By JENNIFER GRAHAM
As any cat owner can tell you, nothing is worse than the mess or smell that comes from a litter box.
Add the constant cleanings and it becomes a serious inconvenience.
Fortunately, there is an alternative that eliminates the need for a litter box all together. You can toilet train your cat.
While it might seem that teaching your cat to use a toilet would be time consuming and complicated, it is actually quite simple.
Amazon sells kits ranging from $30 to $50 that are designed to make the transition from litter box to toilet easier on your pet.
These kits use a system of removable trays that fit into a training seat, one for each stage of training.
Depending on which kit you use, there will be three to five stages.
The first stage is a ring that covers the training seat and is filled with flushable litter.
The following stages use the same concept with the litter but have a small hole in the middle. The hole gets larger until the training is no longer needed.
The process can be completed in as little as a month but the time frame and whether it will be successful depends entirely on the cat.
To avoid failure during toilet training attempts, make sure not to rush the cat and follow directions.
•Start by moving the litter box into the bathroom that will be used for training.
•Switch to flushable litter before using the training system to ensure the cat will know where to go.
•Start elevating the existing litter box a bit each day by stacking phone books or something similar underneath.
•When the litter box is at a height level with the toilet, set the box on top of the toilet.
•If the cat cannot successfully jump to this height, add a small box to make the climb easier.
•Switch to the training system when the cat is comfortable, and change the training rings based on how well your cat adjusts to the new system.
•Once the cat can go without using the training rings, the cat will be fully trained the humans will regain use of their toilet.
Firsthand experience taught a few lessons:
•There is a chance your cat will have accidents during this process.
•Teaching the cat to flush the toilet will result in a new playtime activity and a possible water bill increase.
•If a second bathroom is not available for humans, the training seat is easy to remove.
•Regularly wash the training system to keep things clean for both you and your pet.
•If your cat does not want to use the toilet and refuses to do so, don’t force it.
•Be patient! Not all cats can make the transition overnight.
These systems make no promises. However, if done properly and with the cooperation of your cat, you will soon be living in a litter-free home.
Rescue kitten fully trained in a month
My roommate and I adopted a rescue kitten, Chesty Purrer, seven months ago.
After a few weeks of dealing with the mess that comes with a litter box, we decided to toilet train him.
We looked online and in different pet stores, then decided on the three-step Litter Kwitter system.
Rather than follow the directions, we decided that our kitten was smart enough to understand his new bathroom setup.
Luckily for us, he did figure it out quickly.
Other than the piles of litter he kicked onto the floor, it wasn’t too messy.
Within a month, he had gone through all three stages and was using the toilet without the Litter Kwitter.
Now Chesty is able to use any bathroom without issue and is totally litter-free.