Kitty On the Potty: Can We Toilet Train Cats?
We thought the self-cleaning litter box was pretty phenomenal when it hit the market, but now the chatter is more focused on potty-training felines. Yes, you read that right: no longer is it considered impossible to train cats to do anything anymore. And, if we can train cats to do something like crate train or walk on a leash, why wouldn’t we also toilet train cats?
A Smart Alternative
Many prospective cat owners shiver at the thought of hauling heavy bags or boxes of cat litter into the house, scooping clumps into the wastebasket, and cleaning the litter box on a regular basis. Sure, the look, smell, and work isn’t for everyone. If we can toilet train cats, it’s equally possible that more cats could find – and keep – their forever homes.
The Results Are In
It’s been proven that toilet training cats is actually easier than potty training children – and takes less time. But how should cat owners begin the process?
If your cat is older than 6 months of age and a success at using the litter box without fail, slowly and patiently present the concept of toilet training to them:
- Place their litter box next to the toilet. Over time, start to raise it off the floor and closer to the horizontal surface of the toilet bowl. Ensure that it’s stable and secure.
- Once your cat gets used to this new height, move the box over to rest on the lid of the closed toilet seat.
- You can use a shallow roasting pan or try the CitiKitty Training Seat. This allows your cat to continue using litter (the flushable kind) until 100% trained.
- Allow your cat time to adapt to this new system, graduating to less litter and a larger accessible area of the toilet bowl over time. If using your own system, create a much larger hole every week until your cat is eliminating into the toilet without any litter.
- Only remove each ring (or create a larger hole) when your cat masters that level.
- Give your cat plenty of time and space to achieve this goal.
- Reward your cat with lots of praise (and a small treat or two) for a job well done.
Toilet Train Cats
Many cat owners have also trained their cats to flush the toilet after using it. Either way, toilet training your cat is far less work than the litter box.
That being said, however, the following tips are important for your cat’s health, wellness, and safety:
- Since you won’t have clumps to count, monitor how many times a day your cat uses the toilet. This will be easier to do when they defecate, but try to keep a tally of how often your cat generally uses the toilet.
- Always keep your bathroom door open and the lid up.
- Watch out for any slip-ups. Your cat may lose their balance and fall into the toilet, perhaps ruining your chances of toilet training.
- Senior cats may have trouble; watch for any signs of stress or anxiety.
A Grain of Salt
It would be difficult to ignore the positives of toilet training cats, but it can seem unnatural for a cat to urinate or defecate while sitting on the porcelain throne meant for people. It sure sounds convenient though, right?
As always, our team is happy to assist you with any questions or concerns.
Share This Article
Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!