Saturday, August 25, 2012

Toilet Cats

It's true. Our cats (mostly) know how to use the toilet!

I posted this photo on instagram and a couple people asked what our secret to (mostly) toilet-trained cats is.

Hanni the Toilet King!

It started a long long time ago. At the beginning of last year actually. We have a half-bath on the first floor and we started training them in that bathroom when we moved in December 2010. The very first litterbox they had here was on top of the toilet.

photo 1

Eventually we switched to the CitiKitty which was going ok until we got to step three and neither cat would use it any more.
photo 1 photo 3
(You can read about our first couple weeks of training here: The Cats Bath. I abandoned this blog when the cats abandoned the City Kitty system.)

Curtis came up with a new set-up that the cats really took too. We just put a bunch of litter in a mostly dry toilet (we bailed the water out with a plastic cup). The key is to use flushable litter. At this stage you have to scoop most of the dirty litter out before flushing and it's pretty horrible/revolting but just keep repeating to yourself: "Someday - no litterbox" and it's a little easier.


We started out with 2-3 cups of kitty litter in the toilet. We slowly decreased the amount of litter in the toilet and increased the amount of water. We are now down to about a 1/3 cup of litter on the slanty front of the bowl just so they remember why they're there.


Hanni loves it. He never liked kitty litter on his paws and even when using a regular litterbox would try to stand on the sides. He goes no.1 and no. 2 in the toilet without fail. He keeps his hands on the seat and sometimes puts his back feet on the dry sides of the bowl, sometimes he keeps them on the seat.

Mischa on the other hand is doing a good job but she's a little behind. She's a digger and I think she misses the litter. She will go no. 1 in the bowl but if Hanni has gone no. 2 in the toilet she chooses to do her poo on the floor. (Luckily she's tiny and so are her... deposits.) I bring her into the bathroom and show her while I put her poop in the toilet. She understands it but I think she enjoys being difficult.


I check the bathroom twice a day. I flush when it's dirty (since we're down to so little litter, it can all go down the toilet), bail out some water and put some fresh litter in the bowl. It's so wonderful! I think eventually we can get down to no litter and Mischa up to a full 100% A+ on toilet use.

It's not a quick process and there are a lot of accidents along the way but aside from the floor-pooping, both cats seem happy and relaxed about the whole thing.

Any questions? :)


  1. There are ways you can limit the amount of water that ends up in the toilet, which might make it easier for you. Just google how to make your toilet low flow. I bet you can work out a system that saves you the step of water bailing.

    1. Yes! We plan on lowering the water flow when they're even less litter since the extra water with the flush now helps wash down the dirty litter.

  2. I have a feeling my kitty is too old to learn how to do this now (she's just turned 3) - did you train yours from kittens?? If only I'd known this was possible!

    1. Both of my cats are adults and we started training when they were about 5 and 3 years old. I bet you could give it a try with your lady to at least see if she's up for it. All cats are different but they're pretty sharp well in to "old age". :)

    2. I think I may well do that - she's a bright little thing, I'm sure she'll be up for the challenge!

  3. sarah this is so awesome! litter boxes were my biggest hatred..i had actually dated a guy a long time ago and his cat used the toilet, he even taught it how to flush! had i not witnessed it on multiple occasions i never would have believed it! haha

  4. My old cat used to use the toliet for peeing, which he taught himself, but I'm not sure how I'd teach darcy not to play in the water, let alone use the toliet!