If you are looking for an unusual way to save money on your cat(s), one that can pay off quite well is toilet training your cat to use a human toilet. While this might sound weird at first, it does come with a host of benefits that can make it well worthwhile:
It saves money: The average person spends about $175 – $200 a year on cat litter. With a lifespan of 12 years, that adds up to $2100 – $2400 spent on cat litter. This cost can be completely eliminated if you train your cat to use a toilet.
It makes your house smell fresher: If you train your cat to use a toilet, there is not the smell of a litter box in your house. It also frees you from having to clean the litter box a couple of times a day.
It keeps your house cleaner: Litter boxes can be messy, especially if your cats leave the litter box with pellets between their toes. Cat litter can end up scattered around the house. Training your cat to use the toilet keeps your floors from being covered with cat litter as well as having a lot less dust around from the litter box which can do damage to electronics like computers.
These advantages should get anyone that has a cat to at least consider toilet training their cat. There are also some other issues to consider before you begin.
It will take time: The toilet is one of the least natural places for a cat to go to the bathroom, so it’s going to take a lot of time and patience if you want to train your cat to use the toilet. It will take a month at a minimum and could be several depending on how quickly your cat adjusts and masters the steps. This isn’t a day or even a week project.
Open bathroom: If you are going to train your cat to use the toilet, you will need a toilet where the door will always remain open and the lid to the toilet will always remain up. The cats will need access to the toilet 24/7 and if they don’t for some reason, you are likely to find they have gone to the bathroom someplace else in your house.
Exclusive toilet: While it’s possible to train the cats on a toilet that is not exclusive for them, it’s much easier to do so. If the toilet is not exclusively used by the cats, all family members need to be willing to support the project to make it work since it will entail moving the cat litter box and placing it back when they need to use the toilet.
Indoor cats only: Toilet training will probably only work if you have an indoor only cat. Due to the time and stress involved in learning to use the toilet, indoor/outdoor cats are likely to simply decide to do their business outside rather than learn the new method.
How To Toilet Train Your Cat
1. The first step is to move the cat’s litter box into the bathroom directly next to or in front of the toilet that they will eventually be using. If the cats have had their litter box in an established place for quite some time, you may have to gradually move the litter box toward the bathroom so they know where it is.
2. Once the litter box is next to the toilet, you want to begin raising the litter box a little each day until it reaches the height of the toilet bowl. You can use books or any other material that is strong enough to keep the litter box steady when the cats use it while it gradually rises. Cats don’t like surfaces that wobble and if the litter box is not stable, you will have a hard time with this step.
3. Once you reach the height of the toilet bowl, you want to remove the litter box and replace it with a home made device or a ready made training device (these cost about $30). Place this into the bowl of the toilet so that the cats begin to get used to using the toilet when going to the bathroom.
4. Gradually decrease the amount of kitty litter in the toilet training device each day over a period of several weeks until there is no kitty litter left. Leave the device in place an extra week sans kitty litter before removing completely.
5. Your cat should now be toilet trained. It’s important to do these steps slowly and gradually so the cat is completely accustomed to the current step before moving on to the next. You may have to go back to the previous step if a cat is having trouble mastering the current step or is not comfortable. It also helps if you or someone is home most of the day when attempting to toilet train the cats. This is because they may try to go to the bathroom in other places like sinks or potted plants if you someone isn’t keeping an eye on them.
While it is also possible to train your cat to also flush the toilet after they are finished, this is probably something that you should not do. The problem is that cats like to watch the water as it swirls down and may decide to flush the toilet time and again for self-entertainment once he learns (meaning you will end up with a huge water bill).
While the entire process will take quite a bit of time and effort on your part to accomplish, the result will be savings of thousands of dollars in kitty litter costs.