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How to Toilet Train Your Cat
December 10, 2008 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Don't like scooping cat litter? Toilet train your cat.
posted by thbt (86 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't like faxing all those documents? Try electronic mail.
posted by bjork24 at 8:58 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or allow Charles Mingus to do it for you.
posted by The White Hat at 8:59 AM on December 10, 2008 [13 favorites]


Miki pees in the human toilet. Want to see her do #2? Click here.

I'm not too sure what can be said about a website that has that sentence under a video...Other than "there are some sick people out there."
posted by Chan at 9:00 AM on December 10, 2008


The Mingus Method mentioned previously.
posted by theroadahead at 9:02 AM on December 10, 2008


I love my cats. Not enough to share my toilet with them, though.
posted by yhbc at 9:05 AM on December 10, 2008


Please don't do this if you live in California, or anywhere near a coastline. Cat poop in the sewer system winds up killing sea otters.
posted by tula at 9:09 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


A slightly over weight cat that is head first down the toilet and unable to reverse out is a sight somewhere between amusing and distressing when you come home from work on an evening. I imagine this will lead people to similar discoveries of their own.
posted by vbfg at 9:09 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cats are good for two things:

1) You can eat them.
2) You can throw them off tall buildings.

Teaching them to use the toilet is a waste of time and effort.
posted by baphomet at 9:11 AM on December 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


FOCKER, I'm not gonna tell you again. Jinx cannot flush the toilet. He's a cat for Christ sakes!
posted by gman at 9:15 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


A friend told me about training his cat to do this, using the following method: first you spend a week or two getting the cat to poop with one foot on the rim of the litterbox. When the cat will do this consistently, you move on to two feet, and then three, and...

...and that's where he lost interest in the training program. To this day, his cat poops with three feet perched on the rim of the litterbox.
posted by moonmilk at 9:17 AM on December 10, 2008 [35 favorites]


This is the sort of thing cats tell other cats about when they want to sit around and have a good laugh.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:29 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've thought about training any one of our four cats to do this, simply to cut down on the number of litter-boxes we have to deal with.

One reason I really believe I've been reticent to put any effort into this, is my fear that I'll come home, really having to use the bathroom, only to find myself having to wait because kitty is busy balancing on the seat and staring off into space while she does her business.

I think that would officially become a low point in my life.
posted by quin at 9:30 AM on December 10, 2008 [25 favorites]


It's not so much the scooping, it's the kitty litter particles that coat my apartment floor. You'd think it had hailed recently in my living room.
posted by spamguy at 9:31 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is like clockwork. La Petomane should be due in about 2 1/2 weeks now.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:34 AM on December 10, 2008


An old roommate wanted to do this for a long time, but ultimately his fear of poisoning otters overruled.

He always justified it as not being crazy because "Charles Mingus did it!" As if that were a good reason.
posted by Large Marge at 9:38 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or allow Charels Mingus to do it for you.

Link ends: "Good luck. Charles Mingus."

I think that says it all.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:38 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


We actually bought a cat toilet-training kit once, over 10 years ago, because we hate scooping. But we never used it because we hate looking like idiots even more and nothing will make you look like a bigger idiot than trying to toilet train a cat (even if it works).
posted by DU at 9:39 AM on December 10, 2008


Also: the set of things Charles Mingus did and the set of crazy things are not mutually exclusive sets.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:41 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


People keep animals indoors?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:44 AM on December 10, 2008


People keep animals indoors?

Yes, because we're lonely.
posted by LordSludge at 9:48 AM on December 10, 2008


baphomat : "Cats are good for two things:

1) You can eat them.
2) You can throw them off tall buildings.

Teaching them to use the toilet is a waste of time and effort."


funny, my cats said exactly the same thing about you.....
posted by HuronBob at 9:52 AM on December 10, 2008 [16 favorites]


Naah, baphomat is not good eating. His momma, on the other hand...
posted by IAmBroom at 9:57 AM on December 10, 2008


baphomat is more than one person?
posted by gman at 9:58 AM on December 10, 2008


tula, thanks for the warning. I was so excited to see this (having 3 cats and having already found the mechanical methods less than functional). I started reading your link, and at first I hoped it was only the cat litter that made things dangerous, to which I would say "Ha! That's why cats poop in the toilet!" Then I read that the poop itself is the (possible) culprit! Damn you, cat poop! Will I never be rid of you?

