Saturday, October 16, 2010

Woof and Meow, Part III: Strategies for Stopping the Treasure Hunt and Keeping the Peace

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
So Much for the Child-Guard Latch


Today, we'll start by talking about barriers. If your goal is to give Meow some space of her own, while also allowing Woof plenty of room to roam, you’ll have to evaluate your home and determine a cutoff point—that one place where you can separate the home into two segments—where Woof cannot pass into Meow’s territory. The reverse may not be true, as cats can often scale barriers, but that’s another topic.

Baby gates: This was the method of choice for our house when Oliver came to live here. You see, at the time, our rabbit, Robby, and our cat, Patches, both outweighed the feisty little puppy by a considerable margin. Yet puppies think that all things that move are toys, so Oliver had no clue. He was all about playing with Patches and Robby, no matter their size. Tanner and Xena’s ample 50+ lbs. was no worry for him either; he just wanted to play. 

Baby gates are available in budget-conscious models that can be stepped over; free-standing, attractive ones that look elegant in your living room, and models with gates that can open and shut. With a Houdini, Tanner, in our midst, we chose the child-guard latched, super secure version of the gated model, and went home feeling we had it licked. No more worries that Patches would take off Oliver’s little nose. Unfortunately, the child-guard latch did not stop Tanner from learning to open it. Again, that's a story for another day!

On day 2 of this adventure, we found ourselves stacking two budget models above one another, simply to keep Patches from investigating the little munchkin that wanted to play. Go figure. Most families would worry that the dog would eat the cat, but in this case it was the other way around. Our little three pound Oliver was no match for 10 lb. Patches and her claws.


Covered litter boxes with small entrances work great for keeping large dogs at bay, especially if the opening is faced toward a wall, leaving little availability for a snout to sniffle in. Some Woof and Meow families use a second one of these contraptions for a private feeding space, as well. Not a bad idea. If your toy-sized dog or puppy has access to this area, though, all bets are off.

Kitty doors offer much the same benefits as covered boxes. Before Oliver, our Papillon, arrived, our 2 big Retrievers could not get through Patches' cat door, and gain access to her area. Success….but only until Oliver arrived. The moral of this story is, if you have a toy-sized dog, kitty doors and covered litter boxes won’t solve all your problems. You’ll still have to employ some of the ideas below. Keep reading...

Raised areas for litter boxes and feeding: Now this could be your ticket if you have a dog that is not large enough to ‘counter surf’. Feeding a cat on top of a dryer, sturdy shelf or table, might work if you own a Cocker Spaniel, but your Great Dane may be another story. A jumper could also be a problem. Consider all your pets’ talents when choosing the right option for your home.

Eliminating lures such as access to food and litter boxes is extremely important. In another installment of Woof and Meow, I’ll introduce you to a product that will offer Meow the privacy and safety she needs in a ground level litter box: the Litter-Robot. We'll also look into some sustainable cat litter made out of corn, a much better solution that our old-fashioned clay, offered by World's Best Cat Litter.

The cleanest litter box possible is one very important strategy to remember--smell is your dog's best sense, so keeping Meow's box super clean will reduce the enticement for Woof.

Selecting a single room for Meow’s stuff to be housed, such as a bathroom or laundry area, will give all the pets access to the whole house. There’s just one issue with this method; your dog and your cat have to learn to live peaceably TOGETHER. Training Woof and Meow for this is another of our upcoming articles. 

That's enough for today. Have you missed any of our earlier posts? Here's the links:


Have you entered the drawing for our prizes? You can enter at any or all of these sites, as often as you like:



Full disclosure: The Litter-Robot and World's Best Cat Litter described in this series have been donated to All Things Dog Blog for an independent review. I have not been paid to provide my opinion of these products, and the opinion provided is my own.
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6 comments:



Darcey said...

Great post! I'm following your blog, 5 Minutes for Fido with Google Friend Connect as well.



Xena, Tanner and Oliver said...

Well, folks, meet your best competition. Darcey is one determined young woman. The push is on to win the Litter-Robot and the bags of litter from World's Best Cat Litter. Don't be left behind!



niki maas said...

I have a friend who has bog and small dogs and cats in the house.. They placed litterbox in the laundry room but the little dogs got into it.. and they didnt want to put it on the washer and dryer for the fact one of the cats couldnt jump that high.. so what they did was invest in one of those Deluxe Magnetic Cat Flap. yes its usually used for outdoors, but when you have a laundry room door and one way to keep out the dogs, it works... if puppy gates dont work, what else can you do? just FYI or is it DYI?



Xena, Tanner and Oliver said...

Thanks Niki! I just looked this up and it is definitely a new product to me--such a cool idea. This cat door only works for the specific pet wearing a collar with a key that automatically opens and closes it. This would be a perfect solution for families with toy-sized dogs who like to get into their kitty's box. Thanks for the great idea!



Sara Bradow said...

I used almost every method you mentioned! I have baby gates up and a cat door going into my utility room where I keep a covered litter box and where I feed my cats. And when they are out on the porch, I have to put their litter box up on a table so my pup won't get into it. So far it's worked. Just wish they would get along better. My cats just hate our new dog.



Xena, Tanner and Oliver said...

Thanks for the comment, Sara. My post that is scheduled for the Saturday before Thanksgiving will address your specific situation. Be sure to watch for it.

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