15 Aug Potty Training Your Cat
People who own cats usually love their pet immensely and put up with more-or-less anything the moggy can throw at them. But imagine this, what if we could train our cats to use a toilet, just like we do! Sound far-fetched?
Well, i’ll let you into a little secret- it’s not!
Most of us are just happy when the cat learns to use a litter tray properly, let alone thinking that it could use a toilet! Just imagine all the advantages of your cat using a toilet- no more smelly litter trays full of dry cat faeces, no more dusty litter, no more having to buy and carry home heavy bags of cat litter. I think you get where I’m coming from!
Is it easy to train a cat to use a toilet, you may ask?
Well the answer to that question is if you have a bit of time and patience and the cat is trained to use a litter tray, then yes. If a cat can be trained to use a litter tray then there is absolutely no reason why it cannot be trained to use a toilet.
There are a few things you have to bear in mind before you can start training your cat though. First of all you mustn’t get frustrated if you feel it isn’t learning as fast as you hoped it would. The process can take a few weeks or it can take a few months so be as patient as possible.
The cat will learn at its own pace, and we are all well aware of how stubborn cats can be! You also have to make sure that your cat is at least six months old as any younger and they may lack the ability to balance on the toilet seat properly and the last thing you need is for it to fall into the bowl!
Another thing which is handy is the fact that quite a few houses have two bathrooms, so try and ‘reserve’ one just for the cat during the training period and don’t forget to leave the toilet lid up and the seat down.
Before you start training the cat, you must make sure that it is using its litter tray every time it needs to do its business. If a cat doesn’t use a litter tray all the time then it will make it extremely difficult to train it to use a toilet, so make sure it is properly litter box trained before you start.
A cat instinctively has to bury its business in the sand, mud, litter or wherever so you are going to have to try and slowly change its behavioural habits over the course of a few weeks.
Initially, a few logical steps are needed to get the cat used to the idea of using a toilet. Start moving the litter tray, over the course of a few days, nearer and nearer to the bathroom. Cats are by nature, creatures of habit so anything out of the ordinary is likely to upset them or even stress them out to a certain degree.
When moving the litter tray, make sure it is in view of where it was initially placed so the cat doesn’t have to actively seek it out. If the cat doesn’t find the litter tray in its normal place and it cannot see it, it will probably do its toilet wherever it thinks the tray was or should have been!
Once you arrive at the bathroom, place the litter tray next to the toilet bowl and leave it there so the cat can get used to the toilet area. This way the cat will eventually get to associate the toilet bowl with the need to go to toilet.
The next course of action will be to gradually start raising the litter tray a little higher off the ground each day so that the cat can get used to the idea of jumping up into the tray to do a toilet and hence, eventually, up onto the toilet itself.
You can raise the litter tray by placing thick books or telephone directories underneath it but make sure the litter tray itself is stable because if it’s not and the cat jumps into it and it tips up, it will not want to jump up to it again because of the previous bad experience, making your task all the more difficult!
Once you have done this for a few days and the litter tray reaches the level of the toilet, you can place the tray on top of the bowl itself. Leave it here for a couple of days so the cat can get used to jumping up to the full height of the toilet.
You will then need to find in insert of some description that will fit snugly into the top of the toilet bowl- a shallow pan or mixing bowl are ideal or even one of those disposable foil baking trays.
Add some litter into this insert so the cat can have a familiar sensation under its paws but if you can, try and use flushable litter as some will inevitably end up in the toilet itself.
After a couple of days, start to gradually reduce the amount of litter that is in the bowl or foil and make a small hole at the bottom of whatever is inserted in the toilet bowl.
Over the next few days, decrease the amount of litter in the insert while at the same time increasing the size of the hole at the bottom. Eventually you should end up with just a large hole and no litter. After a couple of days of this, you should be able to remove the insert totally and your cat should now be toilet trained!