(Don't mention getting rid of the cats - my wife might punch you.)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:59 AM on December 10, 2008


HuronBob, you understand catspeak? What does this mean: "Mrow mrow mrooooow ... mrow!" (followed by racing back and forth in the hall). I think I was challenged to a race, and I fear my cats no longer respect me for declining the race. Or was it just a complaint about how short the hallway is, as it is insufficient to reach maximum insanity?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


The "Poo Whisperer". Love that. Enjoyed the cat's expressions. Cool post.
posted by nickyskye at 10:06 AM on December 10, 2008


toilettrainedcat.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their toilets, or why.
posted by grouse at 10:10 AM on December 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


My mother decided to try this once when I was a kid. She found a book at the library that described a very similar method, made a photocopy and, as with most other of her brilliant ideas, made us kids actually do the work of implementing it.

Even though our cat was progressing splendidly, the entire family unanimously gave up the experiment on stage 2 (having a pan with litter under the toilet seat) because we would routinely forget to take the pan out when using the bathroom ourselves in the middle of the night/early morning. If you think scooping up after your kitty is bad, try scooping up after yourself.

EPIC FAIL.
posted by wretched_rhapsody at 10:14 AM on December 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


(I should have waited till after I finished my lunch to share that story...)
posted by wretched_rhapsody at 10:16 AM on December 10, 2008


^ do you back up to the toilet?
posted by autodidact at 10:18 AM on December 10, 2008


i have nipples, greg. can you milk me?
posted by jmccw at 10:22 AM on December 10, 2008


I had a friend that tried this ... but somehow along the way, either he didn't teach the cat correctly, or the cat didn't learn correctly, and the net byproduct was that he turned his whole bathroom into a giant letterbox.

It was like using a toilet sitting on a beach.
posted by Relay at 10:23 AM on December 10, 2008


Apparently, the Canadian Lynx has toilet training ... quirks; they like to poop off of things.

I remember being particulary astounded when I found out that mine had been (somehow) getting up on the shelf in the closet and pooping down on my clothes which were hanging where they should be. Anything that didn't stick to the shoulders of my clothes, ended up in my shoes. (Nice shootin' Banshee!)

posted by sebastienbailard at 10:25 AM on December 10, 2008


er, LITTERbox [damn you spellchecker!!!]
posted by Relay at 10:26 AM on December 10, 2008


First cats using toilets. Then dogs. Then bobcats, for cryin' out loud. What's next, bears? Cows?

I'm pretty sure this is how the apes conquer our planet. So let me be the first to say: damn you. Damn you all to heck.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:26 AM on December 10, 2008


"Or was it just a complaint about how short the hallway is, as it is insufficient to reach maximum insanity?"

You should be aware that a cat can reach maximum insanity while duct taped into a shoe box with no possibilty of movement.

I'm afraid that your cats speak a dialect I haven't learned yet, but as close as I could tell, they too were making a comment about baphomat.
posted by HuronBob at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Forgot about the cheetah.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2008


So, what happens when the cat needs the toilet and it's occupied?
posted by scarello at 10:28 AM on December 10, 2008


This is such old news wretched_rhapsody's mother had it on a photocopy.
posted by neblina_matinal at 10:28 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just sent this thread to a friend who responded:

"if I wanted to toilet train something I'd adopt a child."
posted by Relay at 10:32 AM on December 10, 2008


Googling finds the same concept marketed as a crappy affiliate-scheme e-book. I wonder which one came first?
posted by raygirvan at 10:34 AM on December 10, 2008


I tried this once, years ago. Everything was proceeding well, until once when my cat fell into the water.

Over the next few days, he successfully convinced me of the merits of his opinion that we should go back to a litter box, via his subtle strategy of "crap on the floor".
posted by Flunkie at 10:38 AM on December 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Last thing I need when I have to go to the bathroom is to wait for my cat to finish a compelling expose in Cat Fancy before getting off the crapper.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:46 AM on December 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think that would officially become a low point in my life.

To be quickly trumped by the moment an unsuspecting houseguest or forgetful/drunken resident leaves the lid closed.
posted by Epenthesis at 10:58 AM on December 10, 2008


I had an old girlfriend who tried to do this. We don't speak any more.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:08 AM on December 10, 2008


One day when I was about nine, I stayed home sick from school. I was alone in the house, sleeping in my mom & dad's comfy bed.

I woke to the distinct sound of someone pissing into a toilet in the master bathroom. I was instantly paralyzed with fear, and for the next few seconds, my mind raced to explain:

Maybe the toilet is running. No, that's definitely peeing.
Maybe my mom or dad came home. No, they would have woken me up, or used the other bathroom.
Maybe it's a pervert who broke in and is peeing in our bathroom. Hmm, maybe.

