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Kitty toilet training

anjelle
November 19th, 2008, 11:19 PM
Seeing as I have found everyone on this forum very helpful in the past I figured that I would keep you updated on my current mission.

I am currently on day 5 of attempting to toilet train Aija.


All comments and advice will be happily accepted :)
The only other thread I could find on this forum in regards to this issue ended up being (IMHO) quite negative. I am hoping for positive criticism.



Day 1: Sunday, November 16/08. The moving of the litter box to next to my toilet.

What fabulous timing, as the temperatures on Jeju (South Korea) plummetted on Tuesday and the laundry room (which is where the litter box WAS located) is FREEZING!!

Success.


Day 3: Placing the litter box onto some lids raising it by three inches.

Success.


Day 5: (today) made it three newspapers (1 inch) higher. Waiting to see how it goes.



The biggest issue for me with this training (so far...) is the fact that my shower is not, in any way whatsoever, separated from the rest of the "bath"room. (refer to photo below)... no big deal. If this is successful, the huge inconvenience I have to go through before AND after EVERY shower, will SOOO be worth it!!


http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/940/dsc09416smallhn8.jpg


I just got off the phone with my vet. I should have flushable kitty litter maybe in about a week!


She doesn't seem *thrilled* about the changes. But, she doesn't seem to be fighting them either.


I'm off to look for a bowl for the next step! Wish me luck~**



My main sites that I am using in the process are:
http://www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p943wK0tSWQ

sugarcatmom
November 19th, 2008, 11:58 PM
If this is successful, the huge inconvenience I have to go through before AND after EVERY shower, will SOOO be worth it!!


Worth it for who?

anjelle
November 21st, 2008, 07:16 AM
All comments and advice will be happily accepted :)
...
I am hoping for positive criticism.


I guess I should expand on the reasons that I believe this is a positive change for myself and Aija...


Firstly, the reasons for Aija...

Aija is Korean. She has already travelled to Canada and back again and she will again. Both of these trips she had more than 24hours without a litter box. Any desires she may have had to relieve herself she held in for the entire trip. This... could not have been pleasant. I am hoping that if this toilet training is successful that during one of our long layovers (to get to Saskatchewan from Jeju is a minumum of three flights) we can hide out in a handicap bathroom so she can get used to it and relieve herself there.

Also, there are times that she needs to stay with one of her aunts, uncles, or grandparents, from a day to a couple of weeks. I believe that her being able to use the toilet anywhere she goes will be useful at these times as well.


Secondly, for myself...

These are most likely the more obvious reasons.. So we have the...

price- no more buying kitty litter
carrying it- getting the kitty litter home from the store
changing- no more daily cleaning.. weekly cleaning...


For both Aija and I...

We live in a VERY small apartment. Not having a litter box taking up the majority of my laundry room will give me more room to do laundry and Aija more room to play.
As well as... the laundry room is the same temperature as outside. So, this makes for a very cold winter. And probably not the most optimal situation for Aija when she is wanting to spend time in there.

And really.?.?.?. litter, even before it's used, doesn't smell fabulous.


Lastly, and VERY importantly...

Environmentally...

Using a litter box produces sooo much extra waste. The immediate waste from the actual litter itself. The unused litter. The packaging to keep the litter in. As well as, the production of the litter and packaging.



I believe strongly that there are no negative long-term effects on my cat in my making this decision. I also believe strongly that the MANY positive long-term effects (if it is successful) will by far outweigh any of the short-term inconveniences that Aija and I will go through in the process.

anjelle
November 21st, 2008, 07:18 AM
Does anyone happen to have any experiences they can share on this topic?

ancientgirl
November 21st, 2008, 11:26 AM
Before I moved into my current place I had a small apartment. I found room for the box in my bathroom. It was a little bit of a pain, but since I don't live in the bathroom, it made do.

You can buy environmentally friendly litter. Feline Pine is one of those and a box will cost you about $5.00 here in the US, and it's unbelievably light to carry. You have only one cat, so even if you buy a 15 pound bag of that or Swheat Scoop, it will last you a while.

Cats doing their business on the toilet is not natural and any convenience is mainly for the person.

If you are taking her on a flight, get a carrier that will accomodate her and a disposable box, she can go when she feels like it.

If she is ever ill, how will you know it? You can't get a decent sample of their feces or urine.

I briefly thought about doing this when I got my first cat, but I only wanted to do it for me and that wasn't fair to them.

