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Cat toilet training in easy steps
Toilet training for your cat is an easier task than you might think. Different techniques can be used to train your cat to use the toilet, and you can even buy products to help you train a cat on the toilet.
The benefits of cat toilet training
Teaching your cat how to use the toilet can have several benefits for any cat owner. The biggest benefit of letting your cat use a toilet is that it eliminates most of the drawbacks associated with using cat litter. Cat litter is expensive. After your cat’s toilet training you will never have to buy cat litter again. Cat litter trays should be cleaned regularly or they will stink. With cat toilet training, the water in the toilet masks most of the smell and all you have to do is flush regularly – much easier and more convenient than cleaning a litter tray. Going away for the weekend or on holiday also becomes easier for your neighbor – instead of asking someone to clean the litter tray, all they have to do is flush your toilet once in a while (if they come to water your plants and feed your cat).
How can I train a cat on the toilet (do it yourself)
Toilet training for your cat is entirely dependent on the cat’s personality. Toilet training for sociable cats who like to be praised makes the training task much easier. You may want to adapt the toilet training technique described below to your cat’s personality. Training your cat to use the toilet can take between 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on the individual cat’s personality.
Cat toilet training consists of a simple procedure: gradually moving the litter tray to the toilet, placing a tray with cat litter in the toilet, and removing the tray when your cat is comfortable and used to it. Toilet training for a cat is a gradual, step-by-step process, consisting of making small changes to the location of the litter tray and only moving on to the next step when your cat feels completely comfortable with his current situation. You may have to wait between 2 days or 3 weeks before proceeding to the next step in cat toilet training. You may even have to step back once or twice if your cat is not ready to move on to the next toilet training. Watch out – cat toilet training takes a lot of patience!
Cat toilet steps:
1. Start by gradually moving the litter tray closer to the toilet until it should eventually stand next to the toilet. Make sure your cat is always comfortable and sure of the location of the litter tray.
2. Now start raising the litter tray. 3. Place something non-slippery such as newspapers or cardboard under the litter tray. A normal rate for raising the height of the litter tray would be about 5cm per day, but be very alert to any signs that your cat is not comfortable with the current height, and adjust the rate of raising the tray accordingly. The litter tray should be raised until it is level with the toilet bowl. During this process, it is very important to keep the bowl open and the seat down as your cat will get used to it and may even climb on the toilet seat to get to the litter tray.
3. Move the litter tray to rest on the open toilet seat. Keep it there until your cat is comfortable with this arrangement.
4. Buy a metal tray or bowl that fits snugly in the toilet bowl. It is recommended that the metal bowl has small drainage holes. Fill the tray with cat litter (preferably the flushable type). Now remove the litter tray completely. If you have completed this step, you are very close to having a toilet trained cat!
5. While your cat is using the metal tray in the toilet, pay close attention to where your cat’s legs are. The goal is to teach him to squat with all four legs on the edge of the toilet seat. You can move the cat while he is using the toilet and praise (or reward) him when he is in the correct position. Normally, the cat will first sit completely in the metal bowl, then with the front legs on the toilet seat, and finally, he should sit with all four legs on the toilet.
6. Start using less and less cat litter. This can stink, so make sure you clean the tray after every time your cat uses it. Cats scratch sand or litter to cover up the smell (this is out of instinct), so if the bowl becomes too smelly your cat won’t like using it (and you probably wouldn’t feel comfortable using your toilet either). The use of flushable cat litter makes cleaning the bowl very easy – just throw the contents into the toilet and flush the bowl, flush out the bowl, refill it with the right amount of cat litter and replace it.
A handy tip is to put a newspaper on the floor around the toilet to keep the room clean should your cat scratch the tray. Reduce the amount of litter at a rate that makes your cat feel comfortable.
7. When you are no longer using litter in the tray, gradually start filling the tray with water. The water will also help mask the smell, making your cat feel more comfortable using the toilet. Be alert to your cat’s behavior throughout this process – if your cat stops using the bowl in the toilet, you may be going too fast and may need to go back a few steps.
8. When the water level in the bowl has reached about 4cm and your cat has no problem using it, it is time to remove the bowl entirely. Your cat should now be toilet trained. Remember to always leave the toilet seat up and flush regularly!
Products to help you with your cat’s toilet training
There are several cat toilet training kits on the market. They consist of a tray that fits in the toilet, and a hole in the middle that you can gradually make bigger. When choosing a cat toilet training kit, make sure you buy quality. The cat training kit shouldn’t become thinner and should be able to carry your cat’s weight, even if the hole gets big. Be aware of cheap, thin products you buy in toy shops or pet shops because if your cat comes in, he could lose interest in toilet training completely.
The disadvantages of toilet training for your cat
Not everyone agrees that toilet training for cats is such a good idea. They argue that it’s unnatural for a cat to use a toilet because it goes against their instincts to cover up their smell. Toilet seats can also be slippery and there is a risk of your cat getting hurt. Even if your cat doesn’t fall in at all, he can become anxious when using the toilet, and going to the toilet can become an unpleasant task.
A litter tray also has the health benefit of making it easier to check your cat’s urine for signs of infection or disease.
Moving locations will also be more difficult for the cat as a litter tray can easily be moved, but the cat will need to get used to using the new toilet first. With some cats, this will not be a problem and they may quickly feel comfortable with the new toilet while others may not be able to adapt as well.
Things to remember when training a cat on the toilet
The most important thing to remember is that toilet training should be done gradually. Be very patient and never rush to the next step until you are sure that your cat is fully comfortable with the current setup.
Make using the toilet as easy as possible for the cat.
Always remember to keep the toilet seat up and the bathroom door open. If you have guests, make sure they also know that they are considering your cat. Flush the toilet regularly as cats don’t like to use smelly toilets.
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