Do you ever wish you could peer into your cat, skink, betta fish, or dog’s brain? It would give you a far more accurate perspective of their world – or at least help you make better decisions for your pet. I am here to try and demystify your animals in some capacity, while also sharing advice on how you can best thrive together.
A cat politely peeing into a toilet – it sounds like a dream come true for many pet parents. No more scooping litter twice a day, it could put an end to cluttering up your living room with a chunky litter box. So understandably, toilet-training cats exploded into the pet parenting space in the early 2010s. There are products like Little Kwitter promising that your cat will be using that toilet like a pro in six weeks.
Here is how it works. The training kit includes an educational DVD illustrating a three-step method and concentric plastic discs to install into your toilet, which, initially, completely cover the toilet bowl. The discs can be covered with kitty litter to make it a smoother transition for your feline friend, perched on top of the toilet.
Every couple week, the innermost ring can be taken out, until your cat can at long last poop or pee into a full-sized toilet bowl. The company’s website certainly talks the talk about the process: “Your cat learns to go directly into the toilet while balancing all four paws on the seat with their rear over the hole”.
Yet, as cute as toilet-trained cats are, it is not as straightforward as sharing a toilet bowl with your cat – and it could actually be bad for your cat’s health. Here is what a cat behavioural specialist has to say about this controversial process.
Many specialists feel that the idea is crazy. According to behavioural specialists, it symbolises changing the nature of what a cat is in order to better suit your perspective on its waste habits. Most behavioural specialists worth their salt focus on respecting and preserving a cat’s natural instincts. This includes the cat’s routine of stepping into sandy-textured litter, doing what they do, and burying the waste.
To deny a cat a litter box reveals the owner’s inability to compromise with what a cat was born to do, and even instigate medical issues as time goes on. They go on to say that it is very unnatural move for cats to make, perching themselves precariously over water in order to alleviate themselves.
And what if your cat ends up falling into the toilet? Comedy value aside, that event can have a traumatic effect on your cat. Cats can develop negative associations with going to the bathroom even if they are successfully train to do it. It only has to happen once for a cat to develop a litter aversion and then your cat will start experiencing higher levels of stress.
Medical issues can creep up on cat owners if cats often use the toilet. Tracking your cat’s waste could be one of the most efficient ways to catch any kind of condition or illness that is developing in your pet. One sift through a litter box can provide so much information about a cats health. A lack of peeing can suggest a urinary tract infection, diabetes or even a urethra blockage.
Diarrhoea and constipation can also reveal serious issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. If your cat’s waste is flushed down the toilet, you might not get the chance to check on your cat’s health.
To conclude, your cat deserves just as much dignity as we do as humans. Cats are different kinds of animals that already do so much for us by using a litter box instead of spreading their pee and poop everywhere. So love your cat for the fact that they are a cat. Do not try and force them to be more human and use the toilet. It will often introduce significant physical and mental distress.