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Old August 4th, 2008, 01:47 PM
kitts2593 kitts2593 is offline
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What is the next stage for toilet training my cat(s)?

Hello! This is my first post on this forum. It has been an excellent resource so far and I expect to be coming back again for future research.

Our family has adopted two kitties. The mommy kitty a stray who we named Juno (after the film character) when we discovered she came with a litter of 7 kittens. We adopted out all of the litter except for one kitten Max, a tabby cat, born this May.

We would like to have both of them trained to use the toilet.

At this point they are no longer using the litter box and are instead using a stainless steel bowl that we fit in the basin and filled with litter. They are comfortable using the basin. Yet I am not convinced that they have actually learned to use the toilet.

While they love walking around the toilet seat they still step into the bowl to do their business and then cover it up with litter.

Question: How do we transition them to pooping from the seat versus in the bowl so that we can remove the bowl altogether?

I have a bathroom in my room upstairs but they still walk all the way downstairs and across the house to use the litter bowl in the other toilet.

They are smart cats, I have already trained them to respond to a bell for treats.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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First, welcome to pets.ca, and congratulations on your new kitties!

Now for the downer part: I urge you to rethink training your cats to use the toilet. Here is an article explaining why it's so NOT a good idea: http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/toilet.html

Quote:
Toilet Training Your Cat

Written by: Susie S. Bachman
Copyright - All Rights Reserved

Why can't people just let cats be cats? What's the big deal about cleaning litterboxes? Scooping and cleaning litterboxes are part of the bargain we make when we get a cat and everyone knows it. It certainly isn't time-consuming for the average cat owner. It's much fairer to the cat. I have yet to see a cat voluntarily, without provocation or training, rush to use a human toilet. Yet, when I scoop my cats' boxes in my home, or place a scrubbed litterbox down with fresh litter in it, the race is on to see who can get in there and eliminate first.

Cats shouldn't be made or expected to use a toilet for several reasons. First, it is an absolutely unnatural thing for a cat to do. By expecting and forcing cats to eliminate in a "human" way, they are unable to do what comes as instinctual - such as dig and bury their urine or feces. Isn't it enough that people attempt to modify their cats so they fit in with what that person might deem as "socially acceptable" - such as declawing? Expecting cats to do things as humans do is going just too far.

Second, toilet seats are slick and slippery even for young children, so think what it must be like for a cat. There is always a chance of a cat slipping and falling, possibly injuring himself in the process. This could also be an experience that will frighten the cat enough that he will refuse to use the toilet again. Toilets also require that the cat jump up. While this may be easy for a younger cat, it will be difficult and/or painful for an ill, or injured, or older, or arthritic cat to attempt. We provide hand-grips in public restrooms and our homes' bathrooms for our elderly and infirm humans. We also provide for them portable toilets in hospitals, nursing facilities, and our own homes, so why should we expect our elderly and infirm cats to eliminate with difficulty and pain?

Third, toilet training a cat also makes it impossible to see the urine output, which is important in monitoring the cat's health. A cat who has a urinary tract infection may not feel comfortable trying to balance on the toilet seat when he is already miserable from painful urination or an inflammed bladder. He will more than likely seek out other spots in which to eliminate. Feces can't be checked accurately if there is a possible problem, as the water in the toilet will change the feces' consistency.

And fourth, another problem is that many cats have a location preference when they eliminate. A toilet can't be moved from room to room. While a litterbox in the bathroom may work for some cats, in many households there are litterboxes placed in other locations as well. Not able to move an elimination area can be a setup for innappropiate elimination by cats who prefer other locations, especially in a multi-cat household.

Toilet training a cat does NO favors for the cat. It is done strictly as a convenience for the owner. Be a responsible cat owner, please ... let a cat be a cat.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 04:00 PM
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Welcome to Pets.ca! There are people here with years and tons of experience to help out and give solid advice when you ask.

I can add a fifth reason to that article's content...

What's going to happen when , for example the mama cat gets older - like, really old, doesn't have the agility she has today, perhaps has arthritis...can't get up there or hold herself up there...

Are you then going to attempt retrain her to use a litterbox?

Please...think again about all this. There are people who think that this is "cutesy"...they are people who don't know very much about cats.


One other thing...is mama now spayed?
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Old August 4th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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The next step would be to move the bowl (size permitting) to the downstairs toilet (which would presumably be out of bounds to humans) so they have to get into the 'bowl' of the toilet to do their business. Once they're OK with that, you replace the bowl with heavy plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap but super strong), over the toilet but under the lid. Then you punch holes in the plastic so the pee falls into the toilet bowl. Then you remove the plastic. You don't move to the next stage until they have fully mastered the current one. Unless you want a wet, mad-as-hell cat streaking through the house .
I think that's how it works. If you google it, I'll bet there's a ton of info. Who doesn't want a cat that uses the toilet?
Sounds like a lot of work to me. Plus the possibility that one will get it and the other won't, so you'd still have to get a litterbox.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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I'm speechless...well, except for this

"the more i learn about (some) people, the more i luv my cats"
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Old August 4th, 2008, 07:10 PM
kitts2593 kitts2593 is offline
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Thank you for all the info! I wasn't aware of any health and ethical concerns when it came to toilet training cats.

I'll bring up these issues with my veterinarian before I try the Saran Wrap solution - thank you badger.

