BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

How to Train Cat to Use Toilet: Say Goodbye to Messy and Smelly Litter Boxes

Image of a cat sitting on a toilet
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

Yes, you read the title correctly! Some people think that toilet training a cat is something that’s just possible in movies. In reality, it’s very much possible to train a cat to use the toilet and forget about those filthy litter boxes for good. Get ready to have a weight off of your shoulders by reading this instructional how-to-article on how to train cat to use toilet.

We all love our cats, but it is an undeniable fact that cleaning their litter boxes isn’t something most of us enjoy. No one likes the sharp, pungent smell, and it can be quite time-consuming since you have to do it every day so your kitty will have a clean place to do his business in. Now, what if I told you there’s an effective way of toilet training your cat in just a few weeks? If your cat knows how to use the toilet, clean up time will be significantly cut short. All you need to do is flush it and voila!

Image showing a cat trying to get into the toilet

There is a scientifically proven training program which can help your feline friend learn how to use the toilet just like humans. By now, you might be wondering why you should go through the trouble or whether it will really be worth it. Before we move into the details, we would first like to answer these common questions so you can commence this special program of toilet training your cat with confidence.

The Benefits of Training Your Cat to Use the Toilet

Now, take a minute and try to picture it. Your cat walks towards his litter box, scratches a bit, does his business, then shuffles some litter over the poop before moving out.

Next, the cat goes around the living room and finds his way to the couch, on the bed, or right into your lap. It’s cute really but did you ever think about how unhygienic the whole thing really is? For the cat as well as for you?

Other than the fact that you and your cat will be exposed to any bacteria that happen to be using the litter box as their breeding, ground, there are several other reasons why training your cat to use the toilet is a good idea. Before we move to the most interesting part of the toilet training tutorial, we would like to explain some key benefits of toilet training your cat.

Affordability

Cat litter boxes are expensive to buy and maintain. Imagine you have multiple cats in your house. You may need to buy several litter boxes to meet the needs of each cat if they don’t want to share. On the other hand, if you consider a toilet training program, all you need to do is buy the cat training seat and get ready to kick-start the program.

Image showing a litter box for cats

Also, having to keep refilling your cat’s litter box is more expensive a task than you might have imaged. Other than the fixed cost of cat litter box, there’s the variable cost of the litter to consider. Just imagine how much money you will burn through by disposing of the used litter and replacing it with a fresh new boxful every day.

No More Odors

Another benefit of toilet training your cat is being able to get rid of smells and messes pretty quickly. You see, litter boxes require the cat to scratch a bit to find a perfect spot to poop. The mess remains in the litter box until it’s disposed of. If this is not done quickly and properly, the smell will end up permeating the room.

Image of a cat and a hi tech litter box

With cat toilet training, all you need to do is flush the toilet once the cat is done using it. This program is not only cheaper but also allows you to get rid of waste quickly so the smell won’t have time to spread.

Convenient

Finally, toilet training your cat is easy, fast, and time-saving as compared to dealing with litter boxes. Since the process only requires flushing the toilet once the cat has finished his business, anyone in the family can offer a hand. Your trusted neighbor also won’t be as opposed to accepting the job of cat-sitting while you’re away since they won’t have to go through the time-consuming job of cleaning and refilling the litter box.

How to Train a Cat to Use the Toilet

Toilet training your cat can either be easy or difficult depending on your cat’s personality, your patience, and determination. Cats are different, and each one of them requires a particular training strategy so you can quickly move on from one stage of the program to another.

Little kitty sitting on a toilet paper in house

According to professional cat trainers, this process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to about three months depending on how committed you are as well as how active/prepared your cat is. At times, you might find yourself going a step back in case your cat is confused or isn’t ready to adapt to the program.

But don’t worry because we are going to guide you through it all. Here’s a step-by-step toilet training guide for cats that will free you from the shackles of enduring the many disadvantages that come with litter boxes.

Prepare the Necessary Supplies

The first step of toilet training your cat is to come up with a complete list of the supplies you’ll require. You’ll need:

  • A flushable litter

  • A toilet training kit (either a CitiKitty or a Litter Kwitter)

  • Cat treats

There are many brands of training kits available in the market. We would recommend you as a beginner to go for quality rather than simply buying a cheap product. There are two top-rated toilet training kits available in the market—the CitiKitty and the Litter Kwitter.

The CitiKitty has four removable rings with different holes therein for an easy training process. The Litter Kwitter is another brand which features colored coordinated trays with different holes sizes. CitiKitty is somewhat cheaper than Litter Kwitter, but if you’re looking for quality, the best training kit we would like to recommend to you is the Litter Kwitter.

Image showing a cat ready to learn how to use the toilet

Voted by vets, cat breeders, and cat trainers as the best kit to consider, this product features four colored trays (Red, Amber, Green, and White), an instruction manual, and a 30 minutes training guide that will take you through the step-by-step procedure.

The Litter Kwitter is made from a hard material similar to those used in the manufacturing of a fireman’s hardhat. With such a sturdy tray at their disposal, your cat will not fall into the toilet bowl regardless of their weight. The Litter Kwitter is available in most pet stores at an affordable price.

