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Cat Behavior

Toilet Training Cats: Pros And Cons

If you have a cat, you know how stressful it is to train her to use a litter box. A litter box for cats is like a bathroom where your cat is free to dump her wastes and urinate. But over the years, people have been training their cats to use the toilet as well. I’m pretty sure you have seen those cats sit on a toilet, take a poop and it got you thinking, “Can my own cat do that?”

Before you rush to buy a toilet training guide for your pet, let me tell you that not all cats will be able to successfully be trained to use the toilet us humans use. There are pros and cons that you should consider and these pros and cons might just dictate if you want to toilet train your cat or not.

Toilet Training Cats: PROS And Cons

PROS 1. No more poop to dispose of. Unless you wear a face mask, you will get in contact with all the bacteria in your cat’s poop by inhaling them. Inhaling them is unhealthy. But if you train your cat to use the toilet, you might as well say goodbye to those days when you should dispose off the poop from the litter box because that is no longer needed.

2. Saves time, money and space. Obviously, when your cat is toilet trained, you don’t have to worry about the litter box you’re gonna buy, whether it is out of stock or not. Likewise you don’t have to buy another bag of litter which could be costly to you, and you don’t have to think about the right place where you will put the litter box because your cat now knows how to use the toilet.

3. No more litter problems. Do you remember those days when you used to panic at the thought of your favorite brand of cat litter running out of stock and not buying it any longer? Those days will be gone because you are now teaching your cat to use the toilet. In don’t forget the fact that people buy cat litter online and the possibility of receiving the product in bad shape – spillage, leakage or the possibility it’s not on your doorstep yet because of the long shipping period. Those days will be gone, too. In other words , all your problems concerning your cat’s litter will be eradicated because you are now choosing to toilet train your cat instead.

4. No more stress for the little boxes. Litter boxes serve as your cat’s bathroom especially where she’s free to shuffle around and kick the litter around with her feet. If your cat is toilet trained, all your problems relating to your cat’s litter box will be eliminated as well.

That means no more delivery time lag,  no more trying out multiple litter boxes just to see which will suit your kitty and no more spending on dollars for those litter boxes that are draining your pocket.

As wonderful as it may be to see your cat use the toilet designed for humans,  things don’t go perfectly that way.  Believe it or not, a lot of cat experts don’t advise cat parents to teach their feline friend how to use the toilet due to the following reasons.

CONS 1. It works against the cats natural instincts. Your cat, no matter how domesticated, still practices some things that don’t differentiate them from the cats living in the wild. When cats eliminate, they cover their wastes with surfaces outdoors to cover their tracks from potential predators that might be looking for them. You could never get her to unlearn those natural instincts even if she knows how to use the toilet. If she’s abandoned in the streets, your cat will go back to her natural instincts to survive and she will fend for herself with her own instincts too. So, toilet training doesn’t go well with how she naturally is and goes against her instincts as an animal.

2. The smell of poop will stay specially if the cat is not taught to flush the toilet. As mentioned, not all cats will be trained well to use the toilet. Even if the cat is taught well, there will be times when she will make a sloppy mess in your bathroom. What’s worse if you want to use your toilet right away, you would not have the time to clean up the mess your cat left behind.

3. Your cat will have accidents not sitting on the toilet. Let’s face it, this is probably the biggest disadvantage you should consider when thinking of training your cat to use the toilet. Your cat has amazing sense of balance but that doesn’t mean that you can rely on her to stay still on the toilet seat everytime she takes a poop. The toilet seat is designed to fit most humans but it is not designed to fit for the convenience of small cat feet. There’s always the possibility of your cat falling down the toilet and having an accident which will result to more bills just to get her treated. This will and does not happen if you train her to use the litter box instead.

4. Toilet-related accidents could cause your cat so much stress. Accidents on the toilet seat could cause your cat so much anxiety stress and fear. If this happens, your cat will be too terrified to use the toilet. This doesn’t happen if you train her to use the litter box.

5. Teaching your cat to use the toilet is time consuming. While it is true that cats could get trained because they are creatures of habit, it is still time-consuming. Cats must be taught for months before they fully understand the whole routine which is something that could get awry if your cat has an accident early on. Is she slides from the toilet seat because her feet are too small, she would be too afraid to use the toilet seat again and she would not possibly continue the training.

6. The toilet seat must be available at all times. Even when you successfully trained your cat to use the toilet you must remember that the toilet must be available at all times. So what does this mean? Let’s imagine this. What would happen if your cat is looking to eliminate but the toilet isn’t available because it’s being used by somebody else? Your cat will eliminate on the floor or somewhere else then a new habit might have been formed because of that incident. It’s so different with having multiple little boxes because you can place these litter boxes on every floor in case your cat is looking to eliminate regardless of where she is.

Teaching your cat to use the toilet has its perks and disadvantages. As always, it depends on you, her human cat parent, on what to teach your cat for her to maintain her personal hygiene.  Cats are indeed meticulous, hygienic animals but you as a cat parent have the obligation to make sure her bathroom habits will not be a source of stress in her everyday life. If you can help it, teach your cat to use the litter box so she could have her own personal space without having to worry about potential mishaps or accidents.

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Cat Behavior

How To Keep Cats From Scratching Deck Posts

Wondering how to keep cats from scratching deck posts? A lot of homeowners with a front porch have probably wondered the same thing. Imagine this scenario. You come home tired from work, when you decided to stay and relax on the front porch just to be by yourself. And then, to your surprise, some deck posts have been scratched notoriously by your cat. What a headache, isn’t it? As much as you love your cat, you know there are certain habits and behavioral problems that could exhaust every bit of patience you have. While it can be infuriating, please don’t yell at nor hurt your cat. As a cat parent, it’s important that you solve this problem and the burden of teaching your cat to be a good girl lies in you.

