I just started toilet training my cat last night. I’m gonna take this post as a good omen that we’ll be successful!
If your cats go outdoors at all, you really shouldn’t toilet train them. Toxoplasmosis is not killed in sewage treatment plants and if you drain to the ocean, there are many other animals that can pick it up. (Otters and sea lions, particularly here in on the West Coast.)
It’s not really an issue with cats that are completely indoors as they’re unlikely to carry toxoplasmosis or other diseases/parasites.
Also, don’t flush your cat waste from the litter either, for the same reason.
Just because you can train your cat to do something completely contrary to their nature doesn’t mean you should. Cats can also be trained to walk on two legs and push a little cart - but at what cost?
Yeah, but is it in their nature to shit in a litter-filled box? If so, where are these natural litter-filled boxes to which thou dost allude?
Surely there’s nothing in this book that one can’t find in the opus by jazz great Charles Mingus, “The Charles Mingus CAT-alog for Toilet Training Your Cat”.
Although I don’t see anything wrong with this, I think @Boundegar is referring to the feline instinct to bury their excrement, not to litter boxes per se, which is why once most kittens are shown where the box is, they don’t really need to be trained to use it.
On the other hand, dogs have an instinct to mark their territory, but we train them not to (at lest indoors). Moreover, domesticated cats and dogs aren’t themselves natural. Ancient humans bred them to be quite different from their ancestors.
I do think there is a valid question to be asked whether imposing certain behaviors on even domesticated animals is ethical. For example, dipshits who lock large dogs in small apartments 24/7 and only take them out to do their business two or three times a day without giving them any real exercise. But, for my part, I don’t think training cats to use the toilet is cruel. Of course (and I apologize if this sounds smug) we don’t have that problem since our two cats are working animals with a cat door and access to the garden where they get their fill of rodents and help fertilize the soil. Disgusting? No more than chemically processed cow dung, IMHO.
It doesn’t stop there; around here they teach their own children to do it. Madness.
Yeah you can train a cat to do this but it seems like unnecessarily trying to make your life easier or as a cute trick. Using litter and digging is much more natural especially compared to perching on a slippery little ledge. And if someone leaves the lid down you have a confused cat who doesn’t know where to go. Jackson Galaxy and almost all other cat behaviorists are against toilet training.
If you’ve ever dealt with a cat with inappropriate urination you know you don’t want to do anything to mess up a good litterbox routine so this kind of training is just asking for trouble and can be really upsetting for a cat.
Just scoop your litterbox and realize that sometimes having an animal in your house is going to require cleaning up a bit of tracked pieces.
Would you like to come see my vegetable gardens?
You mean your “natural”
There is a downside.
I mean to the toilet thing, not the walking on two legs pushing a cart thing. I’m starting our cats on that immediately! They’re going to be little, roving cocktail bars at our next party!
I’d like to point out that expecting your cat to urinate/defecate in a human toilet is untenable if you have: A) Kittens; B) A cat with any sort of intestinal ailment; C) A cat with any sort of back, leg, or hip injury; D) A geriatric cat.
This is a cute trick for a young, healthy animal but just remember, if you make it difficult for them to get to where they need to go, they’re going to go where it’s more convenient (the floor) instead. And it’s going to be your fault, not theirs.
This. I tried it with 2 kittens years ago, they formed a committee and rejected the idea. The male thereafter thought it was a good idea to pee on things left on the floor, particularly plastic bags. Nothing like picking a bag up and sending cat pee flying everywhere.
Good luck Blake, and good luck to your cat. I’m the author of Kick Litter—definitely tweet me if you have any questions along the way, or if you have feedback on how to improve the process.
Exactly Ratel. I showed this same video in my talk at Weekend of Wonder, and described installing a laser-controlled automatic flusher so it flushes when one of my cats jumps off. Unfortunate side effect is that it’ll flush several times if a cat is indecisive, or needs to run around the house a few more times before hopping up to try again.
What @welcomemalcom says is true. I spoke about this at Weekend of Wonder in a talk about toilet training my cats. And on the site about the book I wrote two notes, the first is about how nearly impossible it is to teach outdoor cats to use the toilet if they have outdoor alternatives. The second note is meant to warn people about the effects of Toxoplasma gondii on aquatic life.
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