toilet training

one of the joys of working from home is that i get to spend all day toilet training my cat.

i’m setting off on this adventure, the end of which ideally will result in my cat jack never again peeing on the couch and instead using the toilet like all normal people. actually, he really seems to have taken to it so far, which pleases me to no end. so, regular updates will appear here. i know you’re thrilled.

there are actually smarter things one could say about this whole process. the politics of cat litter, for one. animal psychology i’ll save for another day.  it’s hard to find a good litter. most of the clay ones are strip mined, plus they give poor penny respiratory distress. but of course they *work* better, in the sense of not smelling, not tracking all over the damn house, and are way cheaper. they also fill up the garbage – and the landfills – really quickly, and often threaten water safety (because cat feces can contain whatever that nasty bug is that causes toxoplasmosis – pretty rare but can cause birth defects). the alternatives – made of corn, pine, newspaper, etc – all have plusses and minuses. some don’t deal with odors well, some track all over, some the cats hate, some are really really expensive. the toxoplasmosis thing, as i know every time i read the outside of a new litter box, is why the state of california strongly discourages flushing litter. (sewers don’t treat for this, goes into the oceans, mussels build it up, sea otters eat mussels, and get sick.) but this is a zero-sum game, because landfills are no better.

so – do i use renewable-source, organic litter, then put it in a plastic bag and send it to the landfill? do i toilet train the cats (serious time investment for 6 weeks, no litter changes ever again for life of cat) and flush the feces but end up never using litter again?

right now it looks like it will be a compromise; there are 3 cats in the house, one very old and not able to jump up to the toilet so that’s not an option. i think jack will take to the toilet, and so would penny, if he had no other option, but given the box on the floor for the older cat, i think penny will stay on the floor. so i’ll have one of each. maybe this is the worst possible scenario – we’ll see.

i’m using a super cool little plastic insert that fits below the seat, and fills with litter. every week or so you cut away a bit of the plastic to increase the size of the hole (and access to toilet bowl). for now, yes, we have to move it every time we use it.

so, anyway, a picture from week 1.

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One Comment on “toilet training”

  1. jeremy Says:

    The two people I know who have tried this were not able to get it to work. I wish you and your cat better luck.

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