, and privacy preference are other signs of your dog’s behavior when he needs to use the litter box.      

Signs Your Dogs May Need To Use The Litter Box
A dog lying on soofa and indicating to you about littering with his behavior

Unusual Bathroom Behavior

When you train your dog to use a litter box, may he do some unusual bathroom behavior. After adopting indoor options, some unusual behavior you would observe when your dog needs to use the litter box to release themselves.

  • Digging and stretching indoor floor: Dogs may scratch and dig the indoor floor, as they did on the ground to create spots for their deposits.
  • Repeated visiting the potty area: If your dog persistently visits the same area, where he did his business before. Because he considers that spot his potty area. This is the communication sign that he needs to use the litter box.
  • Restlessness: If you see your dog’s discomfort and restlessness, it may also cause his need to eliminate his situation and seek a suitable spot to do so.
  • Assuming bathroom posture: Your dog may assume bathroom posture, which seems like his outdoor behavior. When he is ready to eliminate. This is a clear sign which conveys his needs to you. 

These all are some unusual bathroom behaviors that help you to observe your dog’s needs to use the litter box.

Indoor Accident And Inappropriate Elimination

Whenever your dog is not getting proper and effective training for using litter boxes,  the a wide chance of indoor accidents and inappropriate elimination can happen. These behavioral changes are frustrating for you and your dog as well.  Most dogs don’t like elimination in the area, where they sleep or live.

You are going to potty train your dog in a litter box. But in the beginning, your dog may be confused between his previous and new ways of elimination and the causes of indoor accidents. To prevent indoor accidents and inappropriate elimination, consistent training is the key point. Supervise your dog when you see his unusual bathroom behavior, and guide him to the litter box. You can also treat him for his good effort with his favorite raw fish or chicken. While learning, if sometimes an indoor accident can happen do not scold him. Be polite and kind to him.

Preference For Privacy

Keeping a litter box in a private and quiet place is the Right of your canine. In the wild, dogs use the shelter area to do their deposits. They always prefer a private spot outdoors. Privacy provides them with a sense of security. A quiet and comfortable area avoids distraction and helps them to focus on their elimination task. You can make a comfortable environment that can mimic the privacy that dogs seek outdoors and encourage your pet during his elimination process. 

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The Pros and Cons of Dogs Using Cat Litter

Potty training your puppy seems complicated, many ways we have discussed that will be helpful for you to encourage your dog to use cat litter. It saves you time and money. Using cat litter for dogs comes with some advantages and disadvantages as well. Might, also want to review the pros and cons before using it for your canine. 


Indoor Convenience 

For pet owners who are living in an apartment or have a small outdoor area, a litter box is beneficial for them. After training your dog for cat litter, you don’t need to rush outside at your dog’s potty time. Whenever your dog feels the need, he will have a place at home for elimination. Ensure the timing of potty break walks, and supervise him to go to the litter box on time.

Odour Control    

While training your dogs, indoor accidents can happen. Or your dog cannot control more and urine on the floor. It causes bad odor, and stains and damages your carpet. Some cat litter is designed to control odor effectively, spread soothing fragrance, and make your home fresh. Your Properly cat litter-trained dog will not create a mess on the floor and use his bathroom area when he needs to.   

Easy cleanup

After Indoor accidents, dog deposits stick to the floor and are hard to clean up. A litter box can easily absorb liquid, minimize messy situations, and provide you with cleanliness. You can easily scoop out all the soiled waste from the litter box without creating any mess.


Ingestion Risk

There is a high chance of ingesting cat litter risk for dogs. Your dog might be curious about the cat litter clumping clay. He feels it’s tempting and eats poop. It may lead to several health issues. The clay particles may get stuck in the digestive tract and cause blockages.  

Allergies And Irritation

Cat Litter contains chemical additives and silica gel. Some dogs get allergies and sensitivities from these chemicals and certain materials. It may lead to skin irritation and allergies if direct contact with it. Dusty clay may also affect the respiratory system and cause breathing problems.   

Misinterpretation Of Litter 

When your dog is not properly introduced and trained to use the litter box. Misinterpretation of litter boxes can happen. They might not understand its purpose. Placing a litter box in his elimination place may confuse him. Dogs need proper guidance and cues to understand their purpose. Without training and guidance dogs don’t recognize it as an elimination spot. 

These pros and cons will surely make you realize the advantages and disadvantages of using a cat litter box. Now you have much awareness of whether dogs can use cat litter boxes. You can choose the best one which is more suitable for your furry friend. 

All pet owners face different behavioral changes and situations in their dogs because every pet is different from another. According to pet owners’ experiences, here are some frequently asked questions about using cat litter,  which may help you when you start training your dog for cat litter.

Common Question:

Does cat litter work for dog pee?

Yes, cat litter works for dogs Non-clumping cat litter clay particles can absorb liquid and moisture.

What kind of litter do you use for your dog?

Paper pellets made from recycled newspaper’’ is the most popular cat litter for dogs. You can use it to provide extra hygiene to your pet. Unless regular cat litter is also good and can be used.

Do dogs know their litter?

Yes, dogs know about their litter. He always goes outdoors for elimination and avoids the area where they are sleeping and living. But dogs don’t have the instinct to bury their feces like cats do.

Why do dogs like cat litter?

If your cat litter is used by your cat. Dogs are obsessed with the smell of cat poop. Dogs like the smell of cat poop. Which appeals to dogs to eat them.

Can I use sand as cat litter?

Yes, you can use sand as cat litter. Sand or soil is clumpy. It makes Scooping easy for you. It is more comfy for dogs who spend more time outside.

Can a dog poop in a litter box?

Yes, dogs can poop in a litter box if you successfully train them. Generally dogs don’t have the instinct to poop in a cat litter box.


If you have a dog as a pet, you want to train your canine to use cat litter to avoid indoor accidents and keep cleanliness. But the thing is, Can dogs use cat litter? Is it suitable for every dog?

Most younger puppies can use cat litter and it’s easy to train them. For older dogs it is much more difficult to train them, they need more space in the litter tray according to their size. Cat litter makes you mindful and stress-free whenever you are away from home because your dog has bathroom facilities at home and you don’t have to face more indoor accidents.

Do you feel great after getting awareness about whether Can dogs use cat litter? Where we get lots of advantages from cat litter, it also contains some disadvantages. I have mentioned some pros and cons of using cat litter in the above article which surely guide you. In addition, I recommend before training your dog for cat litter, it’s better to consult your dog’s veterinarian for better guidance.

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