Author Topic: toilet training a cat  (Read 5068 times)

frugalnacho

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toilet training a cat
« on: November 23, 2016, 08:23:51 AM »
Has anyone trained their cat to use a real toilet?  I see a couple products on amazon with mixed reviews.

https://www.amazon.com/Toilet-Training-System-Litter-Kwitter/dp/B0014N70QO/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5VC17Y8KJ77CH87CPPD0

https://www.amazon.com/CitiKitty-Cat-Toilet-Training-Kit/dp/B000F1OS20/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_8?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5VC17Y8KJ77CH87CPPD0

The price seems small compared to the cost of a life time of kitty litter.  It seems like it will be a pain in the ass to have to train the cat for a couple months, but if it works it will be well worth the effort and will be infinitely easier than scooping cat shit for the next 10-15 years.  Also I won't have to smell cat shit every day for the next 10-15 years.  Or have kitty litter strewn about my bathroom floor from an asshole cat that likes to flick kitty litter around. 

The risk is wasting a small amount of money and several weeks time trying to train the cat, but the reward is nearly incalculable.  It seems like such a massively superior option that I wonder why everyone doesn't train their cats to use a real toilet.

Anyone have any thoughts or experience on this?

MandalayVA

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 08:33:43 AM »
I know five people who tried toilet training cats.  One succeeded, another one had success until one day the cat slipped and fell into the toilet and basically said FUCK THIS, and the other three failed completely.  All of them said that the biggest problem was securing the training rings to the toilet seat so that it wouldn't move when the cat came up.  The successful one had a spare bathroom so she could secure the training rings with duct tape.  Our Poe's great about using his box, and at this point we're so used to doing the litter box thing it's not that big of a chore.   

FIRE Artist

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 08:39:19 AM »
I did it, I used the Litter Kwitter and it worked fine with modifications, the company has a forum for sharing tips and tricks on being successful.

I have to admit that I did not do this entirely myself, I was living in Indonesia so had a full-time maid, I made it her responsibility to make sure she cleaned the tray out immediately after the cat used it so there was no risk of the cat rejecting it due to a dirty tray.  It is possible to train a cat without this luxury, but certainly, it helped avoid accidents that people complained about in the forum.  Those accidents were what made people give up on the training.  My cat never had a single accident and has been toilet trained since she was 5 months old; she is going on 7 years now so it was definitely worth it for me, in fact, my cat would still be in Indonesia if this didn't work out as I never really wanted a cat and would have given her away if there was a litter box involved in her upkeep.  There are so many good reasons to do this with a cat, the best reason for me is that it is so much more hygienic, no worries of a cat scratching in her own waste, then hoping up and walking around on your bathroom or kitchen counter etc. 

ETA - I believe that the personality of the cat is the most important factor.  If your cat is bold and curious you are more likely to be successful than if the cat is the hide under the bed type.  Also, I think it helps to train the cat when young, I can't imagine an older cat taking to using the toilet. 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 08:43:00 AM by FIRE Artist »

frugalnacho

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 09:10:33 AM »
I know five people who tried toilet training cats.  One succeeded, another one had success until one day the cat slipped and fell into the toilet and basically said FUCK THIS, and the other three failed completely.  All of them said that the biggest problem was securing the training rings to the toilet seat so that it wouldn't move when the cat came up.  The successful one had a spare bathroom so she could secure the training rings with duct tape.  Our Poe's great about using his box, and at this point we're so used to doing the litter box thing it's not that big of a chore.   

I'm used to doing it too, but honestly scooping litter every single day (my cat shits a lot) for 15 years seems like a huge chore.  It might only take 5 minutes to scoop it and run it out to the garbage can, but 5 minutes a day over the next 15 years adds up to 19 days*.  19 Days of my life spent scooping and disposing of cat shit.  I'm not working hard, saving money, and simplifying my life to spent 19 of those days on cat shit.  I don't actually scoop it every single day, but it needs to be done at least every other day if not every day.  I also hate running the bag out to the garbage can in the middle of winter, and would love to avoid this chore.

I suppose I can do it if necessary, but would really like to avoid having to do it entirely.

*5 min/day X 365 days/year X 15 years / 60 min/hr / 24 hr/day = 19 days

I did it, I used the Litter Kwitter and it worked fine with modifications, the company has a forum for sharing tips and tricks on being successful.

