Toilet Training Frisky Felines

A cat yawning
Meet Nyla, the senior cat who would rather poop on a pillow than be toilet trained. Photo: Angela Szymczuk

The life of a cat is a rather interesting one. They get agitated by birds, try to capture mice, are fascinated by dangling objects, sleep all day and enjoy feasting on a variety of dairy-based products.

As humans, we see cats for the small loveable-yet-moody creatures that they are. But in a cat’s mind, I’m sure they see themselves as rulers of “the jungle” (your household). Because of this huge diva attitude, cats tend to do as they please, and training them to do a specific task may require a lot of patience. I suppose there are many tasks that you could train your cat to do, such as how to shake paws or play fetch with little foam balls, and how to wake you up every morning at the same time. Although, personally, I feel it’s almost impossible to train a cat to do anything—because they have a mind of their own and think they are better than you.

Cat superiority complex aside, there is one task that piqued my interest: training a cat to use a toilet. Some cat owners have posted videos of their felines actually using the toilet, so this means it can be done. But the question of “How?” remains.

Before attempting this with my own cat, I decided it best to do some research. The best suggestion is to start by placing a litter box in the bathroom so your cat gets used to going in there to do their business. After they get used to this, you can start to gradually raise the litter box to the height of the toilet. Then you need to get a training pan. These can be easily found on Amazon. The training pan is plastic and oval-shaped and fits under the toilet seat. There is a small hole in the middle. The sides of the pan, you fill with litter. This will help them with associating the toilet as a place to go to the bathroom. After they successfully use it, reward the cat with a treat. After six to eight weeks of practice, you can remove the training pan and the cat should be able to use the toilet. If you are feeling extra ambitious, you could take it one step further and train your cat to flush the toilet.

When it came to my cat, I entertained the thought of toilet training her but decided not to bother because she is 19 years old and a super-extra diva. I already know that toilet training her would lead nowhere good.

While the idea of toilet training your cat may sound cool and save you some extra money on litter costs, it might not be the best idea. A cat’s poop is a good way to determine their health and notice any problems. If your cat is always using the toilet, it may be harder to notice if something is not right. Travelling with your toilet-trained kitty could be an issue too. They may be comfortable using your toilet at home, but it is unlikely they will want to use an “unknown” toilet.

Lastly, using a litter box is in tune with a cat’s natural instinct. Cats like to bury things. If they don’t have anything to bury, that could cause confusion with some cats and stress them out.

It is probably best to observe and see how your cat gravitates towards toilet training. If your cat doesn’t like sharing a bathroom, it’s most likely because they see themselves being better than you, because you are the “lowly slave” who cleans up their poop. Why on earth should they make your job easier by pooping in a toilet?

Remember, in ancient Egypt, cats used to be worshipped—they never forgot that.

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