Cat Toilet Training Systems - A Reality?
Did you ever watch that movie, "Meet The Parents" and marveled at how their cat could use the toilet, wishing idly for your cat to do the same?
Well wish idly no more, because it really is possible for anybody to toilet train your average house cat! If you have some patience, determination and a bit of time to guide your feline friend, you can be well on your way to a litter-free household! Training can take anywhere from a couple of months, to possibly a year or so, depending on your cat's temperment and personality in reaction to the cat toilet training system.
There are numerous ways to go about training your cat on how to use a toilet, including home-made methods or store bought retail kits. The main principle in any cat toilet training method is making that gradual transition from where the cat is normally accustomed to going (the litter box), to where YOU want the cat to go (into the toilet). Some perks to doing it completely yourself in going the home made route, is that you will probably save some money in making the training materials yourself versus buying a retail product training kit, but I wanted something that was ready to go. Which leads me to my next point...
This is the only product I've tried, so I can't really say if it is any better than other leading cat toilet training system products out there. I did however chose this product because it was ready to go, and I didn't really have to do anything to the original product as the training went along, such as cutting out a hole and whatnot. If you want to learn more about what I thought of Litter Kwitter, you can check out my more indepth review here on InfoBarrel.
To begin training, you want to get the cat used to going near the toilet, so start by placing the cat's litter box in the bathroom where you plan on setting up Litter Kwitter that is if it isn't already there. If the cat's litter box is very far away like on a completely different floor of your place, I would reccomend slowly moving the litter box towards the bathroom by moving the box a few feet every day. Be sensible though where you place the litter box, and don't be leaving the litter box in the middle of the stair case as that is just an accident waiting to happen for both the human and feline inhabitants! Ensure the litter box is always in a stable location, in as quiet or calm a place as possible. This way the cat doesn't become disoriented or uncomfortable about where they are supposed to properly take care of their business. This shouldn't really be a huge problem if you live in a smaller space such as an apartment or condominium.
Transition to Flushable Litter
Next, once the cat is used to going to the bathroom to do their business, you can move on to switching to a flushable cat litter brand. As the training takes place on the toilet, you will have litter going down the toilet, so it is best to use flushable litter during the Litter Kwitter training. I would not recommend using other types of litter. Think about this: most scoopable clumping litter is designed to clump when it comes in contact with liquid, so you can just imagine what kind of affect a large amount of litter all at once in your toilet would have. You want to make this switch to a different litter brand at this stage because the cat is already comfortable with the litter box, so it will be much easier to get the cat used to a different litter. Some cats are very picky about any sort of changes, so if you find that the cat has an adversive reaction to the litter, you can make gradual changes like a 1:4 ratio of new litter added to the old litter, and then progress from there until the cat is used to 100% flushable litter.
Implementing the Litter Kwitter
Once you've got the litter down, you can move on to actually implementing the Litter Kwitter. You would normally start off by putting the Litter Kwitter on the ground equipped with the Red Stage filled up with litter. Don't be stingy with the litter, and put a good portion of litter to entice the cat. This amount will eventually be lowered as you progress in the training. If you are feeling ambitious, you can jump straight to just putting the Litter Kwitter on the toilet, and gauge whether your cat is taking to it or not. If not, you can simply go back a step.
After the cat is used to jumping up onto the toilet to go and tend to its business, you can then proceed to fill the Litter Kwitter with gradually less litter each day. Once your cat has gotten into the habit of going consistently on the Red stage, you should observe how they position themselves on the Litter Kwitter. Once your cat has gotten to the point where they are putting at least 2 or more paws up on the white seat area to position themselves, your cat may be ready for the next stage.
Onto the Intermediate Stage
When you feel that your cat is ready for it, go ahead and exchange the Red for the Amber stage on the Litter Kwitter. Note that some cats are really intimidated by the introduction of the new hole (like my cats were). In that case, you may need to get hands-on by adding "transitional" pieces to the Amber stage. You can use pieces of sturdy plastic such as an ice cream lid, and secure it to the bottom of the Amber stage with tape or duct tape, and then starting out with a pin-sized hole in the middle. Keep cutting the hole a little bit bigger each day, so the cat can gradually get used to the hole with water underneath it. Alternatively you can purchase the Multi-cat Litter Kwitter stages, which includes Amber and Green colour stages, but with slightly smaller holes. Continue to use litter at this stage, you may or may not have to add more litter to entice your cat to this new stage to go. Keep progressing by gradually adding less litter, until there is barely anything (like about 1 cup of litter or less).
The Final Stage â At Last!
Your cat may be able to move on to the Green stage, when your cat is positioning at least 3 or more paws on the white seat area. You can follow the same steps as in the Amber stage, aside from making a pinhole cut in the transition piece â Your cat is most likely used to the hole, so you can start off from a bigger hole should your cat require a DIY transitional piece. Your cat may or may not be using litter at the start of this point, but the idea is to be using extremely little or virtually no litter.
Once your cat is consistently positioning all 4 of their paws on the white seat area to go, they are most likely ready to have the green stage taken out altogether. Then your cat can now go to the toilet on their own, just like humans do!
In the end I ended up having to stop training my two cats, because one of them absolutely despised the Litter Kwitter, and I didn't want him to ruin his health by contantly holding his business in. I did however have lots of success with the other cat, and if it weren't for the other one, one of my cats would've been fully toilet trained in a matter of a few months.
General Tips :
- Be very patient. Remember, your cat is only an animal and can only understand so much. Cats don't act a certain way simply to spite you.
- Always pay attention to your cat's comfort level, to ensure you are not rushing the training.
- When in doubt, don't change anything unless you feel confident your cat is ready for it.
- Should at any point your cat start to go elsewhere, you may be pushing the cat too fast, so try taking it back a step or two. Identify what changes you made that might have triggered the reaction, and take the set-up back to before that change was implemented.
- Take things slowly. Even if you feel your cat might be ready, the training works best when you make changes very gradually.
- Even though the Litter Kwitter kit boasts that it should take at most 8 weeks to fully train your cat, all cats are different, so you should keep that in mind rather than being too focused on following the training instructions word for word.
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