I have to admit that I did not do this entirely myself, I was living in Indonesia so had a full-time maid, I made it her responsibility to make sure she cleaned the tray out immediately after the cat used it so there was no risk of the cat rejecting it due to a dirty tray.  It is possible to train a cat without this luxury, but certainly, it helped avoid accidents that people complained about in the forum.  Those accidents were what made people give up on the training.  My cat never had a single accident and has been toilet trained since she was 5 months old; she is going on 7 years now so it was definitely worth it for me, in fact, my cat would still be in Indonesia if this didn't work out as I never really wanted a cat and would have given her away if there was a litter box involved in her upkeep.  There are so many good reasons to do this with a cat, the best reason for me is that it is so much more hygienic, no worries of a cat scratching in her own waste, then hoping up and walking around on your bathroom or kitchen counter etc.

ETA - I believe that the personality of the cat is the most important factor.  If your cat is bold and curious you are more likely to be successful than if the cat is the hide under the bed type.  Also, I think it helps to train the cat when young, I can't imagine an older cat taking to using the toilet.

Or my bed/pillow and lap.  The hair is gross, but I frequently make comments to my wife (who is a total germaphobe and clean freak) about the cat pawing her own shit and then immediately rubbing her feet on our counters and bed.  If I break an egg the shell needs to be disposed of, my hands need to be washed immediately, and anything the raw egg potentially touched (including the sink I throw the egg shell because fuck that noise i'm not afraid of raw egg) needs to be sanitized asap but it's perfectly fine to have cat shit paws walking all over every square inch of our house.

Our cat is like 3 years old.  She is pretty curious, but I don't know if she'll take to it.  Still seems worth a shot as the cost seems paltry in comparison to the reward.  Even if it only has a 5% chance of working I think it seems like a risk worth taking.

frugalnacho

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 09:17:08 AM »
Do the cats flush?

I've always been curious as litter is gross and expensive, but people may also find it gross to have cats walking around on the toilet seat?  I assume people who do this don't set it up in the same bathroom that guests would use?

I've read that you should not train your cat to flush because they aren't smart enough to realize you only flush after crapping and instead they just do it because it's fun and run up your water bill. 

As unhygienic as a cat's feet are, do you really think they are worse than the ass of everyone that potentially sits on my toilet to shit?

I would plan to do this in my upstairs bathroom.  Personally I think an unflushed cat turd in the toilet is much better than one just chilling uncovered in a litter box in the same room.   Far easier to take care of too.  Plus no kitty litter strewn about. 

FIRE Artist

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 02:52:51 PM »
Some people put sensor driven flush mechanisms on the toilet to flush after the cat goes but I would never do this, or teach my cat to flush.   Not only is it a waste of water, but what if the toilet clogs and overflows?  The last thing I want is to come home to is a toilet dumping water on the basement floor.

I don't share a toilet with my cat, she gets to have the basement bathroom dedicated to her, and her sister dog who gets bathed and clipped down there too.  I just pop down a few times a week and flush the toilet.  I knew that I would likely always have a second bathroom for the cat, so I didn't progress her past the green stage on the Litter Kwitter, so I still have the adapter on the seat.   This gives her a nice stable perch to sit on, and it lets her know what toilet is hers.  We have lived in 6 different locations in her life and she follows the Litter Kwitter.  Another neat thing to note is that she has been boarded where she uses a regular litter box, but switches back to her toilet just fine when she comes back home. 

For anyone who does share a toilet with the cat and would worry about the cat walking on that toilet seat...if you are not keeping your toilet seat clean, that is on you, and not a problem with the cat!


frugalnacho

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 03:06:58 PM »
I only have two toilets and they are both working over time.  I can't dedicate one to the cat, she is going to have to share with me.

frugalnacho

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2016, 03:35:03 PM »

MsPeacock

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 03:47:42 PM »
We had a cat when I was a teenager who trained himself to use the toilet. We had a big circle of finger pointing for months over who didn't flush before we caught the cat in the act.

