CitiKitty Experience

I was extremely excited to find, order, receive, and use the CitiKitty. I was so excited, in fact, that I searched through the internet for advice/reviews, surprisingly to no avail. I decided to do a review of my own for future purchasers of the CitiKitty. It is always easier to have some support from somewhere. We haven’t finished our training yet, and are still anxious to see if it works.

To get your own CitiKitty visit their website: http://www.citikitty.com/.

Day 1 – January 13th, 2011:

I’ve had my fair share of potty training, however this training was solely on little persons. As big as my ego is on child rearing, it is nonexistent on the raising, training, or disciplining of a feline. To say I had my hesitancies on toilet training my cat, Knyckles, is a severe understatement. I will be posting updates on the success and/or failures of our CitiKitty experience periodically so that you too can see if both I and my cat have what it takes to potty train her.

After reading the very short and idiot proof handbook that accompanied our CitiKitty, I set up Knyckles bathroom in our guest bathroom. Yes, the cat has her own restroom. Both her previous litter boxes were removed and in place of them she had a tiny pretend litter box covering the toilet bowl. Despite my initial concerns, I was quite optimistic that Knyckles would be peeing on the pot in the minimum 4 week timeline. 36 hours later when she had yet to do her business and was meowing like a crazed animal, I was following her around the apartment making sure she didn’t just pop a squat on the laundry room floor. I even created a walkway out of a side table so that she didn’t have to jump onto the toilet but could instead walk into it like it was at the end of a runway. It was now 2:00am and I had been jumping out of bed every time she cried to stand next to her in her bathroom as she stared at the CitiKitty. Even this minuscule recognition of it earned a treat for her and she was finally getting in it and turning circles trying to make enough room for herself. And then finally, she dug out her cat courage and peed in the toilet…or into her litter box on the toilet. Hooray!

Cleaning it wasn’t the most fun I’d had all day either, although I was so elated that she’d gone in it at all that I might as well have been Snow White whistling while I worked. It wasn’t until the next morning when I found a little pile of pooh on the floor that I fully realized that this was going to be a long 4 or 5 or 10 week course in cat toilet training.

Week 2 – January 20, 2011:

Hooray for successes! Knyckles must have been ashamed of her accident being posted online for the world to see because she has yet to have another one! We removed the middle portion of the CitiKitty yesterday and a several days ago degraded her walkway to a small step/box. In a few days that will be removed entirely –yay! She’s already used the new version of the CitiKitty and I’m very proud and hopeful that in 3 more weeks we will have a toilet trained cat! I knew she could do it! KNYCKLES, YOU GO GIRL! This is what the CitiKitty looks like in week two:

Week 3 – January 27th, 2011:

Week 2 went well considering the task at hand. Knyckles didn’t seem to mind the removal of her walkway and readily used the box to get onto the toilet, however she had some technical problems with – how shall I say this – body placement (?). She still wants to have all four feet in the litter during the more serious potty business resulting in a couple of misses. I consulted a few highly unknowledgeable sources on the subject and we agreed that although she was missing, she was on the toilet and trying therefore the process shouldn’t be postponed. I’m assuming that as the CitiKitty itself becomes less and less she’ll readjust her footing and the problem will be solved. As long as she continues to get on the toilet to go to the bathroom, I’m happy.

My sources and I also decided to remove the box while the hole in the CitiKitty is still small so that she can figure out jumping and balancing without the threat of falling in, which I think would result in NEVER using the toilet again. While she had no problem using the toilet without the box, I am glad I started with the walkway. The walkway made it so much easier for her to adjust to the new litter box. Once she was familiar with using the CitiKitty, replacing the walkway with a small box and then removing that didn’t seem to hinder her in anyway.

However, there will be no photo since our week 3 will look exactly like week 2. Knyckles did famously until I didn’t clean it before she went number two leading her to do the doo on the floor – fail. She has started using the CitiKitty only at night while I’m sleeping. Why, I’m not sure. Could it seem humiliating to her? Perhaps. Would she rather have the comfort of knowing that the whole house is asleep? Apparently. Whatever the reason behind her now nightly ritual, I’m usually awakened by the constant scratching on the toilet lid, but not always. The CitiKitty directions say to wait a full week after an accident to remove the next portion; I guess that means human accident resulting in feline accident as well (?). To be safe and not rush my sweet cat, we’ll wait a week to take out the next section.

Because there is not enough litter for Knyckles to cover her nasty, it’s imperative that I clean it immediately for several reasons: the smell that not only wafts through the house but will drive her crazy if left uncovered and in case she has more business to do. It’s relatively easy to clean since the litter is flushable but in no way is enjoyable.

