Cat Toilet Training: Is It Worth the Effort?

By Ashley Watson

cat-toilet-trainingIt sounds ideal. No more stinky litter boxes. No more litter scattered all over the house. No more cleaning out the box week after week! But is teaching your cat to use the toilet really ideal? Many people have toilet trained their cats with success, but if you are thinking of teaching your cat to use the toilet, you may want to do your research because there are many ways to do various types of obedience training.

Training your cat to use the toilet is a decision you will have to make, but it is important to keep a few things in mind before you attempt to toss the litter box.

Toilet Training a Cat is Time-Consuming

All cats are different. The time it takes to train a cat to use the toilet really depends on the cat, but it can take up to 8 weeks to fully train a cat to use the toilet. Older cats can be trained just as well as kittens, but they will take more time to adjust. This process will take a lot of patience on your part.

Keep in mind that you will have to move the litter box into the bathroom, and gradually elevate it near the toilet until the cat gets used to this location. Then you will essentially have to share the toilet, keeping a bowl of litter in the toilet at first, and then removing it when your cat is comfortable with this. Your cat may also use the floor or the furniture if you move the process along too quickly.

It Can Cause Anxiety or Potential Injury

cat-toilet-training-2Cats are not the most adaptable animals, and many cats experience anxiety when there are too many changes. If your cat isn’t comfortable on the seat, there’s a chance of falling in, or other injuries. You’ll have to make sure your cat has a step stool or a way to get onto the seat, especially older cats, and you’ll need to provide a non-slippery surface. Most cats don’t like strong smells, so if you don’t flush often, your cat may lose interest and go elsewhere.

Cannot Monitor Your Cat’s Health

Cats hide illness very well. Detecting a health issue is often done by examining their stools or bathroom habits. Cats who pee on the floor or furniture may have a bladder infection or UTI. Monitoring your cat’s health will become more difficult if you never have to look at their waste except when you’re flushing it.

Hopefully these tips will help you decide whether or not you want to toilet train your cat. Be sure to do plenty of research or ask your vet before you start the training.

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