The answer to if toilet training a cat is easy:
It is easy to toilet train a cat in 2 months using the Litter Kwitter system.
The time it takes also depends on the cat’s age, temperament, and intelligence.
It is hard to toilet train sick or old cats.
However, you should not do it, as it’s not good for the cat and can spread diseases to humans.
Training your cat to use the toilet can seem like a challenging task. Many cat owners would like to say goodbye to cat litter after they grow tired of cleaning it.
Yet, you might wonder if this kind of training is possible. It might seem like a farfetched dream; something that only happens in Hollywood movies.
No more scooping the litter twice a day, or cluttering your living room with litter boxes.
In this article, I will tell you how easy is to toilet train your cat, but also why you should not do it. Keep reading, to know factors to keep in mind before you train your cat to use the toilet.
It is not difficult to toilet train your cat. It requires some patience, time, and the right tools.
It Takes 2 Months to Toilet Train a Cat
The potty training system that has often been viewed as effective in toilet training a cat is called the Litter Kwitter. It was created by Jo Lapidge.
The Litter Kwitter uses the cat’s existing ability to use a litter tray, and modifies it in small behavioral steps until it happily uses the toilet.
Most cats take time about 2 months to learn, but it may take longer for some cats. The time it takes to train your cat using this system depends on many factors, such as your cat’s age, temperament, and sense of intelligence.
If your cat is above 8 years and not yet litter trained, it might take longer as it might have more habits to unlearn.
The creator of the system says that it is so effective. Cats bury their waste largely to get rid of the smell.
The Litter Kwitter works on the odor-elimination concept by giving a cat the same satisfaction of masking the smell when using a toilet, rather than burying its waste in the litterbox.
Although cats can still be trained to use the toilet without the Litter Kwitter system, it is a simplified route to introduce your cat to use the toilet.
Cats three months of age and up can be trained using the system. All purchases of the Litter Kwitter come with full training both in a printed booklet and DVD.
These tools guide you through each of the 3 training stages.
Fearful, Sick, or Old Cats Cannot be Toilet Trained
No matter how appealing the idea could be (let’s admit no one likes to scoop litter), toilet training is not for every cat.
Your cat needs to jump a pretty decent height to get into the toilet seat. Sometimes they simply can’t or are not even supposed to. Sick cats will find jumping such a height to be painful.
Cats recovering from surgery are not supposed to jump, or engage in any strenuous activity that could cause excessive strain on the wound. This can also result in infections on the wound.
Arthritis is also a painful condition in cats which makes jumping a painful experience. If your cat is old, they are at greater risk of developing the condition.
More than 30% of cats over the age of 12 have arthritis, and it is present in more than 90% of cats above 12 years.
It Is Best if You Don’t Toilet Train Your Cat
The main reason why people want to toilet train their cat is to reduce the handling of waste. Constant contact with cat poop exposes you to contracting a zoonotic disease.
The most common such disease is toxoplasmosis which is caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. It is an alarming disease that can cause serious symptoms in both adults, and unborn children.
As a cat owner, your best defense against the diseases is to scoop the litter box more often. If you clean the litter box every day, the feces, which is where the parasites live, will not sit there for long enough to be dangerous.
It’s sometimes when people’s schedule does not support regular cleaning of the litterbox, that they are tempted to opt for toilet training.
Other circumstances when people choose cat toilet training are when you live in a tiny apartment, or just the thought of a cat using the toilet seems oddly entertaining to you.
Why You Shouldn’t Toilet Train Your Cat
Even though toilet training might seem like a sweet deal, these are the reasons why its best not to ditch the litter tray.
1. Risk of contracting a disease
As you train your cat to sit on the toilet bowl, remember that it’s your toilet too. Most cats don’t have good aim. You will find that many times your cat has pooped or urinated on the lid rather than in the toilet.
This puts you and other members of the household in danger of contracting a zoonotic disease. Especially if you are not aware that this happened, and you use the toilet without cleaning it.
2. It makes it hard to monitor your cat’s health
The litterbox is a great tool to indicate when there is something wrong with your cat. Their poops’ appearance and litterbox habits can tell a cat owner what is happening within the cat’s body.
Most people take their cats to the vet when they notice diarrhea, or see their cat appears to be in discomfort while using its litterbox.
That is why vets use urine and fecal samples to know more about a cat’s health. Most serious health conditions in felines start by urinating too much, or too little.
When your cat is using the toilet, it would be hard to monitor its waste. If your cat knows how to flush the toilet, they can be flushing down the evidence of their health down the toilet.
A change in the frequency or volume of your cat’s urine can be an important sign of a whole host of medical conditions:
- Kidney dysfunction
As with many other conditions, early detection and treatment of these problems can mean less pain and suffering for your cat.
3. Excessive flushing wastes water
Although it may be possible to train your cat to flush the toilet, it is not advisable. Some cats will find flushing a little too much fun of an activity.
Your cat can decide to flush water every time, even if they have not used it. This can result in wasting water.
4. It goes against their instincts
Cats instinctually bury their waste. In the wild, this is a vital way for the cat family to ward off predators by hiding their smell.
If you take away the litter and train them to go to the toilet, you get rid of their ability to bury, but this desire remains. So you will see them still pawing around the area around them when they go to poop.
The inability to bury their waste could cause them additional stress, which could cause other stress-related problems.
5. It requires your family members’ consent
If you want to train your cat to use the toilet, you need to make sure the entire household is on board. They should tell you when your cat urinated on the seat so you can clean it properly.
They should also say if the urine has a weird color or smell, so you know when it’s time to see a vet. Most importantly, others should make sure the toilet seat is down, and the lid is up all the time.
If your cat cannot access the toilet, they may choose an alternative surface. This can be on your sofa, or the carpet.
Another thing is to consider is when your cat has to go, and another household member or a visitor is in the bathroom. Your cat can get stressed and find somewhere else to go.
6. Impact on your cat
As you toilet train your cat, you also need to plan for your cat’s future. You will be ready if your cat reaches old age where they will be uncomfortable jumping onto the toilet to do their business.
Your cat can also become sick and lack the energy to jump to the toilet. When this happens they may find alternative places to pee.
If your cat falls on the toilet, it can be a traumatic event that can have long-term consequences. It is terrifying when they get wet, and can lead to litter aversion.
7. Behavioral side effects
Be ready to deal with behavioral issues that might pop up during the course of the toilet training.
Litter boxes appeal to a cat’s instinct to bury its poop. The litterbox smells like your cat and this makes it feel secure in your home.
By training your cat to use the toilet, you are asking them to do something relatively strange. You are also taking away some of the comforts of the litterbox.
For this reason, you may see some weird behaviors after you start toilet training. These are:
- Scratching at the toilet
- Pushing objects into the toilet
- Peeing in other places of the house
With that being said, cats that excessively bury their poop or bury other cats’ poop might not be the best candidate for toilet training.
8. A toilet-trained cat can’t travel
There might be times when you want to travel with your cat, maybe for the holidays or to visit friends.
You might want to check if that is possible, or if others are ok sharing a toilet with a cat. Otherwise, it can present big problems when you arrive there.
Your cat can also get sick and need to stay at the vet’s. If they are toilet trained and not familiar with the litterbox, expect big problems there too.