THE CIVILIZED CAT
Train your feline companion to use the
toilet. By Josh Klein
Would you let your guests crap in a box on your
floor? No? Then why would you let your cats?
Here’s how to get them using the toilet like civilized
members of the family.
Aside from the risks of toxoplasmosis and other
diseases transmitted by cat feces, there’s significant
labor for the owner involved in maintaining a litter
box. Being inherently lazy, I decided it would be
easier to just toilet-train the cat. There are commercial solutions available (CitiKitty is a good one),
but I found it’s easy to make an equivalent device
from a few items at the dollar store.
One big advantage to doing it yourself is that you
can cater the process to your cat’s learning curve,
which can vary widely from animal to animal.
The system is a toilet lid with a flat-bottomed bowl
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attached to its underside. It starts out just like a
regular cat box, except nestled in your toilet. Over
time you can cut away more and more of the bowl
(where your cat will be standing), thus forcing the
cat to adapt to standing on the lid and squatting over
the hole that contained the bowl. During the training
process a dustpan or another bowl can be used to
catch the litter when you need to use the toilet.
In designing this system I tried to make it as easy
for the cat to use it as possible. One issue many
cats have is that squatting on the toilet seat (not the
lid) is a slippery, sloped, and narrow proposition. If
your cat is at all standoffish about this (mine sure
was), then this system ought to work better. As an
added advantage, this system allows you to put the
lid down so you don’t sit on whatever your cat has
tracked in on their paws. The components should
cost you roughly $10.
Photography by Hulda Emilsdottir