Why Do Cats Love To Scratch?

Unbeknownst to many, scratching is a natural instinct for cats. It is something you will never get rid of, unless you do something drastic, such as declawing. But why do cats love to scratch on various surfaces, anyway? Here are the reasons.

  1. Scratching for cats is an upper body workout for them. When they scratch, they stretch their upper body which feels good to them. This is the reason why a lot of objects they scratch on are usually tall sturdy and vertical things such as a leg of a table deck post and even chairs.
  2. Cats like to keep their nails sharp and in good condition. When they scratch they get to remove the outer sheath while maintaining the sharpness of their nails. This is also why as a cat parent you should trim your cat’s nails not only to have some time for them but also to keep their nails sharp.
  3. Cats like to mark their territory especially when they live in a multi-cat home. Cats release their scent which are uniquely theirs when they scratch to tell other cats they have been there before.
  4. Cats scratch on furniture carpets or even on tall vertical objects because they’re bored. When they have so much energy waiting to be released they could resort to certain behavior which could be problematic for you. This is why she spend some time with your cat so she wouldn’t get bored herself.

How To Keep Cats From Scratching Deck Posts

As mentioned scratching is a natural instinct for cats. You cannot get rid of this completely unless you decide to have her declawed. It is a cruel practice by the way. What you should do is redirect that behavior to objects where she’s going to scratch to her heart’s content. Buy cat posts and cat trees for your cat so she could scratch there instead. Cat posts and trees are available in various height and materials, such as redwood. Since there are many to choose from as a cat parent you only want what’s best for your baby. Sisal is one of the best materials for your cat because it’s sturdy enough and will not hurt your cat’s nails. Moreover it gives your cat feel good satisfaction whenever she scratches.

Put the cat post or tree near the place where your cat likes to frequent so in this case it’s the front porch. Whenever you see your cat scratching on the deck post bring her over to the cat post and encourage her to do her thing there. It will help if you put a lot of catnip all over the cat post so she could be motivated enough to scratch. Never forget to praise and pet her once she’s done so she could be motivated to scratch there.

To further avoid your cat from going to the deck posts clean the area with the solution that eliminates the scent coming from your cat’s nails. Next time your cat will not smell her scent there anymore.

You can also put on socks or soft cats on your cat’s paws she wouldn’t be able to scratch.
Make sure you have enough time together with your cat so she wouldn’t be bored enough to resort to destructive scratching.

Watch Out For Scratch Sprays

Cat repellent sprays are often advised to cat parents to make their pet go away from the furniture of their choice. The cat repellent spray is often mixed with some essential oils and water. Certain essential oils acts as a deterrent to cats because of their smell. However according to Spruce Pets, there are essential oils that are not safe for cats at all because of their chemical makeup.

Essential oils contain phenol a plant based compound. Cats don’t have the enzyme needed to break it down wants to essential oil gets into contact with a cat is taken orally is ingested or is licked to on their paws. When they accumulate overtime cats will software these health problems as consequences:

Tremors

Vomiting

Drooling

Wobbliness

Respiratory distress

Low heart rate

Liver failure

Therefore it is advisable not to use this essential oils as they may be too dangerous for cats.

Citrus oil

Tea tree oil

wintergreen

pine oil

Peppermint

Eucalyptus

ilang-ilang

pennyroyal

Sweet birch

clove oil

In addition you should not be using vinegar spray on your cat. Vinegar is acidic and an irritant. Your cat might suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, oral irritation and pain.
A good alternative to citrus-based cat repellent spray is rosemary oil. Just apply 10 drops of rosemary oil to water in a spray bottle, then add a dishwashing liquid. Spray the solution on deck posts so your cat will no longer hang out over there, and present the cat posts or tree to her so she could scratch there all she wants.

Other Ideas

Cover your deck toast with aluminum foil or sand paper or even double-sided sticky tape. Cats don’t like the feel of this objects so your cat will not have other choice but to walk away and lose her interests.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s 1. Be patient and loving during this whole process of training her. After all the result will be your deck posts and even your other furniture scratch-free. But if you yell at her or even scold her in other ways your cat will be turned off and will be too terrified to even be ordered by you. Therefore, be patient and more loving to your cat because every second of the training will be worth it.

  1. Say no at the moment your cat is scratching. You should reprimand your cat at the very moment she’s scratching your deck posts with a firm no and bring her over to the cat post or tree for her. That way she would know exactly what it is that she did which made you upset. If you catch her too late, save your reprimand next time but at least take her to her cat tree or post.
  2. Make sure the cents you use are safe for your cat. There are many ways your cat good ingest the essential oil available in your home. Diffusers, sprays, sticks and cotton balls are some of the ways essential oils can be used to spread its scent. Your cat could inhale, lick the oil on her paw, even on her fur to make contact with the essential oil. If you are doubtful about essential oil you use, better discontinue its use. Likewise, make sure the windows are open so your cat will not feel intimidated.

Don’ts 1. Don’t hurt your cat nor yell at her. The least you can do when catching her in the act is saying no in a fair manner and immediately bring her over to the cat post or tree. Reward her after she’s done so she could get the idea that she should scratch over there instead.

  1. Don’t spray directly at your cat. Any chemical might be too toxic for your cat whose side effects we may never know. So to be on the safe side, don’t apply or spray anything directly at your cat.