STRATEGIES, DIET, and LITTER MUSTS
“Accidents” (poop and pee on rugs, in sinks, in bathtubs, and on furniture) are a deliberate feline strategy, an attempt, you might say, to communicate toilet-terror to owners. Unfortunately this is extremely common during toilet training. To reverse negative trends, help your cat feel secure with slow, small changes, so you can enjoy flushing instead of scooping for years to come.
- have everything ready the first day you bring your kitten home
- treat, praise, and play every time the cat uses the facilities
- never punish your cat, even for “accidents”
- remove rugs from the feline bathroom (temporary)
- slowly transition the cat into a smaller litter box, slowly move the litter box to the bathroom, slowly raise the litter box to the height of the mock toilet, finally substitute the litter box with a mock toilet (especially useful for adult cats)
- play with your cat for twenty minutes after feeding, to stimulate the bowels, so you can be around for the cat’s #2
- clicker training
- fill the bathtub and sink (prime accident locations) with toys
- block the back of the toilet area with 2-L bottles
- add a stool near the toilet
- remove towels from the feline bathroom
- add a scratching post in the bathroom (scratching stimulates the bowels)
- limit access to tempting defecation areas (feather bedspreads, towels, laundry, leather, and bean bags)
- anti-stress Feliway
- cover the bathroom floor with a plastic runner
- add a motion sensor alert to the bathroom
- add a video camera to the bathroom
- add a night light to the bathroom
Toilet training cats need soft, natural poop to comfortably maintain a high arch on the toilet.
Add a spoonful of safe, natural fiber, like cooked pumpkin, to your cat’s daily diet. This will help waste move smoothly and gently through his/her digestive tract.
Check the label on your cat food, and avoid products containing beet pulp, powdered cellulose, meat digest, meat byproducts, and starchy fillers (like corn). These ingredients lightly constipate cats to make litter box cleanup scooping-friendly.
Great foods include: Wellness, EVO, Blue Buffalo, and some raw diets. Wet food is fabulous, especially if your cat isn’t a big water drinker.
When transitioning to a new food, take at least two weeks to avoid kitty diarrhea.
Your cat should be using an odorless, flushable litter to toilet train.
Odorless because you don’t want your cat associating commode-needs with a perfume that will be absent once training is completed. Flushable so you can teach your cat where his/her waste goes without clogging your pipes.
Unfortunately, litters change, and depending on where you live, it can be difficult to find a litter that meets both requirements. When forced to choose, go FLUSHABLE all the way.
To avoid accidents, transition slowly to your new litter.
Litter options may include: Swheat Scoop, World’s Best Cat Litter, Better Way, Feline Pine, wood chip pellets, wheat, corn, rice, or millet. For more litter information, check out Marina Michaels’ page and an analysis of clumping litter.
As always, if you come across something new online or at your local pet or feed store, please comment below or send an email. Cheers!
For free advice on toilet training, browse this site and contact Marian at firstname.lastname@example.org.