Imagine how great it would be if you could train your fur baby to use the toilet, just like you can with a..kid? Well, believe it or not, it is possible! Yes, you read that correctly, you CAN train a cat to use the toilet.
However, this is no easy task, and it requires a lot of time, patience, and knowledge. Even so, if you’re fed up with scooping litter and cleaning the litter box, transitioning your kitty to pee and poop in the toilet could be well worth the effort!
Pros & Cons To Training Your Cat To Use The Toilet
Before you decide if you want to commit to this training regime, you should fully understand the pros and cons of toilet training your cat. The pros are self-explanatory – no more scooping, no litter tracking, less maintenance, and no need to buy those heavy bags of cat litter again!
So what about the cons? Using a toilet is very unnatural for a feline, and therefore, it can be pretty stressful for them if they’re new to it. Your kitty will likely find it difficult at first, and it will take a while for them to get the hang of it. This is especially true for kittens, senior cats, and those with health problems.
Additionally, using a toilet interferes with your cat’s natural instincts of digging and covering their waste. This could distress them so much that they choose to eliminate their waste in other places. Or, it could trigger anxiety every time they need to relieve themselves so be mindful if this is right for your cat.
A Step By Step Guide
Some cats will take to the toilet more than others. There is no way to know if your kitty will like it unless you try. So, if you’ve decided to give it a go, here’s a breakdown of what to do. The most important thing is to take it slow, giving your kitty ample time to adjust and understand.
Start With Moving Their Litter Box Next To The Toilet
If possible, train your cat to use a toilet that you or other household members don’t use. This will make the later stages of the training much easier.
First, you need to move the litter box to the designated bathroom. Do this over a few days, moving the box only slightly each time, so your kitty does not get confused or stressed. Continue with this until the litter box is set up right next to the toilet.
Gradually Raise The Height To That Of The Toilet’s Level
Raise the height a few inches at a time, using books or stacks of newspapers. Again, go slow, and ensure whatever you place under the litter box is sturdy and wide enough to securely hold it for when they hop in.
Place The Litter Box On Top Of The Toilet
Once the box is level with the toilet, put it on top of the toilet seat and leave it here for a couple of days. Continue to scoop the waste but do not refill the litter, so your feline begins to get used to using less each time.
Transition To A Training Seat With Flushable Litter
When there is a thin layer of litter left in the box, switch to a training seat for the next part of the process. There are a few cat toilet training seats on the market that you can use, such as Litter Kwitter and City Kitty. The kit consists of interchangeable rings/trays that gradually increase the hole size in the center. These specially-made training seats are super convenient and not too expensive either.
Another option is to create a training tray yourself. You can make one using a roasting pan, cling film, and duct tape. However, if you choose the DIY method, ensure that the tray is strong enough to hold your cat’s weight. If your kitty falls into the toilet bowl at this stage, all hope of success is lost. Whichever type of training tray you use, fill it with flushable litter that is safe for your drain.
Increase The Hole Size In The Training Seat Until Your Cat Is Using The Toilet
Give your fur baby a couple of days to get used to their new training seat on the first ring (the smallest hole). Then, start to change the rings/trays so that the gap gradually starts to get bigger.
If you’re using a DIY training seat, cut a small hole in the bottom of it, then make the gap slighter bigger every day. At the same time, gradually decrease the amount of flushable litter too.
Remove The Training Seat
Once you are on the last training ring with the largest hole, your feline should be comfortable enough to eliminate directly into the toilet bowl. At this point, you should have stopped using litter too.
Reward Your Kitty!
Lastly, give your fur baby a few of their favorite treats as a reward for their success! This is no easy skill and took them a lot of patience and practice to feel comfortable.
What To Do If Your Cat Won’t Use The Toilet
If your efforts are in vain, and your kitty still won’t use the toilet after attempting this step by step guide, don’t take it to heart or blame your fur baby.
Many cats will be resistant to this new way of doing their business, and for some, it will either be too distressing, or they simply won’t like it and will start to reject the process.
An alternative way to end the constant scooping, maintain a hygienic environment, and reduce tracking is to upgrade to an automatic litter box. Self-cleaning litter trays like the ChillX AutoEgg or the ScoopFree by Petsafe will keep your kitty’s bathroom clean 24/7 by automatically cleaning after every use. Both use efficient raking systems to clean deep and remove even the smallest waste particles every time.
Although it is possible to train your cat to use the toilet, it’s not always the best bathroom set up for your kitty’s needs. Every cat is different, so go with what works best for your pet and their style.