Tried to train other cats later and never really had good luck with it.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2016, 05:28:38 PM »
My MIL tried once and it didn't end well.  Long story short, the cat ended up tipping one of the training bins up onto himself after using it, flinging litter and poo all over him.   For the next 2 days, the cat considered my MIL's pillow and bedspread his litter box.  That was all it took to get the old litter box back.  =P

Sibley

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2016, 06:53:14 PM »
The most important factor is going to be the cat. If the cat does not have a suitable personality or has physical impediments, it's not going to work and trying can actually cause behavioral issues. Unfortunately, you are likely not going to know if it'll work going in or not.

The 2nd consideration is what happens as the cat ages. I have a 17 year old cat, and she has problems with jumping. If she was toilet trained, I would have had to switch to a traditional litter box several years ago anyway because she wouldn't be able to reliably get to the toilet, and that is not fair to her.

3rd consideration - health monitoring. What happens (or doesn't happen) in the litterbox is often the first sign of a problem, and cleaning the litterbox allows me to monitor for changes. It's the reason I know my cat's kidneys are struggling. It's the reason I've known about the UTIs, worms, several injuries, and various other illnesses over the years. It's also the reason I know my other cat doesn't drink enough water, despite 4 toilets and 2 water fountains (the toilets are not my fault - we're renting and it's the stupidest layout).

I personally don't think the majority of cats can be successfully trained to use a toilet due to a combination of the cat, the human, and the environment.

Guses

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2016, 10:52:04 AM »
I did try the reverse with both of my white little friends.

Try as I might, through instructions, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, treats, nothing worked.

No matter what I did, none of my toilets would purr or even react when I petted them.


-----------

I had 4 cats at some point. While some I think I could have trained, some would NOT be trained. One in particular, we could not even try not to go on counter tops. The cat would stand it's ground and even accept being sprayed by water to keep it's spot. RIP my little friend, I will miss you dearly :'( .

10dollarsatatime

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2016, 02:38:34 PM »
My cat was toilet trained.  I didn't by a kit.  I used disposable pans from the dollar store for training.  Poke holes to start with for drainage.  Add some flushable litter.  Cut a larger hole in the back end.  Make the hole bigger every few days until it's just a rim.  This took a while with my cat... mostly because she fell in once and took some more convincing.  I did replace the toilet seat with a padded one so that she had better grip.  And after all that... after a couple of months she started messing the living room carpet.  I gave in and gave her litter box back to her.  It was really nice for those two months though...

ariapluscat

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2016, 08:00:26 AM »
aren't there rules about cat waste going into the water supply too?

my cats are picky. i wouldn't even try. you know the kitty best.

19 days in 15 years of companionship and purring? it may be a chore, but your feline companion is worth it. certainly not saying you shouldn't try, just a reframing of the cost if the cat refuses.

Stash Engineer

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2016, 08:42:23 AM »
I trained a cat to use the toilet.  I didn't use a kit, just a pan with some kitty litter set down in the toilet.  I showed her how to perch on the seat and regularly enforced/encouraged her to use it.  I eventually removed the kitty litter pan.  At first, the sounds of peeing into the toilet bowl freaked her out though.  I managed to snap a picture while she was taking care of business one time...


ariapluscat

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2016, 08:55:57 AM »
I trained a cat to use the toilet.  I didn't use a kit, just a pan with some kitty litter set down in the toilet.  I showed her how to perch on the seat and regularly enforced/encouraged her to use it.  I eventually removed the kitty litter pan.  At first, the sounds of peeing into the toilet bowl freaked her out though.  I managed to snap a picture while she was taking care of business one time...
THIS IS HILARIOUS OMG

Sibley

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2016, 08:57:43 AM »
aren't there rules about cat waste going into the water supply too?

my cats are picky. i wouldn't even try. you know the kitty best.

19 days in 15 years of companionship and purring? it may be a chore, but your feline companion is worth it. certainly not saying you shouldn't try, just a reframing of the cost if the cat refuses.

Don't put cat litter down the toilet, or drains in general.

ariapluscat

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2016, 10:58:48 AM »
aren't there rules about cat waste going into the water supply too?

my cats are picky. i wouldn't even try. you know the kitty best.

19 days in 15 years of companionship and purring? it may be a chore, but your feline companion is worth it. certainly not saying you shouldn't try, just a reframing of the cost if the cat refuses.

