Nearly all of us who have cats have thought about figuring out how to toilet train them at one time or another. It’s a natural thought – scooping and changing dirty litter boxes, plus the smell if we don’t stay on top of it, conspire to make us think, “There must be a better way.” Toilet training cats can be done, however, is it really a good idea?
You can try toilet training cats, if you have a lot of patience
Vetstreet says it’s possible, and they talk about a product known as the Litter Kwitter, which is designed specifically for toilet training cats. However, Vetstreet warns that toilet training isn’t right for every cat. You have to consider your cat’s temperament; the toilet might scare cats that are skittish and high-strung. They also warn that cats with physical problems, like arthritis, will have problems getting up on the toilet and squatting on the edge of the seat.
Vetstreet goes on to explain how the Litter Kwitter works, and makes toilet training cats sound easy as long as you follow Litter Kwitter’s instructions. The basic premise is teaching your cat to accept eliminating over a hole, and gradually removing litter from his routine. The process can be long, and will take love and patience, but can remove what many cat owners consider to be a major source of frustration in their home.
There may be some problems with toilet training cats
Cat Behavior Associates says, however, that toilet training cats isn’t the best option. Behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett says she’s seen behavior problems associated with toilet training cats, because cats can become stressed and confused. One of the issues is that eliminating, and then covering it up, is a natural instinct for cats. When we try to stifle our cats’ natural instincts, it leads to behavior problems, because it causes stress.
Other problems with toilet training cats include the possibility that cats in multi-cat households may have problems if one cat objects to others using the toilet. You can always get more litter boxes to deal with a problem like this, but it’s much harder to get more toilets, which is a major problem if you have one cat that chases the others away from the toilet(s) you have.
Cats also can’t flush, so unless you’re there to flush the toilet whenever it’s used, you run into the possibility of waste sitting in the toilet for hours, which can start to smell pretty badly.
So, ultimately, toilet training cats sounds like it’s a great idea, but it’s not something to undertake lightly. The risks associated with trying may make things even more frustrating than they are with just continuing to use litter boxes.