Toilet training tips for cats – Part 13

In order to teach your cat to do anything, you must first understand how a cat learns. Cats are pleasure seekers and in order to teach them, you must make that task a rewarding experience. You do not want to positively reinforce bad behaviors, which often times we do unintentionally, because the cat will repeat an action she is rewarded for. An example is, your cat decides to jump on your chest at 4 am meowing insistently; you get up and let her out. Bad idea. Now the cat got what she wanted and you have established a precedent for her.

The same reinforcing action comes into play when trying to teach a cat to use the toilet. This lesson is one that may take weeks to encourage the cat to use the toilet. Nevertheless, if your goal is to rid the house of a smelly litter box, this will be a worthwhile endeavor. If you have a kitten or young cat, they seem to learn and adapt very quickly. First begin by placing the litter box in the bathroom you want the cat to learn to use. Make sure you train yourself and your housemates/family to keep the toilet seat up or you may defeat the intention of teaching the kitty to use the toilet.

Next, begin lifting the litter box a little higher each day until it is the same height as the top of the toilet. You can use boxes, carts or anything else that will support the weight of the litter box with the cat in it. Make sure it is stationary and will not topple. Do not rush this process, as your kitty will find an alternative location to go potty if she is not comfortable. You may want to wait a couple of days between the height changes so that the cat gets use to the transition of stepping into the litter box to having to jump into the litter box.

When the litter box is the same height as the toilet seat, watch to see if the kitty jumps up onto the toilet then steps into the litter box. This is the first phase you want her to be accustomed to. Allow your cat to access her litter box by jumping onto the open toilet and stepping over for several days. Remember positive reinforcement!

Next, find a metal bowl that will fit inside the toilet seat. It should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the cat as it is suspended on top of the toilet seat with the bowl inside the toilet. Put several inches of cat litter inside the bowl and place the litter box on top of the toilet. Again, allow the cat to get use to this change. Once she appears to be comfortable, completely remove the litter box. Your kitty will jump up on top

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