How to train your cat to use the toilet
You’ve seen the Youtube videos… It is possible to teach your cat to use the toilet. Here’s how:
6 STEPS TO TOILET TRAIN YOUR CAT
- Move your cat’s litter tray next to the toilet
Keep the litter tray positioned next to the toilet for as long as it takes for your cat to become accustomed to the new toileting arrangement.
- Gradually raise the litter box until it is level with the toilet seat
You can do this by placing phone books or boxes beneath the litter tray – just make sure they are sturdy objects.
- Slide the litter box over a little each day until it is directly on top of the toilet bowl
Also, gradually reduce the amount of cat litter in the tray until only a thin layer is present.
- Replace the litter tray with a training seat
There are a number of cat toilet training kits available to buy (like this one here), which work by attaching to the rim of the toilet below the seat. The training seats are wide for cats to stand on with removable pieces that you can gradually take away until only your toilet seat remains.
- Flush the toilet after each use
Some cats are shy about urinating or defecating on top of old waste, so always flush the toilet after your cat has done their business. Whilst it is possible to teach a cat to flush, it’s not advisable, as you may find that your cat will flush even when there is no need to, which is a complete waste of water.
- Reward your cat with treats every time they use the toilet
Positive reinforcement will let them know they’ve done a good job and will encourage them to use the toilet again.
WARNING: Toilet training is not suitable for all cats.
Toilet training may seem like a convenient alternative to the litter box but before you rush out to buy your training kit, make sure you are aware of what you and your cat will be facing first, as there can be a number of negatives to toilet training for cats, including feline stress and anxiety.
- Toilet training will prevent your cat from using their natural instincts to dig, relieve and cover.
- Kittens and elderly or ill cats may find it uncomfortable to maintain the position needed to use the toilet, causing stress and pain.
- Your cat could fall in the toilet, which can be an extremely traumatic experience, especially if you’re not home to help them out straightaway.
- Your cat can’t lift the toilet lid, so if it’s accidentally left down at any time, you can expect cat urine and faeces on your carpet instead.
- Most cats can’t flush either – and a toilet full of solids can quickly start to smell.
- Some cats in multi-cat households will refuse to share the loo, so you may need to set up litter trays regardless.
Bear these points in mind before you start to toilet train your cat, as you may find that it’s best to just enjoy those YouTube videos instead!