Cats Learn to Use Toilet Faster than Kids!

This is what I’d call cat trivia: sort of interesting but not much use to mainstream cat owners.

Toilet Train Your Cat Plain and Simple
Toilet Train Your Cat Plain and Simple
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Clifford Brooks has written a book about a foolproof way of training domestic cats to use human toilets. You have seen the pictures of cats balanced precariously on the rim of a toilet seat looking at the camera slightly bemused as if to say “why the hell am I up here?”

His book is called Toilet Train Your Cat, Plain and Simple. His theory is that domestic cats should be domesticated enough by now (10,000 years in the making) to grasp the technicalities of using the human toilet. Needless to say he is a big believer in the capabilities of domestic cats.

Brooks’s book seems to be part of a trend at the moment of self-help kits for cat owners to relieve themselves of the tyranny of the dreaded litter tray and the daily necessity to clean it. Frankly I don’t see the bother. I can clean a litter tray in 60 seconds and do a good job of it.

Brooks has trained all of his cats over 25 years to use the toilet. He says that a cat using a human toilet is grown up behaviour!

The surprising news is that Brooks’ friends who have children and who have trained their cats to use the toilet as directed by Brooks say that cats learn faster than kids. The process is similar to training human children “except it is faster for cats”.

I am at a disadvantage because I have never had children and therefore never had the pleasure of training a toddler to use an adult toilet. For cats, Brooks advocates the following technique:

A bowl is placed in the lavatory. It is filled with cat litter. The amount is steadily decreased – then with an ever increased size of hole. Training should start after the cat is six-months-of-age.

“It takes time and patience but it pays off” says Brooks. The process should be slow. Some believe it can be done in 21 days but this may be a fallacy. It you push the training along too hard the cat feels like they are being pushed to do it rather than wanting to do it. This leads to an uncooperative attitude to put it mildly.

There is an interesting downside to toilet training your cat Brooks says. When the training has been successfully concluded and the owner feels the urge to do to the bathroom (or ‘loo’ in England) she may find that her cat jumps ahead of her to use the lavatory before her. She’ll have to wait. Why does this happen? It has baffled Mr Brooks.

I have briefly though about this. It must be to do with friendship and bonding. The scents (to put is politely) that humans produce when on the loo (or just before hand) are attractive to cats. They want to participate and be part of the action. When a cat owner wants to go the cat picks up this desire and wants to participate to the extent that he/she wants to go to the loo themselves. It is joining in and following mother cat. The reason will be something along those lines, I believe.

Stephanie Medeiros did the illustrations for the book. They look brilliant.

5 thoughts on “Cats Learn to Use Toilet Faster than Kids!”

  1. I realize that it can be convenient for the cat parent (?) to teach the cat to use the potty, but I agree that is more important to check the litterbox for changes in the cat’s health. Many years ago, when teaching one’s cat or cats to use the toilet, we did train 11 cats to use the toilet -and they learned so very much faster than our children. but since the last of the 11 passed, I haven’t trained any more to use the toilet. I have one cat who has to use the litterbox when I use the toilet. It’s quite touching. And he gets his petting and kisses afterward.

  2. While the “cat toilet” may appeal to some humans,in my humble opinion, it is doing no favor to the cats, nor to conscientious parents (owners) of cats. {Yes, buying quality litter is expensive, and scooping and disposing of the waste is time-consuming.) However, that has been my choice in over 60 years of raising and living with cats.

    Of course, Mr. Brooks has years of experience training his cats successfully to use the human toilet. I wonder however, how successful he has been in catching early symptoms of kidney or bladder problems in his cats. Quite often, the first symptoms of those problems is visible blood in the litter

    Of course, sometimes cats with those problems will
    “urinate out of the box,” so that could be his first clue.

    I’ve recently seen a couple of those commercial “cat toilets” that fit on top of the seat of a human toilet. I would pass on those too, for the same reasons.

    I don’t claim to love my cats any more than Mr. Brooks loves his, so I’ll just have to politely disagree.

    Heck, I might just buy the book out of curiosity. 😀

      • thats interesting cuz in America our waste water goes to treatment plants 1st if im not mistaken, & i guess i thought most sewers did the same. thats what i do with mine. i flush it. it saves money(which is in short supply in my home with 2 teen-aged daughters), & cuts down on the plastics 1 must use to put the feces in before tossing it into the trash. i did that in the beginning, but after thinking about it it seemed the cheaper & wiser course of action would be to flush it. if u r saying that said water goes straight out into the water table then thats not good in any sense as we flush many things in the toilet & many toxic substances go down the drain as well. so either our governments r being unsafe by sending our sewage into the local water supply or something is amiss cuz it would take a lot of feces to pollute the water enough to kill these animals. i wonder if it doesnt come from other sources that r already IN the water these animals live in. just a thought.

      • Michael, I’m embarrassed now. At one time I was almost “the queen of toxoplasmosis!” The first time we had a cat who was treated with radioactive iodine, California had a rule that the toxic waste had to be kept separately in plastic bags with labels stating that they contained toxic material.Most people were (are) not familiar with this law. I wrote something about the laws (both federal and state. Although the company that now owns what was has deleted my original article, there is a brief mention in this one about this law.
        It referred to the threat to otters and whales, in the same way that you related, above. GMTA, Michael!


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