Could you tell this is my first kitty? Because he is.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 02:16 AM
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globalgourmand globalgourmand is offline
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My personal reaction to Susie Bachman's article.

I just recently purchased a re-used Litter Kwitter designed for toilet training your cat but before we begin, I looked up criticisms of toilet training cats to be sure I wasn't just being selfish and forcing my cat to do something unnatural or cruel. I don't want to be an ignorant pet owner. But in the end, I feel like the arguments are pretty void and toilet training is a fair thing to try.

Regarding Susie Bachman's article....

Firstly, if we are all going to "just let cats be cats" I think we'd have a lot of dead birds and mice and cats around outside. And more cat diseases and more cat suffering. Yes of course I accept the extra responsibilities that come with owning a cat but would Susie S. Bachman deny that cat poop smells terrible (is my nose warning me that it is HAZARDOUS?) and you know scooping it up stinks too, even if it is not really "time-consuming."

Secondly, its not an *entirely* unnatural thing to train (not FORCE!) a cat to use a toilet. They're still pooping in practically the same exact stance. That's natural. And they usually still mimmick digging and burying anyhow. Its not that a toilet trained cat is "socially acceptable" (an asinine argument) but it most certainly is cleaner, less smelly, and more convenient. And, personally, I would say that it is declawing which is "going just too far." Now THAT is FORCING. This is training, and he can stop anytime he wishes.

Thirdly, its true, toilet seats are "slick and slippery," and I will consider doing something about that, but I find it an unlikely situation that my cat will injure himself on the toilet seat any more than he might when he frolicks wildly around the apartment in delight. Or, any more than when he voluntarily gets up on the slick and slippery edge of the bathtub to see what *I'M* doing on the toilet! And I'm completely sure that when jumping up on anything becomes "difficult and/or painful" for my cat to attempt, he will NOT DO IT and he will evidently let me know by eliminating elsewhere.

Finally, I am completely sure that if Crusher's "location preference" changes, he will, again, LET ME KNOW by pooping in his "preferred location." I'm quite sure I can't force my cat to poop where he prefers not to. He always lets me know gently but clearly when he doesn't like something.

So yes, training a cat to use the toilet is no favor to the cat and it is simply a convenience for us. But I don't think it is irresponsible or cruel to TRY to train him to go on the toilet. I don't think its abusive. I don't think its unhealthy. I don't think its unreasonable. Or even vastly more unnatural than a neutered/spayed life indoors eating "cat food" and drinking filtered water out of a dish, pooping in a plastic box like most healthy/happy cats do. What I do think is that it is really practical-- cheaper, neater and more sanitary (at least for me and possibly for him too?) And I feel confident that I'm still letting my cat be a very happy, healthy cat. He plays when he wants to and sleeps when he wants to and eats and drinks when he wants to and cuddles when he wants to and scratches when he wants to. And I define WHERE he eats and drinks and I try to define WHERE he scratches (though he decides he prefers the carpet better) so I will try to define where he poops and he can decide if he likes the carpet better then too. ...in which case we will go back to the litter box in his "location preference." But until then...

LITTER KWITTER!!!!

I welcome anyone to share their opinions on the subject. Supportive or dissenting. I am quite sure, however, that we are still going to try this and I am definitely sure that I am excited about it.

AND ANOTHER THING! When he is stepping IN the litter box he is stepping ON urine-soaked litter and then walking AROUND my home. Toilet training would avoid this COMPLETELY. So this endeavor may indeed be entirely self-serving but on THIS POINT ALONE isn't it WORTH A TRY???
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Old August 28th, 2008, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by globalgourmand View Post
So yes, training a cat to use the toilet is no favor to the cat and it is simply a convenience for us. But I don't think it is irresponsible or cruel to TRY to train him to go on the toilet. I don't think its abusive. I don't think its unhealthy. I don't think its unreasonable. Or even vastly more unnatural than a neutered/spayed life indoors eating "cat food" and drinking filtered water out of a dish, pooping in a plastic box like most healthy/happy cats do. What I do think is that it is really practical-- cheaper, neater and more sanitary (at least for me and possibly for him too?) And I feel confident that I'm still letting my cat be a very happy, healthy cat.
*laughs* i sort of apologize if this is rude but it seems an amazing ability of people to justify what they want to do (as opposed to the right thing to do) by just declaring it so. i believe several people here, several other websites of vets and just knowing a few basic thigns about cats says toilet training your cat is completely unnatural.

good thing you 'feel confident' cause if it was just confidence that backed up science we all would still be using leaches for pregnant women.

-ash
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Old August 28th, 2008, 07:27 AM
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I couldn't train my kitty to use the toilet, I would be much too worried about them slipping in. The basin of a toilet bowl is extremely slippery and the cat may not be able to get out. Try wetting your kitties paws and see how well he can walk in the bathtub, it is very different than when their paws are dry.

There are a lot of people who are "confident" their cat is not in any pain when it is declawed too , I always ask them "did your kitty tell you so?"

I don't eat off my floor, so I am not too worried about it being perfectly sanitized, plus I use clumping litter, boxes are cleaned and kept filled daily so they don't walk in soaking litter.

