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CitiKitty Review

Updated: August 15, 2016

Bottom Line

Pros

  • Some cats learn to use it

Cons

  • Not all cats can be trained
  • You still have to flush
  • Must leave toilet seat up
  • Humans have to deal with inserts while cat trains
  • Goes against a cat’s natural instincts
Our Analysis
Specs
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The Pitch: No more litter box!


The Verdict: Most cats just can't with this!

Teaching a cat to use the toilet instead of a litter box is not a new idea. The first kitty toilet training kit was the Litter Kwitter (Est. $50), invented by Australian entrepreneur Jo Lapidge. More popular in the U.S. is the CitiKitty Cat Toilet Training Kit, a cheaper version of the sturdier Litter Kwitter that was featured on the TV show "Shark Tank."

Both products work in a similar manner. You start by putting a closed disc device over your toilet seat that holds litter. The cat crouches on the toilet seat and goes to the bathroom in the litter (be sure to use flushable litter). When the cat is used to that step, you remove one of the discs, leaving a small hole in the center so that the waste goes into the toilet. When the cat gets used to that step, you remove another disc with a larger hole. If the cat's buying any of this, once they're consistently using the toilet well, you can remove that final disc and the cat will just use the toilet.

However, we need to put a strong disclaimer up about these products. Veterinarians almost unanimously think toilet training your cat is a terrible idea. Trying to go against your cat's instincts can cause behavioral issues, and dealing with behavioral issues with cats that involve elimination is the worst. Companies that manufacture and sell these kits try to minimize cats' instinctual need to bury waste, saying it's just a question of "smell," when it's almost certainly a much more complex issue.

Having made those disclaimers, (and, seriously, as cat lovers we hope you don't try to toilet train your cat), there are people who are going to do it anyway, so let's take a look at these two products.

The CitiKitty: has the most reviews of the two, probably because it advertises more heavily and the company is U.S.-based, but owners are largely unimpressed. For your $30 you get a toilet seat and three white training rings. For $35.99 you get an extra training ring, and for $60 you get two kits, presumably for those who have multiple cats or want a kit in more than one bathroom.

Some say the CitiKitty does work and that they are thrilled not to have to deal with litter boxes any longer. Still, the most successful users seem to have fairly young, intelligent cats -- and only have one. Those with multiple cats say it was nothing but a huge headache. Also, most say that it took much longer than the three or four weeks that the product says it will take -- sometimes as long as six to 12 months.

Also, we couldn't help but notice that most of the 5-star ratings we saw were from people who had not yet started to train their cat, but were excited about the idea, or who had been trying (sometimes for months) and were hopeful that it would ultimately work, so we had to discount those. Aside from many reviews citing lack of success, others complain that the CitiKitty is flimsy (and the cat feels insecure), or that it didn't fit their toilet seat.

Most upsetting are those who said they went so far as to lock their cats in the bathroom, or became upset when their cat rebelled and went to the bathroom on beds, rugs or in the bathtub. A cat's natural instinct is to dig, squat and bury -- trying to change that will work only in a tiny percentage of cases.

The Litter Kwitter: gets the same fairly dismal reviews as the CitiKitty for its effectiveness, but gets slightly higher ratings for being a sturdy product. It also includes three discs, but they're color-coded. Again, though, some say it does not fit their toilet seat in spite of its claim that it "fits all toilets." We also saw a lot of customer service complaints with this product -- or, more accurately, the lack thereof. Once you buy it, owners say, forget about being able to contact the company. Several reviewers even question whether the company was still in business (it is).

As we saw with the CitiKitty, owners of multiple cats say that one cat learned, but the other didn't leading them to have to give up on both, since having a litter box for one cat defeats the purpose. Others say their cat will go in it with the first, closed ring, but once you put an opening there they refuse to use it and find somewhere else, usually someplace inappropriate, to do their business.

The bottom line is that we don't think cat toilet training systems are a good idea. They may even be borderline cruel. In addition, keep in mind that you have to leave the toilet seat up all the time, often leading cats to play in the toilet instead of toileting in there. It can also be messy, as cats aren't exactly trained to aim, so you may have to clean up a mess before you can use the toilet. And, of course, if you have only one bathroom, you need to remove the cat's toilet before you can go. While we saw no expert opinions on the safety of sharing a toilet with your cat, the "ew" factor is definitely well up there for us.

Our Sources

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2017

In nearly 1,670 reviews, the CitiKitty Cat Toilet Training Kit earns an overall rating of 3.1 stars out of 5. Most say it simply did not work, or that it was extremely messy, or caused their cats to choose to bathroom on a bed, in a plant or on a rug. Some say it does work, but takes a lot of patience and can take up to 12 months. We saw quite a few 5-star reviews from people who liked the product, but had not yet tried using it, so that would skew the ratings upwards. The Litter Kwitter is covered elsewhere on this site, with similar, albeit fewer, reviews.

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