Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The end of an error

Well, apparently Queen makes the decisions around our house because she has brought an end to the toilet training. Although my cats were pleased and delighted to use the toilet, Queen just could not do it. We decided to just end the whole thing. I found the old litter box, which to my surprise, was coated with dried pee from multiple failed attempts (by Queen) to reclaim her old familiar ways. After an hour of scrubbing and bleaching both the toilet training seat and the litter box, everything was back to normal for the cats.

While there are many benefits to toilet trained cats, one must consider if the means are worth the end. Before you take on this project yourself please consider the following; Do you want to share a toilet with your cats?? Really, think about it. This means that every time you need to use the bathroom you have to remove their seat (while you are still in the training process.) There is often cat pee and litter on the toilet seat as well. This is not especially appealing to guests--let me tell you.

So in conclusion, i still consider the toilet training of MY cats a success! i am confident that without Queen's resistance we would all be living in perfect toilet harmony. I have saved the training seat and decided that i may resume this project under two circumstances. 1. we live in a place with more than bathroom or 2. i live separately from my sister and Queen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Queen, she is a peein'

(Queen considers peeing on the bookshelf)
(Foster becomes bored of toilet training)
(my big baby)
Well, i would like all my faithful readers to know that Kahlo and Foster (my cats) are doing a perfect, wonderful job using the toilet. Queen, however, has not taken to it so much (or at all.) She has continued to relieve herself wherever she pleases. I still think this is a result of her name, and perhaps a charmed upbringing. For a while the place she chose was in a suitcase under my sisters bed. I guess that seems as good as any place to a cat. At first we thought maybe the kitty litter was too rough for her little royal feet so we got a softer litter. It made no difference. Now things have developed into an alarming situation. She has boldly and brazenly peed on my sisters bed multiple times--right in front of her eyes. Once my sister found pee and poop in the empty litter box that was waiting to be put away for good! At least that was a good attempt on the cat's part. All we can surmise from this action is that she's a little upset at the toilet training. I think maybe she has caught on that this is all my big idea because the other day i discovered some of my clothes that had fallen off a hanger in the closet had been peed on. Also this weekend, just minutes after i arrived home from a trip, she peed on my coat. My sister caught her mid-pee, but it was too late. So off my coat went to the dry-cleaners. Between the constant laundry and the dry-cleaning this is getting to be an expensive endeavor. Expensive, gross, and messy. But, oh, it would be SO worth it if it worked. I cannot and will not tolerate the smell of cat pee on my clothes so i may be forced to abandon the mission. We have agreed to give it one more try using the kitty litter that her royalty prefers ($$$) and if that doesn't work the litter box will be put back into circulation.

Monday, February 2, 2009

a stinky success!

According to my cat toilet training guide, yesterday was the day i was supposed to remove the litter box from the bathroom and set the cats free on the real toilet. My sister was very dubious and proclaimed that her cat, Queen, "would not be participating in toilet training." So, while my doubting sister slept, i emptied all the litter into a grocery bag hoping against hope that this is the last time i'll be doing this. After i had swept and cleaned the bathroom, i took the litter box outside and hosed it down. I made sure there was fresh litter and fresh catnip in the training seat. Nothing left to do but wait. So wait i did! It was hard not to check the toilet constantly to see if there had been any action, but i kept myself busy with more useful tasks. Later that night, around 11:00 i heard the familiar sound of a cat scratching in their litter. I got very excited but i tried to talk myself down, so as to not suffer another disapointment. I thought maybe a cat was just playing with the catnip in there.

A while later when i was almost asleep i smelled something--poop! Never in my life have i been so excited to smell cat poop! I jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom and sure enough, there it was. A glorious mound of stinking cat poop! I scooped it out and flushed it down the toilet but i was so excited i could barely get back to sleep. My sister was out at the time, but i immediatly sent her a text message letting her know the good news. This morning upon waking up, i checked the toilet and it was clear that a cat had peed! I was actually starting to feel a little ray of sunshine in my dark litter box world. As i was getting ready for work i went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and there, sitting on the toilet as natural as could be, was Foster. He was just peeing away without a care in the world. I was so excited, i grabbed my phone and took a picture (it's a little dark, but i think i'll post it anyway.) I tried to give him a treat, but he ran away. i threw the treat down in front of him, but he looked at me suspiciously, as if to say, "whats the catch?" Little did he know, he had already fallen for "the catch." I hope his little cat brain will make the connection between using the toilet and getting a treat.

I went off to work feeling very pleased with myself. That is, until i got a text message from my sister that said just, "a cat pooped on the floor." Well, that was alarming! I decided that it was her precious Queen who had taken that liberty, especially since my sister seemed to be giving her the message that she didn't need to use the toilet. My sister agreed that, yes, Queen was looking guilty and she agreed to have a little chat with her.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Evidence of action!!

