How To Train Your Cat To Use the Toilet (and other tips to keep litter tracking down)

By January 16, 2019 January 24th, 2019 blog

Tired of your cat tracking litter throughout your apartment?  Try teaching your cat to use the toilet!  But if that doesn’t work, here are some other ideas on how to keep litter tracking to minimum.


How To Train Your Cat To Use The Toilet


Firstly, a disclaimer.  Kitty potty training only works for about 70% of the cat owners that try it.  There are a number of things that can get in the way of a successful outcome including your cat’s temperament, size, other cats in the house, whether or not your cat is used to a covered or uncovered litter box (cats used to open boxes seem to have a higher success rate with learning how to use the toilet) and the potty training kit you decide to use.  That said, you may be one of the lucky 70% and it’s a small investment for a lifetime of easier cat care, so let’s get started.


Buy a Kitty Potty Training Kit


The kit shown below is the one that we’ve had the most luck with, but we’re open to your success stories of what worked for you (please put them in the comments section below; it will help out our other readers).  We purchased this kit through Amazon.



Move Your Cat’s Litter Box Into the Bathroom


The idea is to get your cat in the habit of going into your bathroom to do his or her business, so If you don’t already have your cat’s litter box located in the bathroom, move it there.  If the move is a big one, it’s best to do it in stages with no move greater than 6 feet and in sight of the previous spot you had the litter box.


Move The Litter Box On Top of the Toilet


Once your cat is used to going into your bathroom to use the litter box, it’s time to move it on TOP of your toilet.  Put the lid of the commode down, drape it with a towel (this prevents the litter box from skidding when your cat jumps into it. ) and place the litter box on top of the lid.  Again, we haven’t figured out how to do this with a covered box, so if you succeeded at transitioning your cat from a covered box to using the toilet, we’d love to know how you did it in the comments section below.


Swap The Regular Box For the Kitty Potty Seat


Follow the manufacturer’s directions in swapping out the regular box for the potty training seat.  Remember that the potty seat requires some litter to get your cat used to using the seat, so you’ll need a litter that’s safe for your plumbing.  Also, we found that cats sometimes ‘over shoot’ their mark (especially males) and get urine outside of the training seat.  We cut out a hole in an absorbent towel and placed this underneath the potty seat to catch anything that spilled where it shouldn’t.  A box of handy wipes, a broom and dust pan were also helpful to have on hand to get through this transition period which can be messy.  Lastly, watch your cat while he or she uses the seat and make adjustments as needed.


Remove the Potty Training Seat


Use the manufacturer’s guidelines when deciding when to remove the training seat.  If you’re lucky, you have succeeded at getting your cat to use the toilet as a litter box!


Additional Tips To Keep Your Cat From Tracking Litter


Put Your Cat’s Litter Box Inside a Larger Storage Container


If training your cat how to use the toilet is out, buy a rectangular storage bin and cut a hole in one of its shorter sides.  Line the bottom of the bin with a scrap of carpet and place your cat’s litter box on top of the carpet.  The carpet will help contain any litter that your cat drags out on his or her paws inside the storage bin.


Buy a Tracking Pad For Outside the Box


Amazon sells tracking pads that you can place just outside of the box to help catch any litter that your cat drags outside of the box, but a carpet scrap will be nearly as effective (and free).



Controlling Litter Box Odors


One last tip.  If litter box odors are an issue, steer clear of air fresheners which typically turn cats off.  Instead, clean the box regularly with a bit of white vinegar or bleach (the smell of which, for whatever reason, is appealing to cats) and then wash it out.  You can also put a thin layer of baking soda on the bottom of the litter pan after it’s clean, followed by a layer of fresh litter.

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