There are people who train their cats to use a toilet versus a litter box. I can understand the appeal especially for those individuals who do not want to deal with litter boxes. My concern is that as an animal ages, they often have issues doing stairs or even stepping into a litter box with higher sides. Just as us humans struggle with more difficulties with movement with age so do animals. Therefore, an aging cat will undoubtedly have more and more difficulty making the jump plus the balance it requires.
Even if the aging cat continues to be able to make the jump, this does not mean that it’s not hard on the cat’s body. As with a human–and I will use me as an example, I can still do all the things I did when younger, but there are often more consequences. For example, I can still jump but if I did it a lot or repeatedly, I know my knees would start to bother me or the lower back and the more you irritate something the more issues start to surface. And so it would be with an aging cat who is constantly required to jump and balance on the toilet seat. And then if they”re unable to do it and start doing their “business” in other places other than the toilet, I am concerned how many people will understand that maybe it’s not their cat misbehaving so to speak but that they truly cannot physically do it anymore.
I remember many years ago a client upset because her cat was no longer using the litter box. What I determined was that this old cat was having difficulty doing all the stairs to get to the box; I reminded the client that it would be similar to expecting grandma at 100 years to walk up and down a flight of stairs to use the bathroom. The client said, “I never thought of that”. Once the boxes were relocated on the main floor where the cat lived, the toilet box issue was resolved