Last updated on October 1st, 2016 at 10:27 am
Worried about stinky litter boxes? Wondering how to train your cat to use the toilet? There will be one less minor hassle in your daily life if you can learn how to toilet train your cat. You can look forward to clean fresh air devoid of foul smelling cat waste
Cats are very clean animals and toilet training will be great for the cat as well.
It is natural for cats to bury their poop to protect themselves from predators. So toilet training them is not going to be easy. But every challenge has a solution. Let’s face it.
Cats can be trained from a very young age of just 6 months. To start with, it is best to teach them how to usethe litter box and move on to toilet training, once they are a year old. Although a kitten is usually easier to train, age does not have to hinder the learning process. All that matters is that the cat should have the ability and interest to learn; this depends on the personality of the cat. It is also important to remember that kittens are usually trained by their mother to use a litter box. Fortunately, you are not responsible for that task.
Some cats learn potty training in few weeks while there are others that take few months to do so. Some cats will never learn to do it, especially if they have a bad experience during training. They stop being receptive to training and it becomes extremely difficult to train them. Give them ample amounts of time to grasp this alien concept and never force them during training.
Objects that are needed to train a cat are minimal. There are readily available kitty toilet training kits in the market. We recommend City Kitty.
6 Steps to Toilet training a cat
Training your kitten to use the toilet is a simple progressive process. As the cat learns each step, move forward to the next step. Do not hurry and move ahead too quickly, as it will undo the hard work you have put in earlier. Each cat has a different personality and can take varying amounts of time to learn each step. You need to be patient and friendly during this entire process, which makes it less stressful for your feline buddy. It is recommended that you wait till they are at least one year old when you start training them to use the toilet, as their small size puts them at a risk of falling in the toilet.
Step 1: Place a litter box close to the toilet closet. This has to be done for a couple of weeks or so until the cat is used to the new location. If the current location of the litter box is far away from the toilet, keep moving it in an area closer to the toilet every few days.
Step 2: Once the cat is used to the new location, try to raise the height of the litter box by placing blocks of wood, magazines or newspapers. Ensure that the stack does not fall off while the cat tries to reach the litter box. Once the stack falls the cat will be apprehensive to use the new location. Increase the height of the stack by 2 inches every few days, depending on how receptive your cat is to the new height.
Step 3: As the cat reaches the height of the toilet seat, move the litter box onto the seat by about an inch. Move it by an inch every few days till you finally end up with the box directly over the seat. You can remove the stack that was supporting the litter box in the previous steps. During this process, reduce the amount of litter in the box gradually too.
Step 4: The next step is to replace the litter box with training box. There are several options for a training box. You can use
- A thick cardboard cut in the shape of the toilet seat which can support the weight of your kitty.
- A thin aluminum pan
- A commercial training box specific for toilet training a cat, such as city kitty.
Use duct tape to allow the training box to sit firmly on the seat. Leave the lid open while keeping the seatdown. Make sure you tape the lid back, as there is a risk of the lid falling on the cat when it is trying to excrete, which can hamper the progress badly.
Use a small quantity of flushable litter inside the training box. Once your cat adapts to this new change, make a hole in the center of about two inches. This is a step that often requires a lot of time and patience. This will be a drastic change for the cat. Ideally, the cat should try to aim for the hole. It is not a problem if it fails to do so, as long as he is trying to aim at the target. The cat needs to get used to the sound of its waste hitting the toilet water.
Step 5: Once the cat gets used to eliminating inside the training box, increase the size of the hole by an inch every few days and let the cat adapt each time you increase the size of the hole.With the hole growing bigger, the cat will feel uncomfortable to stand inside the box. Now it becomes inevitable that the cat learns to balance on the seat. This again will take some time.
Step 6: As time goes by, there is little left of the training box and the cat learns to balance on the toilet and do its business. At this point, the training box can be removed and the cat now eliminates directly into the toilet. Flush the toilet once the cat urinates. This is important because cats are clean animals and they do not like to defecate on the urine.
Alternatively, you can use a product like city kitty to help you in the process. They come with a specifically designed training box which consists of rings of different sizes. The idea is just the same as the one we did with the cardboard training box. The first step is to get your cat used to excrete in the training box. Once the cat is comfortable with this, remove the first ring which exposes a small hole in the training box. Once the cat adapts, it is time to remove the next ring which increases the hole size. Eventually, after all the rings have been removed, the cat is more or less excreting balancing himself on the toilet seat and you can remove the training box.
Once your cat has learned to use the toilet successfully, it is reward time. Give them small treats that can motivate them to use the toilet again and again.
With practice and perseverance, the goal of potty training your cat can be achieved. The time span can vary greatly in different cats. So, do not force your feline friend to learn things faster. The right training tools and patience can help your cat to use the toilet successfully. It all boils down to understanding the behavior of the cat and allowing them to get accustomed to the new habit.
Important Reminders for Toilet Training your cat
- Never force a cat to use things that you want it to. They learn slowly, so give them the time and space
- Don’t pick up the cat and force it into the litter box, they may be frightened to use the box again
- Allow the cat to progress from one stage to another, never skip stages or it may confuse the cat
- It is best to not train young kittens, as there is a risk of them falling in the toilet.
- While flushing the toilet ensure the cat is not nearby, as your feline friend may be scared of the sudden flushing noise and gushing of water
- Some cats may find it uncomfortable to use the toilet, once they see the water through the hole. In such cases, it is best to move the hole to the side
- Leave the job to someone in the family who are available throughout the day. This is a full-time job, till the training is complete
- As a responsible cat owner, it is best not to leave your cat unattended until it is fully trained. Sometimes they may fall into the toilet if left unnoticed
- Keep your toilet free of unwanted items or they may start playing around with the items in the toilet
- Teaching a cat to flush can also be done through training and practice. But this can turn into a menace, as they enjoy flushing all the time
- Indoor cats are more receptive to toilet training. Cats that go outdoors will not be receptive, as they will completely avoid this process by eliminating outdoors.
- The whole process can become cumbersome if you have only one toilet at home. Every time a member of the family uses the toilet the training kit has to be moved out. But don’t forget to move it back once someone has used the toilet.
- If you live near the ocean, which inhabits sea otters and your waste water gets dumped in it, it is best to avoid training your cat to use the toilet as there is a risk of contracting Toxoplasma Gondii.