Toilet training for cats
Sharing your life with a cat comes with a lot of purrrecious moments, but also with a little bit of hair on your clothes, your furniture, everywhere, and with a litter box to be cleaned regularly and litter to be swept daily.
But not necessarily! Cats can be toilet trained.
Cats of all ages can be toilet trained. Everyone can toilet train their cats, as long as they are patient to go through the process that can go over a couple of weeks, and even months. While it may be too much of a time investment to some owners, it may be worthwhile if you consider that you will be saving the sometimes annoying chores of litter box cleaning for numerous years.
So you are up to the challenge? Here is how you can proceed:
First and foremost, move your cat’s litter box to the bathroom, right next to the toilet. Do it in front of your cat, so that he finds it right away next time he has a “toilet emergency”. If the litter box is very far from the bathroom, you can move it gradually closer day after day, so that your cat gets used to its new location.
Then, you have two options:
You can either buy a toilet training kit that can be found on such websites (http://www.kittytoilettraining.com/).
Or, if you are the crafty type, you can build your own kit using an aluminum pan.
Either way, the idea is to gradually transfer your cat litter box to a toilet, without disturbing him too much, so that he get used to all the newness of the toilet’s height, hole and water.
Toilet training kits are somewhat safer as they are made of durable plastic, eliminating the chances that your cat falls into the toilet bowl. Which is somewhat important! If your cat lives this unfortunate experiences, chances are that he will not want to go anywhere near the toilet any time soon. Another plus: It is more practical to remove the training kit accessories than your own taped kit, whenever a two-legged member of your family wants to use this specific toilet.
If you have a secondary bathroom, make sure to use this one first to toilet train your cat to avoid the hassles of having to remove your cat litter box from the toilet if you or anyone needs to use it. The training should make your life easier, not harder!
So once you have everything you need, you can get started.
- Put a toilet seat ON your cat’s litterbox. Your cat will get use to this strange object and will learn to climb on it to do his thing.
- Then, gradually increase the height of your cat’s litterbox (with books, boxes, etc.), day after day, until it is up to the toilet bowl’s height. Your cat is learning to climb to do his thing.
- Now is the time to either use the first level of your toilet training kit or add a strong aluminum pan taped under the toilet seat, which you can fill with your cat’s favorite litter. Your cat is now getting use to a litter box of a different shape, as well as learning to climb on the toilet and to squat on the toilet seat.
- When your cat has been using this new toilet successfully for about two weeks, you can move to the next level of your training kit, or cut a small oval hole into the pan. Then fill the ring or the pan with some litter. Your cat will now get use to the hole above the water, while still having the option to do his thing on the ring filled will litter. He is also getting more and more agile and getting used to squatting on the toilet sit.
- The next step is another narrower ring (or a bigger hole). At this point, there is basically no litter left in the ring and your cat will probably end up doing his thing directly into the water of the toilet bowl. This is a new sensation (and sound!) that your cat will gradually have to get used to.
- Again, after two successful weeks, your cat is ready for the next level: using the toilet bowl as is, without the help of any accessories. Reward and congratulate your cat plenty if you catch him during his private moment!
So the next step would be to teach your cat to flush the toilet himself…
But do not worry about it too much! Your cat bowel movements are probably regular, so it is unlikely that an unpleasant sight surprises you on your next bathroom trip. Plus, your cat’s pee will probably be unnoticeable! It would be unfortunate to spoil a lot of good water to avoid using litter. More importantly, your cat’s stools tell you a lot about his general health, information that you would not want to flush down the toilet.
So, will you try toilet training your cat? If you do, please share your experience, good or bad :)
A video explaining the kit:
Toilet Training for Cats Kits: http://www.litterkwitter.com/en/what_is.html
How to toilet train your cat: http://www.wikihow.com/Toilet-Train-Your-Cat
A hilarious BAD experience on cat toilet training: http://www.thestar.com/living/article/417148–toilet-training-cat-was-a-crappy-idea