Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: The Lesser Key of Solomon
Quick background: I live in a one-bathroom apartment with a roommate. My roommate and I each have a cat. Her cat is Henry; my cat is Claudia.
My roommate insisted on toilet training Henry. She hates cleaning the litter tray and she claims to be "allergic to all cat litter." So I guess it made sense for her to want to try. She bought the Litter Quitter toilet tray system.
I felt obligated to go along with her plan and toilet train my own cat at the same time because I knew she would get angry and resent me if I refused to let her do this. And she assured me that if Henry had any access to a regular litter tray, he would exclusively use that instead. So we had to do both cats.
I wanted a harmonious apartment. I was content with a regular litter tray in the first place, though. So I was doing this 100% as a favor.
However, I hated the entire toilet training process. The cats would scratch waste and dirty litter off of the toilet seat, all over the bathroom. It made a disgusting mess. The toilet tray was impossible to scoop clean. It had to be fully scrubbed out every day or it would become foul. You had to move it every time you wanted to use the toilet. It honestly took much more effort to maintain than a traditional litter tray. I began avoiding using my own toilet at home because I just didn't want to deal with it.
Henry accepted it reasonably well. Claudia did not. She seemed to echo my dislike of the toilet tray setup and refused to use it for solid waste. She urinated in the Litter Quitter consistently but preferred to defecate elsewhere, usually in the most frustrating to clean areas possible: behind the toilet, on the bath mat, on my bed.
Believe me... I thoroughly cleaned everything. I did not want to live in a gross animal pen. But my cat would not defecate in the toilet tray no matter what. I tried clicker training, lifting Claudia onto the tray when she had to go, putting her waste on the tray, that Cat Attract stuff, loads of Nature's Miracle everywhere.
I secretly set up a litter tray in my bedroom closet for Claudia to use privately. That worked for a few days. But it turned out to be true that Henry would stop using the Litter Quitter if he was aware of a regular litter tray around. He learned how to open my closet and bedroom doors, and would sneak inside to use the litter tray. When I put a latch on my door he urinated and defecated on the floor instead. So I had to give up.
Then for a while we were back to only Claudia eliminating on the floor, which was relatively better. But in time Henry started eliminating around the house on a regular basis again. He was still using the Litter Quitter tray sometimes, but seemed to regard it as merely one option among many.
Throughout this whole stupid process my roommate kept assuring me "Oh be patient, it's only been ___ weeks! They'll get used to it! You can train any cat to do this! Think how great it will be when we don't have to buy litter!" and etc. But I lived with this for three months and it only got worse over time. It was not worth it in any way. Especially since I was the one doing most of the cleaning.
Finally my roommate's cat urinated on HER bed instead of mine. And suddenly that was enough! She was ready to quit! What a great coincidence. I promised to take responsibility for all of the litter cleaning, as long as we live together, in exchange for her never trying again. We now keep a normal litter tray in the spare room. No accidents. I keep that thing spotless.
I don't recommend toilet training a cat to anyone without strong motivation, multiple bathrooms, high tolerance for cleaning up cat waste all over the house, and willingness to scrub the toilet tray, the toilet, and the bathroom floor every single day for months on end.