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On Labor Day weekend, 2007, I brought home two cute 3-month old female Devon Rex kittens. Tanya (TAN-ya) and Chanel. This was my first time living with cats, so I prepared with books for dummies and how-to manuals. During my readings, I came across books and websites about toilet training. Yes, you teach your cat to use the toilet! I was intrigued and read multiple strategies to train my kitties to poop in the commode. The process can take anywhere from 4 weeks to a year!! It was still early, and all sources advised to wait until 6 months of age.

So I waited. In the mean time, I learned how annoying litter can be. I got the automatic LitterMaid Elite Mega Advanced Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box which scoops the poop every time the kitties go. I got it lightly used from a posting. It was worth the money and I didn't become too much of a slave to the litter box. Even though I didn't have the burden of all day scooping, I started noticing that litter traveled. I saw little litter granules beyond the laundry room (original location of the litter box). I 'd see it track out from the laundry room door and occasionally see a granule or two on the kitchen floor or on the couch. I know cats are clean animals, but litter granules on the couch can't be very sanitary.

So, as they started pushing their 6th month of life (Tanya was 6 months, Chanel was 5 1/2 months), I decided to start their training to use the toilet. I love my kitties, but I hate the litter. They are super smart, so I think they will pick it up quickly.

I'm writing this blog on Tanya, Chanel, and the Toilet so you can keep up with their (and my) daily progress (or lack thereof). I am by no means an expert. But you can see pictures and watch the brief videos that chronicle their status and the methods I've used.

You can start from Day 1 by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Day 92/54

February 25, 2008

Last night I put up a barrier in the back of the toilet seat. I used a sheet of light corregated plastic, similar to syrofoam. I used a small amount of duct tape to keep them from pushing it off.

Chanel was the first to avoid it for #2. She held it for about 24 hours. This morning she gave up the fight (with a little help from a soft breakfast). I heard her scratching around and then leave the bathroom without doing anything. I brought her back into the bathroom and closed the door. She dug for China as usual and was put off by the limiting barrier. Every time she jumped off or tried to play under the shower curtain, I put her back on the toilet. As she dug around the Green disk, she would stop as if she were about to go. She was standing sideways on the seat. Before she reached 'no return' I placed her front paws on the seat. She moved out of position quickly and dug some more. Again, when she stopped, I put her front paws on the seat and her back paws on the Green disk. This time, she didn't fight it or move out of position. She went with 3 paws on the seat. !!Treats galore!! They only get treats for #2 now. Somehow, they were able to muster up a pee every time I was in the bathroom. Those kitties, know how to work the system (me). So now they only get verbal and tactile praise for #1.

Chanel is used to this intervention because I did it a lot with her while on the Regular Amber disk for #1s. Not every cat will allow you to adjust them before their 'point of no return'. Tanya would not allow it, for example (thank goodness I've never needed to). But Chanel is docile and easy going enough to not be flustered or insulted by it (especially when I know she has to go). After the 'point of not return', I don't think she learned anything because I did everything for her.

I hope the intervening and the barrier will get her to think more about putting herself in the right position.


Marina said...

Arg... why does google make it so hard to leave comments! ha ha.

Looks like Tanya and Chanel are doing very well! Congratulations to you for making it so far! Only a little ways left to go now!

You are more then welcome to add the link for my blog to your page. I can also leave a link on my page for yours if you would like!

I've heard some stories about the yahoo TTing group and kicking out members who are using the litter kwitter... seems silly when we're all there to support each other, but who knows. I'm only waiting for the day that they kick me out for not giving enough credit.

thanks for popping by to visit our page! I'll definetly keep up to date with your progress!


Marina and Chester

Jenny said...

hi z-
you are getting so creative with the setup. i'm really impressed. i hope chanel is happily using the front of the toilet now. i can't wait to hear if this actually works.


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