Although i am technically still on "step one" which basically only entails putting the cats' litter box in the bathroom, i have kept their training seat on the toilet just in case my brilliant cats want to skip ahead. This evening when i got home, i saw some evidence of action in the training seat! Sure, there was no actual sign that any cat had used the seat for its intended purpose, but it was obvious to me that a cat had been on the seat. The kitty litter looked as though a cat had been digging in it and there were dirty little kitty paw prints around the rim of the toilet. Now perhaps a cat was using the training seat as stool or a step to get into some other kind of mischief such as walking in the sink or looking at herself in the mirror but i'm taking this as an excellent sign. A mother knows.....even a cat mother.

I must keep in mind however, that this comes on the heels of disappointment. A couple days ago, when removing the training seat so i could use the toilet, i noticed that some of the kitty litter was wet!! It appeared that a cat had made the right decision between a box and a toilet. On further inspection (which is made possible by my intensive forensic training courtesy of Court TV) i discovered that the water came from a drip on the toilet and not from a cat.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Step One

About a week after i ordered the seat, it arrived on my door (in a discreet unlabeled box-so there is no cat embarrassment.) Upon opening the box i found the cat seat, which sits under the seat of the human toilet (the part guys lift up) along with some treats and a little pouch of catnip, which was very considerate of them to include. There was also an instruction booklet. I was definitely feeling dubious as i explored my new purchase. This is more than just a purchase to me though, it is the promise of a life without kitty litter. After much laughter, i started to read the instructions. Step one was to move the kitty litter into the bathroom so the cat will get used to being in there. Well, Kahlo and Foster already use the litter box in the bathroom. It's only the appropriately named Queen who uses a separate litter box but since the instructions clearly stated to go at the rate of the slowest cat, i had to start there. I removed Queen's litter box so she could get over being royalty and use the normal litter box like everyone else. I was too excited to wait to put the seat on the toilet though, so i decided there was no harm in setting it up. I put the some kitty litter in the training seat and placed it on the toilet. It fit perfectly--just like i was promised!! There is truth in advertising!

When humans want to use the toilet, we have to remove the seat, which could cause any number of hilarious mishaps i'm sure. My sister wanted to take bets on which of us would forget and use the bathroom in the night without taking out the cat seat.

Well, none of the cats took any interest in their new facilities, but we sure got a good laugh. My impatience got the better of me and i decided it was time to get into action. I grabbed a cat and put it on the seat. Shocking--she jumped right off and hid somewhere far away. Attempt two, another cat was placed on the seat but this cat, too, decided it had better things to do and off it went. I couldn't even find the third cat--word was probably out about what i was trying to do. 10 minutes into the process and nothing!! Maybe they just didn't need to go right then, or maybe they are shy about their business. I decided what was needed here was a little help from a secret weapon--Catnip. The instructions told me i could put catnip in the seat to get them interested. So i sprinkled a little into the seat, over the kitty litter. Neither Kahlo or Foster can resist catnip. I found Kahlo and placed her in the seat, and miracle of all miracles, she stayed there!! She sniffed around, rolled around, did a little digging and then laid down right in the seat. Then i had a thought--Will cats poop where they play? I guess i'll find out. One thing was for sure though--the amusement of this situation was already worth the $30 i paid. I was feeling very positive about this situation thinking she really liked her new "big girl potty." She stayed there for a while and seemed pretty comfortable. Then, she got off the toilet, went into her litter box and pooped!!

the preamble

My one bedroom apartment is home for 2 people (my sister and myself) and 3 cats (2 of mine, one of hers.) Generally, cats should not outnumber people in a house, but we had special circumstances. When my friend suggested that I toilet train the cats, we all had a good laugh. However, the next day I took the time to investigate toilet training cats. I watched videos of cats using the toilet, proudly pooping into that bowl of water we all take for granted. I even saw one cat use his little paws to unroll the better part of a roll of toilet paper into the toilet while his owner cheered him on. I was suddenly overtaken with the image of walking into my bathroom and finding a cat on the toilet (perhaps reading the newspaper.) I pictured myself saying, “oh excuse me,” and walking out, making sure to shut the door behind me. After watching videos of homemade toilet training seats, which involved cardboard and saran wrap and all sorts of other crazy things, I decided the best option was to order a set of cat toilet training seats (‘cause that’s definitely not crazy at all.) Below is a description taken from the website where I ordered the seat:

The specially designed CitiKitty Training Seat securely fits on your toilet filled with a small amount of kitty litter. Your cat naturally uses CitiKitty as its new litter box.

Over a short period each of the four perforated rings are removed from the training seat thus reducing the amount of litter and enlarging the opening to the toilet allowing your cat to transition to using the toilet gradually. Once all rings are removed your cat is toilet trained!

For less then the cost of 2 months of kitty litter you can toilet train your cat with CitiKitty.

After reading that, who wouldn’t be convinced? I mean really. It’s sure to work! The seat cost $30, which I figured would totally be worth it if it worked. I bought it!