Feed your kitty a raw "natural" diet, you will find their poops won't stink.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by globalgourmand View Post
Yes of course I accept the extra responsibilities that come with owning a cat but would Susie S. Bachman deny that cat poop smells terrible (is my nose warning me that it is HAZARDOUS?) and you know scooping it up stinks too, even if it is not really "time-consuming."
Quote:
Originally Posted by globalgourmand View Post
Its not that a toilet trained cat is "socially acceptable" (an asinine argument) but it most certainly is cleaner, less smelly, and more convenient.
Quote:
Originally Posted by globalgourmand View Post
What I do think is that it is really practical-- cheaper, neater and more sanitary (at least for me and possibly for him too?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by globalgourmand View Post
AND ANOTHER THING! When he is stepping IN the litter box he is stepping ON urine-soaked litter and then walking AROUND my home.
Perhaps if you added another litter box and actually cleaned it with more frequency, it wouldn't smell as bad and your cat wouldn't be "stepping ON urine-soaked litter".

The other thing is that one of the most important parts of looking after another animal is keeping track of it's elimination - frequency, volume, consistency, colour, and yes - smell. You can't do this if they're going in the toilet and you therefore miss out on one of the biggest clues to your pet's health.

And my final point - if you find excrement to be so incredibly offensive, perhaps a Chia pet would be a better option for you.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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globalgourmand globalgourmand is offline
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Wow, I think must have written my original post in a very offensive and ignorant manner. I'm sorry!! I should have read through it before posting. But I welcome anyone to share their opinions, and I'm glad sugarcatmom and want4rain and Love4himies have.

My cat already jumps up on the toilet seat and bathtub. Do you recommend I should stop him from doing this?

He steps ON urine-soaked litter because we use FelinePine as a second-greenest option before toilet training. If you haven't use it, it is really fantastic! The litter box itself doesn't smell at all-- and no ammonia. It is simply his poop and bringing it to the toilet. I think I need to educate myself on raw "natural" diet!! I've been feeding Hill's Science Diet and his poop is quite smelly. Love4himies, please tell me more about your experience with this raw/natural diet!!!

Quote:
The other thing is that one of the most important parts of looking after another animal is keeping track of it's elimination - frequency, volume, consistency, colour, and yes - smell. You can't do this if they're going in the toilet and you therefore miss out on one of the biggest clues to your pet's health.
Fantastic point. I would argue that I will still be able to keep track of the frequency, volume, consistency, and color of his poops. Plus, I often watch him while he goes-- we have a small apartment and its not uncommon for me and his time to go to coincide. Also, when I dump his poop in the toilet now, I can still see those things quite well before I flush. Maybe my toilet is more shallow than yours? Anyhow, its a very relevant point sugarcatmom. Perhaps I can fish a poop out every once in a while just to be sure it looks normal.

As the litterbox stands now, we scoop once-twice a day (and whenever we see poop) and change the whole thing out approximately once a week (or when it becomes all sawdust.) We use biodegradable litterbox liners but still scrub the box down with vinegar and baking soda. Is there something else we should be doing? I'm still relatively new to cat ownership.

Love4himies, I don't eat off my floor either. But I do lay on the carpet and on my couches, and he does occasionally get on my counters though I try to be very alert and keep him away from counters and tables. He also walks freely all over me when I'm trying to write e-mails! To be clear, we have a nice HEPA vacuum which we use 1-2 times a week but I don't imagine it picks up germs... it is probably only my imagination, but I imagine little germs on his paws when he steps out and then I imagine little germy paw prints all around the apartment. I wonder if there's any truth/science to it.

Quote:
*laughs* i sort of apologize if this is rude but it seems an amazing ability of people to justify what they want to do (as opposed to the right thing to do) by just declaring it so. i believe several people here, several other websites of vets and just knowing a few basic thigns about cats says toilet training your cat is completely unnatural.
This is a good point and not rude in my opinion though I appreciate the apology. It is so true, people cannot justify what they do just by declaration. That's silly. But as many websites, people, and vets that you can find who will say it is completely unnatural, I believe you will find just as many who will say that it is fine or, even further, that keeping cats indoors is what is really unnatural. So, obviously, this is not science, it is debatable. Which we are doing here, and which I am thankful for. My feelings of confidence come from things I observe (the beginning of science.) We all know there's no test for cat happiness. We have only observations. Are they even happy indoors? Probably not. But they are certainly safer and maintaining optimal health indoors, so we do it for ourselves to not feel the pain of losing a dear feline or to see them dirty or sick. Same thing with dogs. If they had it their way, dogs and cats might as well roam the earth, mating to their natural instinct's delight, catching songbirds and chipmunks and spreading disease. If we want to debate natural in terms of a domesticated animal, that's what I think natural would look like.

Now humane, this might be debatable too, depending on who you ask. Apparently, declawing a cat with anesthesia is humane to a lot of people. To me, it is not. You're removing a part of the body by force. But then again... so is neutering/fixing... which I WHOLE-HEARTEDLY support so...

Perhaps there is a way to declaw without a cat actually feeling pain, but to remove something from their body (by force) which they would otherwise use daily truly seems unnecessarily unnatural and inhumane to me. That is my opinion. Pain or no pain. (Though I imagine they would indeed feel pain, TELLing us by stepping gingerly on their paws, crying, or long/excessive meows. I do, personally, believe animals SPEAK to us through their behavior and noises and we can and have to learn how to decipher it just as they do with us [i.e. training a dog to sit.] Not everyone feels this way, but I do.)

