This page is a compilation of all my CittiKitty related posts for those folks who are primarily interested in that part of my blog! Good luck with your experience!
Oh the good ole days of ring 2…
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.
not a care in the world…
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!
There seems to be a few decisions for me to make these days. The first one was: how can we continue with the CittiKitty potty training for Callie in a way that is happiest for all of us?
She had a couple accidents when we first moved to the second ring. I don’t want her to be stressed about the process, but at the same time I know that once it’s all figured out, we’ll all be much saner than with the litter box. So for now, we’re sticking with it and as of yesterday, she seems to actually be doing quite well. In order to facilitate this, I did four things:
1. We invested in a new toilet seat cover. The original was hard plastic and very slippery with a slight downward angle that made it very difficult for Cal to stand on comfortably. It was also really cold all the time and I was happy to switch for people use as well! The new one has more of a matte finish and is softer and easier for her to grip. The brim is a little wider, too.
2. The toilet-paper method. This is something I have invented to supplement the CittiKitty training techniques. Essentially all you do is take a long strip of TP (about 10 squares or so) and stretch it across the bowl of the toilet. Then you place the CittiKitty tray on top of it and gently push down the TP showing through the hole to make a bit of space. Sprinkle some kitty litter on it. This is great to do for the first day or two after removing one of the rings. It helps her feel a little more secure and obscures the long drop into water below while she figures out how to adapt to the new larger hole without worrying about the water. After successfully using the toilet once or twice (with replaced TP each time getting progressively lower to the water/2nd tray below), you can leave off the TP completely with just the 2nd insert tray below to block most of the water (but we had the first 2 rings cut out of that one as well).
3. We removed the insert tray. This step really freaked me out because I was very nervous that she would be too scared of the open water below like she was initially. I was also concerned that she’d scratch ALL of the litter down the drain and I’d have to keep buying $12 bags of litter every week. However, she’s been fantastic. She hasn’t had an accident in 2 days since we’ve removed the lower tray and she doesn’t scoop ANY litter down the hole when she pees and only scoops a handful down when she poops. She has been using the CittiKitty as intended. I am ecstatic.
4. LOTS of rewards. I keep her treats in the bathroom and when I think she has to go and is feeling nervous, I’ll go in there with her and set her nicely on the litter and give her some positive reinforcement. Usually she figures it out and goes and immediately I get her a treat. Sometimes she doesn’t and in those situations I’ll leave and let her be in there for a few minutes alone. This fixes the problem 90% of the time. What you don’t want to do is say “oh, she really has to go but seems scared, but I’ll just let her wander the house until she decides to go in the potty” because she WON’T go in the potty, but somewhere else. That was Sunday (first day of ring two).
I think each time a ring is removed the following steps will be taken:
1. Remove ring.
2. TP method for two days
3. Day 3-TP method with TP very low in the bowl
4. Day 4-Bathroom positive reinforcement
5. Day 5-7: Free range with treats after successes.
She’s a good kitty!
CALLIE IS POTTY TRAINING. Yes, we’re using the Citti Kitty and she will be a toilet trained cat if it’s the last thing I do. We are officially on Day 13, and it’s been 5 days since our last accident. This process is actually pretty hilarious, so hopefully I’ll be able to get on here and give you some updates.
She definitely uses it now, but she could revert at any moment to floor pooping. Note the red duct taped lid…so no one closes her litter box…which would result in the inevitable return to said floor pooping.
Pic showing the different rings as Cal sniffs around, suspicious. We’ve removed the first ring (which was way too big for Callie, so we put the plastic insert underneath-see next pic). Today I cut away a bit more of the second ring, tomorrow I’m planning on taking it half out. The litter is flushable, which is good because she scratches pounds of that stuff down the hole.
This is the extra insert that has 1/2 sized rings for slow learning kittehs or ones that need to go back a step. When I realized I could just put it down beneath the main seat I probably saved myself hundreds of dollars of kitty litter that would have been scratched down the drain. Now I can just dump the clean litter that falls back into the main dish on top. In this pic I’ve taken out the tiniest ring just to reintroduce her to the idea that there is water under there. I’ll take out the next ring when I remove the full second ring from the top tray (set for Monday-1 week accident free!)
**Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions!**