Thursday, January 20, 2011

Call it bad names and say it stinks BUT cat turds are delicious!

Newsflash: National pet food marketing firm reports, "Next to week old fish, decaying road kill, and napkins from a woman's monthly you know what, dogs vote cat poop favorite flavor."

Yuck is right, because immediately after sampling this savory snack, dogs tend to engage in their other canine-specialty: the big wet kiss. Unfortunately, you don't know the affectionate gesture's laced with a slimy stink until it's too late.

Why do dogs don this eclectic assortment of culinary cravings? The answer lies in studies of free-roaming, human-avoiding dogs in rural areas of other countries. These dogs don't survive by playing the great four-legged hunter. Instead, they raid the mother lode of trash cans: the local dump. And with all the competition amongst rival groups, they can't be choosy. If it smells edible, the rule is "Eat first; and ask questions later."


But why do your refined city dogs engage in scavenging like these rural heathen hounds? And why your cat's poop? Because they can and because it's there. Some owners are lucky because their dogs haven't figured it out. Once they do, it's "end of story." Dogs practically lie in wait for a chance at this secret stash. Will kitty leave them a tasty treat this time? Once the prize is placed, it stares them in the eye like a luscious brownie on the third day of your no-chocolate-diet.

Needless to say, trying to break Fido of this habit is a losing cause. And scooping the litter box immediately after each of Kitty's deposits is simply not possible for mere mortals. Luckily, we can manipulate the environment to restrict dogs' access and get our way. For example, if your Fido is Fifi-sized, you can elevate the litter box out of pooch-range. The top of a desk or cabinet could work fine. Of course, you have to be sure Kitty is comfortable jumping that high.

For large-breed dogs, you can designate a room for Kitty's litter boxes and place a baby gate in the doorway -- but raise it about a foot off the ground. A better bet would be a personal passage for your cats to their private lavatory in a separate room or closet. You can either try a magnetic or electronic kitty door that will only open for pets wearing the collar key. Or you can try my personal favorite: the "Cathole" -- a mouse-hole shaped entryway that you insert into a door. It's big enough for both regular as well as plus-sized cats but keeps most dogs -- and infants, for that matter -- out. Even with the enticement of last night's table scraps, neither my 35-pound Australian cattle dog, nor my 20-pound Scottie (who, due to some weird act of nature, has the same-sized head and teeth but a smaller body than the cattle dog) could shove her way through past her chest. They just paddled and strained, their heads protruding through like mounted trophies.

The Cathole even looks pretty nice. It has an optional brush insert which grooms your cat every time she passes through, and you can stain the wood to match or complement your door's design. The one down side is that you do need to install it. That means you have to take the door off its hinges and cut a hole using a jigsaw and the included template. Luckily, the Cathole comes with instructions designed to guide even the most mechanically challenged. The company's web page includes pictures showing how to remove your door, and the paper instructions remind you to make the hole at the bottom of the door rather than accidentally making it at the top. All in all, the process is pretty simple and probably worth your while. The best part is that if you place the litter box far enough away from the hole and in a location that your cat finds suitable, your pooch poop-eating problem could be solved for good.

You can find different door options at www.cathole.com and www.petdoors.com.

And if you feel guilty for denying Fido his favorite doo-doo delicacy, you can offer him Cat Logs for Dogs -- a dog treat designed to look like real poop replicas. Adapted from an article originally appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001.
National Canine Cancer Foundation

17 comments:

Oskar said...

This made my mom person feel kind of pukey!

Nubbin wiggles,
Oskar

Benny and Lily said...

They are so tasty!!
Benny & Lily

Frankie Furter said...

I'm not sure WHY... BUTT this post certainly appeals to me!
BaaaaaWaaaaaah

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Egad! Turds rule, that's for sure.
And, what is it about frozen ones outside that are so appealing as well, I'd like to know!??

♥I am Holly♥ said...

So that's why every dog I have had runs to the litter box! I have always wondered why they find it so delicious and I try to keep it out of the way. If Holly gets her way though, she runs really fast and the first place she goes to is the litter boxes that I have set up in one little room that I call the "cat room". Thanks for the information! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

houndstooth said...

Oh, ewwww! I should not have read this so soon after taking antibiotics!

Anny said...

They dooooooo taste nice.. i just had some this morning in the garden. The cats left me some doo-doo... dun tell anyone.. *shhhhhh*

woofs n licks,
Dommy

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I see them everymorning in that kat box. I look at them, and then mommy says "get away from that stinky box". I always walk away, but one of these days, when she least expects it. I will sneak one.
I have never had one,, not even one.,,,, so you see,, I have very kissable lips
love
tweedles

Sam said...

One of Marge's favorites, for sure. We have to always keep the litter box scooped so that she doesn't go bobbing for turds..

Maggie and Mitch said...

We feel so left out! We have never tasted cat poo before!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Ludo van Doggy said...

What a clever idea! I never ate Pepe's poops. I got them out the litter tray and put them in grandpawents room but never actually ate them. I pretty fussy really.
~lickies, Ludo

mayziegal said...

I've never gotten to eat kitteh poops but Brudder Ranger has and he says they're DEE-lish! Mom and dad solved this by putting the litter boxes in our basement and putting a kitteh door in the basement door - just like you said to do! It works pawfectly - IF you're a kitteh or a human. Not so much if you're a doggie with craving for kitteh poo.

Wiggles & Wags,
mayzie

Mrs. JP said...

Our pack has adjusted their taste buds to dog poop since the cat doesn't come into "their yard." So, we just have to avoid Puppy kisses AT ALL COSTS!
I can't believe someone actually makes a treat called cat logs?
It's gross for sure and certain.

ForPetsSake said...

Fantastic post- I hear the question posed to me almost daily at the vet clinic where I work.
"How do I get my dog to stop eating poop?"
The easiest answer is the most logical - they won't eat it if they can't get to it!

♥MONA + MOMMY TOO♥ said...

Mommy says that why I can't have a kitty. I've never had any cat poop. I promissed Mommy I wouldn't if I had a kitty but she says she don't believe me.

How Rude!!

{{{huggies}}}....Mona

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

Momma says this is the most barbaric habit I have! She cannot believe someone with the refined palate I have (coq au vin, lamb shanks, pate) would even consider such a choice, but...

Jan Mader said...

I'm laughing because this is so true! I love the look on your kitty's face!!!