Unfortunately, the cat toilet training experiment has come to an end. Furball, who is almost 9 years old, made it known loud and clear that he had no plans on progressing to the next ring. Thankfully he used the tray when he needed to urinate, but he just did not get used to it for pooping.
Furball had another accident today. In the morning, I peered in the bathroom and didn’t see a present on the floor. I suspected that he was perhaps holding it in. He hadn’t gone yesterday, so I figured I would wait to see what would happen. My nose did pick up the slight scent of fecal matter, but I dismissed it as general cat tray odour.
On his way to work, my husband called out from the stairs leading to the garage. He found where Furball had decided to do his business. This was Furball’s third accident and I had not made any changes to the toilet training set up, nor had I tried to move him along too quickly. I’d say 4 weeks to go from cat box to one hole punched out of the ring would be taking it slow.
My mother-in-law is going back to Canada in two weeks, which leaves me on my own to look after my baby son. Factoring this in with Furball’s increased anxiety over the past week, I made the decision today to stop the toilet training.
It is unfortunate, but I guess some cats adapt and some don’t. Furball was not going to be one of the ones to use the toilet, at least not on this attempt.
We were using the CitiKitty which was generously supplied to us by the owner of the CitiKitty company. I wanted to be able to report success since she uses recycled plastic and post-consumer recycled paper to make her product in the USA. Unfortunately, I just did not have the time to devote to making it work.
It seemed to me that Furball did not like perching himself on the tray. He normally uses a very generously sized box, so perhaps the switch to a small tray was too much for him. As well, he likes to be in an enclosed, “safe” place. His box used to be in the corner, protected on three sides. Perhaps he felt too exposed sitting on the toilet, even with the bathroom door mostly closed. With more praise and coaxing, I think he would have adapted, but I just don’t have the time to do this with the baby.
In all honesty, I do not believe that had we used the competitive product, Litter Kwitter, it would have made any difference. The only difference would have been paying twice as much for a product made in China that uses a lot more plastic. If anything, the Litter Kwitter with its much bigger ring sizes would have been more likely to have freaked out Furball. I believe what it comes down to is whether your cat has the disposition to be toilet trained and you have the time to invest in training them.
There’s no way to predict whether or not your cat will take to the training. I guess the only way you’ll know is to give it a try. And, if you are going to try, in my opinion, you should use the product that uses less plastic, less packaging, less resources for transportation, is made locally and is made from recycled materials, which is the CitiKitty.
Here’s my two cents worth of advice (although I always advise people to only take advice from those who are successful at what you are asking advice for):
- Have lots of time and energy to coddle your cat through the experience. Doing this with a new baby is not a good idea.
- Be careful of any scented products you use to clean the toilet. They may spook your cat.
- Go really slowly.
- Make sure your toilet seat is attached firmly and level. No seats that slope inwards.
- Expect the toilet to be occupied with the tray for weeks and possibly months.
- Clean the tray every day.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has successfully trained their cat. While it didn’t work for Furball, it may be just the thing for your cat.
On the plus side, I discovered that Furball would still use the tray even if there was very little litter in it. Based on this experience, I’m going to significantly reduce the amount of litter used in his box. I scoop it almost daily anyways so might as well reduce our environmental impact a little bit more.
I had an epiphany for redesigning a litter scoop a few weeks ago and was thinking of submitting the idea to be an As Seen On TV product. Now that we’re back to the cat box and I’m going to be using less litter, I think it’s time to proceed with this idea.