Toilet training your feline companion might sound convenient than using a litter box. However, do not be in a rush to throw your cat’s litter box away without digging deeper about what you and your kitty will be facing during this process. As a matter of fact, there are lots of negative effects of toilet training and many cat owners jump on this bandwagon without completely understanding the potential disadvantages to this toilet training technique.
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Reasons why you shouldn’t toilet-train your cat
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to train your cat in using the toilet, there are still some important things you should take into consideration especially knowing why it’s not best for your cat.
You’re flushing the evidence
A change in the urine volume or frequency your kitty is producing can be one of the most important signs of underlying medical problems that go far beyond UTI. Here is a partial list of cat health conditions that can be accompanied by some changes in urine volume and/or frequency:
- Kidney dysfunction
- Urinary or urethral obstruction
- Bladder inflammation or cystitis
Just like with many things, detecting these problems early and providing actions to it immediately can mean lesser suffering and pain for your feline friend, and a much better chance of lower costs and easier management for you.
If you force your cat to urinate in the toile, you are not going to see the changes in their urine volume and frequency. On the other hand, these particular changes are way easier to detect if your cats are using litter boxes. When your cat is using his litter box, you will be updated about his urinary and endocrine system every time you scoop the litter. No so when your cat is using the toilet bowl to pee.
It goes against your cat’s instinct
The reason why litter boxes have a litter in the first place is that cats bury their waste instinctually. In the wild, it’s their own way to hide the smell and ward off their predators. But just because indoor cats are not in the wild, it does not mean that they lack this instinct. Just observe the next time your kitty goes to his litter box to eliminate; you will hear him burying his waste.
If you replace your cat’s litter box with a toilet bowl, you will only get rid of his ability to bury, but never his instinct or desire. Even when you successfully train your cat to use the bowl, he will still paw at the surrounding area to act out his instinct. However, his inability to bury waste can only cause additional stress that can lead to frequent potty accidents and other stress-related issues.
And what if you need to leave your cat for days and decide to take him to a boarding facility? Or what if he gets ill and needs to stay at his veterinarian’s clinic? Unless your toilet-trained feline companion is also comfortable and trained in using a litter box, then expect bigger problems there too.
Common questions about toilet-training your cat
Is it safe to toilet train your cat?
Even though teaching your feline companion to use the toilet bowl may sound like a good idea to you, the truth is that experts do not recommend this setting since it’s not advisable for cats. According to feline behavior experts, it’s not recommended for cat owners to train their kitties to pee or poop in a toilet bowl because of the overwhelming number of disadvantages.
Can cat poop be flushed down the toilet?
While it might sound like a great idea for some, you shouldn’t be flushing your cat’s feces and litter down your septic tank as it can only cause problems on your septic system and plumbing pipes. Cat feces can contain a Toxoplasma parasite that can lead to serious health problems not just in other pets but also in humans.
Are cats easy to potty train?
Cats have an instinct to poop or pee in soil or sand, and kittens also learn a lot from observing their littermates or mother. Usually, kittens start to learn using the litter box at around three or four weeks of age. Thus, by the time you bring home your kitten, he’ll likely be able to use his litter box without any problem. Toilet training, on the other hand, is not advisable for cats, whether young or adult cats, so it’s best to have them trained in using litter boxes instead.
Overall, the most important reason why you shouldn’t toilet train your cat is because when he eliminates in the toilet bowl, you can’t be able to see whether there is a change in the volume and frequency of their feces or urine. Aside from that, you cannot also detect if there are changes in his elimination habits.
A change in poop and urine volume is actually a red flag to potential medical problems. When you scoop your cat’s litter, you are alerted to the possible changes in urine and fecal clumps. Early detection might make a big difference in how the potential health problem is treated.