Welcome to our first Litter Kwitter Report, a journal entry in the ongoing series about toilet training our cats.
Toilet training our cats is the ultimate dream: no more smelly cat boxes in the swanky man cave, never having to haul mountains of litter home again, no more scooping into smelly plastic-lined bins, no more stinky cat toes tracking across the floor after the occasional misstep. The only inconvenience will be having to wait in line for the bathroom. I find that an acceptable – and even worthwhile – trade-off. “Bring it on!” I said.
While the idea is terrific, the execution is proving to be a bit of a challenge. We began training 4 days ago and I often have to remind myself that this is a process. If I don’t patiently commit, it will never work. Of course, it’s easy for me, as an individual, to do so. Asking my husband, two cats and two dogs to commit is the real trick.
THE FIRST TRANSITION
We are asked to remove all other litter options and to place the Litter Kwitter, filled with 5 cups of litter, next to the toilet.
Since our cats sleep in the man cave, they still need late-night access to the downstairs boxes. To compensate, we’ve locked the cats upstairs during the day with only the Litter Kwitter available.
We poured our usual litter into the Litter Kwitter for familiarity. (We didn’t want too much to change too soon.)
Day 1 Results
- Jackson finds tray, promptly claims new sand box, flops on his back and rolls ’round and ’round.
- More litter ends up on the floor than in the Litter Kwitter.
- Our hound, Emmett, pushes past the bathroom door looking for snacks. (He’s a powdered donut fan, if you catch my drift.)
- At 8 p.m., one cat pees in the tray.
- Kim and Husband do the happy dance.
Day 2 Results
House modification: Bathroom door now propped for cats with sneaker while chair blocks dog and/or human access.
- One cat pees in the Litter Kwitter in the a.m.
- Clean pan.
- Load new flushable, biodegradable wheat litter.
- Jackson rolls in it.
- Jackson eats it. Jackson eats lots of it.
- Husband frets about Jackson eating it.
- Kim feels Jackson shouldn’t be scolded for anything to do with the tray. It’s just wheat, after all.
- Kim pees in toilet to show cats end game.
- Cats hold solid waste for full day, waiting for night-time access to their usual box.
Day 3 Results
House modification: Bathroom door now propped for cats with sneaker while chair blocks dog and/or human access. Broom and mop permanently reside in bathroom.
- Kim scratches in pan to engage Jackson.
- Kim finds pee with finger. Seems you can’t see it with new litter.
- Clean pan.
- Wash hands.
- Kim pees in toilet to remind cats of end game – again.
- Kim watches instruction DVD.
- Jed enviously watches instructional DVD bloopers of cat shredding toilet paper.
- No “nothing” in the new litter by nightfall.
- Taking tips from the DVD, Husband brings cat beds to bathroom.
- Tuck cats in with new pan.
- Close door.
- Shelves crash over toilet.
- Kim and Husband remove shelf items, 3 remaining shelves, toothbrushes, etc. from room.
- Husband frets that he can’t use our only bathroom ever again.
- Husband suspects this is torture and it’s “backup up” our cats.
- Kim prays for poop by morning.
Day 4 Results
House modification: Bathroom door now propped for cats with sneaker while chair blocks dog and/or human access. Broom and mop permanently reside in bathroom. Bathroom shelves and shelf items strewn about kitchen island.
- Wake to pee in tray, litter on floor and unanswered poop prayers.
- Kim cleans tray.
- Jackson rolls in fresh litter.
- Jackson snacks on fresh litter.
- Cats still intact. No explosions yet.
- Kim fears outcome.
- Kim locks Jackson and Jed in the bathroom for disaster containment.
- Kim performs Vulcan Mind Meld. There will be poop, dammit.
- Kim types report.
That wraps up this week. Join us next Tuesday for an exciting new update from Genevieve, our team-training partner with challenges of her own. … Think positive for poop!