My curiosity won out, and terrified, I burst into the bathroom to find our 12 year old cat crouched on the toilet seat, pissing into the toilet. She looked briefly perturbed, but finished, jumped down, and left the bathroom.

No one had ever seen her do it before, and we never saw her do it again.
posted by peep at 11:09 AM on December 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


So, what happens when the cat needs the toilet and it's occupied?

Same thing they do when the litterbox is occupied: wait their turn.

(NOTE: I live with 3 cats and two litter boxes. These cats will wait their turn. They're quite polite in that regard.)
posted by grubi at 11:11 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


he turned his whole bathroom into a giant letterbox

The upside of this is that he would have plenty of reading material for his sitting time. The downside is that his mailman would have have run screaming to his union.
posted by orange swan at 11:13 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm so glad the response to this post is derision and mockery. My crazy girlfriend had almost convinced me that what she is doing is not b(c?)at shit insane.

On preview: vibrotronica, that doesn't make me feel better!
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 11:13 AM on December 10, 2008


So, what happens when the cat needs the toilet and it's occupied?

[...]the moment an unsuspecting houseguest or forgetful/drunken resident leaves the lid closed.


The solution is obvious: the addition of separate cat-only bathroom(s) to ones home.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:14 AM on December 10, 2008


I actually started retraining my cats to do this a few weeks ago when I moved. The first time was successful for one cat, but the other was a kitten and her balance wasn't so good. It's working well so far, but you really don't need to buy an expensive contraption — a tin-foil turkey pan under the girl seat works just fine.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:15 AM on December 10, 2008


a tin-foil turkey pan under the girl seat works just fine

I've been crapping through the girl seat for 26 years and no one told me?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:46 AM on December 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


My cat likes to drink out of the toilet (the cat ain't right--I think he might be part retriever) , so I'm not sure this would be a good idea. And as far as chores go, cleaning the litter isn't my least favorite. Now, if I could train the cat to iron...
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:50 AM on December 10, 2008


That's nothing, I've trained my dog to shit in the neighbour's garden.
posted by Elmore at 11:55 AM on December 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


That cheetah video cracked me up. And I can totally see a cat learning to use the toilet, and then graduating to the sunroof on your car, the roof vents on your plumbing vent stacks, and the kitchen sinks.
posted by Forktine at 11:56 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would love for my cats to do this. However, my toilet will not take an automatic flusher, and I have a problem with the idea of coming home at the end of the day to a toilet full of cat crap.

Imagine what it would look like after coming home from a weekend away.
posted by o2b at 12:18 PM on December 10, 2008


That's how I was toilet trained.

...wait a minute...I'm a cat!?
posted by Smedleyman at 12:19 PM on December 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


A former roommate's cat learned to flush the toilet. He especially liked to do it while my roommate was in the shower.
posted by orange swan at 12:21 PM on December 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd rather teach my cat to fetch. (He likes it, really!)
posted by parilous at 12:21 PM on December 10, 2008


We taught our cats to sit on command. So long as you feed them right after they sit, it works pretty well.

But toilet training? No. We just have litterboxes for them. Works for me, works for them. I do try to scoop the litter into biodegradable bags, though (the sort used for composting). This keeps the litter in a plastic-y bag long enough to get it to the landfill without filling the landfill with biodegradable litter inside of a non-biodegradable bag.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:22 PM on December 10, 2008


I used to have a cat that shit in the bathtub but I don't think that's really the same thing.
posted by dead cousin ted at 12:38 PM on December 10, 2008


This is the stage that's usually the trickiest for most cats — introducing kitty to the water in the toilet bowl.
Ok, my cat has this part all figured out.
posted by Killick at 12:54 PM on December 10, 2008


My friend tried this with his three cats and a spare bathroom. Initially, it worked so well that he had to install an automatic toilet flusher. Unfortunately, one of the cats fell into the toilet and was so pissed off (heh) that she decided everything could be a toilet. This included all of their plants, the kitchen sink and the middle of their bed. It took him about six months (and two comforters) to finally give up.
posted by hooray at 1:09 PM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jinx cannot flush the toilet

Yes We Can.
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:10 PM on December 10, 2008


The link no say many times I beat pet for good results. 12 time?
posted by I Foody at 1:57 PM on December 10, 2008


Please don't do this if you live in California, or anywhere near a coastline. Cat poop in the sewer system winds up killing sea otters.

