If Your Cat Had Kittens:
A Cat Tale -- Toilet Training
by Frank L. Iber, MD
In the days long ago, most lady cats were not spayed and ran free at times in the great outdoors. Almost every one presented her owner each year with a litter of kittens. These lovable and playful infants posed a dilemma as to exactly what was to be done with them in the future.
A cat-loving woman who worked with me had a unique solution. Her favorite tabby cat taught herself to use a flush toilet rather than a litter box. (The cat did not flush the toilet but did use it for urinating and defecating.)
This novel skill was a frequent subject of curiosity among associates, and the proud owner displayed photos like a mother of firstborns. Most people greeted this attainment with wonder, and not a few asked to witness the performance.
Since the proud owner faced the problem of an annual batch of kittens, she wondered if this skill could be taught to the youngsters. With endless patience and the example of their mother, as well as some mistakes, she found that she could teach all of the kittens to use the toilet and could dispense with the litter box.
Once the kittens were toilet trained, there was no lack of willing friends and even strangers to adopt a toilet-trained young cat. Over the years, once she adopted this plan, she trained more than 20 cats to use the toilet and placed all of them in new homes. As long as she was a cat owner, she was delighted to have her annual batch of fresh kittens to train and then to provide them with new loving homes.
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Image credit: photos by Rea Ginsberg
Dr. Iber is a retired gastroenterologist, a specialist in diseases of the liver. He has written widely and taught extensively. He maintains many active interests in addition to his profession, including the travels of Lewis & Clark. He and his wife live in suburban Baltimore MD.