I have 5 cats, and 3 boxes, because there's no room in my apartment for more. I clean their boxes once a day, I use Swheat Scoop. I scoop their waste into a paper bag and throw it away, any landfill it goes to, this will be environmentally friendly toward it. My apartment does not smell.

Scuba
November 21st, 2008, 12:06 PM
Another thing you have to consider original poster (OP) is that when you talk about environmental issues. You do realise that each time you flush the toilet that there is a lot of water that is being wasted. Not to mention, what type of toilet you are using, the amount of water it uses, whether it is a dual flush design or not. There is also the design or your local municipality sewer system, how they actually handle the waste.

Please do a little more research. There are lots of cat litter that are environmentally friendly. From the packaging to how you can dispose of it.

reckon
December 23rd, 2008, 08:37 AM
I work as an animal trainer, and getting kitty to use the toilet is just about the most difficult thing in all of training an animal, it just goes against every instinct they have,...it CAN be done, but as most of the other posters said, it's more for the owner, and much less for the cat, THAT FACT, and the fact that it will take months, maybe even years to get kitty to go in the toilet is why it's better to seek alternate solutions (see below)

I also live in a VERY small studio apt, and have 2 cats, and one outside stray that stays inside when it's very cold, or raining.

my solution was twofold:
1) odor control: no cat litter in the known universe will control odors effectively with 2/3 cats and 400 sq/ft of studio apt space.
solution: so I ran a dryer duct tube from the bathroom vent fan to a hole I cut in the (covered privacy) cat box lid, up the wall and across the ceiling, and just leave the vent fan on all the time.
now because the air flows into the catbox, and out the vent fan (ejects out the roof), I NEVER smell anything in the apt, unless one of kitties misses the box or something, and that's how we know, because you CAN smell something...... "honey?!, did one of the kitties miss the box? I smell something" :thumbs up cost was about $5 (ducting, tape, plastic fitting@home depot)

2)clumping cat litter stuck to kittys paws like GLUE!:

kitties always like to play in the shower after we get done using it (they lick the floor?:shrug:), then of course, they run into the catbox with wet feet, and the litter clumps around and in their paws.
solution: I made a clear plastic cover for the shower door: slips over the bottom lip, and velcros at the top, so kitties can't play in the shower, we just take it off and set aside when we take a shower.
CATS DO NOT LIKE CLEAR PLASTIC, it confuses them, they have trouble seeing it, and their claws don't get any grip, so they usually avoid trying to climb barriers made from clear acrylic or polycarbonate plastic, and it is what I now make all my "cat barriers" out of.

if you have your heart set on training kitty to use the toilet, you need to start with the cat box ON the toilet, once kitty gets used to that, then use a small bucket of litter IN the toilet (you have to drain the water after you use it, and set up the bucket), and use some kind of toilet seat that kitty can grip with their claws (they don't like hard slippery surfaces)
once kitty is going in the bucket consistently, just take the bucket away, and again BE PATIENT, as kitty will know WHERE you want them to go, but will be confused with no litter all of a sudden,....remembering that kitties learn by example, from mommy cat, SHOW kitty when YOU go, let them sniff around so they associate the toilet/poop, and what you are asking of them, and it'll take many, many tries before they get what you want them to do, be prepared for LOTS of "accidents" as kitty will get confused with this at first, keep at it, and eventually kitty WILL use the toilet, just please don't ask me how to train them to flush, I haven't worked that out yet :laughing:

this will be TOTALLY cat dependent,..I know one of my kitties (ruk=boy) could learn this in a couple of weeks, he's just very compliant and easy to teach, and I KNOW my other tomcat (kyu) would NEVER do this, he's just too stubborn.

good luck, your going to need it. :thumbs up

Masha
December 23rd, 2008, 10:48 AM
My concern is that your cat can fall into the toilet bowl... the toilet seats are usually very slippery and the cat's claws wouldnt be much help there...

rhartjr
December 23rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
Many (many) years ago my sister was training her cat to use the commode instead of a litter box. But she was using something she bought, it was a litter tray that fit over the toilet seat. It had sections that you removed as the training progressed. Similar to this;

http://www.citikitty.com/?gclid=CI3Wyveh15cCFQZqswodMDorDQ

Honestly don't recall if she managed to train her or not.

anjelle
December 28th, 2008, 08:25 AM
Thank you Reckon for your advice and support.

I have decided that Aija and I will be continuing with the training. We are taking each step very slowly. So far, she has dealt with each step very well.



My concern is that your cat can fall into the toilet bowl... the toilet seats are usually very slippery and the cat's claws wouldnt be much help there...


