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Toilet Training

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I need HELP!!! I'm toilet training (yes, actually toilet training- not litter box) my two cats and everything was going wonderfully until a week ago. I read Paul Kunkel's book "How to Toilet Train Your Cat" and followed all of his instructions to the letter. My cats will pee on the toilet, but for some reason they are now pooping on the floor. The book never addresses that issue. They will poop on the toilet if I have a sheet of plastic wrap with kitty litter on it stretched over the bowl of the toilet with the seat down, but the minute I cut a hole in the plastic wrap (as is necessary to complete the training) they go back to using the floor. But they have been consistently peeing on the toilet. I don't know what to do. I'm at my wits' end. They have been shut in the bathroom (with food and water) for four days now and no change in behavior. I'd hate to reintroduce the litter box because they have been so successful otherwise. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any hints? I desperately need help.
post #2 of 11
I know exactly what you are going through. 8 months ago I began training my 2 Siamese cats and used the book as a reference. Once I got to the plastic wrap section my cats rejected it completely. So I began using an aluminum roasting pan. Reduce the litter and make a hole just as the book states. Both my kitties had no problem urinating with the pan and hole, however the pooping part was the hardest part to overcome. Bella was fine with it and moved along smoothly. As the hole incresed she made the adjustments to balance. Max on the other hand had a very hard time. I have had several "accidents" all over my house. This was Max's way of letting me know I was going too Fast for him. He needed more time to get use to :
1.Jumping up:he would complain(very vocal)
2.Scratching:he needed a longer time to adjust to no litter
3.Balancing: he is larger (13lbs) than Bella even though they are twins. When they go poo they sit lower and spread their legs more so they need the support in the begining while they are adjusting.

The key is not to move too quickly. Every time Max would have an "accident" I would keep him in that holding pattern for an extra week-until he was comfortable and consistant.
I have tried locking them in the restroom to "make" them conform. I will tell you right now that does NOT work. They will poo in the Bathtub, in their bed, everywhere but the toilet. If they do not trust it they will not use it.
*Be patient
*Go Slow and listen to your animals. Reward them for using the restroom succesfully.
*Never-Never hit or yell. That will only scare your kitty. You are trying to change their natural instinct to scratch and cover-it is not that easy.
*Dont be scared to move backwards a little- this only helps reinforce the behavior you want.
*Make sure the litter you use is unscented and flushable.
*Clean the pan consistantly (at least twice a day)
*If you catch one attempting to poo in an inappropriate place-pick him/her up and place them on the toliet. If you find a surprise on the floor-put it in the pan.
The end product is very rewarding so dont give up or be too frustrated.
Good Luck>^..^<

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.
What litter did you use? I was using Everclean, but it isn't flushable (and clogged my toilet more than once when the cats broke through the plastic wrap). I've been using Cat's Pride, which is flushable and claims to be unscented, but it seems (to me, anyway) to have a pretty strong chemical odor. Unfortunately, I had to switch back to the litter box because we were making no progress at all and I found myself getting frustrated with the cats and myself and I didn't want the frustration to turn into anger directed at the cats. I realize this is a big step for them and it was frustrating for me not to know what to do to make it easier for them.
So you say your cats are toilet trained? That is wonderful. Congratulations.
I'm a little curious and have a few more questions:
1. How large of a hole did you cut in the roasting pan? Did you mount the pan under the toilet seat?
2. How long did it take for the cats to start poo-ing in the toilet?
3. When they aren't confined to the bathroom, did they still use the toilet (to pee) during the training?

That's all I can think of for now. I'm going to wait a few more weeks to restart the whole process. I may have to wait until December- I'd like to be home as much as possible during the crucial times of the training, and I don't have a substantial break from school until then.

Thank-you so much for replying. I feel much better knowing someone else has experienced the troubles I've been having, and it feels even better to know you were successful.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!!
post #4 of 11
I dont remember the name of the Litter but I am going to PetCo this weekend so I will look it up and let you know.

