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!
So the cat using the toilet in “meet the parents” is possible. I never would have thought it. Great advise and well worth the extra upfront effort for long term benefits.
Thanks so much for the tutorial and training tactics. My problem is how then do I stop the dog from drinking out of the toilet since you have to keep the bathroom door open. Guess my next step will be to google that, one step at a time:)
Hi Mark, lol good question, you could train your dog to use the toilet as well – just kidding humm well maybe…Anyway, I guess it depends on the size of your dog and how strong your dog is as to whether you’d even attempt such efforts. Of course this would be best tackled if you own just a cat, though not impossible for dogs either.
Well, wow, What a nice article! I really enjoyed reading it.
I have two beautiful cats, but never came to my mind to train them to use the toilet.
I have seen this on you tube video and it’s absolutely wonderful and so cute:)
I don’t have box for my cats because I do not like the smell of it. So , they usually stand front of the door to ask me to open the door.Maybe I should give a try with the toilet. Isn’t dangerous for them to fall in the toilet?
Thank you very much for this awesome blog
It is awesome that you trained your cats to go outside and I like that idea. I guess it’s dangerous if someone flushes the toilet if they near or in it.
This is really interesting. I have never even heard of a cat using a human toilet.
But yes it does seem to be a worthwhile thing to train your cat to do if you have the patience, as it will save a lot of work and money in the long run.
I wish I could train my bird not to poop on my shoulder now. Any advice there?
This has been a very interesting site. That would be great if you could teach your cat to use the toilet. Sounds like a lot of time and patience. I really enjoyed the article on wolf dogs. We had a half wolf dog and he was the most gentle dog I have seen. If he didn’t know you he would hide behind my legs and not come out till he felt comfortable. Unfortunetly we lost him to cancer a couple years ago.
Thx for your comment, wolf dogs are awesome, but I think it’s sad that people are buying them for the wrong reasons. I would agree that training your cat to go to the toilet is very time consuming.
Wow. I was not aware that this was actually possible, but I guess after seeing it in meet the parents I should have known better. I have a Garfield looking cat and he is a bit on the larger side. I definitely will be trying the steps outlined here and will be excited to show others if this works. Thanks for the great post!
Thx for commenting, I’m glad you liked my post, please let me know if it works 🙂
Hello, thanks for providing ideas how to teach a cat. I thought that cats are independent and they just follow their minds. It is a reason why I prefer dogs over cats.
In your blog I found interesting things, which for me are new.
I wonder how much it takes time to teach a cat to use a toilet?
I know that it is better for younger cat to learn new tricks, but how about older cats? Can they grasp these ideas or they can be resilient regarding teaching?
I will recommend your website for my friend, which has tree cats. I think she will be delighted to read your articles.
All the best, happy writing, Nemira.
Hi thanks for commenting, you do have a valid point that kittens are easier to train, and well as the saying goes ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, I think this would also apply to a cats. If you own a dog and you’re consistent with training, then should you get a kitten they will heed to the teaching as well automatically.This was the case for me, my cat behaves like a dog sometimes lol, if I click my fingers and say no he’ll obey, if I say sit then he’ll sit. This isn’t something I do very often because he’s a cat, but it has taught me how much we misunderstand a cats intelligence.
I really enjoyed reading this article, when I get my own home I plan on training my cat to be able to do this.
I really liked the method you talk about and how easy it is, I have bookmarked this page for when I do get a ca.t
I also really liked the way you displayed your content and media throughout the article.
I had no idea you could actually train a cat to use a liter box. I had 6 cats living with me at one point for an extended period of time. 3 of them were mine. To even get the 3 of them not using a liter box would have been a life saver! How did I not think of this before! Would you recommend doing this when they are a kitten or could you do it with an adult cat as well?
I think you meant to put toilet because the article is how to train a cat to use the toilet. Yes, I would start when your cat is a kitten, the older they get the harder it is to train a cat.