By Kathrynn Kelley
Many people are ecstatic when their feline friend can use the litter box, but think of how great it would be if your cat knew how to use a toilet.
It sounds like a great way to make having your cat around a little more convenient. Here are some important tips when toilet training your cat:
Consistency is very important. When you are using the litter box initially, make sure that kitty always uses it. Consistency is the key to train your cat, and toilet training success. Stick with it; keep showing your cat where he or she is supposed to go. Place a kitten in a litter box right after eating and upon waking from naps and in the morning (Many kittens are diurnal and you can often keep them that way if you stick with it.
This instinct is needed so that when you are sleeping so is your cat. Making the toilet available at all times is another important step. Plus, when they are using the litter box, keep an eye on them. Make sure your cat’s feet are on the bowl of the toilet and not in the box.
Rewards don’t work – But Cleanliness Does
Cats are not interested in rewards for doing their good behavior. Cats don’t need you to approve of their actions, unlike a dog that thrives on rewards and praise. What does catch your cat’s fancy? Cleanliness! A clean litter box can make the difference in your cat using or not using their litter box, and later on the toilet.
Make it seem like their Idea
This is particularly important to know if you have an older cat you are trying to toilet train. Cats will accept a new bed, toy and, yes, the toilet, much easier if it is their idea. Allow your cat to “discover” the litter box and gradually move it level with the toilet, then on the toilet. Soon they will be more inclined to use it right off the bat.
Here’s a trick to getting a cat that doesn’t use the litter box, to use it and make them believe it was their idea. Get your cat and put them in a location where it’s just them, a bowl of food, water, and a toy. There should only be these items in the room with them. Take out any clothes, towels, and if possible any and all furniture.
Don’t Play Hide the Litter Box
Cats are creatures of habit. If you put their litter box in one area, keep it there. If you are trying to toilet train the cat, place the litter box right next to the toilet. Don’t switch it up and move it around. If you move your cat’s litter box, you will probably find that the cat will use the area where the litter box was. Don’t confuse poor Kitty.
Leave the litter box where it is and don’t move it around a lot. Hide the litter box is not a fun game for Kitty, in fact, it is quite stressful. Plus, you want to direct kitty to the toilet so the only time you should move it is when you are raising the litter box to be level with the toilet, then over the toilet, the remove it altogether.
Move at the cat’s pace
Be sure you are moving at your cats pace. If your cat stresses out they are more likely to have accidents. So if you notice your cat is having trouble or having accidents, go back a step until you are sure they understand. Then, you can move continue on with toilet training your cat.
Cats like to be clean and they like having their own litter box, but they respond well to toilet training as well.