CAT ANTICS: Cats Use the Family Toilet

by Daniel Deane

Question: Hi! How do you train cats to do it? (use the family toilet instead of a cat box) I've heard this before, but I always thought people were pulling my leg. I have a lovely Maine Coon cat, and he's smart, but I don't know if I could train him to use the toilet. Kathy Neufeld and Giggles! (Giggles is a Guide Dog for the blind.)

Answer: It takes effort and you have to condition the cat to each step. - The age of the cat may not matter. Though young adult cats might adapt better than kittens.

Place a toilet seat on top of the cat box. (In each of the following steps the toilet seat and the other tools are bound together with tape or other means.)

Let the cat get used to the toilet seat being on the cat box. When the cat gets used to this, then move the cat box nearer the toilet in small stages. As soon as the cat box is as close as possible to the toilet, and the cat has accepted this, the cat box is then placed on a phone book.

Note: From here on out, please, assume a two week wait between each step. If the cat is willing you can speed up the steps. If the cat is slower to get used to a step then wait longer between each step.

The cat uses the phone book seat for about two weeks; then a 1" hole is placed in the center of the cat box and another cat box is placed six inches under the hole.

Next, place the cat litter in a dishpan instead of a cat box and phone book and mount the cat box with the hole over the dishpan.

Every two weeks, add another phone book until the cat toilet seat is even with the toilet seat on the toilet. Transfer the cat seat to the toilet with the cat box that has a hole in it over the family toilet. At this point, you are no longer using the dishpan.

Gradually enlarge the hole until the hole is as large as the toilet seat and remove the cat box. The cat is now using the family toilet instead of a cat box.

It is interesting to note that the cat will still go through the instinctual motions of covering the excrement by patting the toilet seat in the covering actions.

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