Are Cat Litter Crystals Toxic for Dogs?

by Eleanor McKenzie Google
    The cat's litter tray is a lunchbox for some pups.

    The cat's litter tray is a lunchbox for some pups.

    George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Your pooch is likely to see a cat's litter tray as less of a bathroom facility and more as a source of gastronomic delights. Coprophagia -- the scientific name for feces eating -- is something you should discourage but is unlikely to cause too much harm unless the cat has toxoplasmosis. However, eating cat litter, especially in large amounts, is more serious.

    Clumping Cat Litter

    Clumping cat litter makes life easier for cat owners, but it's dangerous for your dog. This type of litter swells when it's wet and forms a solid lump; even inside your pup when he eats it. A few odd bits may not cause your pup too much trouble, other than a slight gastrointestinal upset or constipation. If your pooch munches on litter like it's kibble, serious intestinal blockage could occur, according to the ASPCA. Get your pooch to a vet if he's eaten a large amount of clumping cat litter.


    Some cat litter contains silica. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center states that consumption of litter containing silica is unlikely to harm either dog or cats. Some may show signs of tummy upset, but others are completely unaffected.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.

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