Toilet seat down…to save the day


I was rudely awoken this morning by a shrill, extremely high-pitching shrieking that caused me to jump out of my skin and then sub-consciously out of bed. I was half way towards the sound – wailing and screams coming from our bathroom – before I had even registered that I was up and out of bed.

And what did I find? Our kitten Ripley clawing desperately at the side of the toilet from inside the bowl. Someone, and I’m not naming names here…but Jim the Hubby, had left the toilet seat up and our curious new family member had taken full advantage of that.

I can only assume that she had jumped up onto the toilet seat – perhaps having watched her brothers and sister do the same when they climb up to the window ledge – to investigate what is up there. Ripley is only nine weeks old but she is starting to climb to see what is off the ground – countertops, kitchen tables, window ledges and, in this case, toilet seats have all been jumped up onto over the past few days.

So, the question is whether or not to continue leaving the toilet seat down to keep her safe. My husband, Jim, thinks she’ll have learned her lesson about jumping up onto the toilet seat following this morning’s incident but I am not too sure.

I have always been a firm believer in keeping toilet seats down – cats or not. It’s an OCD thing and just looks better in my opinion. However, where your cats are curious and a bit adventurous too, surely safer is better than sorry.

Cats are renowned for being nosey and wanting to check stuff out – particularly if it has deliberately been moved – put high up and out of their way just makes stuff far more attractive to kitties.

Now checking out the toilet may be something Ripley will do as it’s a natural instinct for cats to be curious so I think toilet seats should be left down if you have cats. However, I’ve heard of people toilet training their cats to actually go in the toilet itself. First of all – how weird is that and secondly, why why why?

Cats go in litter trays not toilets. Why the heck would you risk your cat’s life – and dignity – balancing on the edge of a toilet seat just for the convenience of you not having to change a litter tray? I’ve been asked by friends with cats why I am so against this idea and, having thought about it long and hard, my answer is that quite simply it’s against a cat’s nature so the only benefit to it is for you – the lazy cat owners – rather than your feline.

The most common reason for even thinking about this crazy idea of toilet training your cat like s/he is a toddler is to avoid the daily responsibility of litter tray cleaning and/or because you – as the cat owner – are adverse to the smell/mess.

That’s tough luck in my opinion as all pets come with some form of responsibility, they all make mess and smell when they’ve gone to the toilet and done a number 2. However, litter trays don’t need to be smelly or messy. It entirely depends on how often you scoop the poop and what litter you use. If you, like me, use odour neutralising litter then you will rarely smell anything bad.

Think of your cat’s litter tray as their very own toilet. If you don’t scoop the poop that’s already in it then that’s basically the same as expecting your kitty to use a toilet that hasn’t been flushed. So, if you love your cat, clean its litter tray rather than spending all of your time trying to train it to use the toilet!!




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