Google+ PetsVentura® : TOILET-TRAIN YOUR CAT

TOILET-TRAIN YOUR CAT

Begin by moving the cat's current litter box from wherever it is to one side of the toilet. Make sure he knows where it is and uses it. Next put something — a stack of newspapers, a phone book, a cardboard box — under the litter box to raise it, say, about an inch. Get another box or phone book and raise it a little higher. Continue this process until the bottom of the litter box is level with the top of the toilet seatclip_image001

At the beginning of this process, your cat could just step into the box; later he began jumping up into it, until at some point he probably started jumping up onto the toilet seat first and stepping into the box from there. You've been diligently keeping the lid up and the seat down, of course, so by now your cat is thoroughly familiar with tromping around on the open toilet.

Lift the seat on your toilet and measure the inside diameter of the top of the bowl at its widest point. Venture forth and buy a metal mixing bowl of that diameter. Do not substitute a plastic bowl. A plastic bowl will not support the cat's weight and will bend, dropping into the toilet bowl and spilling litter everywhere, not to mention startling hell out of the cat.

Now you move the litter box over so that it's sitting directly over the toilet seat. Take away the stack of phone books or whatever.

Take away the litter box entirely. Nestle the metal mixing bowl inside the toilet bowl and lower the seat. Fill the bowl with about two inches of litter

Naturally, any humans using the toilet at this point will want to remove the metal bowl prior to their own use and replace it afterward. The next week or two the whole process is likely to be something of an annoyance; if you begin to think it's not worth it, just remember that you will never have to clean a litter box again.

Watch your cat using the bathroom in the metal bowl. Count the number of feet he gets up on the toilet seat.

Catch him beginning to use the toilet as much of the time as possible and show him where his feet are supposed to go. Just lift them right out of the bowl and place them on the seat. If he starts out with three or, heaven forbid, all four feet in the bowl, just get the front two feet out first. Praise him all over the place every time he completes the activity in this position.

When he is regularly using the toilet with his front feet, begin lifting a hind foot out and placing it on the seat outside the front paws. Be persistent. Move that foot four times in a row if you have to, until it stays there. Praise and/or treat.


Repeat with the other hind foot, until your cat learns to balance in that squat. Once he's getting all four feet regularly on the seat, it's all downhill from here.

Begin reducing the litter in the bowl. Go as fast as he'll feel comfortable with, because as the litter decreases, the odor increases. You'll want to be home at this point so that you can praise him and dump out the contents of the bowl immediately after he's finished, to minimize both the smell and the possibility that your cat, in a confused attempt to minimize the smell on his own, tries to cover it up with litter that no longer exists and ends up tracking unpleasantness into the rest of the house.

By the time you're down to a token teaspoonful of litter in the bottom of the bowl, your next-door neighbors will probably be aware of the precise instant your cat has used the toilet. This is as bad as it gets. The next time you rinse out the metal bowl, put a little bit of water in the bottom. Increase the water level each time, just as you decreased the litter level

Once the water in the mixing bowl is a couple of inches deep and your cat is comfortable with the whole thing, you get to perform the last bit of magic. Take the mixing bowl away, leaving the bare toilet.