Yes, this means that you can get rid of that litter box altogether! It’s true, cats can be trained to use the toilets in your home. No more buying of litter or scooping smelly liter boxes. But not all cats will tolerate toilet training. If you have a young, willing cat and a little patience, it can be done!
The golden rule in toilet training a cat: Go slow. Some cats learn quickly, others never do. Be patient.
1. Prepare the scene. Leave reminder notes to members of the household to keep the toilet lid up and the seat down. And alwaysleave the door to the bathroom open when the room is not occupied.
2. Encourage the cat to relieve itself near the toilet. Place the litter box next to the toilet. Leave it there for at least 2 days.
3. Gradually raise up the litter box. Stack something sturdy under the litter box so it is raised by a couple of inches. Continue to raise it every few days until it is at the level of the toilet. If at anytime your cat seems unhappy or resistant to change, take it down a level and leave it there for several days.
4. Rig the toilet for cat litter. Find a bowl that fits under the seat and will sit inside the bowl of the toilet. Use a double boiler pan with a lip that can rest on the sides of the toilet bowl. This makes for easy removal and cleaning and of course when other people need to use the toilet.
5. Remove the litter box. Fill the bowl in the toilet with your regular litter. Don’t feel discouraged when your cat resists at first. Go back to step 3 and give it some time. Try to be around as much as possible during the first week. She would need your encouragement and praise.
6. Assist with paw placement. whe your cat goes in to use her new bowl of litter, watch the positionof her feet. She will most likely either try to sit entirely in the bowl or place her two front paws up on the seat. The more paws she volunteers to put on the seat in the beginning, the better luck you will have. As she gets ready, gently encourage her to place all of her paws on the seat. If she starts out with all feet in the bowl, encourage the front paws first. When she does this on her own, work her back feet on the bowl. Always be gentle and talk to her in a soft, reassuring voice. Reward her a small treat when she does this properly.
7. Reduce the amount of litter in the bowl. Once she has the hang of it, begin to leave less and less litter in the bowl. Begin to remove half a cup or a full cup per day and stop when she resists using the bowl. When you are down to just half a cup of litter, you are ready to move on to the next level.
8. Use water instead of litter. Add a few table spoons of water each day. Progress as slowly as your cat’s habits demand.
9. Remove the bowl. When the bowl is already half full of water, it is time to remove it. This may be uncomfortable for your cat at first, so placing back the bowl of water every now and then. Just keep trying. When she finally goes in the unaltered toilet, then you have succeeded!
10. Celebrate! When your cat uses the toilet properly, praise and pet her warmly but calmly. Forget flushing the toilet. Cats hate loud noises. Congratulating her with a flush of the toilet may put her training down the drain as well.
© Athena Goodlight 10/20/2010