HomeHuman to cat relationshipdog ownershipWhy do dogs eat cat poop out of the litter box?


Why do dogs eat cat poop out of the litter box? — 5 Comments

  1. I used to think that litter box cleaning was part of some hidden maternal instinct, even for spayed females. Not so because males do it too.

    Since I moved to the country, I’ve seen my dogs enjoy nature’s smorgasbord in the yard: deer, rabbit, squirrel, etc.

    Although this behavior may be a result of nutritional needs, my assessment is that dogs are just plain nasty and that is that. 😉

  2. It is a nutritional issue. The species we call the house-cat, Felis catus was created by humans by relentlessly culling (killing) any cats near homes with unwanted genetic traits that weren’t beneficial for the purposes that humans wanted from cats — namely, indiscriminate hunting and killing of small animals whether hungry or not. (The urge to kill other animals was so effectively changed by this culling of wild native cats by humans, that their desire to kill is even controlled by a completely separate part of their brain than their sense of hunger today.)

    In the last 200 years the house-cat has been further debased from their native species by even adapting longer digestive tracts to help digest the lower-nutrient diets fed to them by humans. Even though their digestive tracts are now longer they are highly inefficient.

    As seen in the attached chart showing the efficiency of different animals kept as pets and their consumption and production of green-house gasses compared to energy extracted from their foods.

    Many nutrients are wasted by cats. Dogs can and do take advantage of this when possible. Not unlike many herbivores that practice coprophagy, eating their own feces, like many rabbits and smaller herbivores do, to try to extract the extra nutrients and proteins created by the cellulose-digesting microbes in their own intestines. Herbivores cannot survive on plants alone. They need a microbial assist in their own guts to provide those nutrients not initially provided by a vegan diet. (Or like herbivore deer do, will even kill and eat smaller animals occasionally for the required nutrients.) Much to the dismay of vegans everywhere who believe that an all-plant diet is healthy for them. If they truly want to be a healthier vegan they need to eat their own feces. (note: Not healthy, just healthier if they ate their own feces. They are still biologically and evolutionarily lacking the required digestive-tract length and amount of cellulose-digesting microbes in their guts to produce their required nutrients in their own feces.)

  3. I would tend to agree with you on the latter point. All of our animals get their wet food in the morning. And dry food in their bowls as they want. We don’t let them get over weight as we measure it out.
    My dog was a breeder we rescued from a puppy mill when she was 5 (long story). She hadn’t been socialize waddled like a seal for a few days after getting her off the plane.
    My daughter use to breed this breed years before and thought she would be prefect temperament for what I needed. But after meeting Katie she said she’s been inbred or something. That she’s got a screw loose. Doesn’t trust her. Blah blah blah. She is a habitual poop eater. We clean it out of the yard daily because of that. I bought a top loading cat box because of her getting into it.
    They say love heals all wounds. I have had her seven years. She is loving, sweet nature, always gives preference over to other animals, will only go to the bathroom on a training pad and rarely outside, wants to please me more than anything. Will turn down her morning wet food if I have not given her her morning loving yet. Attention is more important.So she may not be breed standard. She may have a screw loose but I never cared about that stuff. At least she’s not stuck in a cage producing puppies. I spayed her. 😉 She won’t be broken from eating poop even her own from off the training pad when you see remnants left when you get home from being gone. Highly intelligent dog, I’ve shown her, told her walked her outside through doggy door, she knows it belongs outside. But it seems she rather eat it than be scolded for going indoors. But we live in the desert and when it gets hot she WILL NOT GO OUTSIDE. 😱😩😞 Certain seasons she walks right outside and eliminates. So take from this what you will. Just my experience and opinions.

    • Thank you very much, Patricia for your comment. You make an interesting point about being inbred. That is a point I did not make in my article. Dogs can be inbred and I believe that inbreeding can affect the mentality of a dog. Therefore this may be a factor.

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