I would first have the roating pan intact for a few weeks acting as a litter box inside the toilet. The Roasting Pan is real nice because you can fit any size toilet by bending or cutting. It should fit inside under the seat(no need for securing with tape)- and depending on the shape or size of your bowl you can turn out the edges of the pan to fit over the edge of the bowl- and make the pan more shallow.
This can be good for 2 reasons:1. It adds a little more support when/if they put weight on the pan(my cats always put their paws in it when they were covering or scratching).2. It lifts the pan up a little higher from the water. I guess it depends on the amount of water in your bowl. Once the hole became large enough for Bella to stick her head through-I caught her trying to drink the water-because the pan hung so low and the water was right there. This is a No-No, you dont want them thinking of this as a water source. So I ended up making the pan high enough away from the water for her not to be interested.
***Make sure they are consistantly doing both (poop & pee) before you move on or else you will end up going backwards-trust me -I know***
1. After they get comfortable peeing & pooping in the pan without holes make a small hole about 1"-2" with scissors or a knife. Make sure to bend the sharpe edges down so they wont cut their paws. After a week or two if they are doing O.K. make it a little bigger. Hold it at the same size for at least a week before moving on. If you find an accident somewhere go back a size and wait a little longer.As time goes on reduce the amount of litter so the ability to scratch is not there.Also they will be pushing it out the hole so there will be a loss of litter that way too. Keep going until the hole is large enough that litter wont stay on the edge-at this point they wont need it anymore.
2. The pooping part should be happening the whole time. If you find that they are still peeing and not pooping then it will just take you longer to get them to adjust. There will be points when everything is going smoothly for weeks and then one day while you were at work there is a present on your pillow. Minor setback-but that just means slow down.
3. I only confined them to the restroom for one weekend the whole time that they were training. That was at a very critical time. I went on vacation for a week and left them home alone with a pet sitter to visit daily. When I got back they both refused to use the restroom except to pee-they always were very comfortable peeing from the begining. I actually had to start over,using a whole pan. But the progression was faster the second time.
Keep me in touch with your progress...>^..^<
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank-you very much. You are a godsend. I'll be restarting the training at the end of October and I will definitely let you know how it goes. I can't begin to express my gratitude.
Keep your fingers crossed!

Thanks again
post #6 of 11
I am using "Good Mews" litter. It is flushable.

My Danielle, whom I have had for only over 2 weeks, she is an adult, won't use regular litter. We got her from a shelter that used only strips of newpaper in the box, so we discovered after several attempts that she liked the newspaper. But that is a pain in the, ahem....excuse me.....butt. :LOL:

To try to get her into litter, I am gradually using a mixture of newspaper and "Good Mews". Seems to be working so far.

Anyway, it is made from recycled paper, and the bag says flushable.
post #7 of 11
The litter I used was "Premium Choice" Flushable.The container does not say "unscented" but I could not detect an odor. It comes in a 12lb.plastic container and costs about $10.00. It does clump so you can scoop while the roasting pan is intact-but it doesn't hold together very well, and breaks down pretty easy.
I found it at PetCo not PetsMart, and I also found it at a local Mom-Pop petstore for less($6.00). I haven't looked but you might be able to buy it online at petco.com if you don't have one close to you.
Have fun>^..^<

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks to both of you. I'll see which brand I can find, and hopefully I'll be litter box free by the first of the year!!!
post #9 of 11
i've recently gone through the last few weeks of gently getting my cat toilet trained. Here's my problem...w/ a mixing bowl mounted under the toilet seat...he will sit in it to pee but hangs his rear off the side when he p**ps...getting pretty frustrated and can't figure out how to "reposition him"...any suggestions would be much appreciated!

post #10 of 11
Does your cat actually sit inside the bowl when he pees and poops? If so that is a problem too.
Much of the time spent is the cat learning to balance on the toilet seat, and get comfortable sitting on the rim to do his/her buisness.
It seems that Bella(my cat) sits differently for each act.

Is he having a hard time balancing? If so it will take time to get comfortable. Are you able to be there when he goes to the restroom? If so maybe help him get in the correct position with his footing. If you are not there when the actual deed is being done, then maybe have him practice and praise him with a treat. If he refuses dont force him, that will only scare him and get him frustrated as well.
Don't worry the p**ping part is the hardest of all.There were times I wanted to pull my hair out.
But it seems your guy is at least trying-he could be going on your bed
Good Luck
post #11 of 11
yea...thanx, he is sitting in the bowl to pee...& his balance
is fine...(many concentric circles round the rim) I guess my
next step would be to catch him when he goes as much as possible
and help him adjust his footing, along w/ placing his poo that
misses the bowl into the bowl & leaving it there? would that start
to give him the idea of where it should go? maybe making him want
to go ontop of it?

thanx again
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