Because toilet training is obviously debatable, I think my bottom line apart from all the other arguments is that I am not forcing my cat to use the toilet. It sounds ridiculous to phrase it this way, but I am "recommending" it. If he thinks its a stupid, uncomfortable, unnatural thing to do, he WILL TELL me by pooping somewhere else. In which case, I WILL break out the litter box.

Quote:
And my final point - if you find excrement to be so incredibly offensive, perhaps a Chia pet would be a better option for you.
This is the only thing of these three responses that actually hurts/offends me. I think I should have been more careful with my wording because I don't really find excrement to be so incredibly offensive that I would do away with animals in my life. As best I can, I try to be self-LESS with my animals, contrary to what many people believe about toilet training. I do the walks when I don't feel like it and play with my cat when I'm terribly tired. Of course I scoop the poop even though it is smelly, and I wouldn't own a horse until I could afford the land it deserved. What offends me about this is that it hints at an implication that maybe I'm not fit to own a pet.

Please let me share this bold opinion: If I were not fit to own a pet, I truly would not have one. This is my philosophy: If I didn't have the time or money or other resources to care for an animal as it deserved to be cared for, I WOULD sacrifice my PRIVILEDGE of pet ownership and live a lonely life without pets. I say this because I have. I look at the way many people have dogs who deserve specific exercise, or horses who deserve specific space to run and graze, and I understand that those people really really want and love their animals... but I feel very critical because their animals deserve better and a lot of them are showing warning signs through crazy, sometimes self-destructive behavior.

If I look at myself and wonder... "in what ways does my cat deserve better?" ...the only thing I can really say is that he deserves to indulge his curiousity of the world. But I'm not willing to put him at risk, so I keep him inside.

RIGHT NOW, I am looking at myself and wondering if my cat deserves to be digging and covering his poop inside a box..................

..............................

I am going to TRY toilet training. I will pay very close attention to him. His mood, his vocalization, his activity before and after pooping/peeing. I will look look for warning signs. Pawing at the toilet seat will not be a warning sign to me. He paws at his food and water bowls instinctually but I'm not concerned that I'm depriving him of something. He has fresh, filtered water every day. He has the instinct to paw, even though he is getting what he deserves. This is unnatural, but not unreasonable or inhumane. Pawing around the food and water is an instinct, not a desire. If he desires to poop elsewhere, he will. What he deserves is a clean place to poop, exercise, a healthy diet, clean water, affection, things to scratch, room to run, a place to hide. What have I missed?

I appreciate everyone's input!! I know they share them because they care and I only want to see caring, educated pet owners. I also only want thoughtful pet owners and I will give genuine thought to anything that anyone has to share.

Last edited by globalgourmand; August 29th, 2008 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Punctuation and clarity
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Old August 29th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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ok, lets try it this way-

given the option to poop in the toilet of which he has been taught to go in or the littler box sitting next to it.... which do you think he will go for??

perhaps the toilet is the lesser of evils compared to the carpet?? or the kitchen floor where it splashes onto his feet?? i think the feline pine is a great alternative. although i believe the BEST thing you could do is use soil from outside and dump it daily and refill it daily. its the greenest option, there is no shipping, altering, packaging involved and if you either compost it and flush the poop..... or just spread it on the lawn, fertilizer!!!

as for the Science Diet.... we have a raw feeding forum, homemade food forum and LOADS of threads picking apart the different cat foods out there.

here is a shot of most of my fuzzies eating chicken, with the bone-


quite a few of us feed raw and even more feed homemade!! its pretty rare someone makes it a foot in the door here without switching food!!

also... dont go over board on cleaning. just my ever so humble advice. i have two children (one of which is still eating things off the floor... licking the side of the car, eating mysterious things off of the store floor... etc) who hasnt died from any gross thing possibly dragged out of the litter boxes on the beautiful pads of my kitties lovely feet. my house doesnt smell like cat pee or poo.... my kids dont die from whatever might be lerking in the carpeting (although i will admit i vacuum daily... but you know... all that HAIR!!! i cant cope with hair. not as often as Jeffrey eats off of the floor. ) i promise you, there are far fewer things out there to kill you than you think!!!

i also use vinegar and baking soda to do most of my cleaning but i WILL say i use bleach once a week in the front loading washer and in the kitty pans once a month. we still use a clay litter because we have 3 older cats who refused to make the chance to feline pine although if we had fewer, id probably use garden dirt heh.

also, with feline pine, get yourself some of that cross stitching mesh, perfect for sifting out the pine pellets that havent been soiled so you arent using so much! rest assured they fall apart when the slightest bit of moisture hits them.

thought this was interesting!!
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/whatstuff/stuff/8217kitty.html

anyways, im off. check out our food forum here.

-ashley
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Old August 29th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by want4rain View Post

given the option to poop in the toilet of which he has been taught to go in or the littler box sitting next to it.... which do you think he will go for??

perhaps the toilet is the lesser of evils compared to the carpet??

. . .

also... dont go over board on cleaning. just my ever so humble advice. i promise you, there are far fewer things out there to kill you than you think!!!

. . .

also, with feline pine, get yourself some of that cross stitching mesh, perfect for sifting out the pine pellets that havent been soiled so you arent using so much!
Hi Ashley!