Aija has always been one of those cats that plays on the toilet, so I'm not overly worried about her falling in. However, I am going to look into a seatcover that may be easier for traction for her. This, I am hoping will also make the transition of using other toilets easier for her.


Thank you rhartjr for the website. Unfortunately, living on a small island in the middle of nowhere Korea doesn't make items like this very convenient for me. Starting in the new year I am going to make a seat cover with a hole to try to get her used to keeping her back legs up out of the toilet. She is already doing it some of the time.



Update:

She has been using the toilet now (with a bowl of litter in it) for over two weeks now. Starting in the new year I am going to make a platform so she doesnt have her back feet in the toilet bowl.

http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/8372/dsc09800smallgl8.th.jpg (http://img237.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc09800smallgl8.jpg)

She always has her back paws in for going pee.


http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/6891/dsc09906smalloa0.th.jpg (http://img237.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc09906smalloa0.jpg)

However, she seems to be a natural for #2.

anjelle
December 28th, 2008, 08:31 AM
CATS DO NOT LIKE CLEAR PLASTIC, it confuses them, they have trouble seeing it, and their claws don't get any grip, so they usually avoid trying to climb barriers made from clear acrylic or polycarbonate plastic, and it is what I now make all my "cat barriers" out of.



Thank you for this tip. I personally don't have any issues currently with Aija going places where she shouldn't (other than on my laptop, which I have found a makeshift remedy for) but I have other friends here that are constantly asking my advice on things like this.


On the same topic... I heard for scratching furniture and whatnot... that tinfoil was good to use as a deterrent. Would you recommend this? Or do you have a better idea?

catlover2
December 30th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Wow! angelle, I'm impressed! Way to go! :thumbs up Aija is a beautiful calico. Wonder if she'll flush? :)

anjelle
December 30th, 2008, 08:06 PM
Wow! angelle, I'm impressed! Way to go! :thumbs up Aija is a beautiful calico. Wonder if she'll flush? :)


Thanks. Still a way to go, but, she is a VERY clever cat.

The toilets here are a little different than at home. So, luckily, while we are in Korea I know she won't. They are push buttons. And, hopefully she won't figure it out once we get home. :)

babymomma
December 31st, 2008, 03:00 AM
I like this idea. And i think its great that you want to challenge yourself. As for the negative comments about it being unnatural. It was also unnatural in the wild for a cat to live in a house and to pee/poop inna box. :shrug:

ancientgirl
December 31st, 2008, 10:12 AM
A cat peeing and pooping in a box allows them to keep their digging instinct.

angelle, I just hope your cat is never in a position that you have to get a sample of your cat's urine or feces.

Good luck.

14+kitties
December 31st, 2008, 10:38 AM
I like this idea. And i think its great that you want to challenge yourself. As for the negative comments about it being unnatural. It was also unnatural in the wild for a cat to live in a house and to pee/poop inna box. :shrug:

babymomma - The unnaturalness of teaching a kitty to use the toilet per se is that:
#1) they have a natural instinct to bury their business. It is deeply ingrained in them as a defence mechanism to hide their scent from predators. Can you imagine a kitty using the toilet and then turning around to bury his stuff and falling into the dirty water. :yuck: I can.
#2) You can not get a proper fecal/urine test using substance taken from a toilet bowl. It will not be "clean" and will not give proper readings. I know that is not something that needs to be done all the time but it still needs to be done.
#3) It is not safe for a cat to be on a slippery surface while trying to do thier business. I can not tell you the number of times I have watched my kitties using their litter box and somewhat losing their balance. In that position it would be hard not to. So you put a kitty in the "poop" position on a very narrow, slippery surface area and hope that he/she does not lose balance. :shrug: Also, when the kitty gets older and can not maintain that balance well, do you then retrain for the litter box? Not easily done.

The argument about what used to be in the wild and what goes on now will not be solved here. The fact is WE have "tamed" the wild beasts, both cats and dogs, to suit our lifestyle. That does not mean we have to take something that is natural (using a litterbox) and completely take it away from our cats in order to "make our life easier". JMO

catlover2
January 1st, 2009, 02:03 PM
What's the problem? :shrug: This is not a "kitten" and from photos has no difficulty balancing on the rim of the toilet. If it's necessary to catch a urine or fecal sample all angelle needs to do is float a shallow bowl inside the toilet big enough to catch whatever, or if the cat is "in the act" catch it in a container. I don't see this as a problem. If Aija must use a litter box at some time, she will certainly remember how to use one.