Litter boxes stink and scooping messes are not the best part of having cats. What if that was no longer an issue ? Recently, it seems news has been spreading about teaching cats to use the toilet just as us humans do.
This method of waste removal brings many questions; is it possible? Can a cat of any age be trained? How would you even start? Here are the basic directions that are suggested to finally rid your home of that litter box.
Perhaps one of the most important changes you have to make when sharing a bathroom with your cat is making sure the door does not close behind you on your way out. Another important factor is keeping the lid up so kitty can use the toilet since they can’t open it themselves. Your cat can wait while you use the restroom, but lets make sure they can still get there when needed otherwise.
Cats seem to always be able to find their litter box when its moved, so the goal is to move their litter box over time right to your toilet. This process should take approximately 2-3 weeks and lots of patience on your part. Once completed, your cat will be trained for the rest of its life and can use any toilet in any house as long as you show them where the restroom is.
Start week one by practicing keeping your bathroom door open and the toilet lid up. By the time your cat is ready to use the toilet you and your family should already be in the habit of keeping the toilet accessible to kitty. You know your cat better than anyone else, so move accordingly to your cat but it is suggested you move the litter box a few inches each day. You don’t want to move things too drastically and upset or stress your cat which could cause purposeful messes outside the litter box. Moving the litter box slowly continues stability without creating too much change.
During week two your litter box should be close to your bathroom of choice; perhaps on the same floor if you have a multi-floor house. The litter box should still be moving very slowly and be inching throughout your house and hallways. It surely has been underfoot and annoying but you are almost in the finishing stretch- just keep diligent and your hard work will pay off.
The final lap (week three, more or less depending on your cat) is all in the bathroom. The litter box should have moved from the bathroom doorway to right next to the toilet, which is probably the most inconvenient part of this whole process up until now. After the litter box has sat next to your toilet for a few days, start to raise the height of the box.
Magazines, books or boxes can be used to gradually -over days- raise the litter box to the same height as the toilet. The next step involves putting the litter box on top of the toilet.
This will of course need to be moved each time a human in your house needs the bathroom, however this is an integral part of toilet training your cat. Once kitty has become accustomed to jumping on the toilet to use the litter box you are almost done.
The final steps involve getting rid of the litter box and using the toilet full time. You need to start by finding a container of your choice that will fit inside the bowl of the toilet – but not fall in. For clarity, we will call this the “litter bowl”.
The lip of the litter bowl you put inside the toilet should be held in place by the seat (the lid with the hole in it). Put a small amount of litter in the litter bowl just enough to cover the bottom for your cat to still scratch at, perhaps an inch or two.
You should slowly decrease the amount of litter in the bowl over time. Also pay attention to the stance kitty is taking on the toilet seat. If your cat still wants to stand in the litter, try to encourage them to place their feet on the toilet seat. They will eventually get the hang of it. Remember, this is just as awkward and temporarily annoying for your cat as it is for you. Just remember no more litter boxes, stink, and scooping poop… you are almost there.
As time goes on and you decrease the amount of litter in the litter bowl until there is barely enough to cover the mess, it is time to start adding water to the litter bowl. Start with enough water to cover the bottom and slowly add over time. When your litter bowl gets about half way full of water, remove the bowl and pat yourself on the back. You just toilet trained your cat and no longer need to clean a litter box or buy litter again. Congratulations!