If you have a cat, you already know how unpleasant it can be to keep the litter box clean. But did you know that cats can be trained to use the toilet? It's true, and you can do this without buying any special equipment! Cats learn very quickly, and before you know it, you can toss that messy litter box away forever. Here's how to get started.
If you are working with a kitten, first you will have to train it to use the litter box. This is a very simple process. Place the box in the bathroom next to the toilet, and then, after the kitten eats, put it in the box and scratch its paws in the litter. Cats naturally use dirt, and after a few attempts, the kitten will go right to the litter box. Once the kitten is trained, you can begin the toilet training process.
- Place the litter box next to the toilet. The cat will become comfortable going into the bathroom, and the transition from litter box to toilet can begin.
- Once the cat is comfortable with the box being in the bathroom, you will need to begin to raise the height of the litter box. Gather up some old phone books. Start out by putting one book under the litter box. The cat will quickly learn how to jump up to reach the box. After a few days, add another book. Your goal is to raise the litter box to the same height as the toilet. Don't rush the process. The cat needs to be comfortable with each level that the box is raised.
- Begin mixing torn-up newspaper into the litter. You won't be able to use cat litter in the toilet, and the cat has to get comfortable with using paper before the final transition can begin. Gradually increase the ratio of paper to litter.
- When the litter box is at the same height as the top of the toilet and the cat is comfortable using the box at this height, it's time to begin the transition. At this point, the box should contain only paper. You will also need to start using a flat cardboard box rather than a plastic litter box.
- Place the cardboard litter box on top of the toilet seat. Make sure that it is balanced. The cat will follow the box. Again, let the cat get comfortable with the box being on the toilet seat, and make sure that it is in place at all times.
- Cut a small hole in the middle of the box. At the same time, start cutting down the sides of the box as well, and put less paper in it. It may also be advisable to secure the box to the toilet seat. Remember, while all of this may be a hassle, once the training period is over, all this trouble will be worth the effort. Note that you will probably need to change the box every day for sanitary reasons.
- After a few days, increase the size of the hole in the box and continue to lower the sides. The goal is to end up with a flat piece of cardboard with a hole in the middle that can fit underneath the toilet seat. Leave a little paper on the cardboard so that the cat continues to maintain the illusion of having a litter box.
- Don't hover. Give the cat some privacy. The cat will learn to do this, and the less interference you offer, the quicker this process will work. Before you know it, your cat will automatically perch on the toilet seat and you can toss out that litter box forever.
This system works with most cats, but if you have a cat that is particularly traumatized by water, it may not be possible to train it to use the toilet. And, if this method doesn't work, there are products available designed to make this process easier. Don't be discouraged, and try alternate methods. It's well worth the effort!