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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 craigslist.org 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.
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April 10, 2008



It was a nice warm day today. I took a break from my laptop to take Tanya & Chanel outside. I'm only going to put the harness on when we go outside or on the balcony. I had to put a leash on them so I could keep them close. We went to the picnic area on the apartment grounds and they just explored. Tanya was the most exploratory. It was tough to take them both at the same time, but I can't separate them.

As for the toilet training, things are a little better.

6 comments:

hello & mimmy said...

the kittens look so cute in their harnesses. i can see that a lot has happened while i have been away. did you find a new place in NY?

Veronica (M) said...

hey! they look so cute in their harnesses!

It is hard keeping my two together also. Sometimes I tie each of their leashes to each other also and add another piece of rope and hold on in the middle, that way they can't get too far.

I started harness training when they were small kittens but the first day was similar to what you experienced!

meemsnyc said...

How lucky you both are that you were allowed to go outside! I love the leashes!

Lia said...

Your cats look adorable in their harnesses! Our two are also inseparable, so I imagine we'll harness train them together. Today's clicker training went quite well, which makes me think they ought to learn harness skills without huge problems.
Your two have gone from zero to harnessed so quickly! I am dazzled.

hello & mimmy said...

hello has this same harness in pink! but she usually wears a different one on a daily basis.

Lia said...

Hi D&S,
We just started to work on harness training our two (Mist and Smoke). I'm not sure we got the right kind of harnesses. I want something where I can lay it over or under a cat and then clip her into it rather than one where I have to get her to put her head through a loop. Tanya's and Chanel's look pretty non-confining. What kind / brand of harness are they?
On another topic, I just noticed the line at the top of your blog: "I was intrigued and read multiple strategies to train my kitties to poop in the commode. The process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks." I remember thinking my kittens would learn in a month, too! LOL. We're on day 112 and counting...

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