I do imagine that if the litter box is sitting next to the toilet, he is most likely to choose the litter box. Perhaps I will test it once we've got the toilet thing down. I will say, however, that I've read a few (not many) reports of cats using the toilet on their own without direction. Usually for urine only and probably because of the scooping/digging instinct which has already been brought up. In any case, it is my utter conclusion that while using toilet use is less natural than a litter box (is any of this really natural?,) it is not dangerous, unhealthy, inhumane, or painful and it comes with a lot of benefits.

I actually agree completely about not going overboard with cleaning. The frequent vacuuming is for the hair/dander I'm allergic) also. And its only about once a week. I believe that germs (in general) contribute to keeping a healthy immune system and that we need regular exposure to prepare our bodies for more the occasionally more severe exposure. I would MUCH rather eat a pinch of dirt than a drop of cleaner. My body knows what to do with germs, but chemicals are poison to my body and cause cell mutation or cell death. And all that antibacterial marketing out there makes the worst sense of all-- what is more resilient in the world that bacteria? What survives in the hottest and coldest of conditions on the planet? What reproduces faster than bacteria? The only smart way to kill everyday bacteria is to have antibodies. Killing bacteria regularly only leads to stronger bacteria eventually! I'm sure you feel similarly, I'm only sharing because... I feel really passionate about it! LOL. Certain things, however, do irk me (mentally) a bit. Probably three things... urine, feces, and bacteria from raw meat. Go figure! LOL! It would not be my personal choice to let cats eat raw chicken off the floor. This means I'll have to get creative in minimizing mess if I switch to a raw diet for Crusher! But it seems so worth it and I can't wait to learn more!! It makes total sense. We eat whole, natural food. Shouldn't my handsome boy? I will definitely look into the raw and homemade food forums.

I love your idea on the cross-stitching mesh!! Thank you!! We try to be very careful about only picking up the poop with the corner of the scoop so that there's minimal waste of clean pellets, and we're pretty successful, but we have to be very meticulous. A mesh scoop makes a lot of sense for pellet litter!

-Tanya

Last edited by globalgourmand; August 29th, 2008 at 03:47 PM. Reason: My name!
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Old August 29th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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Globalgourmand,where did you come from???
Your writing is very entertaining and well written,I enjoyed reading it
We don't agree on everything,but to me,a happy,healthy kitty is what is important,whether he pees in a box or in the toilet.
So,Welcome to our forum and we do need to see a picture of Crasher
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Old August 30th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Chico2, I'm thrilled that you've enjoyed my posts!! I'd be embarassed to admit how much thought and time I put into them (nevermind Crusher trying to lay on the keyboard!) But I do try to be very thoughtful and I'm really very happy and flattered to learn that you have appreciated my writing-- a nice complement.

Thank you very much for the welcome-- I think these forums will be a helpful resource for me since I'm new to cat ownership (though no stranger to animals.)

I finally uploaded the... approx 150 pictures I have taken since we've had him. I guess this is what it feels like to have a new baby! He has become my world and I feel sad to leave him and so excited driving back home to see him. My heart melts when he cuddles and I always think he's the handsomest, cutest guy... OK, ok!

Anyhow, I'll look forward to learning lots here and to (of course) adding my own !![IMG]

Here's our guy!

His full name is Skullcrusher, thought up by my friend Julie, which we think is wonderfully ironic since he is SUCH an affectionate sweetheart-- bumping into us with his massive cranium and giving hugs...


The romancer.


We call this one "The Thinker"


A comical sleeper...


...and playing...


We love his markings!


Especially on his forehead.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Aww a Tabbie,I have one of those too,he's 12yrs old,or is it 13,I forget
Your Crusher really has beautiful markings
Yes,you can learn a lot here about cat-ownership(if we can call it that)many people here have several cats,I only have 3.
It won't be long I am sure,before you get your little guy a friend,2 are always better than one,double the fun
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Old August 30th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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You should go to the "Introduce yourself thread"so you and Crusher get a proper welcome
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Old August 30th, 2008, 05:19 PM
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Hi
I just wanted to say that while I respect other people's opinions I think you should choose what's right for you and your pet. There is nothing set in stone...You have the right to choose for your pet: you choose their food, you choose their toys, you choose their lifestyle (outdoors or indoors only) and I believe you should be able to choose the option that you prefer that pertains to their eliminating. What is the difference in choosing the type of litter vs the toilet? I don't see why people have to "attack" others for wanting to try and train their kitty to go on the toilet. If it doesn't work - he will be sure to let mommy know!

Oh, and I absolutely love your kitty! He is adorable! What beautiful markings, especially on the face! He is just lovely!

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Old August 30th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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Your compliments make me blush-- we're such proud parents!

We were smitten at first crush. He is soo handsome.... sigh
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Old August 30th, 2008, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennieV View Post
...I believe you should be able to choose the option that you prefer that pertains to their eliminating. What is the difference in choosing the type of litter vs the toilet?...
While I have deliberately chosen to ignore the latest "pro-toilet" proponent, I will adress your post.

I hope you will notice that I said address, not "attack".

Opinions and other ill-informed recommendations from individuals who, by the very nature of their posts, demonstrate their ignorance (that's the true "ignorance", not the new-brat-age definition) of feline health and physiology, were one of the main reasons I lobbied for a separate "Cat Health" forum.

The last straw, for me, was a post in a thread about a very serious health issue, in which the poster began "I know nothing about cats, but I would recommend..." That did it.

