The cats arrived in SA on Saturday and are getting settled into the place Rob is currently staying. On Sunday I received the funniest mail from Rob when I asked him what he was up to “I was in an hour long willpower marathon with Midas and Lulu, the three of us locked in the small toilet until they had both been to the loo”.
You see, the thing is our cats are house cats so they don’t go outside, but they also don’t use a litter tray. They use the toilet. Nobody believes me until I show them a picture. This is usually followed by disbelief that I would spend the time training my cats to use the toilet and mutterings of “crazy cat lady”.
They used to use a litter tray, back in the day when my house was big enough to not notice the smell. Then I downsized and moved into a much smaller pad. The only viable place for the tray was outside my bedroom door in the hallway, and being an enclosed area it did not smell of roses. I desperately turned to Google for a solution (you know how you can taste what you can smell. That’s all I’m saying).
A link came up for something called a Litter Kwitter. I clicked the link and my life has never been the same since! I was at first sceptical, but there is a forum on the website and reading on I realised that this was possible, and actually very affordable – I’d save money after the first few months of not buying litter. I ordered immediately.
My cats are very resilient and flexible – we move every year and they cope remarkably well so I was confident they would give this a bash. I thought that we would try this system and if they didn’t like it then we would go back to using a litter tray.
The kit is very straight forward – a white toilet seat that clips over your own toilet rim, and then a number of coloured inserts, starting with a red solid one that you fill with litter, ranging to a green one with the biggest hole in and ultimately no litter. You basically have to move at a pace that is suitable for your cat and “wean” them onto the next stage where the hole in the insert gets larger and larger – made a much easier process with the use of cat treats every time they do their business in the loo. My cats LOVE treats. Especially Midas!
When you have a multi-cat household inevitably one of the cats is going to get the hang of it much faster which can be a challenge, but to be honest we have only had a few accidents. One involved me leaving my Halloween costume on the sofa overnight to realise the next morning that Lulu thought that it didn’t suit me very much and had peed on it!
We have had a couple of times when we have had to go back to using a tray – if we go on holiday they stay at my aunt’s or a cattery so they use a tray then, and also Midas was very sick earlier this year so we switched back to the tray for a while.
The only downside is that they are very vocal cats – they are Tonkinese and they are a chatty breed with a very Siamese meow. It’s ear-piercing. They are also very smart, and realised that I had to see them doing their business to be rewarded with a treat, so they meow before they go to the loo. A LOT. We have weaned them off the treats now that they are fully trained, but they are still in the habit of calling us to watch, although I’m sure sometimes they are just having a grumble that they can’t go in a tray. They tend to go to the loo at around 5am…..meowing the whole time. Who need’s an alarm clock?!
We have always had to share a toilet with them throughout the whole process, but they actually get their own bathroom in SA – these cats just get posher and posher 😉