potty training our dog [and cats]

Sometimes you're uninspired. Sometimes you're inspired but the universe is against you regardless. This post was going to include cabinet doors all painted and hung. But sometimes you have half a day to get your project done before leaving for your long distance job. And sometimes, you realize that you either have the wrong door hinge or you're just a plain idiot. Like didn't pass 4th grade math kind of idiot. And trust me, if it was going to be anyone, it would be me.

I don't mean to seem like such a downer. There's been a lack of interior design related posts around here and I'm well aware. I've felt just plain tired. Exhausted. This weekend I finally felt like my mojo was coming back and I hit a big 'ol diy brick wall. It's really not too bad of a setback but I get so stuck on that final product and my expectations. I expected to see cabinets up today. To blog about it. To no longer see the inside of my cabinets [it's driving me batty]. But because I'm challenged, and because I have no time for a home improvement store trip, I give you: Potty training. For animals. You're welcome.

We will start with the cats. We had our cats potty trained. On a human potty. This usually gets some raised eyebrows and general "you're a crazy cat lady" glare or two but I'm immune to those at this point. I'm not sure how I learned about it but I found this product online and the reviews were impressive. Guys, this is 'Meet the Parents' minus the flushing. We never figured that out. 

I won't freak you all out by showing you anything detailed [and I cant find our rated G photos of the events since they were on my dead computer] but a simple google on youtube can tell you everything you need to know. So here's my tips for potty training your cat with Litter Kwitter. 


Training cats to use the toilet:

  1. Do your research. Read the forums. If you have an older or super young cat, this may not be the best choice. If you're crazy busy, it may not be the best time. Cats are smart and fickle.
  2. You start by moving their litter box into the bathroom on the floor. If at all possible, after some time as passed you elevate their box so they get used to that. Each change needs to come slowly. If it's too soon you will now by an "accident" in another place. 
  3. There are rings that are placed in the seat that come in red, orange, and green. They each have different sized openings so you can gradually move up and then not have one on at all. You use less and less litter as you go along. Make sure you use a biodegradable litter since it will be falling into your toilet [we used World's Best Cat Litter].
  4. Our white part of the litter kwitter didn't fit our toilet very well. We ended up using duct tape to hold it down so it wouldn't pop up during use. We also removed the seat all together during the process. The bathroom was off limits and for the cats only. The door was never shut. 
  5. If there are several accidents you are supposed to revert back to the previous step. Cats are habitual and like their litter. If you leave out large potted plants, they may see some activity. For us, stacks of magazines were a big target and had to be hidden away. Or piles of laundry. Take precautions. 
I have to say I loved it. There was something so freeing about not buying litter or having to clean it. We made it all the way to the green phase with the widest opening. Lola got it. She had no issues at all. But Otis had a harder time. I think it was due to his size [he's fluffy] and lack of agility. He had a hard time balancing on the toilet seat. HIs aim was horrible [read: male]. It was kind of sad. And then, in the middle of it all, we got a dog puppy. And that's how it all ended. We had to revert back because potty training three animals at the same time would've landed me in a mental institution. I would love to get back to it, assuming Otis could gather some coordination. 

Potting training your puppy:

This was enough to break the strongest person. Granted, we did little research in the very beginning. I had never owned a puppy and we went in blind. Since Charlie was so young, I doubt it would've mattered much at the start but we learned a lot along the way that we could've used. So let me get my Cesar Milan on and tell ya what I know.

  1. Don't ever yell at them for peeing inside. We didn't know this. But apparently dogs have a very short memory. So if you find the pee later and yell at them, they aren't going to associate the naughtiness for what they did in the past. Charlie seems to understand now but then he was just plain confused as to why we were yelling. You want to build trust and you don't want them to associate going at all with being bad. 
  2. Take them to the same spot outside, away from distractions [good luck], and don't talk to them. Once they've gone reward them with praise. Bringing treats outside can be distracting and they'll forget what they came to do.
  3. Use the bell method. First you take a bell and hit their nose lightly with it. Give them a treat. Soon they will figure out that hitting the bell with their nose = treats. Once they have figured out how to ring a bell on their own, take your dog out every time he rings the bell and don't give him a treat. He will soon associate bell = outside. The trick with this is that you have to take said puppy outside every. single. time. And if he went outside we would give him positive praise. 
  4. After we taught him the bell method we had such a big change in him. I wasn't constantly wiping things up or feeling angry. He seemed happier. Now, we have a bell around our door knob and he rings it when he wants to go. Unfortunately, he does abuse this privilege and rings it incessantly some days. If we notice he does this twice [and doesn't pee at all while outside] we will put him in his crate for awhile until he calms down or play with him [sometimes he just wants attention].  
  5. If you don't have a big bell tie a bunch of jingle bells to a ribbon and hang it on a door that isn't used often!
I hope this helps someone! We are not claiming to be experts in any way [anyyy way] but our processes were long and sometimes painful. This is what worked for us and I hope it can help you too! I'd love to hear about your adventures in cat or dog potty training. I'm sure there are some good stories out there!


  1. I hope things get better for you in the DIY department.
    I'd love to get my cats potty trained but they are just too old ;) it's so cool though. Is it strange that I'd love to see your cats use the toilet? LOL

  2. Potty training cats is smart yet totally hysterical! And so bummed to hear about your lack of mojo and then having the DIY gods against you once you got it back. :(

  3. This is awesome...you guys are my heroes!!

  4. This is so interesting. I have seen these contraptions for cats before but never heard of anyone actually trying them out.


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