Litter Kwitter!
January 4, 2011 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Does this elaborate cat toilet training kit work? Do I even need it?

Alright, so I'm one of those jerks that flips through the entire Skymall catalog every time I fly and sneers at the garbage Global Capitalism hawks to the proles. (I usually go straight for the Toscano section.) This time, though, I ran across something called the Litter Kwitter (official website here: warning, contains automatically playing video of a cat pissing into a toilet) which appeals to both my frugality and my fastidiousness, not to mention my desire to force animals to act like tiny humans.

However, I'm not sure I need something that costs sixty bucks and is complicated enough to include an instructional DVD. Has anyone toilet-trained their cat with or without a kit like this?

Here's a blurry picture of the guy sitting on his ass like a disgusting slob, which he is.
posted by theodolite to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
According to jazz great Charles Mingus, no, you don't.
posted by emkelley at 8:24 AM on January 4, 2011

Arg, well, here's the link.
posted by emkelley at 8:25 AM on January 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you cat can be toilet trained, you can rig up something for much less than $60. I think this is the first article I ever read about kitty toilet training. The required components are: (1) A litter box that you should already own, (2) Some stuff to slowly prop up the box (that you don't mind getting cat piss on), and (3) a mixing bowl that will fit in your toilet.
posted by muddgirl at 8:25 AM on January 4, 2011

I successfully trained an earlier cat using nothing more than what muddgirl described. Already had the litterbox, already had boxes and phone books to raise the box, and just used a few dollars for the mixing bowl. All you really need is patience, and lots of it. Just remember if the cat suddenly balks at using the raised litterbox, or jumping up to the toilet, or any of the other steps, you're probably going too fast and need to go back a step, get the cat comfortable again and advance from there. Good luck!
posted by alchemist at 8:41 AM on January 4, 2011

I had a relative that was so, let's say enthusiastic, about toilet training her kids that her cat started using the toilet spontaneously. So I don't think you need the kit. But I'd imagine that it would depend to some degree on your cat. Some are more trainable than others.
posted by mikepop at 8:49 AM on January 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yesss, a post relevant to my project! I have been attempting to toilet train my cat Souvlaki over the past couple months without one of the kits. You want to move the cat to full toilet use in gradual steps, and I've read that the kits sometimes make it difficult to go back a small step (in case the cat decides he's freaked out and poops on your floor).

After trying parts of pretty much every single method I could find on the internet, a variation on this method turned out to be the one my cat was most comfortable with. I didn't build a separate toilet setup though since I only have one toilet and one tiny bathroom, and wanted to do this as cheaply as possible.

Instead, after gradually moving the cat up to using a litter box on top of the toilet, I bought a $2 plastic bowl from Family Dollar that was large enough to fit the toilet bowl, filled it with flushable litter (that's the expensive part, and it doesn't even come with the kits, I don't think), and gradually increased the size of water containers in the litter (small plastic containers and some mid size bowls from goodwill were good here).

Once she was up to an 80%-ish sized water bowl in the litter bowl, I traded the bowl-in-toilet-bowl setup for a thin crescent-shape section of foil roasting pan ($1, aw yeah) with litter in it, that hangs into the bowl under the toilet seat. I'm still working on decreasing the size of the foil and the amount of litter.

I've been doing this since I adopted my cat in mid-October. There were a couple accidents on bathmats but since starting the bowl-in-a-bowl method she's much more comfortable.

If you decide to go through with it there's a yahoo group called "Cats T-Training" where cat toilet training enthusiasts exchange suggestions and info. If you decide to buy a kit, I think the CitiKitty is cheaper. No idea on the quality of either of those, though.

I think it's worth a try if you (and whoever else may be using your toilet) are willing to be patient. It does depend on how trainable the cat is, too.
posted by ghostbikes at 9:01 AM on January 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

The kit is just for people who hate DIY, but it's totally possible to repurpose cheaper things as temporary litter trays. Their product is for convenience only.

The real things you need are:

1) A cat who is willing to bow to your silly human hygiene system that is totally inferior to any kind of litter box (in the cat's opinion). There will be a battle of wills even with a cat who is smart and eventually complies. Age is a factor; older cats are less likely to get with the program, I've heard. Some cats will just never be cool with it.

2) Patience. The willingness to clean up accidents for weeks or even months (~8 months in the one case of a kitten I lived with). Cleaning a litter box will seem fine after cleaning up pee in the corner behind the toilet a few times. Are you prepared for that?
posted by slow graffiti at 9:05 AM on January 4, 2011

My friend toilet trained his cat. He used saran wrap filled with familiar kitty litter to get the cat used to the toilet as an appropriate place to pee & poop, then eventually took away the wrap & litter crutch. It was pretty cool, except for the no-flushing part.
posted by Ys at 9:13 AM on January 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone. It seems like there's a sort of sliding scale of complexity, from "just put some saran wrap over the bowl" to "fashion an entire dummy toilet and then switch it with a real one like Wile E. Coyote." Now if I can just get him to puke in there..
posted by theodolite at 10:16 AM on January 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, I have purchased the Litter Kwitter!

Well... the first half of the program went really well. You might have more success if your cat is younger and healthier.

These DIY riggings are probably just as good? The actual Litter Kwitter itself is... fairly well-made? Like I found its toilet-seat clamp-on thing to be not so ideal, so when the cat would jump up, it would shift a little, which made him unhappy. But I'm not sure there's better ways to do that.

In the end, well, your cat mileage will vary! The good thing about the kit is that it's a no-brainer for you. And only a semi-brainer for the cat. That being said, I thought it was worth the $50 or whatever I spent for a month or two's worth of entertainment.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:26 AM on January 4, 2011

FYI, I got a Litter Kwitter kit from PetCo (or PetSmart) for about $40. Am still in the very beginning stages. I'm hoping it will make our foster cats extremely popular with potential adopters!
posted by amtho at 12:47 PM on January 4, 2011

I also found books on the subject at the library - the one my local branch had was "How to toilet-train your cat : 21 days to a litter-free home / Paul Kunkel " - and that is not a recommendation, my cats are six and wouldn't even accept one of those litterboxes where they enter from the top.
posted by lemniskate at 3:37 PM on January 4, 2011

Wow, inflation! I bought a similar kit from PetSmart in the 90's for $14.99 -- except it didn't come with three different trays; it had one perforated tray that was not fun to punch open. In any case, my kitty was only one-year-old at the time, and adapted very quickly to the concept -- Good times! But then we moved to a new apartment, and it threw him off his game. He never re-adjusted, I never bought him a new kit, and he went back to using a litter box.
posted by polyester.lumberjack at 12:08 AM on January 6, 2011

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