Top Reasons NOT to Toilet Train your Cat!

Top Reasons NOT to Toilet Train your Cat!

Top Reasons NOT to Toilet Train your Cat!

Don’t Toilet-Train Your Cat

If you are sharing your life with a feline friend, then I don’t need to tell you just how smart they are. Cats can be taught all sorts of things - from following commands to jumping through hoops, to wangling extra treats out of you with those pitiful meows. 

Did you know, cats are even smart enough to be trained to use the toilet - that’s right no more changing the litter, no more mess, just flush and go. However, it's important to remember that just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.

Here are some points to consider before you become tempted to train your kitty to squat on the porcelain throne.



If your living situation ever changes and you find yourself living in a house with only one bathroom, then this can be a real problem for the toilet-trained cat. If someone else is using the bathroom and your kitty has to go, they’re going to find another comfortable and convenient place (like your freshly laundered clothes, your bed, or the carpet (when you gotta go, you gotta go!)


The toilet isn’t the only porcelain place in your home. Once your kitty is toilet-trained, they may also associate sinks and bathtubs as their new litter box and start going to the bathroom in there too.


Toilet training can be really different for short-leg breed cats (like my little Charlie). They will often experience arthritis at younger ages as well which can make it very difficult and uncomfortable for them to get onto the toilet. Moreover, most cats start to experience arthritis pain around age 8, so as your cat ages or experiences any muscle problems or nerve weakness, it might become increasingly difficult for them to get up onto the toilet.

If your cat ever has to have surgery, jumping up onto a toilet seat is also going to be problematic.


Sheer practicality - you will need to be vigilant to always ensure that the lid of the toilet is up and the seat is down so your cat is actually able to use the loo. The door to the bathroom will always need to remain open so your cat can access the toilet and you will need to inform any visitors to your home as well so that they can ensure they don’t inadvertently lock your cat out of the bathroom.


Oftentimes, your cat's poop is the first indication that something is wrong health-wise. If you are flushing the evidence it can be very difficult to catch any medical issues timeously. Early detection will not only reduce the vet bills for you but will also mean your cat suffers less.


Lastly, you are impeding their instinctive nature. Cats are hardwired instinctually to bury their waste. Just because your cat has evolved into a pampered house dweller does not mean that instinct is not there (next time they go in the litter box, listen to how they claw and scratch to bury their waste). If you replace their litter with the toilet, all you’re doing is removing their ability to bury, but the instinctual desire is still there. You might see them pawing at the area around the toilet and the inability to carry out their instinctive behavior might cause them stress, which can lead to all sorts of health problems

So what I recommend instead is to minimize the mess and work surrounding letting your cat have a litter box. 

  1. You can give your cat their own personal area to do their business by giving them a litter box cabinet. This keeps all the mess in one place for easy clean-up.
  2. If your house does not allow for this, choosing the right place to put your cat’s litter box can minimize a lot of litter box misuse behaviors.
  3. Choosing the right cat litter for your cat's health is extremely important. I recommend Pretty Litter and  Dr. Elsey's Litter.
  4. You can also use an anti-cat-litter tracking mat to stop the litter from spreading all over your home. This mat is the one I recommend.

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H

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