On another thread, Bluey said she taught hers. I have barn cats that desperately want to have house privileges. The other indoor/outdoor cats are not thrilled with the concept of sharing and there is territorial marking, as well. I know that I have at least 2 problems here to solve. The barn cats are dropping through the ceiling of one our rooms, giving new meaning to "dropping in". See the heated bed for arthritic dog thread in OT forum for details...
Basic cat management is more litter boxes than cats and the more cats, the more extra litter boxes and keeping them scrupulously clean.
Marking/spraying may still happen in other places.
I taught our cat to use the toilet with a thin transparent plastic cover to the toilet that held a little bit of litter in the middle and a smart cat.
Many pet stores sell them, the plastic inserts, not the smart cats.
Now, remember that if a cat has some health/physical/balance issues or is or eventually becomes old, you need to provide it with litter boxes anyway.
After a week of our cat using that litter box on the toilet, you cut the middle out and the cat will still get up there, turn around on the edge and use the toilet.
After another week, you can take the plastic mold and the cat won't mind the slick toilet seat and keep using it.
I have known several people that taught their cats and all were quickly successful, young, healty cats seem to take to it well.
Now, that is not a good solution as far as people hygiene, so you have to be very careful to flush and clean after the cat uses the toilet, we used Lysol spray to wipe it all clean every time, today there are wiping cloths with bleach.
The bad part is that our cat thought it was a great game to run and beat anyone going to use the toilet, jump there and use it first, so you had to stand there telling the silly critter to "hurry up, I got to go!", especially your first trip in the morning, like here:
Our cat came to us at about four months old from a litter found in a cat lady with 90+ feral cats in her house and was wild, I had to trap her with welding gloves.
We tamed her in the bathroom and she made a sweetheart, purring happily for all, even the vet.
She would cut rattler's heads off and bring the bodies as presents to us in the house thru the dog door.
That cat also loved to take showers with you and you then had to also dry her with her towel and hair drier.
If you closed the shower door, she would spend the time waiting for you on the counter, opening the droors and picking out the socks and dropping them all on the floor in a heap.
Our kit was transparent plastic and it went over the lid, not under, the edge soft plastic, so the cat won't slip at first, but it looked similar to that one in shape.
Neat that your cat learned on it's own.
Cats are amazingly smart, they just don't have any need to look up at us to learn to navigate their world.
I think that sometimes they think we need a little bit of hand holding, we are not really that competent, compared to them.
That is why they bring us stuff, or help us organize our world.
I have read that some cats do learn to flush as an extension of the scratch and cover up phase. Really, I'd kind of prefer the standard litter box to finding a "used" wc. Of course if one had a remote flusher like John Cage on "Ally McBeal", the bowl would always be fresh.
the cats never fall in?
that's a serious question, btw. (:
The cats I think feel that the pan is not that sturdy and so just sit on the toilet lid all along.
Or maybe they have been watching us and seen that, to use a toilet, you turn around and sit down and so they mimic us.
Our plastic form was rather flimsy and we put very little litter, so the cat didn't feel like stepping on it to scratch around any.
If you put much litter, a cat may just stand and walk around in there, not only on the lid.
I have not heard of a cat falling in, good question, but if one was that clumsy, I would say he may also be too clumsy to get on the toilet at all.
With some clicker training, you could teach a cat to flush and even to wipe the seat, I think.
He is a great candidate obsessively cleaning, too. what a great fellow to have help before the dreaded visit from "perfect" housekeeping relatives. You know, "normal" instead of horsefolk.
When I started teaching my horses via clicker training, "operant conditioning" they got just as giddy with the new language = trick=tidbit. They didn't want to stop! One of them carried a floormat around with him, so he could do the new behavior of standing on it. This was a step towards teaching him to stand on a block of wood for x-rays.
Teaching him to answer the barn phone was a mistake. All the deep breathing.....