Yours just now is very much in the same vein. The latest proponent was met with, IMO, - not attack - but with a number of (to those who really know cats) salient, cogent reasons for not "toilet training" any cat. Perhaps, if you were to review (actually read and get an understanding of) those arguments, you might have a better sense of the real concerns.

The individual whom you appear to be supporting has yet to explain how s/he will determine the frequency of her/his cat's urination, the amounts of urine, the colour of the urine, whether/not there may be blood in the urine, the consistency of the cat's stool, the amount of stool, the content of the stool, whether/not there is blood in the stool. S/he has yet to explain how, years from now, when their aged, arthritic cat can no longer mount "the throne" and hold himself there, they will be able to retrain for the litterbox. (Given everything else I have heard from this individual, however, I have no qualms suggesting that, when that time comes, so will the declaration that the cat's quality of life will have deteriorated to the point where it will have to be euthanized (remember, because it can no longer "use the toilet")

By contrast, the OP (the individual who began this thread), even though having set out to so train her cat, had the common sense and the intelligence to offer that s/he would take all the pros and cons to her Vet and seek a medical opinion. The "latest arrival" here hasn't as much as acknowledged a medical connection to her/his obsession.

Self-deception is - by nature - time limited.......eventually nature will catch up and bite you in the...
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Old August 30th, 2008, 11:28 PM
JennieV JennieV is offline
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Originally Posted by RUSTYcat View Post
While I have deliberately chosen to ignore the latest "pro-toilet" proponent, I will adress your post.

I hope you will notice that I said address, not "attack".

Opinions and other ill-informed recommendations from individuals who, by the very nature of their posts, demonstrate their ignorance (that's the true "ignorance", not the new-brat-age definition) of feline health and physiology, were one of the main reasons I lobbied for a separate "Cat Health" forum.

The last straw, for me, was a post in a thread about a very serious health issue, in which the poster began "I know nothing about cats, but I would recommend..." That did it.

Yours just now is very much in the same vein. The latest proponent was met with, IMO, - not attack - but with a number of (to those who really know cats) salient, cogent reasons for not "toilet training" any cat. Perhaps, if you were to review (actually read and get an understanding of) those arguments, you might have a better sense of the real concerns.

The individual whom you appear to be supporting has yet to explain how s/he will determine the frequency of her/his cat's urination, the amounts of urine, the colour of the urine, whether/not there may be blood in the urine, the consistency of the cat's stool, the amount of stool, the content of the stool, whether/not there is blood in the stool. S/he has yet to explain how, years from now, when their aged, arthritic cat can no longer mount "the throne" and hold himself there, they will be able to retrain for the litterbox. (Given everything else I have heard from this individual, however, I have no qualms suggesting that, when that time comes, so will the declaration that the cat's quality of life will have deteriorated to the point where it will have to be euthanized (remember, because it can no longer "use the toilet")

By contrast, the OP (the individual who began this thread), even though having set out to so train her cat, had the common sense and the intelligence to offer that s/he would take all the pros and cons to her Vet and seek a medical opinion. The "latest arrival" here hasn't as much as acknowledged a medical connection to her/his obsession.

Self-deception is - by nature - time limited.......eventually nature will catch up and bite you in the...
This is why I choose to mostly shut my mouth when I come to this website.
I am sorry, but it still feels like an attack to me, even with all the pretty words. All I meant to do is to say that each individual pet owner is responsible for his/her pets. Although I am not as "educated" as some of you may be, I am nonetheless a very responsible pet owner. There is a reason that I didn't toilet-train Max. All I said was that each individual has the right to choose for his/her pet to the best of their abilities and knowledge.
There are ways to deal with things and sometimes we all see horrific things that people do to their pets, but I find that some people on this thread are very strongly opinionated and just that sometimes it actually sounds condescending, intimidating and rude rather than knowledgeable. I am NOT saying that you are rude and condescending, just that I sometimes get turned off from coming here or from sharing my opinion for that exact response I got from you. I am simply afraid to voice my opinion at all, because it may get a reaction, just like it did.
For example, in case you are wondering why I feel that I am being attacked, you suggesting that " Perhaps, if you were to review (actually read and get an understanding of) those arguments, you might have a better sense of the real concerns." to me sounds like an assumption that I did not read any information or that I am an idiot. Which is untrue in both cases. You claim the person that started this thread has the common sense to go to the vet..Hmm...are you going to actually be there, to see that they actually go to the vet with this? Or, maybe, just maybe, they just didn't want a whole bunch of people ganging up on them, quickly folded up and chose to go and get that information that they wanted elsewhere...Internet is a great thing, don't you agree? I am not saying that this is what happens, but who knows for sure? Unless you are right there with that person, you have no clue what they are going to do!

As well as telling a story about the last straw and then saying "Yours just now is very much in the same vein", you actually compared my post to someone who said they knew nothing about cats and yet voiced their opinion. Again, to me it translates in: keep your mouth shut, as you don't know what you are saying.
Like I said before, each person is responsible for his or her actions and they have the choice what to feed their cat, what to do with their cats body (declaw, neuter or not, shave the hair off...whatever!) and I do not think they should be "crucified" for it. I think that cat that is toilet-trained, but is loved, is fed properly etc is much better off than living on the street or worse, in SPCA box...Its up to the pet owner to make the right choices.
If you are suggesting that only people who are educated enough should own pets, well, I agree, but that's not the case, is it? There are regular people out there, that just go get a or a , not knowing what commitment and how much work it is... Same thing with human babies, it doesn't take much to bring one to the world, but thats a whole different website. Until people become reasonably more educated and considerate - we can only hope for the best. :sad:

Anyways, I am sorry if I took things in your post too personally, but that's the way I am. I take things to heart when they are directed at me... I don't want to high-jack a thread...or start a war...
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Old September 1st, 2008, 11:09 AM
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I'm not "pro-toilet" but I am for choice

I find myself wanting to address two things here. Toilet training (the original matter) and respect and tact. Obviously toilet training is the discussion at hand but its hard to make constructive, helpful developments in a discussion without respect and tact.

