Yes, You Can Toilet Train A Cat & Here's How

By Sarah Jeanne Terry

It's no surprise that cats are pretty smart. Almost as soon as they enter our houses, they have us trained to obey their every whim. And cats are also VERY clean animals who don't like leaving messes behind. These two fabulous feline qualities mean cats can be trained not just to go potty where you want them, but to potty where you go potty.

That's right, it's totally possible to toilet train your cat.

Cat in the Toilet
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We know it sounds like a pipe dream, pun intended, but it's actually not as difficult to train your can to use the potty as you might think. And if you're successful, that means no more litter box, no scooping, no smell, so it might be worth a try. The key is to take baby steps, offer plenty of rewards, and try to stay patient. According to experts, it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months, so don't expect success overnight.

Step 1: Litter train your cat.

Cute kitten in litter box
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Before you can think about toilet training, your can needs to be trained to use the litter box. You will use the litter box to slowly show your cat how to go in the toilet, so this is VERY important.

Step 2: Put the litter box up higher.

Kitten in a box
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You'll need to teach your kitty to hop up before going potty. According to Animal Wellness Magazine, this is easier to teach them in the litter box's original location. So before moving the box into the bathroom your cat will use, teach them to hop up to do their business.

Step 3: Move the box into the bathroom.

black cat on the toilet
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Now, you'll want to teach your cat to potty in the bathroom. Move the litter box (still up on a box) close to the toilet until they're completely used to that.

Step 4: Put the toilet litter box in the toilet and get flushable litter.

Gatto sul wc
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Now it's time to move them to the toilet. You can buy litter boxes that fit into the toilet and litter that can be flushed. This will help transition your kitty into using the toilet, while still having the comfort of their litter. You can buy a kit like Litter Kwitter that provides smaller and smaller inserts as your cat gets used to the toilet. Your cat will continue to try to bury their mess in the litter. Make sure to buy flushable litter, so you don't mess up your pipes.

Step 5: Slowly increase the size of the hole in the litter box.

Clever domestic cat in a toilet
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No matter what system you're using for the toilet bowl, you should start with a small hole, because seeing the litter fall into the toilet will freak your cat out. Gradually make the hole bigger (or switch to the inserts with a bigger hole). At the same time, reduce the amount of litter, so your cat gets used to going without the litter. This is probably the step that will take the longest. For example, the Litter Kwitter system promises to train your can in eight weeks using their smaller and smaller inserts.

Step 6: When your cat is ready, take out the insert, so it goes directly in the toilet.

Cat with a newspaper in a toilet.
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If you've made it this far, congratulations! You have a toilet trained cat! Remember to flush your kitty's toilet consistently, so it doesn't get icky. Neither your cat nor you would be happy with that situation.

Even if you are successful at toilet training your cat, some experts are against it.

Toilet training isn't exactly natural, so there's a danger that if your cat gets spooked away from it, they'll find another place to go in the house. Also, some cats might have trouble jumping up and balancing on the edge of the toilet. But as long as your cat gets the hang of it, toilet training can really streamline your routine.

Plus, it turns into a VERY impressive trick when you have company. Of course, other parts of using the toilet might take your feline a little longer to conquer. But that's what they have you for!