Seven reasons not to train your cat to use a human toilet (and Jackson Galaxy doesn’t like it either)

Here’s 8 reasons why it might not be a good idea to train your cat to use a human toilet.

Cat on human toilet
Picture in public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Jackson’s Thoughts

The first reason, and I think this is perhaps the most important, is that Jackson Galaxy provides us with a word of warning about training domestic cat to use a human toilet. He has watched the videos and decided that cats become stressed when using human toilets because it is unnatural to them and they feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. To use his own cat language, it is a “Mojo fail”. In other words is not good for a cat’s Mojo. It doesn’t fit in with the domestic cat’s idea of what life should be like and clashes with the “raw cat”. In essence, when people train domestic cats to use the human toilet they are doing it for their benefit and from the cat’s perspective it less good than using an appropriate cat litter or the outside (earth).

Assessing health

Having got that out of the way, here are seven more reasons. The first is quite an obvious one which is that it’s useful to see your cat’s poop and to be able to assess the frequency or volume of urine that your cat is producing. You can learn something about your cat’s health in respect of potential diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney dysfunction, cystitis, dehydration, diarrhea and urinary obstruction. In fact, the ability to be able to check up on your cat health in this way is also prevented if your cat goes to the toilet outside. This is an additional argument for keeping your cat indoors.

Toxoplasmosis

The second reason is one that I don’t want to bring up but it has to be said. Toxoplasmosis is a disease which has being thoroughly discussed. Domestic cats are the primary vector for the disease and they can poop oocysts of the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. If these go into the main water system because they are not filtered out by water purification plants then they can end up in the sea where it is argued they can hurt marine wildlife.

Lid

The next issue is a practical one. The toilet lid has to be always open if a cat uses the toilet with humans. This therefore means training the people who live in the home to ensure that the lid is always left open and if not it may lead to unfortunate consequences such as peeing and pooping in the home in inappropriate places.

Access

Cats are used to having access to the toilet whenever they want and there is a question as to whether they are prepared to wait if somebody is using the toilet. Perhaps they might decide to go somewhere else instead. Or perhaps somebody has closed the toilet door by mistake. Or perhaps there’s a guest in the home and he or she has forgotten that the family cat uses the toilet and leaves it inaccessible. Once again this may lead to unfortunate consequences.

Jumping Up

A cat litter is always on the ground and is therefore accessible by all cats including elderly cats with arthritis. A domestic cat has to jump up in order to use a human toilet. Apparently, 30% of cats over the age of eight have arthritis to varying degrees and the disease is present in 90% of cats over 12 years of age. These cats may have difficulty jumping up which may prevent them from using a human toilet.

Natural Instincts

The next point I have touched upon in the opening paragraph. It’s about a cat’s natural instincts to bury their poop and use the toilet as a marker. Jackson Galaxy supports this which is that the cat litter should not be over-cleaned because it is meant to smell of cat faeces and urine. Cats expect this. Cats use urine as markers and can also use faeces as markers for that matter. Cats sometimes like to bury their poop but not always. Using a cat litter allows a cat to express their normal behaviour whereas the human toilet does not. This may cause stress in the cat.

Travelling

The next point concerns travelling. If your cat is going with you on a trip perhaps to see friends there may be complications if your cat is trained exclusively to use a human toilet. The same could be said about staying at a boarding cattery. If you are going on holiday and you’re leaving your cat at boarding cattery I think you will find that there are very few if any which allow cats to use a human toilet. They would have to use a cat litter. It is likely that a cat will use a cat litter even though he or she has been trained to use a human toilet but this may cause complications.

As mentioned in the first part of this article, the most important aspect of these negatives in relation to using human toilet is that a cat is likely to become stressed and that you’re doing it for yourself rather than to enhance your cat’s welfare. The last point is a moral issue with which each of has to wrestle.

5 thoughts on “Seven reasons not to train your cat to use a human toilet (and Jackson Galaxy doesn’t like it either)”

  1. With all the close contact people have with cat litter, including breathing it in and reading of no incidence of people becoming infected by this oocyte that is supposedly in all cat poo, I’m still of the opinion that it’s a red herring. It’s another one of those objections cat haters love to glom onto and construct an issue that just isn’t there. It sounds scientific but it’s not. There’s no evidence of a problem or a possible problem or we’d be hearing about it from the EPA, the CDC and a dozen other agencies.

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  2. I was particularly struck by the notion that to make a deal about what cats might deposit in the waste water system be concerning, especially by contrast and in comparison to the astronomical, vast tonnage and variety by the minute of what we humans do is laughably insignificant. People shouldn’t be fooled and swayed by that kind of non-issue that only serves to make cat haters happy. I agree with most of the rest of it though. Bottom line it’s not better or even practical compared to litter box usage. Most cats can’t use the toilet and since that fateful day one of my cats took an accidental dive into it while I was taking a pee I’ve been very careful to keep the lid down and block access. Here’s one instance though where I experimented with the idea because this cat (Einstein) wouldn’t use the litter box, only the bathtub. As you can see I placed a toddler size insert to help him but he only stuck his head in it and studied it for days.

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    • I agree with you as usual. Personally, I am not against cats using a human toilet but I don’t really think it is viable except in rare cases. And it is too much about what people want and not about what is good for the cat.

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    • Toxoplasmosis is a real issue and it has been linked to the deaths of several marine and freshwater mammals. T. gondii infectious oocytes are excreted only in cat feces, and cats do not defecate in or nearby water when left a choice. Humans flushing cat feces, training their cats to defecate in the toilet, or throwing cat feces into a body of water is the only way that water is polluted by cat feces. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to kill these parasites, so if a persons sewage is connected to a city water supply then they are putting freshwater and marine animals at risk.

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