But back to toilet training...
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSTYcat View Post
The individual whom you appear to be supporting has yet to explain how s/he will determine the frequency of her/his cat's urination, the amounts of urine, the colour of the urine, whether/not there may be blood in the urine, the consistency of the cat's stool, the amount of stool, the content of the stool, whether/not there is blood in the stool. S/he has yet to explain how, years from now, when their aged, arthritic cat can no longer mount "the throne" and hold himself there, they will be able to retrain for the litterbox. (Given everything else I have heard from this individual, however, I have no qualms suggesting that, when that time comes, so will the declaration that the cat's quality of life will have deteriorated to the point where it will have to be euthanized (remember, because it can no longer "use the toilet")
While written quite provocatively, obviously there are some relevant points here. It is clear that RUSTYcat knows and cares quite a bit about cats. Let me remind RUSTYcat that while I will not claim what I know, I do care quite a bit as well, and that is the reason why I still care what you have to say. I want to give careful consideration to your thoughtful points despite the manner in which they've been stated.

I should note that JennieV isn't necessarily supporting me, but she is supporting my right not to be attacked in the forums, which is admittedly how I have felt at times although I never take it personally. My point here is that while RUSTYcat and others have the intent to address the issue, it is being perceived as an attack and if one is not okay with that, then one should consider less offensive language than " By contrast, the OP . . . had the common sense and the intelligence..." and "Perhaps, if you were to review (actually read and get an understanding of) those arguments..." If, however, you are okay with that perception of an attack, then of course you have the right to continue, and I can just sift through and find the useful stuff, no problem.

So, first to clarify, I'm female. It seems obvious to me that the points above regarding the monitoring of urine and feces are, indeed, salient ones. So, I start thinking about how effectively I do these things now with the litter box....... It can be difficut for me to determine the frequency, amount, and color of urination in Crusher's litter box currently because the FelinePine asborbs very well and his daily urinations get mixed in with the standing pine shavings. I have never used a regular clay litter but perhaps it makes monitoring urination much easier than with pine pellets? If so, it seems, compared to clay litter, that the toilet provides a problem for monitoring and the FelinePine does too. Using the toilet method, I may only be able to see that he has peed since last flush, blood and perhaps the color, and what I observe from the bathroom while he is going. The hourly frequency and amount would be hard to tell while I'm not at home, but I have to wonder, how do other people tell these things with their litter unless they are watching? What I'm saying is, I can't tell the color, amount, or frequency now as it stands (except that he has gone since I last cleaned and there is no blood.) If he were going in the toilet, I might see the color better, I couldn't tell the amount, and I could only tell that he has gone since last flush and there is no blood. Then there is the stool. As it stands now, I scoop the poop out of the litter box (coated in pine dust,) and drop them in the toilet where I can see and inspect them quite well. And, as I've stated before, I'm not opposed to fishing one out of the toilet once in a while for closer inspection. RUSTYcat, do you think this sounds like a sufficient method for inspecting the stool and, if so, in your experienced though (assumed?) unprofessional opinion, how frequently should I do this? I realize you have "deliberately chosen to ignore" me, but I hope you'll reconsider because I do appreciate your experience.

Your second point concerns the future whereupon Crusher will become an older, (possibly/probably?) arthritic cat. My previous assumption was that it would be easy to revert to the litter box since it is, indeed, the more instinctual "natural" option. Do most people predict this would not be possible? If he became less agile or arthritic in his senior years and I put a litter box next to the toilet, would he continue to try to use the toilet? I thought that would be unlikely but, if so, then this is a real cause for consideration. I would appreciate the input of people who have experience with older cats.

I should mention that I will consult my vet and that the input found on this forum will only be used for consideration.

And finally, there is the un-ignorable suggestion that I will euthanize my cat simply because he cannot use the toilet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSTYcat View Post
Given everything else I have heard from this individual, however, I have no qualms suggesting that, when that time comes, so will the declaration that the cat's quality of life will have deteriorated to the point where it will have to be euthanized (remember, because it can no longer "use the toilet")
I can see that I really must reconsider the things I write and try to be even more thoughtful and careful because I have apparently given RUSTYcat the impression that I am a fickle, superficial, heartless bitch.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 03:59 PM
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I do not know what the big problem is Rusty Cat,if someone wants to teach their cats to use the toilet,that's great.
I wish my cats would,that would be so much easier!
I don't really like the way you say things,in a very negative accusing way.
Why would you assume,someone who loves their cats would euthanize them because they don't want to use the toilet,that's just plain lunacy.
Please keeps things friendly,we all love our cats..whether the use the litterbox or toilet.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:11 PM
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globalgourmand - Personally, I don't think I would teach a cat to use the toilet, mainly because of safety issues and concerns regarding the cat's ability to do so as it gets older. But it does sound as though you are really considering the pros and cons carefully. I don't currently have cats, so I'm unfortunately not able to help you regarding how easily an older cat who has mobility problems could be re-trained to use the litter.

