Should You Train Your Cat to Use the Toilet?

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

Scooping your cat’s litter box every day is no fun, and you might’ve thought about how easy it would be to have your pet use the toilet instead.

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Sure, you can find videos of cats jumping onto a toilet, doing their business, and even flushing when they’re done, but is it a good idea to train your kitty to do this? Here are a few things to consider so you can decide what’s right for you and your pet.

It Isn’t in Line with Your Cat’s Natural Behaviors

Cats prefer being able to dig before they go to the bathroom, and then covering up their urine or feces when they’re done. They simply can’t do that when they’re using a toilet. In fact, if you watch videos of cats using toilets, you may see that they try to cover up what they just did by wiping the toilet seat.

In addition to that, a cat has to balance carefully on a toilet in order to use it, and this may be awkward or uncomfortable. On the other hand, when they use a litter box, they can find a comfortable position that is, again, more natural for them. Plus, they don’t need to worry about losing their balance and falling into a toilet full of water and waste when they’re using a regular litter box.

Because cats who use toilets can’t do what’s most natural, they might experience stress, and that might ultimately cause them to avoid the toilet and eliminate in other areas of your home.

You May Miss Signs of Health Concerns

Every time you scoop your cat’s litter, you can look for signs that something might be wrong. For instance, you might notice that there is a lot more or a lot less urine than usual. Or, you might realize that your cat had loose stools or smaller stools than normal. But when your kitty uses a toilet, you could miss symptoms that might indicate your pet has a health concern that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.

Even though cleaning the litter can be an annoying chore, it is an opportunity to keep an eye on how your pet is doing. There are many conditions that could impact how often your cat eliminates, as well as how much waste is produced. Using a box can make it a lot easier to keep track of things.

Jumping and Balancing Might Be Hard, Especially for Older Cats

Finally, as mentioned above, balancing on a toilet seat can be tough for a kitty, even if they’re young and strong. It can be even more challenging for a cat who’s older or has mobility issues or injuries. Your pet might get to the point that they simply can’t use the toilet anymore, resulting in them eliminating elsewhere.  

It’s ultimately up to you, the pet parent, to decide if you want to toilet train your cat, but be sure to weigh all of the pros and cons to make a choice that’s best for you and your kitty. And, remember, when in doubt, you could always ask a vet for guidance. 

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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