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Toilet Training a Cat – Why and How to Train Your Kitty

Why is toilet training a cat a good idea? Because you want to say good-bye to stinky kitty litter forever! How do you train your cat to use the toilet? With these toilet training tips…

But first, a quip:

“Intelligence in the cat is underrated.” ~ Lous Wain.

One of the best ways to challenge your cat’s intelligence is to teach him tricks – and the most impressive and useful trick of all is using the toilet. You can purchase a Cat Toilet Training Seat to help your cat use the potty.

But before you invest in your cat’s bathroom behavior, check out these tips – they don’t require the use of special cat toilet training equipment.

Tips for Toilet Training a Cat

There is no doubt I love my cat, Jack. Even when he leaps onto my desk or night table and starts batting things off! But one of the jobs I hate as a cat owner is cleaning his litter box.

Jack is quite the ordinary cat. He is not a pure-breed. I got him from the pound when he was about two months old. He is exceptional to no one but me, and that is all that matters.

Some people like to believe cats are not smart and therefore not trainable. Not true. I have taught Jack tricks and I know he is potty-trainable.

How to Introduce Your Cat to the Toilet

As all cat owners know, you have to make adjustments. The seat of the toilet should always be up, ring part down and the door to the bathroom needs to be left open.

Begin by moving the litter box in the bathroom beside the toilet. Be sure the cat knows where the litter box has been moved. Every other day raise the litter box about two inches, until the box is level with the toilet. Phone books are ideal for this task.

Once the cat is jumping onto the toilet to use the litter box, it is time for the litter box to be moved on top of the toilet. Let the cat continue to use the box on top of the toilet for a couple of days.

Move your cat from litter box to toilet seat

Find a metal bowl that will sit in the rim of the toilet with the ring down (some cat owners find an actual toilet training cat system helpful, such as the Litter Kwitter Toilet Training System). A plastic bowl is not recommended as it may bend and scatter litter everywhere. You will want to discard the bowl when complete. Put two inches of flushable litter in the bowl.

Place the bowl in the toilet, close the ring and leave the seat up. Watch the cat using the bowl.

How to teach your cat to sit on the toilet

You may need to teach your cat the proper squatting position. If the cat puts all four feet in the bowl, gently place both paws on the seat. Continue this practice until the cat keeps both paws on the seat without help. Offer a treat when the cat gets it right. Once the cat is regularly keeping the front paws out of the bowl, gently left a rear leg and set beside a front paw. When the cat has the three-legged squat, do the same with the leg left in the bowl. Some cats do not need this extra bit of instruction, but just in case you’ll know what to do.

Toilet training a cat is similar to teaching a dog tricks — you need to use cat treats! When your cat squats in the correct position, offer him a treat.

The final stages of toilet training your kitty…

Now it is time to begin reducing the litter in the bowl. This is the smelly part, just remember the joys of never scooping a litter box again. Praise the cat or offer a treat when the bowl is used correctly and you’ll want to empty as quickly as possible to reduce odor. Replace the litter with a little water. Increase the water as the cat successfully uses the bowl. Once the water in the bowl is a couple of inches deep, remove the bowl and VOILA! You never have to empty a litter box again.

Now, if only I could teach Jack how to flush…

For more tips on training your cat (not just to use the toilet, but many other things!), read Cat Training in 10 Minutes. It’s a best-seller on Amazon.

Do you know anyone who toilet trained their cat? Would you toilet train yours if you knew it worked? Comments welcome below…

Are you unable to take care of your cat? Options for Pet Owners Who Can’t Take Care of Their Pets.

Written by Katherine Eion, a freelance writer in Virginia. She is a graduate of Norfolk State University and loves writing for a living. Kate is a regular contributor for Demand Media Studios and can be followed on Twitter.

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3 thoughts on “Toilet Training a Cat – Why and How to Train Your Kitty”

  1. I’m in the process of toilet training my two cats right now. They flew through the first stages of the process immediately, but trying to get them to sit on the toilet properly is seeming to be impossible. My first cat is really big, and right now I’m thinking maybe he just doesn’t fit on the edge! And my other cat is very skittish, so if I even walk towards the bathroom while she’s in there she runs out. But I’m hoping if I can get the big boy to do it, she’ll just do what he does.

  2. Actually, I think toilet training is better for the cat as they are so fastidious about being clean! But then I’m no animal nut either. I love animals, but I’m also a dedicated carnivore! 😀

    Thank you!

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Our cat spends most of her day outside, playing in the garden and on the rock wall and in the trees. Where she pees I don’t know, and that’s fine by me! She hasn’t used her litter box in years.

    So I won’t be toilet training my cat anytime soon, but I’d love to hear from people who actually have 🙂

    I’m also curious if “animal rights activists” and people who are uber pro animals have a problem with toilet training a cat. Is it like declawing a cat, which affects a cat’s physical and emotional state? I don’t think so…but I’m not a huge animal rights activist. I mean, I LOVE animals, but I’m not a member of PETA or anything like that.

    Anyway — great article, Kate!