Our cat keeps washing his paws in the dog’s water bowl after going to the litter box. Never his water bowl; always our dog’s. We’ve moved both water bowls far away from his litter box yet he keeps up this pattern. He even pats his paws on the dirty laundry after. No, he is not licking his paws after. This pattern has become a serious problem and we don’t know how to stop it! Please help?

  • 2
    Can you please explain why is this a serious problem? It reads like a curious behavior, but from your question it's not clear how or why this causes any "serious problem".
    – Elmy
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 11:31
  • Maybe you could just try with a shared water bowl for the dog+cat, i.e. make the cat decide himself if he wants to wash the paws in the bowl even though it contains his drinking water. p.s. Should you be happy if he chooses dirty laundry (instead of e.g. your curtains or sofa) to wipe his paws on?
    – Tuomo
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 13:34
  • @Elmy as dogs often like to eat snacks from the litter box, it sounds like you are suggesting this is not a problem. Maybe you should post an answer explaining why it is not a problem. Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 17:08
  • 2
    @JamesJenkins That's not what I mean and I assume it's not what OP means, either. To me the question reads like "My cat takes a food bath in a water bowl". Granted, this is a problem, but not a "serious" one. Reading between the lines, it could mean "My cat purposely gets wet feed and wets other things by walking around" or it could mean "My dog refuses to drink water after my cat walked through his water bowl", which sounds like a more serious problem. But I don't know enough about the situation to be sure.
    – Elmy
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


As the comments suggest there are some things you can try.

3 bowls could help your problem. Put the third - foot bath - bowl closer to the litter box than the other two. This should make it more attractive for washing feet in than the others. For the laundry I would suggest putting a towel or easy to clean carpet under the third bowl since that would immediately dry and clean your cats paws.

If this does not work you could put a wet cloth/towel around the litter box, this would at least ensure that his paws are somewhat clean when he tries to wash them after.

Last but not least you can buy a bowl stand for your dog like this one.

High bowl stand

This should stop your cat from reaching it and unless you have a dachshund or something similar it should work fine.

Please let us know if any of the suggests work for you!

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