I mainly just wanted to write to commend you on doing such a thorough job of gathering info to make the best decision possible for your cat. I also want to say he's adorable! You're incredibly good at maintaining calm and dignity in a situation where the majority of people would have a great deal of trouble showing such restraint!
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Funny how perspectives change...

This whole thread has become an engaging thing for me lately and its important that I get closure with it before deciding if I will actually begin toilet training.

When I read my initial response to the Bachman article now, I feel ashamed that I was so emotional and immature. Honestly though, the Bachman article itself seems written emotionally and immaturely. Still, if I could write my response to the article over again, I would try to be a little more exact and constructive and keep it simple. I'd like to try again in regards to the Bachman article posted at the top by sugarcatmom.

1A. Domesticated indoor cats themselves are unnatural. Forcing cats to live indoors is, itself, unnatural. They naturally have only two needs: to feed and breed. There are many instinctive habits domestic cats have indoors which mimic skills their genetic ancestors used outdoors, but which they are slowly losing and will continue to lose after many more years of domesticated life. There is nothing "natural" about domesticated animals-- cat, cow, pig, bird, or otherwise. There is only mental and physical health.

1B. In reality, toilet training is not even close to the irreversible/forcible act of declawing. It is stoppable, reversible, and not forced. It doesn't require anesthesia or pain relief.

2A. Cats are notoriously agile, especially during falls. And they are notoriously curious. You can watch most any video of a cat that has gotten up on a toilet on their will and accidently slips into the toilet. What happens is that they get startled and then jump out of the toilet.

2B. Cats can and do jump up on things often. Most of them seemingly enjoy it.

2C. Anyone who expects an infirm or arthritic cat to jump up to use the toilet is not being sensible. This is my opinion, but I think most laymen and professionals would agree. From what I've learned, it is unlikely that reverting to litter box use when a cat becomes infirm or arthritic will pose a problem for most people. In most cases that means at least 10-15 years of agile adult cat.

3A. There are many ways to monitor a cat's health aside from regular check-ups. Urine and feces output is one way, but it is not the only way. Toilet use does pose problems, but so does litter box use, and monitoring may be augmented, but it is not impossible. There is no substitute for good communication with your vet and paying close attention to all of your cat's habits.

3B. Something like a urinary tract infection should be obvious to any alert owner, no matter where the cat is going.

3C. Feces can (and should) be checked periodically assuming you are present when your cat eliminates on the toilet.

4A. No, the toilet can't be moved. But very few people let the cat "decide" where they want their litter box. They usually pick an accessible, clean, quiet, private spot. Cat owners who don't have a toilet that can be considered accessible, clean, quiet, and private probably shouldn't consider toilet training.

Toilet training IS done strictly as a convenience. But for most people, it comes with several considerable benefits and, for some cats, little stress or change. There is no unanimous clinical PROOF that toilet training is irresponsible. A responsible cat owner needs to be sure that the cat's mental and physical health is maintained. The rest, is debatable.

All of this is written as my personal opinion after the consultation with my experienced veterinarian.

Last edited by globalgourmand; September 1st, 2008 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Typo.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:33 PM
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The more I am touched by fine people and animals...

Chase_Mom, your post is kind and thoughtful. I'm warmed and I appreciate your respect.

As I write this, Crusher is napping-- snuggled up to my thigh, curled-up, tucked-in, softly breathing and meltingly adorable. I feel incredibly grateful already but the compliment is icing on this cake.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:16 PM
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globalgourmand, I really applaud you for the way you have chosen to deal with the situation. I guess I am very emotional and take some comments way too personal.
You seem to have found a lot of information, but I just thought of something, that could be helpful ...You know how people have little stairs for their old or small animals that can't jump on the sofa or on the bed? Why can you not use these kind of stairs when your cat is older and has trouble jumping up? If you have someone handy with tools they can build you a small stair or two to use with this purpose!
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennieV View Post
globalgourmand, I really applaud you for the way you have chosen to deal with the situation. I guess I am very emotional and take some comments way too personal.
I think it can be hard not to JennieV. Neat idea with the stairs btw!
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:49 AM
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I do urge any person who is considering toilet training their cat to experiment (supervised of course) with their cat how slippery porcelain is on a cat's paw when they are wet, he/she can't grip to get out. Add the panic of the cat being in water could result in injury as the cat is trying to get out. Consider what could happen if the cat has been left alone all day.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
I do urge any person who is considering toilet training their cat to experiment (supervised of course) with their cat how slippery porcelain is on a cat's paw when they are wet, he/she can't grip to get out. Add the panic of the cat being in water could result in injury as the cat is trying to get out. Consider what could happen if the cat has been left alone all day.

Unfortunately L4H, sometimes the convenience of the toilet's cold, slippery porcelain under kitty's unstable paws far outweighs the safety to our beloved pets of terra firma (in this case..litter) under kitty's feet while they are performing their absolutions.
In my house the toilet seat stays down. I have had to fish a couple of poor unfortunates out of the toilet bowl and thank my God that I was home when it happened. I have also witnessed most, if not all, of the kittens/cats who inhabit my home slip at one time or another on the porcelain of the toilet or tub. I opt for safeness.
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