Can you toilet train your cat?
I don’t know, but Terence Lapidge says you can.
Terence is the co-inventor and president of Litter Kwitter a cat toilet training program that launched in 2005.
We spoke with Terence to learn more about the program and how this fascinating product really works.
It turns out, the infamous Mr. Jinx, the family cat from Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers was the inspiration for the company’s formation. Terence and Jo, his wife and co-founder, bought a cat, Doogie, for their kids. They quickly discovered the stinky, messy, daily litter box duty we all know and, ahem, love.
Jo and Terence were inspired to teach Doogie how to use the toilet just like Mr. Jinx adeptly does in the “Focker” movies. Of course, he can’t flush. (No thumbs!)
The couple went in search of more information about cat toilet training. They found some books and, when they couldn’t find any tools to help them, they made a toilet training device from parts they purchased from a hardware store. They consulted a local vet and behaviorist for advice and, voila! The Litter Kwitter system was born.
The system is a three-step program with “disks” that fit on your toilet seat. The disks have varying sizes of holes that get larger as your cat becomes more comfortable balancing on the seat. Your cat’s behavior is modified over time, in small increments. Terence says it takes an average of 4-12 weeks for most cats to get the hang of it.
The theory behind the Litter Kwitter is that cats bury their waste to hide the smell from predators. The water in a toilet bowl hides the odor from their waste more effectively than litter so the cat gets the same “covering” satisfaction as they would if they covered in the litter box.
Terence says almost any cat can be trained to use the toilet, but kittens tend to be easiest and smarter, more confident cats typically learn faster.
My most burning question about this system was: is this a solution for inappropriate elimination? Alas, there’s no proof that points to this. But, hey! There’s also no proof that discounts this idea either.