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[whitespace] Toilet Train Your Cat

By Jim Rendon

I wouldn't think it could be done if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes. Years ago, after an evening of collegiate revelry, I woke up to use the facility. The community feline, who made the rounds to different campus apartments as the mood struck him, was staying in my humble housing unit that night. As I turned on the light and rounded the corner, there he was, legs akimbo, squatting on the toilet seat, looking about as violated as a cat can look.

What else could I do? I turned off the light and waited my turn.

Not being much of a cat owner, I hadn't really considered the practice since then. But, as it turns out, this is something that people actually train their cats to do.

At www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.shtml, Karawynn Long, a Seattle writer, posts the sordid tale of her efforts to train her beloved Misha, complete with photos. Her page is referenced around the web as one of the definitive toilet training sites for the feline kind. The gist of the arrangement is to move slowly, and always back up if your feline friend resorts to leaving gifts behind the bathroom door.

Begin by putting the litter box next to the toilet and slowly raising it until it is level with the seat. Next comes the big switch. Long recommends buying a metal mixing bowl of the same diameter as the toilet. Stay away from plastic. It bends and can lead to one wet, messy, angry cat--and may well put an end to all of your anthropomorphizing goals. Set the bowl into the toilet, close the seat, add some kitty litter and let your cat go at it. The last phase gets a little smelly, but will hopefully pass quickly. Drop the kitty litter level until you're working with only a few tablespoons. Then switch to water, adding a little every day or so. Once you've got a few inches in there, you can remove the bowl completely. All that's left to do is to work out a signal for flushing.


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From the March 16-22, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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