Every cat lover on the planet has wished at one time or another that they had a magical way to dispose of cat poo and pee. Rumor has it that you can actually teach your cat to use the toilet, just like you and me. This ability is not beyond the realm of possibility. I know, because I have seen it happen. Here is how you too, can teach your cat to use the toilet and eliminate litter boxes forever.
The first thing to do is to relocate the litter box to the bathroom. This is not the most pleasant part of this process. As a matter of fact, you will need to plan on a smelly bathroom for as long as it takes your cat to catch on. With patience, it will be worth the trouble I assure you. Place the litter box on a stack of books or otherwise sturdy base right beside your toilet. The key is to place the litter box high enough that your cat will be nudged towards jumping up on the toilet to get to the litter box. This step will begin to help your cat get some confidence about climbing up to the toilet to do his or her business.
Once the cat has done this for a few days, you will want to take a custom made bin and place it around the rim of the toilet. A number of things can be used for this step, but it must be sturdy. Good examples are metal mixing bowls that fit the rim of your toilet, and even a strong plastic bowl that will fit. Anything that is sure to not “fall in” will do the trick. Also, the container will need to have a rim that can fit sturdy over the open toilet. Some people have even used strainers, though the litter will initially get into your toilet so that is not advised.
The cat will be curious about the set up for awhile, but the litter will usually send him seeking nature. Also, you may need to help him with paw placement the first week or two. You want him to start balancing on the edges of the toilet, so any help in this area will be good. The cat may stand completely in the bowl, so you need to make sure that you start to help him towards the edges of the toilet instead. This will take some coaxing, though some cats naturally stand on either side.
As time goes by, slowly reduce the amount of litter in the bowl. Over time, the cat will do less covering as the litter decreases. This is an especially smelly time for this project, so you need to be on the standby to clean out the bowl constantly. The cat will certainly appreciate it, as will your company.
The next step is to take out the litter, and place a little bit of water in the bowl instead. The cat may balk at the idea, but you can always go back to litter. Do not force the issue at this point or you may lose the process forever. The cat must be comfortable. Once he begins to go into the bowl with water, slowly add a bit more every few days or so. Once the cat is using the bowl with water semiregular, then you can attempt to take the bowl away.
Most of the time, you are home free at this point. If you run into problems, like the cat pooping on your couch instead of the toilet, then you need to go back and repeat some of the later steps that he was okay with. Sometimes it takes a few trys to get him going.
This idea of teaching your cat to use the toilet is not for everyone. I am not a big proponent of sharing my toilet with my kitty, for example. But if I had an extra toilet in the house, I might consider it. Still, I have seen it work in the past and it is quite amazing. I have yet to see a cat learn to flush after going, however. That is the subject of another article.