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Do you dream of never having to empty the litter box again? If so, toilet training might be for your cat. You've probably seen kitties in movies going to potty in the toilet, but this isn't just for movie stars — it's totally doable for your cat too! This guide will walk you through teaching toilet manners and give you the tools you need for successful training.
For toilet training a kitty, you'll need lots of treats and patience. The process is simple. You're training your cat to do something they already know how to do, just in a different place.
Some pet parents have concerns about toilet training cats because it changes their natural bathroom behaviors of scratching and covering up their "presents". Rest assured, toilet training is completely harmless for your cat and will be much more convenient for you too.
This guide will focus strictly on teaching your cat to use the potty. Chances are your cat won't be able to flush or put the seat down, but that is a small price to pay for never having to scoop a smelly litter box again.
Most of these methods do require some extra materials, mainly litter pan toilet inserts. These can be purchased online or easily DIY'd at home with the right materials. These toilet training kits range from $20 to $50. We know that sounds like a lot, but think of all the money (and time!) you'll save on buying kitty litter and liners.
There are 3 main steps to getting started with toilet training a cat. Step one is to make your bathroom cat-friendly. Clean your bathroom well and remove any obstacles that might interfere with your cat getting to the toilet or their litter box.
Step two is to place the kitty pan on the bathroom floor that you want your cat to use so your cat will acclimate to the new placement rather than their usual space. Show your cat the new location of their box and encourage them to try it out. It's best to pick a quiet bathroom that's away from the main family area.
Finally, give your kitty treats for using the restroom in the new location. This will positively reinforce the behavior and prevent them from using the corner where the litter box was.
The Gradual Method
Move the litter box into the bathroom
Start by moving the litter box into the bathroom you want your kitty to potty in.
Gradually move the box near the toliet
Every day, move the box closer to the toilet until the box is right up against the toilet.
Raise the litter box
When the litter pan is up against the toilet, place a box under it to raise the height.
Raise the litter box even higher
After a few days, add books or crates under the litter box to raise it even higher.
Transition the litter box to the toliet seat
Once the pan is even with the toilet seat, place the box on top of the toilet seat.
Replace the box with a litter pan insert
Remove the litter box and replace it with a litter pan that sits inside the toilet.
Gradually reduce the litter in the pan
Gradually remove the litter from the pan until there is no litter left.
Take the litter box away
Remove the litter pan completely.
The Toilet liner Method
Assemble your materials
For this method, you will need graduated toilet litter pans for inside the toilet. Start with the solid pan that doesn't have a hole. Fill the pan with litter and place them on the toilet. If your pet goes potty, treat them.
Replace the litter pan with one with a hole
Remove the initial pan and place a pan with a small hole in the center. When your cat gets accustomed to pottying on this pan, move to the next step.
Increase the hole diameter
Use a potty pan that has a larger hole. Keep increasing the diameter of the pan hole over the course of a few weeks.
Keep an eye on your pet's potty behavior
Once your cat has reached the largest pan hole size and is using it successfully, move to step 6.
Omit the litter box
Eliminate the litter pan altogether.
Reinforce the behavior
Give your kitty treats to positively enforce the behavior.
The Placement Method
Use a potty command
Teach the kitty to potty on command. Say the command when the cat is using the litter box and then treat them. When they master this, it's time to move to step 2.
Place your cat's "presents" in the toliet
When you scoop the poop from their normal litter box, place some inside the toilet.
Let your cat try out the the toliet
Place the cat on the toilet and treat the cat. Repeat this several times. Now you're ready to combine placement with the command.
Use the potty command
Place the cat on the seat of the toilet and use the potty command. If Fluffy obeys the command, give them a treat.
Keep an eye on your pet's progress
You may need to replace the pan if your cat regresses, and that's okay! Keep trying, and your catto will eventually catch on!
By Emily Gantt
Published: 02/23/2021, edited: 02/23/2021
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