How To Teach Your Cat To Use The Toilet Just Like Us
Are you fed up of cleaning your cat’s litter tray? Well believe it or not cats can actually be trained to use the toilet just like us. All you need is a lot of patience and preferably an extra toilet dedicated to training your cat.
1. Move the cat’s litter box so that it is positioned right next to the toilet.
Keep it like this for at least a day, or for as long as you think is needed for your cat to grow accustomed to the new toileting arrangement.
2. Gradually raise the litter box up by placing phone books (or something similar) under it.
Repeat daily until the box is of equal height to the toilet. Whenever you raise the box, take a little bit of the litter out of the box. You may need to secure the litter box to the phone books or whatever it’s sitting on so that it doesn’t move when the cat jumps onto it.
3. Move the box over 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) onto the seat.
Repeat daily until the box is directly over the seat. Continue gradually decreasing the amount of litter in the box until there is only a thin layer (less than 1 inch/2.5cm) of it left.
4. Replace the litter box with a “training box”.
You have a few different options here, but the important thing to remember is to make sure the “training box” can hold your cat’s weight if he steps or jumps onto it:
Lift the toilet seat and tape a piece of wax paper over the hole so that the toilet looks like a drum. Lower the seat over the wax paper.
If you can, add flushable litter.
Lift the toilet seat and tape a bowl or aluminum pan to the edges. Put the seat down so that it holds the bowl in place. (See video below.) If you can, add flushable litter.
Alternatively, use a commercial training device, sold specifically for this purpose. Ask at your local pet store for advice.
Clean the litter in your training box after each use and sprinkle some catnip in the clean litter.
5. Transition into the cat using only the toilet.
If using wax paper or an aluminum pan, cut a hole about one inch (2.5cm) in diameter in the center and gradually increase the size of the hole until it is almost gone.
If you’re using a training seat, remove the rings, one at time. This is done to gradually get the cat used to urinating or defecating into water.
Simultaneously, no matter which method you’re using, reduce the amount of litter so that there is no litter when the paper, bowl, or device is removed.
6. Flush the toilet after your kitten urinates.
Not only is this sound hygiene for all members of the household, but some cats are shy about defecating onto urine.
Do not teach your cat to flush. Although it is possible, once they learn, many seem to enjoy it and will do it all the time, even when it’s not appropriate to do so as no business has been done. This wastes water.
7. Try rewarding the cat or kitten with treats after a successful toilet experience.
This will positively reinforce a job well done.
Tips for potty training your cat.
If your cat refuses to use the toilet after you’ve cut the hole to reveal the water, try cutting the hole at the edge of the wax paper/aluminum pan instead. If you are using an aluminum pan, roll up the edge of the piece you just cut to create a wall (or “dam”) to prevent too much litter from falling into the hole.
If when you remove the “training box” the cat seems confused, try sprinkling a little flushable litter into the water to spark his or her memory.
Always, always, always wait until the cat is comfortable with a setup before changing it. Go slow. If you rush the cat, this will not work, and you are more likely to have accidents.
Don’t ever try to force a cat to do anything that it does not want to do. For example, you should never have to pick up the cat and put it in the litter box or on the “training box”. If you must show or force a cat to do something, you’ve moved too quickly from one stage to the next. Go back to square one.
This will not work with indoor/outdoor cats, as they will probably just learn to hold it rather than deal with this drama. It may not even work with your indoor cat; it depends on how much interest your cat has in being manipulated this way.
This will work best if you are home full-time for the duration of the training time.
If you don’t have a spare toilet, this is going to require much more effort, especially if there are other people living in the house. Everyone will have to move the litter holder each time they want to use the toilet and then put it back the way they found it.
Kittens like to bury their work so make sure you remove small items from the bathroom. Otherwise your stuffed toy shark may be found swimming in the bowl.
Be careful doing this with younger cats as kittens could drown if left unattended in the toilet and fall in unnoticed.
Still unsure? Watch this video below giving a detailed demonstration on how to train your cat to use the toilet.