I am always simply amazed when I see a cat use the toilet. Even though I have seen it numerous times, I always wonder how do they do that. Well, here is one woman that not only toilet-trained one cat but she trained seven cats.
Wisconsin cat owner Suzanne Gmirek shares her bathroom with seven cats. (I’m sure there is quite a line to the bathroom in the morning.) Each cat (sometimes two at a time) jump on the toilet seat and take care of their business. After they are done, they wait for the treat that Gmirek has for them.
No, Gmirek is not the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. In fact, not too long ago, she really didn’t even like cats.
Her husband began feeding a feral cat outside their home. The cat then brought her five kittens to the Gmireks.
Gmirek brought the kittens into her home to “socialize” them. But she then became attached to three of them and decided to keep them. Except she had one condition.
“There was no way I could ever have had three cats and four litter boxes in the house,” said Gmirek.
She got some advice from her sister who had potty trained her cats and decided to transition the cats to the toilet.
The process took six months and it was filled with lots of trials and errors, and many accidents in almost every room in the house except for the bathroom.
Gmirek started with a special potty seat designed specifically for cats. It can be described as a litter box in the shape of a toilet seat.
After a month, she moved the special potty seat to the bathroom and gradually decreased the amount of cat litter in the box.
She then moved the cat seat on top of the toilet and purchased a second cat seat for the bathroom floor.
“The kittens were very inquisitive about that new Catseat with water underneath it,” Gmirek wrote in her online journal.
But the transition to the seat above water was too much for the cats. She needed to include a tray device that holds the litter before any of the cats would use it. She also gave lots of praise and food rewards.
The training then turned into a routine that started extremely early in the morning.
“I started the habit of taking all the kittens in the bathroom with me when I got up around 4 a.m.,” Gmirek wrote. “I cleaned my teeth and washed up etc., and the kittens knew it was time for them to go potty and theyâ€™d get a treat.”
If the cat didn’t go to the bathroom, he or she didn’t get to leave. Gmirek also stayed in the bathroom with them. She sometimes took her laptop in with her as she waited for the cats.
Finally, all three kittens had become toilet-trained, and Gmirerk was litter box free.
Now, her routine is the same. She still gets up at 4 am to have the cats go to the bathroom. The only thing that is different is that there are four more cats in the household.
The feral cat that they were feeding brought back another litter of kittens. Gmirek took the four kittens and trained them also to use the toilet.
She also took the mother cat, had her spayed, and released her back to the outside world. Gmirek said there will be no more kittens in her house.
“The rewards of toilet training the kittens are many so much more than just being litter free,” she wrote. “We learned so much about the kittens and the power of positive reinforcement.”
Source: GM Today