Should My Cat Be using The Toilet?

Question:

Should my cat be using the toilet?

Answer:

The short answer is “no.” And the long answer is still “no:”

Your cat will be much happier eliminating in clean litter boxes where she can feel secure and cover her excrement. I have clients who initially trained their cats to eliminate in toilets, but then found to their dismay that the cats were going to the bathroom in other areas of the house. Toilets are great for people — not for cats.

Here are three reasons it’s a bad idea to train cats to eliminate in toilets:

  • In addition to the physical reasons for elimination, urine and feces is part of a cat’s communication system. Cats need to be able to dig and cover their excrement. Sometimes they may choose not to cover it. Toilets do not give them the choice. This can result in a cat becoming stressed. Stressed cats often resort to instinctual behaviors, such as finding other, less stressful places to go to the bathroom.
  • Some cats enjoy playing in toilets. Lid has to remain up for cats who use toilets. This can be problematic. I don’t think I have to go into details.
  • Cats can feel trapped in bathrooms. Cats can feel vulnerable and stressed in situations where there is no way to escape. Again, stressed cats often resort to instinctual behaviors, such as finding other, less stressful places to go to the bathroom.