Ok, folks. Not much is going on with me lately (first cardiopulm exam next week…gearing up to enter “study mode” for the next 10 days, laundry skills slowly failing again…same old same old), however, Callie has some updates.
We began the CittiKitty experience on October 1st. We spent the first week with the CittiKitty tray on the floor next to the toilet (after a couple weeks with her litter box moved into the bathroom without any problems). After that first week, we moved the tray to the toilet and began our adventures. That was October 7th, or Day 1. It is now Day 58, two days past the advertised “8 weeks!!” to potty train a cat with the CittiKitty. And she is soooo not potty trained. Let’s recap:
Day 1 to 7: CittiKitty tray in the toilet, not especially stressful. Successes all around. Self-congratulations.
Day 7: First ring removed. Panic ensues. Floor pooping incident. Bath mat vigorously cleaned. Insert tray used with a 1/2 size ring. Much better. Cautiously proceeds.
Day 8-13: Successes! Very little stress seen. Slowly transitions to full size ring 1 removal and insert tray is put away. We are doing great. This is fun, this is silly!
Day 14: Second ring removed. Panic ensues. Floor pooping incident…in the bedroom. Carpet vigorously cleaned. Insert tray put back in at step 1 size. All seems good.
Day 15-20: Half of ring 2 cut out of insert tray. Seems fine for a day or two. Then, two accidents, despite toilet paper method, many treats and assistance. First accident in the BATHTUB. Second on the bathmat. Bathmat and bathtub vigorously cleaned. All feel hopeless.
Day 21: Toilet paper method used with the 2nd ring ring cut out. Tentative success.
Day 22-27: Successes had. Stress decreases. No major incidents. 10 days without incident, toilet paper gone by Day 25 or so. Everyone seems pretty okay. Decide to keep ring 2 for another week.
Day 35: Instead of immediately cutting out ring 3, only small sections are cut away, almost imperceptible. Or so I think. She is discovered mid-poop in the bathtub. Firm scolding (and vigorous cleaning!) takes place. One inch of water is placed in the bottom of the bathtub. An hour later, determined to finish her poop, she jumps in and freaks the F out. Splashing and crying, she can’t get a grip on the linoleum and ends up traumatizing herself. Guilt and depression felt all around. Once dry, she is very clean. One small silver lining. Back to toilet paper method.
Day 36: No trouble seen besides a bit of nervousness.
Day 37-42: Pretty uneventful. One bathmat accident early in the week due to human/husband error of leaving the CittiKitty tray on the floor and not replacing it when he left for work. No kitten repercussions. Reassurances all around…and (you got it) vigorous cleaning.
Day 43: A bit more of ring 3 is cut away, less than before. About half of ring 3 remains now. Cal doesn’t seem to notice. No incidents.
Day 44-49: No troubles. A bit more of ring 3 is cut out. No troubles. We are all feeling very stress free and happy. Have we figured out the CittiKitty secret?!
Day 50: A bit more of ring 3 cut out. There is now only about 10% of the ring left before we have only two more rings. She continues to do great. Full size ring 3 set for Day 55.
Day 55: Husband reports suspicious bathmat behavior. He placed her on the toilet and put the bathmat up off the floor. She does her business and we raise an eyebrow and proceed with removing all but a very small piece of ring 3.
Day 56: Bathtub poop. Callie is reprimanded, bathtub is cleaned and filled with an inch of water, Callie is placed into the bathtub. She freaks out, but manages to get out of it a lot quicker than last time. We stay in the bathroom together for about an hour, getting dry, and having a few treats on the potty with lots and lots of encouragement. Callie seems distrustful at first but begins purring after a few minutes. She even offers a little kiss. Guilt is a bit assuaged.
Day 57: No troubles per se, but she seems to be holding her poop and is cautious of the bathroom. Will run out of it if anyone approaches when she’s near the door. Successful potty use in mid-afternoon. Towards the end of the evening, she starts sniffing around the bathtub again. She is given a menacing look and runs off. Before bed, the shower curtain is pulled tightly closed and shower gel bottles put on the ends to dissuade nighttime bathtub pooping. The drain isn’t good enough to keep an inch of water in all night, so we hope this will be enough.
Day 58: Today. Husband reports bathtub poop. Shower gel bottles are not disturbed. She must have actively slipped under the shower curtain like a little jewel thief! Bathtub cleaned. No reprimands given…it’s too long since she did it and I can’t handle her freaking out again. Instead, I find a small cup and place it over the drain, creating more suction and fill the tub with an inch of water. It doesn’t drain. So I leave it there hoping that it will dissuade her from jumping in. I find it pretty unlikely she’ll go there if there’s water. I also went back to the toilet paper method (it’s been almost three weeks since we’ve had to do this!). Right now, she’s stretched out on the couch sleeping and seems completely stress free and happy. She hasn’t been into the bathroom yet.
Overall, I think we are actually making progress. I’ve discovered in my research that most people give up at about the two month mark if they aren’t seeing success. I have to admit that I thought about throwing in the towel myself this morning. However, compared to many of the quitters, Callie has actually had a lot of good days and 95% of the time she poops in the toilet (and 100% of the time she pees there, no pee trouble since Day 1!). It’s the transitions that are difficult and that’s where we have to be understanding and not move too fast. This process DEFINITELY does not take 8 weeks. If she does okay for another week, I’ll go to the full ring 3 and I’ll probably keep her on that step for a week before I even start slowly cutting away at ring 4. Honestly, I think this might take closer to 12 or even 16 weeks to complete. But I’m hopeful! And we really have saved money and energy already. I NEVER have to deal with cat pee and the litter is immediately flushable. It’s not a bad deal. It just takes a heck of a lot of patience and time. And cuddles. And sometimes water in the bathtub.
Anyway, just thought I’d give a little update. And now it’s off to memorize some cardiac electrophysiology. Woo!