Easily the biggest drawback of owning a Bengal cat is cleaning out the litter box, but what if you could eliminate this chore by teaching your cat to use the toilet?
The truth is that there are many people that have successfully trained their cats to use the toilet, and since Bengal cats are smart and eager to please their humans, that makes it even easier to train them. We’re going to show you exactly how to train your Bengal cat to use the toilet.
In this post, we’re going to cover:
The main reason most people would want to train a Bengal cat to use the toilet is because simply flushing the toilet when you find that your cat has taken care of business is a lot easier than having to clean out the litter box, so it will save you a lot of time and work.
Training a Bengal cat to use the toilet can also save you money, since you won’t have to worry about buying litter ever again! For that matter, you also won’t have to replace your cat’s litter box, which you should be doing every year since microscopic scratches in the plastic can harbor dangerous bacteria, and the acid in your cat’s urine can break down the plastic over time.
Another reason for training your Bengal cat to use the toilet is for the health of your cat and the humans in the house. There can be a number of types of dangerous bacteria in cat litter, so when your cat is stepping into their litter box, they’re picking those up and spreading them around the house. Since using the toilet eliminates the need for litter, you won’t have to worry about bacteria.
Some Bengal cats may play in their litter. This can sometimes happen because Bengal cats are incredibly smart and active, and can get bored easily. A bored Bengal cat may find playing in their litter to be a fun activity, so if they don’t have it to play with, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up such a mess.
You should, however, make sure your Bengal cat has plenty of toys to play with instead!
Check out this young Bengal cat using the toilet. The green thing you see around the inside of the toilet is part of one of the training systems we’ll talk about later.
There are some instances when it’s better for everybody to choose not to train your Bengal cat to use the toilet. If you have multiple cats in the house, for example, it can be very difficult to train all of them to use the toilet since all cats learn at different rates.
Because all cats instinctively bury their waste so predators won’t find them by their smell, not being able to do so can be stressful for some cats that are especially particular about burying their waste. If going to the bathroom becomes stressful for a cat, it can be bad for their health or they may respond by going somewhere else – like your bed!
Young kittens (under 12 weeks) should not be trained to use the toilet because they are still working on their balance and have a higher risk of falling into the toilet while trying to use it. This can lead to a kitten getting hypothermia if they’re in the water for a long time, or they could even drown if they’re not able to get themselves back out, which is difficult with steep, slippery sides of a toilet bowl.
Older cats and those with arthritis or other physical problems that would keep them from being able to get off and on the toilet easily should also be allowed to stick to the litter box. Many older cats are set in their ways anyway and will not take to learning a new way to use the bathroom.
Before you begin toilet-training your Bengal cat, keep in mind that like leash-training your Bengal cat, it requires a lot of patience. And some cats may try it and decide that they just don’t like it. If that’s the case, don’t force your cat to use the toilet. Just switch back to their old litter box or consider getting a self-cleaning litter box that will be easier for you.
Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to train a Bengal cat to use the toilet:
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the bathroom that your Bengal cat will use to go to the bathroom. It needs to be one that they always have access to and that you don’t mind sharing. You’ll have to keep the lid up at all times, so be prepared to let guests know to do the same.
This will get your Bengal cat used to the bathroom being the place that they do their business, so you’ll also want to move it as close to the toilet as possible. Make sure your Bengal knows where their new litter box is or else you’ll find them still going where the old one was!
Sometimes cats who are set in their ways will need some additional time to learn where to go, which might mean that you have to move the litter box to the bathroom slowly, moving it just a few feet from its previous position every day. Be sure to give your Bengal cat plenty of time to adjust to each small change as most cats aren’t big fans of change.
Keep the litter box next to the toilet for at least a week so the new bathroom location is well-established before you move onto the next step.
Since cats don’t like changes in their litter, it’s best to do one change at a time, so you’ll want to switch them over to a flushable kitty litter at this point so that when you need that later, they’ll know what to do with it. As with all things with Bengal cats, you’ll need to switch them over slowly by mixing more and more flushable litter into their regular litter until it’s all flushable.
One type of flushable kitty litter is this Garfield Cat Litter which is similar to regular cat litter so it makes the transition easier.
The next thing you need to get your Bengal cat used to is having to jump up to use the bathroom. To do this gradually, use blocks of wood or something else to raise their litter box up about 3 inches at a time. You’ll need to leave the litter box at each position for at least 3 days before raising it up higher.
Be constantly checking to make sure that your cat is using their litter box like they’re supposed to every step of the way. If your Bengal cat takes longer to adjust at certain heights and has a few accidents while they adjust to this new system, it’s ok. Just be patient and let them figure out what they need to do to avoid accidents.
Once the litter box has been raised up to match the height of the toilet, you can move it onto the closed lid of the toilet. With some litter boxes, you may need to use a rubber mat beneath it to keep it from slipping when your kitty jumps onto it. Again, leave this here for at least a few days and make sure your Bengal cat isn’t having any accidents with this before moving onto the next step.
You can buy a kitty toilet-training seat (which we’ll go into details about in the next section), or you can make your own. Either way, this will go into the toilet beneath the seat. The first phase of the training seat will be about the same as a normal litter box, except that it’s inside the toilet rather than on top of it.
Once your Bengal cat is used to the first step of the training seat, then you can move onto the next step. Usually it takes about a week to make sure that your cat has gotten the hang of each new size of training seat, but may take longer for some cats.
The second step of the training seat involves using a seat that has a small hole in the middle to start getting your Bengal cat used to their waste going right into the toilet. If you’re using a professional system, just switch to the next step. If you’re using a DIY system, you’ll need to cut a small hole in the middle or switch to the next seat that you made.
Then you’ll move your Bengal cat up to the next larger hole and eventually be able to completely remove the training seat so your cat is going directly into the toilet. At this point, if you’re worried about your cat’s feet on your toilet seat, you can try to start leaving the toilet seat up so they can balance directly onto the porcelain, though some cats may have trouble with this.
And that’s it! Congratulations! You have now toilet-trained your cat!
Here is a video showing you how one person made her own toilet-training seat for her cat:
Here are the tools that you’ll need to teach your Bengal cat to use the toilet:
CitiKitty Cat Toilet Training Kit – This is one of the toilet training kits that you can buy if you don’t want to make your own seat. It’s made of plastic and has removeable rings that you cut out as your cat progresses through the training process. Because the plastic tray for this isn’t super sturdy, it may not work for larger Bengal cats that try to step inside of it to use the bathroom.
Litter Kwitter Toilet Training System – This is the other toilet training kit that will help you train your Bengal cat to use the toilet. It has 3 sturdy plastic trays that fit into your toilet which you remove and replace to move up through the steps. Although it’s more expensive than the other system, it’s sturdier and may work better for Bengal cats.
It also allows you to go back a step if your cat just isn’t getting it, which could make the difference in a toilet-trained cat and having to go back to the litter box, and has additional steps that can make the transitions easier for your cat.
Flushable Cat Litter – There are several kinds of flushable cat litter that can be used to teach a Bengal cat to use the toilet, including Garfield Cat Litter and Better Way Flushable Cat Litter. You may use either one, as long as your cat likes it enough to use it.
Once you’ve got the right tools, you’ll be ready to begin training your Bengal cat to use the toilet!
What about you? What are your reasons for wanting to train a Bengal cat to use the toilet? Have you ever tried? Share your experiences with us in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!