How to Toilet Train Your Cat
In our last article, 'How to Litter Box Train Your Cat' we shared the best practices for your cat to learn this essential behavior. And no doubt, following litter box training success, many cat parents must find themselves wondering … “Could my incredibly clever feline learn to use the toilet?”
Certainly, you could save a bundle on litter over the years, as well as the time and labor spent cleaning up. At CatToyz.com, we recommend eco-friendly practices as much as possible, such as refusing plastic bags in favor of reusable shopping bags. For this reason, we think toilet training is a good step in the zero-waste direction.
Read on to find out if toilet training is right for your cat, and if it is, how to do it!
Objections to Cat Toilet Training
Before we go full steam ahead and give you pointers, we wanted to make this article well-rounded and also share the objections to cat toilet training. Jason Nicholas, BVetMed provides seven reasons he is against it. And this certainly makes for a lively debate in the comment section. Most are strong objections from cat parents who have successfully toilet trained their cats!
Monitoring Your Cat's Waste Habits...
Luckily, the objections are strongly minimized if you properly love and care for your cat. For example, Nicholas points out that litter boxes offer you the opportunity to monitor your cat’s waste. And this allows you to gauge their health. Fair point! Since it is recommended that we humans monitor our elimination habits for health reasons, the same should follow for cats.
...Can Be Done With Toilet Training
But humans don’t go to the bathroom in litter boxes and sift through the contents for meaning. We peer into the toilet for answers, so the same can follow for cats. If your cat is being loved and properly cared for, then you will know when something is wrong.
Also, unless you are planning to train your cat how to flush (don’t do it, they’ll waste water!), you will still get plenty of time to track their habits if they are toilet trained.
Always Assess Your Cat’s Comfort Levels
In a loving home, your cat will adopt encouraged behaviors and procedures through patience, care, and attention. Many cat parents claim that their cats spontaneously learned to use the toilet without any encouragement. We’re not surprised!
Check out 'Why Black Cats Are Special (in Videos)' to see several cats who take to human behaviors like fish to water (literally!).
The bottom line when training your cat is to respect their comfort levels. Just as you wouldn’t force a child to do something that makes them uncomfortable, you must never force a behavior on your cat.
Start Toilet Training Your Cat
So, if you think your cat is the kind who might be into using the toilet, read on to learn the best practices to help them reach that goal!
There are many devices you can use to toilet train your cat, but we’re going to focus on the Litter Box For Toilet Training for simplicity and effectiveness. You can find DIY methods for making your own, but we highly recommend this easy-to-use system.
Reward Your Cat Along the Way!
As with all training activities, your cat should be rewarded and showered with love and affection. This helps to reinforce what they’ve learned and build positive associations around using the toilet.
Select a treat that you know they love or give them a new toy to reward big milestones. And save regular treats and cuddles for the rest of the time, including the messes!
Be Prepared for Messes!
Just like litter box training your kitten, there are bound to be some accidents along the toilet training journey. Be patient and never punish your cat. Never deliberately withhold treats or affection. Ensure that you clean up messes as soon as they happen to set a consistent example of a clean bathroom and litter box area.
Follow These 5 Steps:
1) Litter Box Next to the Toilet
If you are still litter box training your cat and want to add toilet training to the mix later on, try placing the litter box in the bathroom from the start. But if your kitten or cat doesn’t go for it, then don’t force it.
For everyone else with a fully litter box-trained cat, placing it near the toilet is the first step. Take your time with this step, ensuring your cat’s comfort with the new spot.
Don’t try rushing the process! Wait for the bathroom to become their go-to elimination space before moving onto the next step.
2) Slowly Increase Litter Box Height
Once your cat has adjusted to the new location of their litter box, slowly begin to add height. This is why your cat must get comfortable coming right next to the toilet each day since the level of difficulty is going to increase.
Make sure you use solid bases so the litter box doesn’t tilt or shake. Aim to increase the height by about an inch or two per day until you have reached toilet-seat height.
3) Slowly Decrease Litter Volume
As you begin to raise the litter box’s height, begin decreasing the amount of litter inside. The Litter Box For Toilet Training has a blue, circular shallow tray for litter. At its fullest, it won’t accommodate more than 1” of litter. And this amount will start decreasing until there is no litter and no tray!
4) Switch to a Toilet Training Litter Box
Once your cat is comfortable using their litter box at toilet-seat height, they may already be jumping onto the toilet. If you notice this happening before the litter box is fully raised, then try introducing the Toilet Training Litter Box sooner - they may be ready!
5) How to Use the Toilet Training Litter Box
Test it on the ground beforehand, placing your cat on top to ensure that the blue insert holds their weight. You can also test it yourself by applying firm pressure, estimating the weight and force of your cat’s jump.
Fill the Blue Inserts with Litter
Designed to fit over most standardized toilet seats, the toilet trainer comes with two blue inserts. Each blue insert has three removable cut-outs. To start, you fill the entire blue tray with litter just below the brim.
Once your cat has become accustomed to using the toilet, even with the training box, congratulate yourself! You’re more than halfway there!
Begin Removing the Cut-Outs
The first of the three removable cut-outs is the narrowest, in the center. They are designed to be easy to cut out but sturdy enough to support your cat. Fill the remainder of the blue tray with litter. Each time it’s used, clean out the litter.
Allow your cat to adjust to this setting until proceeding to remove the remaining cutouts. Eventually, you will be able to completely remove the blue tray.
Once you are there, allow a few days before completely removing the entire Toilet Training Box from the toilet.
Toilet Trained Cat in 2-7 Weeks
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, just an estimate! Your cat may need less or more time to use the Toilet Training Litter Box to become fully trained. A little patience goes a long way!
Bourquin, B. (2021) “How to toilet train your cat,” WikiHow, WikiHow, [online] Available from: https://www.wikihow.com/Toilet-Train-Your-Cat (Accessed 6 August 2021).
Nicholas, J. (2021) “7 reasons not to toilet train your cat,” Preventive Vet, [online] Available from: https://www.preventivevet.com/cats/7-reasons-not-to-toilet-train-your-cat (Accessed 6 August 2021).