I believe there are gonna be two camps of people after reading this post - people who will absolutely love me for this revelation & people who will think I've gone beyond cray cray. But sod it - toilet training my kitten is one of the best ideas I've ever had, not even joking! If you've got a cat or a kitten (or more) at home, and especially if they are sofa-bound gits, you know how annoying litter boxes and the pooping affair can get - it smells, you have to spend money on gravel instead of lipsticks, you have to buy baby wipes even though your only baby is your kitten and the worst - you have to clean the poo! Ew. Carry on reading and there's a good chance you won't ever need to go through all this again!
At first I was a bit reluctant whether it is appropriate to address the issue of kitten poo on my blog, so I asked Twitter. Well, guess the answer I got was reassuring enough, so let's jump into it!
Litter Kwitter is basically a complete toilet training kit for your cat. It doesn't matter how old your cat is, how many cats you've got - they are apparently all smart enough to learn how to do it. The set comes with a removable toilet seat and 3 toilet seat inserts (there are 3 stages of the training) and a DVD which gives you tips on how to reward your cat, how to deal with their anxiety etc. You start off with the red insert - you place the removable toilet seat under your regular toilet seat (which you lift up) and the red insert with a little bit of gravel on the top of it. This basically creates an open litter tray on your toilet. At first, I'd advise you to put the whole seat on the floor next to the toilet so the cat gets used to the new location and the 'feel' of it. After a few days put the seat on your toilet. Cookie quickly got the gist and started using the tray on the toilet. After a week or so (or just wait until your cat is comfortable with this stage), move to the orange insert - again, put a little bit of gravel on the insert and place it onto the removable toilet seat. There is a hole in the middle so the cat starts gettin' used to the whole 'there-is-a-pool-of-water-which-my-poop-falls-into' business. At first Cookie was curious - he would poke his head into the toilet, was splashing the water with his paws (in this stage I'd advise you to avoid putting bleach and other cleaning stuff into the toilet for a few days), but soon he started realizing that it's still his old tray, just with a little hole in the middle. He started finding the right position how to sit on it so his poop falls into the hole rather than stinks on the top of it. Finally, after about 2 weeks we've moved onto the last stage - the green insert. It's basically a very thin insert which you can fill with a little bit of gravel or just leave empty. Cookie adjusted to it surprisingly quickly (look at the pictures below!), he's very comfortable using the toilet now, I think we'll get rid off the green insert next week, because he doesn't look like he needs it anymore! To sum it up, although I was very sceptical - the guide suggest that the cat can learn how to use it within just 3 weeks! - Cookie managed to learn using our toilet in less than a month! Madness, isn't it?!
A few more tips:
- because we live in a very small flat and Cookie is an indoor cat, he sleeps in the bathroom - I think this helped him a lot because he doesn't like being watched while doin' his business, he now tends to do it during the night - and sleeping in a room with a stinky poo that wouldn't be his cup of tea, so he quickly got the gist that it's better for everyone to poop in the toilet
- as soon as you see that your cat pooped in the toilet, give him/her a little treat, we keep a little tin of cat biscuits on the top of the toilet so we can quickly reward him - he's a smart git, he quickly understood that a poop in the toilet means a cookie for him!
- there will be some mess at the beginning - after havin' a poo cats tend to cover it up with gravel (or anything else - at least Cookie, once he pooped on the floor and dragged a bath mat over it so it didn't stink!), so the gravel will probably be flying everywhere, but eventually you'll be using less and less until there's no need for any, so have dustpan & brush on hand, just in case!
- someone has told me that it's 'nasty and not hygienic to have your cat using the same toilet you are using' - I don't think so. I tend to wipe the toilet seat with an antibacterial wipe at least once a day anyways and as Cookie is an indoor cat, he tends to sleep on the sofa, climb on my lap all the time - I don't see the nastiness in it. We keep our place clean anyways, ya know! It's actually better than it was - because he's so fluffy he used to get poop stuck to his bum or he'd step in it while covering it with gravel - now it falls into the toilet, no fuss!
I am well chuffed that Cookie turned out smart enough to be able to use our regular toilet and therefore I won't be spending my money on gravel and my time on cleaning his poop ever again! I don't even know why I was so negative about the Litter Kwitter at first anyways - have you seen Kuklachev's cat theatre? He's the master of cat-o-logy - he can teach them anything! Bet his cats always queue up for the toilet, haha!
Can your cat use toilet or do you prefer litter boxes?