You may have not ever thought of this before, but it is in fact possible to train a cat to use the toilet! That is, the same toilet as a human uses, instead of a litter box.
This is good news for you! And also your cat, provided you can get your cat comfortable using the toilet through training. One advantage of this is that you will no longer have to constantly clean out or change the litter box, or indeed clear litter off the floor where it has been dragged around the house!
However, the process for allowing this to happen can be long and takes time and patience. It will also vary for each cat, some may take to it easier than others.
1. How to train a cat to use the toilet?
The first step is to move the litter box into the bathroom, preferably next to the toilet if possible, which gets your cat used to doing its business in that room and gets it used to the actual toilet itself.
Make sure you always remember to leave the bathroom door open, as your cat will need to get in and out. A very simple thing to do but much harder to remember after years of closing it behind you!
One way to remind yourself, especially in the beginning, is to write on a piece paper ‘to remember’ and then stick it up on the door or sink with tape or blue tack.
Another thing we do with our cat is use a door stopper which always keeps the door open, just trying to shut it creates resistance against the rubber which reminds us it’s not meant to be shut in the first place. We think this works very well!
Second stage and getting your cat used to the height
Once your cat seems more comfortable using the bathroom to use its litter, and this may take around about a week, you can then move onto the second stage.
For the second stage you will need to find something sturdy to place the litter box on top of. You can use newspaper or magazines, something sturdy and nothing that can slip.
What you want to do is raise the litter box by an inch or so at time, so your cat can get used to being higher up.
This may take a few weeks as you gradually raise the litter box higher. During this process, first keep both the toilet seat and toilet lid down, as your cat will likely jump onto the lid to get to the litter box as the height starts to reach the same level.
Switching over from the litter box to the toilet
Once your cat has got used to that height then you can start to leave the toilet lid up, but with the toilet seat down. This will get your cat used to navigating the toilet seat whilst going to its litter.
For the next step to train a cat to use the toilet you will need to measure the size of your toilet bowl and buy a metal mixing bowl that will fit inside the toilet seat. This next step is the most important as your cat will be getting used to doing its business in a different format.
Put litter inside the bowl and remove the litter box, but leave the material you used to keep it stacked up at a height. This will make sure your cat is not suddenly confused. As time goes on you can remove that material bit by bit.
First new steps into a brave new world!
At first your cat may stand in the bowl to go to the toilet, this is when you need to accompany them and watch them, help them by nudging first two of their feet to stand on the toilet seat itself, first the front feet, then the back feet too just behind the front feet when it has got used to that
Gradually reduce the litter used in the bowl until there is none left at all. Then fill up the bowl with a little water. Increase the water over time. This will get your cat used to the water inside the toilet so it knows it’s for going to the toilet, instead of for drinking.
As your cat becomes comfortable with this, you can then remove the bowl and you will have accomplished in training your cat to go to the toilet! Watch them at first to make sure they are ok and getting comfortable to use the toilet without the bowl, and not confused instead.
A confused kitty without a litter box is one that will pee elsewhere, like in your nice shoes or your lovely clean bed linen!