Nothing says “look at how smart my cat is” like your feline perched up on a human toilet. The art and science of the cat toilet train is pretty simple, but it takes some time and dedication.
Once you finish this article, you should understand how to train a cat to use the toilet, along with the benefits and potential problems.
The benefits of cat toilet training are obvious. No more buying litter. No more cleaning and refilling the litter box. It’s all much easier on you once the cat is trained.
There are, however, some issues you should know beforehand. After training a cat to use the toilet, it will be much harder to monitor the cat’s health.
Frequent litter box checks help ensure that your cat remains in good health. No more litter box means no more litter box checks.
Also, scratching and burying urine and feces is a natural, instinctual activity for cats and kittens. Using the toilet is not. And there’s a risk of injury associated with using the toilet, especially for older cats that have a tough time hopping up on a toilet seat.
One final note: It will be messy. You will need to watch your cat carefully, especially once you first introduce the toilet. If you’re not watching your kitty closely, don’t be surprised if he or she decorates your house with litter (or worse!).
Okay, enough with the warnings. Here’s how it’s done:
First you need a cat training toilet. It’s best to use an extra bathroom that the humans of the house don’t use.
Begin by moving your cat’s litter box to the bathroom, next to the toilet. Make sure the cat is watching while you move it. Give the cat a couple days to get used to the new arrangement. Reward your cat when he uses the bathroom with your praise, affection, and maybe even a treat!
On the third day, begin using phone books (or anything similar and not slippery) to raise the litter box. Begin with one phone book and increase the height by about an inch every day or so. Gradually remove a little litter each day. Monitor your cat closely.
If your feline has trouble progressing, move back a step or two. Reward your cat for her hard work during every step of the process.
The litter box will gradually rise up until it is level with the toilet. At this point, gradually move it towards the toilet until it is directly on top of it.
Your cat is now hopping up on the toilet to use the litter box! Look at how far you have come! Now it’s time to transition the cat off the litter box. There are a few ways to do this. One way is to tape a metal bowl (matching the diameter of the toilet) to the inside of the toilet. You can also use wax paper or a commercial training device.
Add one or two inches of flushable litter. Try to teach your cat the correct squatting position. Hind legs should be on the sides of the seat. Front legs should be together (or almost together) at the front of the seat. Reward your cat when he or she uses the proper posture.
If you’re using a metal bowl, gradually reduce your litter and add water. Continue until the cat no longer needs litter. Remove the bowl.
If you’re using wax paper, cut a small hole in the middle of the paper and gradually increase the size. Continue until there’s no wax paper left.
If you’re using a commercial training device, gradually remove the rings. Continue until no rings are left.
Congratulations! Your cat can now use the toilet!
For more information, here’s a video from Cool Karma with some additional cat toilet training tips and tricks: