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Is Toilet Training Your Cat a Good Idea?

Even though you can purchase commercial toilet training kits, at some point you have to take the kit away and force your cat to straddle the toilet. For some cats, including those who are very young, old, ill, or in pain, this can be difficult and stressful. Toilet seats are slippery and can be difficult for a less-than healthy cat to negotiate.

If your cat falls in the toilet, although he may be able to get out, the panic may cause him to hesitate eliminating in there in the future. Should he fall in a dirty toilet, then you have the added stress of having to bathe him. If he’s home alone, he’ll be potentially dealing with the traumatic event for hours by himself.

CatWise book and a quote from Dr Lore Haug


When hospitalized or boarded, your cat will be put in a cage with a traditional litter box. Once he returns home, you may have to retrain him to the toilet again. This may cause confusion.

Going to the Bathroom Shouldn’t Cause Stress to Your Cat

The process of eliminating waste shouldn’t be a stressful event for your cat. A litter box filled with an appealing litter most closely resembles what a cat would choose outdoors. Cats dig, eliminate, and cover by instinct. Covering the waste is how they prevent predators from finding where they live. Even indoor cats have that instinct for security. In multicat homes, litter box locations are important when it comes to creating security for each cat. One cat may not feel comfortable going through another cat’s area to get to a litter box. With traditional boxes that can be addressed by locating them in various parts of the house. When you toilet train you’re limited to fixed locations.

What’s the perfect set-up for a cat? Stick to what’s most natural: an absorbent litter in the right sized box that’s kept clean.

Need More Information on Cat Behavior?

For more specifics on creating the ideal litter box set-up or for help with litter box problems, refer to the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. Her books are available in bookstores everywhere, through your favorite online book site, and also here on our website.

buy pam's books here



If you have a question about your cat’s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat’s veterinary care.

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