By Kathrynn Kelley
Cats are relatively easy to toilet train – most of the time. However, there is always the exception to the rule, the little kitty rebel who refuses to conform to the structure of society, albeit it is a severely limited society consisting of you, the rest of the family, other pets and the house that you share with your cat.
Still, this is his society and if he gets it into his little kitty mind to rebel, it will be a challenge to convince him to conform. Let’s face it, when you go head to head with a cat you have some serious work on your hands.
The upside of the hard headed, independent nature, though, it that cats are also fastidious and are driven by nature to eliminate their wastes in a particular area. This instinct is what makes toilet training so appealing to cat owners. When a toilet is where the cat learns to go to eliminate his or her waste there is (gasp!) no litter box to clean! No more litter box becoming too full or smelly. It also cuts down on the possibility of the cat seeking out alternative areas for elimination.
Cats can be very creative. They may turn your couch into a litter box, your dirty laundry or even your basket of clean laundry. Once that bad habit starts it is very difficult to undo it and retrain the cat to go in his or her own litter box, but with a cat that is toilet trained, you have very little risk of this backsliding happening.
It is recommended that you toilet train your cat when it is a kitten, however, it is very possible to train an adult cat. You start by putting kitty in a kennel while sleeping at night, and right when they are able to leave the kennel in the morning, take them directly to the litter box, and place them in it. Then, do this every time they eat a meal, nap, or you can see them sniffing for a place to do their business.
Once Kitty uses the litter box once, it will be drawn to the scent and realize that it has a purpose. Yes, start with the litter box, but keep the litter box next to the toilet. Begin slipping phone books or other items to raise it about two inches each day until it is level with the toilet.
You will also have to be trained as well because from now on you will need to keep the toilet lid up and the toilet seat down as well as leaving the door open. This way the cat grows accustomed to maneuvering around the open toilet. By the time the litter box has been raised to the level of the toilet, the cat is probably jumping onto the toilet to access the litter box. How quickly you go through this stage and get through toilet training them is highly dependent upon the cat.
Move the litter box over the toilet for a few days until the cat gets used to this then remove the litter box altogether. Some cats go straight to the toilet from there, but you may need to add a stage. Use a metal mixing bowl with a little litter and place it under the toilet seat. As the cat uses the “bowl” keep an eye on her. Begin placing her feet in the proper places (outside of the bowl and on the seat area) and praise her when she does it properly.