Potty Training Cats – Part I
By Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate Chryssa Rich
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but what about cats? Mine are ages 10 and 11, and I recently decided it was time to toilet train them. My complaints probably echo cat owners everywhere:
- The litter box and its furniture take up a lot of space in my small house
- I’m constantly shooing my toddler and dog away from it
- I’m tired of scooping it (who isn’t!)
- I’m tired of choosing between my house smelling like scented litter or used litter
I considered using a commercial cat potty training product, but they were pricey and had mixed reviews. So I kept searching until I stumbled upon some free info*, and it seems to have all the details I’ll need.
A couple of drawbacks to this process are that you need a toilet available only for the cats for a while, and once they’re trained, you’ll have to make sure the lid is always left up. Still, I felt like the trade-off would be worth it.
The first step was to move the litter box to the first floor, since that’s where the available toilet is, so I hauled the box from the top of the stairs to the bottom. I cleaned the carpet under the old box location well (even though they hadn’t had accidents), and left the vacuum there for a couple of days as an extra deterrent. It worked. My cats immediately sniffed their way downstairs and used their box without issue.
After a week and no accidents, I moved the box across the living room and about 15 feet closer to its eventual final location. A couple of weeks later, we were down the hallway and into the bathroom, next to the available toilet. So far, so good!
Excited to move to the next step, I went to the store to gather my supplies: a tin pan and flushable cat litter. That’s where I hit a roadblock – of all the litters on the shelf, none were flushable. I pulled out my phone and did an internet search, but the brand names popping up clearly stated DO NOT FLUSH on the packages. I came home empty-handed and need to do a bit more research.
Readers, have you toilet trained your cats? What’s your favorite brand of flushable cat litter?
*Using a guide found at toilettrainacat.com