You may have seen videos online, like the one above, of cats using toilets just like humans. Or maybe you’ve seen the movie Meet The Parents and wondered how a cat was trained to use a potty.
These examples may prompt you to ask, “Should my cat be using the toilet?” After all, dealing with a litter box is a hassle, and it can get pretty smelly. Wouldn’t it be best if you could just train your feline friend to use the same toilet you use?
The short answer is “no.” And the long answer is still “no.” You shouldn’t train your cat to use the toilet. Here’s why.
Why Your Cat Should Use The Litter Box, Not The Toilet(Picture Credit: Brandon Reiss / EyeEm/Getty Images)
Your cat will be much happier eliminating in clean litter boxes where they can feel secure and cover their 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 are 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. The 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. They can feel vulnerable and stressed in situations where there’s no way to escape. Again, stressed cats often resort to instinctual behaviors, such as finding other, less stressful places to go to the bathroom.
Have you thought about training your cat to use the toilet? Do you think it’s best for cats to stick to the litter box? Let us know in the comments below!