I've seen no scientific evidence that this is true. Sounds a bit like urban myth to me. All the research points to untreated surface runoff from feral and other outdoor cats.
posted by JackFlash at 2:02 PM on December 10, 2008


If you really want to impress me, you have to teach your cat to read on the toilet.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:11 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


People keep animals indoors?

You live indoors, don't you?
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:55 PM on December 10, 2008


If you think scooping up after your kitty is bad, try scooping up after yourself.

I just don't like this idea because I'm not comfortable with the idea of having urine-swollen kitty litter stuck to my testicles.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:02 PM on December 10, 2008


Imagine how I feel.
posted by kosem at 3:14 PM on December 10, 2008


People keep animals indoors?

Especially if you live in a city center.
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on December 10, 2008


Urban cats: characteristics and estimation of mortality due to motor vehicles.
posted by ericb at 3:26 PM on December 10, 2008


Derail, but I have to tell someone.

IT WORKS!!! SWEET JEEBUS IT ACTUALLY WORKS!!!!

That is all.
posted by Space Kitty at 3:32 PM on December 10, 2008


baphomet is right though - cat meat is absolutely delicious. Gato tacos baby. Delish!

Now, if someone can teach my 3 Yorkies to use the toilet, I'm pretty sure I could win Youtube with the video of that.
posted by Bageena at 3:39 PM on December 10, 2008


Or you could just let them outside.

Right, otters.

I'm nowhere near an otter. Fuck 'em.

Right, birds.

Well, they only catch the slow, dumb ones. Fuck 'em.

THEN THEY PICK MY TOMATO PATCH AND THIS MEANS WAR.

It is much more difficult to dissuade a cat from going somewhere it likes than it is to encourage a cat to go somewhere it dislikes. YCMV.

OH GOD THE TOMATOES OH MY SWEET JESUS THE FUCKING TOMATOES
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:14 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sure. If he takes too long in the bathroom, can I use his litterbox?
posted by jonmc at 4:51 PM on December 10, 2008


When my dad was a kid, his family kept finding poop in the toilet. Being the youngest, he was blamed for not flushing even though he insisted on his innocence. It wasn't until someone opened the door on the cat crapping on the toilet that he was acquitted.
posted by sugarfish at 4:57 PM on December 10, 2008


Or allow Charles Mingus to do it for you.

All cats can man the throne. Ain't no thing... but a chicken's wing.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:42 PM on December 10, 2008


First off, though, here's a little entertainment to prove that I'm not some totally nutty cat lover (at least, I don't think I am, although I do love kitties!). Just witness the pooping peeing bundle of furry joy that is my cat...
posted by jason's_planet at 5:51 PM on December 10, 2008


Please don't do this if you live in California, or anywhere near a coastline. Cat poop in the sewer system winds up killing sea otters.

I've seen no scientific evidence that this is true. Sounds a bit like urban myth to me. All the research points to untreated surface runoff from feral and other outdoor cats.


The State of California and requests that people don't flush their cat litter.
posted by tula at 5:59 PM on December 10, 2008


Cat poop in the sewer system winds up killing sea otters.

Considering the ratio of human poo to cat poo in the sewer system, and the variety of human diets as compared to cat diets, I think we are to blame.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:03 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude, if youre crapping out Toxoplasma gondii then you need to talk to a doctor, not spend your time on the web speculating about the similiaries between human and cat poop and spreading poop-based conspiracy theories.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:12 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


We got one of those training-kit things with the plastic tray that fits into the top of the toilet, and concentric sections inside that you remove from the inside out so the hole gets bigger and bigger and eventually the cat's using the toilet with no help at all.

Stage 1 is to put the tray on the floor as a normal litter tray. Stage 2 is to move it to the toilet.

Both of the cats we had at the time considered Stage 2 to be harder to figure out than a Rubik's Cube. They started pooing in corners, in the bath... not so much as a footprint in the toilet-tray.

And there the experiment ended.
posted by dansdata at 7:21 PM on December 10, 2008


Both of the cats we had at the time considered Stage 2 to be harder to figure out than a Rubik's Cube.

So, which of your cats was able to solve a Rubik's Cube faster than the other?
posted by ericb at 9:59 PM on December 10, 2008


My cat has no problem using the toilet, but man, it was almost impossible to train it to use the toilet paper to wipe its arse.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:01 AM on December 11, 2008


damn dirty ape: It's estimated that a third of humans have toxoplasmosis. It makes men emotional and paranoid, and makes women outgoing, self-confident and trusting. There's been speculation that these traits make the spread of the parasite more efficient.
posted by Jilder at 7:37 AM on December 11, 2008


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