Getting Your Cat Acquainted with the Toilet

The goal of this step is to make your cat understand that he should stop using the litter box and that he should do his business somewhere else. Here’s how you communicate that to him:

Step #1: Move the Litter Box

Commence the training by preparing a designated bathroom your cat will have easy access to. Gradually move the litter box nearer to the bathroom until it’s finally next to the toilet. This step is usually known as the adjustment phase as it allows your cat to get acquitted to the smells and the new environment much faster.

Step #2: Elevate the Litter Box

Now, start gradually elevating the litter box by 3 inches each day. It’s recommended that you use rough materials to prevent the litter box from tipping over when the cat jumps on it.

Image showing a toilet and a litter box for cats

There are no rules here. You’re free to use anything from old newspapers, block boards, magazines, to old novels provided they’re not too slippery. Ensure that you follow this step until the level of the litter box is equal to the level of the toilet.

Step #3: Put the Litter Box on the Toilet Seat

Move the litter box to rest on the open toilet space. Allow it to stay in that position for a few days to give your cat enough time to adapt. If your cat seems scared of the toilet, you can set treats on the lid to lure your cat.

Weaning Your Cat Off Of the Litter Box

Now that your cat knows he should go to the restroom whenever nature calls, it’s time to reduce his attachment to his litter box.

Step #1: Whip Out the Toilet Training Kit

Once your cat has fully adapted to the level of the toilet seat, go ahead and replace the litter box with the toilet training kit of your choosing.  Something else you need to note in this step is that you should commence the training with the smallest pan that doesn’t have a hole.

Image of a cat sitting on toilet

Fill flushable litter therein so that it will resemble a litter box. For those using aluminum trays, only fill it with flushable litter without drilling any holes.

Step #2: Observe the Progress

The next step is one that requires your patience. Here, you’ll need to observe how efficient your cat is when using the training kit and whether or not there are any accidents involved. If you discover that your cat is not fully prepared to move to the next step, just stick to that step and give it more time to avoid having to go back to the previous step.

Make the Switch

You’re now moving on to the most crucial step in transitioning from the litter box to the toilet. You will have to make the actual switch.

Step #1: Level Up the Toilet Training Kit

If you’re using a CitiKitty or a Litter Kwitter, you’ll need to gradually transition from the smaller training kits to the bigger ones. For those using a DIY aluminum tray, gradually increase the size of the hole using a screwdriver as you progress.

CitiKitty kit for cats

Something else you must understand here is that each tray requires you to decrease the amount of litter used gradually.

Step #2: The Official Transition

If your cat has entirely mastered using the last tray, it’s time to transition from the litter box to the toilet officially. Here, your cat should be 100% comfortable with using the toilet without feeling scared or doubtful. Sometimes, your cat might have difficulty hopping onto the toilet seat. Consider placing a step stool next to the toilet to make it much easier for them to hop on to the toilet seat.

Things to Be Careful Of While Toilet Training

Are there any risks involved with toilet training your cat? Although a majority of the cats will adhere and adapt to the program pretty fast, there are a number of other risks involved which you must familiarize yourself with, such as:

  • Accidents. As your cat tries to hop onto the toilet seat, he might slip and fall over—thus causing injuries to his legs.

  • Increased Anxiety. Your cat might not necessarily fall over, but the anxiety and tension that will arise are enough to prevent him from using the toilet as required.

  • Decreased Monitoring. Another setback of toilet training your cat is that it will be pretty difficult to monitor your cat’s poop and urine for signs of infections or illness.

  • Decreasing Physical Capacity. Finally, if your cat has a physical condition such as a fracture or an injury, it will obviously be difficult for him to jump onto the toilet seat. Older cats with arthritis should also not be forced to use the toilet.

Now, we’ve heard vets and professional specialists disagree with the idea of toilet training your cat. Most of them mention that toilet training a cat is going against their instincts of covering their own mess to eliminate the smells.

Grumpy-Cat-Funny-Sticker-Toilet-Decal-Flip-off-Bathroom-Home-Decor-Wall-Sticker-Art-Vinyl-Sticker

It is true that some cats are very ingrained in their basic instincts and will not take to the toilet no matter how many hoops you’ve jumped through to get him to use it. However, most cats won’t have a problem switching to the toilet if you follow the aforementioned training program carefully.

Wrap Up

Cats make some of the best companions. However, dealing with the smells and the mess of kitty litter boxes may make some people think twice about adopting a cat especially for homeowners on the go. Well, now that there’s an alternative way for your cat to poop without having to use the litter box, there’s no reason for you to hesitate anymore.

Cat toilet training program consists of very simple procedures which begin by moving the litter box close enough to the toilet. As your cat adapts to the program, continue by moving the bowl with the litter inside the toilet.

This program will turn out to be a huge success as long as you are patient and only move on to the next step once you’re certain your cat is 100% comfortable with the current situation. Remember that each cat is an individual and each has their own level of instincts which must be tamed slowly as they adapt to the program.

A cat learning how to use the toilet

Is it weird or is it ingenious? Every reader has his or her own concept when it comes to such topics. While some will rate the concept as bizarre, others will appreciate it and find it as an affordable and simple alternative to cat litter boxes.

Have you tried this program and seen how effective it is? Do you believe that this program can work for your cat? Or do you have another credible DIY program in mind that you believe will work better and faster? If so, we highly recommend you to share your experience in the comment box below. We will gladly make adjustments as we learn more from you.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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