Week 4 – February 2, 2011 :

This is for the patient at heart. Luckily I’m very patient with small things like animals and children; it’s the large things I am impatient with like myself and appliances. After applauding myself on Knyckles using the potty without a step, we had a turn to the dark side. One day with no usage, two days with not a drop, three days without even venturing into the bathroom and in a few hours it would be four days. I was starting to panic imagining her little innards backing up and eventually exploding from her bullheadedness. I had replaced her box after the first day worried that perhaps she didn’t like jumping onto the toilet but that obviously didn’t help. As we hit the evening of the third day, I took my post next to her bathroom and encouraged away. She came and sat with me then lay on her box and thirty minutes later she was up there peeing, and peeing, and peeing, and peeing. She peed so much that it filled over half of the CitiKitty covering her back feet before leaking into the toilet. Aha! Perhaps this is why she didn’t want to go. I cleaned the CitiKitty and then followed her around from room to room until she gave up, trudged back to the toilet and finished her business. Since then she’s been going like a champ. I think she’s learned to go often so she doesn’t get her feet messed. She still won’t put her feet on the seat. We scraped by this week with no accidents, but I know for certain that if I wasn’t home and encouraging her we would’ve had one. Last night I removed the second portion and the hole looks huge! Wish us luck this next week.

Week 5 – February 9th, 2011:

Even though the hole looked huge to me in week 4, Knyckles wasn’t fazed by it a bit. We had zero problems this week – praise God – but now the hole seriously looks huge! It’s intimidating to look at for me…

Week 6 – February 17th, 2011:

This phase was worse than last week. I had to sit on the floor after 1 and ½ days of no potty usage and encourage her. She finally went but still won’t take her paws out of the litter. I think she’s going to pitch a huge fit when it gets even smaller. She’s also using the edge of it rather than the middle, which I think is going to cause problems for her in weeks to come.

I hadn’t planned on removing another portion this week because of her hesitation to use it at first. I’m glad I didn’t have my heart set on it because on Monday night we had an accident so I wouldn’t have been removing it anyway. I’m monitoring her, but she’s been resisting and crying a bunch this week. Hopefully she won’t have any more accidents and we’ll be downgrading the CitiKitty next week.

Week 7 – February 23rd, 2011:

Another accident, nuff said.

Week 8 – March 2nd, 2011:

*sigh* Well, we are at a standstill. Knyckles is still holding and not going as regularly as she used to. When she does go she pees in the pot and poohs on the floor. Remember when I joked about it taking 10 week to train her? I think that might have been too optimistic. Perhaps I’m not being as diligent as I was with her. There was a woman who wrote on the CitiKitty website that it took her 5 months to train her cat, can I last that long? I thought about going back a step but I’m not 100% sure if we should or not. I’m thinking when she gets comfortable peeing in it she’ll start using it for numero two. We’ll see. *sigh*

Week 9 – March 9th, 2011:

After momming up again and staying on top of Knyckles without any success, we decided to go back a step. At this point, I’ve pretty much lost hope in this whole thing. In hindsight, I should’ve taken the CitiKitty back a step earlier. At first, it was only an occasional accident and I thought “Well, this is probably normal.” It wasn’t until this past week and 1/2 that she was consistently having accidents. What happened to my positive attitude? Where did it go? I’m hoping this week is better but I’m not holding my breath, just the pooper scooper.

I also did some research this week trying to find helpful advice to no avail. I did, however, find an alternative product: The Litter Kwitter. It’s more expensive than what I paid for the CitiKitty. I got it on sale for two for $30.00 just before Christmas. Cat wise, it only has three steps vs CitiKitty’s five steps so the transitions are bigger. We had trouble with some of the transitions already so I’m not sure how the bigger ones would work out. Trainer wise, the Litter Kwitter seems to be easier to move between stages. With CityKitty you have to cut the previous section out when kitty graduates to the next level, and then use a backup tray that sits on top of the original if she/he needs to regress. The trays are perforated but it’s still takes me several frustrating minutes to get the section detached. The Litter Kwitter simply has a new seat to swap out with the previous one. I honestly don’t know which products works better.

Week 10 – March 16th, 2011:

Here we are at my joshed about 10 weeks and guess what, we are toilet trained! Surprised? Don’t be. I lied.

Going back a step has really helped Knyckles feel more comfortable with the toilet again. She was getting to where she didn’t even want to go near it. She is peeing in it regularly without needed assistance but she’s still pooping on the floor. She does try her hardest to cover it with our tile floor though.

At times I feel like I’m beating a dead horse (Good lord, that’s an awful saying. Who started that and why am I endorsing it?) but I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet (Towel? I’m not using a towel. What’s with all of the clichés today?). Remember a few weeks ago when I said that perhaps she’ll get comfortable using the toilet and correct herself? That’s what I’m hoping for again. She gets her wet food when she pees in the toilet and if she ever poops in it again I’ll probably throw her a parade. The dry treats stopped being encouraging a couple of weeks ago. Occasionally I can get her to sit on the box for a treat, but instead of staying on the box and contemplating the toilet like I desire she takes it into her mouth and eats it elsewhere – fail. She’s also learned that even if she pees just the tiniest of bits she gets some delicious wet food; therefore we are peeing several times a day. Smart cat. Frustrated human.

Perhaps we are at a stalemate. I am still hopeful. We’ll see.