Don't put cat litter down the toilet, or drains in general.

google-ing suggests also checking your cat doesn't have Toxoplasma gondii before litter training

frugalnacho

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2016, 11:02:56 AM »
aren't there rules about cat waste going into the water supply too?

my cats are picky. i wouldn't even try. you know the kitty best.

19 days in 15 years of companionship and purring? it may be a chore, but your feline companion is worth it. certainly not saying you shouldn't try, just a reframing of the cost if the cat refuses.

Don't put cat litter down the toilet, or drains in general.

Zero days would still be preferable.

You can get flushable cat litter for training.

FIRE Artist

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2017, 07:10:34 PM »
Patiently waiting for an update on your cat toilet training project.

iowagirl

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2017, 05:19:18 AM »
I trained my cats to go outside like a dog. They only use the litter box when I'm not at home and they have to go and same with nighttime. They go out first thing in the morning and again when my son gets home from school and again before bedtime. My cats are fair weather cats (spoiled rotten) and will only stay outside when its nice out so I don't worry about them wondering off. When the old one does he goes next door just to check on things. They have 2 cats but the guy's grandma used to live there and he would go keep her company during the day while I was at work and come home when I got home so its kind of his second home. I also live in the country so neighbors aren't much of an issue.

I can go weeks and never have to clean the litter box so I'm good with that. Also if you feed good food they have less waste and actually eat less of it so the cost difference works in your favor. At least for me it did.

frugalnacho

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2017, 10:46:07 AM »
Lots of drama going on in the house so I delayed in getting this set up.  I've been trying to make a post but the forum has been down all week.

I finally got around to getting the supplies and actually setting it up on Jan 25.  I initially just replaced her litter with the litter kwitter.  After a couple days I moved it next to the toilet, then on top of the toilet a couple days later.  Then I switched over to the flushable litter.  She was catching on and using it no problem every step of the way.  After about 2 weeks of being on the toilet and her using it perfectly I switched to the 2nd step in the process which has a small hole it in and she didn't seem to like it.  She went from pooping 2-3/day in regular litter, to about once a day with the 1st step (no hole), and then didn't poop for about 3 days after we went to step 2 (small hole).  After a few days she decided to poop in the tub.  We waiting a few more days hoping she would catch on but she pooped in the tub a second time, so we reverted back to step 1 and kept that on for another week.  Then we went back to step 2, and she immediately stopped pooping again.  When she pooped in the tub it looked like she was trying to poop down the drain, so we put a bucket over the drain hoping it would discourage her and force her to use the litter kwitter.  After 2 days of no poop we fed her and locked her in the bathroom and waited for her to poop.  She finally used it and pooped right into the toilet.  We were so proud. We are planning to keep the bucket in the tub, and hope she gets used to the litter kwitter.  This just happened in the last couple days, so we are still waiting to see if she will catch on start using it regularly, even though she doesn't seem to like the hole.

ariapluscat

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2017, 08:40:55 AM »
she tried to poop down the bathtub drain? is that what you're saying?? :3c

frugalnacho

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2017, 05:57:57 AM »
she tried to poop down the bathtub drain? is that what you're saying?? :3c

Yes.  We have been keeping the bucket over the shower drain and she has been pooping in the toilet regularly now.  I am hesitant to move on too fast, but we are probably going to start the final stage this weekend.

ariapluscat

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2017, 07:09:44 AM »
this is so funny to me
bc your kitty clearly understands 'poop in giant box with sand in it' and 'poop down water bowl with drain'
and somehow the two got mixed together in a way that's totally not what you intended.
she's a smart cookie if she caught on to each step so quickly!

i wish we could ask what was so scary.

FIRE Artist

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Re: toilet training a cat
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2017, 09:19:29 AM »
A trick that many have used with success is to get a piece of plastic, (coroplast worked for me) and tape it to the bottom of the LK.  make a small hole and gradually over a couple of weeks increase the size of the hole to match the size of the hole in the 2nd insert.  Do this again to get to the next stage.  The jumps between the steps seem to be too large for many cats to accept, which is why they start to have the bad behavior you are describing.  I am a fan of the "avoid failure" type of animal training so I did this automatically with my cat without even trying to just use the stages as the system was designed. 

Oh, and look up the CBC radio show Vinyl Cafe - Toilet Training the Cat episode for some laughs.