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.
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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…
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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.