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Evolution ... Or Just My Strange Cat?

One of the kittens did something odd this morning. She's trying to act like a person, by going number 1 in the toilet.

Only if we leave the seats up. If we leave them down, she eyes the sinks in the bathroom. (Needless to say, while I was home sick from work yesterday I mustered enough strength to clean the bathrooms. It was good for the sinuses.)

Don't know if this is normal behavior or not, but the seats will remain up for the time being. I keep thinking of Robert DeNiro in Meet The Parents and his training their cat to use the toilet. Wonder if it's catching and the other kitten will start to act human as well?

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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
ellameena
May. 16th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, awesome. You should totally encourage this! I've never heard of a cat doing that before.
stevenagy
May. 16th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
It's definitely preferable to the sink -- or the litter box. Less to clean up in both situations. Though I don't think the 15-year-old cat will attempt to emulate the youngsters. She's gotten a bit more spry with them around, but jumping onto a toilet seat, where there's a risk of dunking ... well, she's either too wise or too stubborn to change her ways. :-)
queenoftheskies
May. 16th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
That's so funny.

Sometimes, I think cats mimic certain aspects of human behavior.

I have a cat that has watched me open my bedroom door so many times that he knows what the doorknob is for and tries to open it when I close it and he wants in.

If he had thumbs, he could do it.

He has managed to open it twice.
stevenagy
May. 16th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
The one thing I wish I could teach them is how to play fetch.

The first cat we owned, Sammy, played fetch from when she was a kitten. You'd toss a rubber ball or a piece of paper and she'd run and catch it and then bring it back to you in her mouth. She'd drop it right beside you so you could pick it up and toss it again. She'd do this over and over until she got bored or you got bored.

It must have been some hunter instinct to bring her kills back to her "owner" for validation/approval, but we made it a game, and she liked to play it. We've tried with the kittens, and they'll chase the "ball" -- but they won't bring it back yet.
rachel_o
May. 16th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
I had a cat that used the toilet for all his leavings. He was a very good cat, a very strange cat in many different ways.

We got rid of the litter box as he refused to use it. I think it offended him.

Neek did think he was a person. I miss that cat!
stevenagy
May. 16th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
It's funny how they pick up on certain things. We got them two summers ago, right after we got back from our vacation to Scotland. One of Melissa's relatives had a cat with a litter of four and the girls got to pick one each from the litter. Older daughter Lindsey got Mallory, youngest daughter Abby got Emma.

Interestingly -- for me, at least -- the two took on the girls' personalities. Mallory is a mother hen, just like Lindsey. When I get up in the morning, Mallory makes sure I freshen the water bowl and put out the food first thing. But she doesn't eat until the other two are done. Emma is goofy in the same way Abby is goofy sometimes, with her artist outlook on life.
rachel_o
May. 16th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
Your cats sound adorable :)

Moe, our most recent cat is quite the character. He is supposed to be a Himalayan, but the vet says he is Persian. He is LAZY! He trips and tumbles and falls off of things he tries to jump onto. Yet, he can and does catch birds. I think maybe he is playing the clown for us.

I've only seen Moe use the toilet twice. The rest of the time he uses the box or anxiety/maliciously craps about the house. There are days when I would happily assist Moe onto the next phase of existence.

He's been good for a few days. I think he is getting used to me being at work.
stevenagy
May. 16th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
Being away at work would explain the anxious/malicious placement of "presents."
rachel_o
May. 17th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think it could.
juliabk
May. 16th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah, some cats will pick up on this and go for it. When you consider that all it takes to box train a kitten is to place him in the box about, oh, maybe *once*, you realize how smart they are. ;-) Supposedly you can train your cat to use the toilet instead of the box. I've never tried it but I might someday. Especially if I ever have another one so intent on watching the toilet flush. Teach 'em to use the box and then teach 'em to flush. ;-)
rachel_o
May. 16th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Neek never flushed. He just left it there (uck). A nasty bad habit and he didn't learn it from me!

Or maybe he just heard people in the shower yelling "Don't flush!" and listened...
juliabk
May. 16th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
Chris flushed, but never went. :-) She just liked to watch teh water go round and round. ;-)
rachel_o
May. 17th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
Still very cool :)
stevenagy
May. 16th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
What makes it funny/freaky* is we've never trained her to do it. She's just mimicking us.


* --You're sitting in the family room, knowing no one's in the bathroom because the lights are off, and suddenly hearing the distinctive "tinkle tinkle tinkle" of water dripping. You look to make sure you're not hearing things and there isn't a leak in the bathroom requiring immediately plumbing, and find the cat staring back at you with their mortified "don't watch me go to the bathroom" expression.

"Bears Discover Fire" on a scatalogical level: "Cats Discover Indoor Plumbing"
juliabk
May. 16th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
I've had cats learn to open doors by studying how we did it. I had one who knew *exactly* how the can opener worked, but lacked the necessary appendages... which didn't keep her from trying. ;-) One would sit on the bathroom sink and pat the cold water faucet knob until I turned it on so she could drink from the tap. Again, she know *how* to do it, just wasn't *able* to do it.

I keep tellin' people, it's a damn good thing cats *don't* have opposable thumbs, or we'd all be out on the street.
raecarson
May. 16th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
That is completely awesome. Drinks on me if you can teach that trick to my cats.
stevenagy
May. 16th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
I would teach it if I could. Hate cleaning the litter box. I do it, but I hate it. :-)
hkneale
May. 17th, 2007 09:52 am (UTC)
I've had cats that use the loo. Far easier than cleaning a litter box.

I had one that couldn't get the hang of it because he was imprinted on the litter. As long as I left a little bit of litter on the toilet seat, he'd sometimes use the litter box. My roommate objected to this, though.

Basil, my current cat, either goes outside, or wees in the bathroom sink. We got him as a stray so didn't have the joy of teaching him as a kitten. Habits are hard to break in a cat.

I don't mint (too much) that he does his number ones in the sink, because he will only do it if I'm standing there to "flush" for him.
hkneale
May. 17th, 2007 09:53 am (UTC)
D'oh! I meant:

... as long as I left some litter on the toilet seat, he'd use the loo.

You knew what I meant.

Im a bad spelr toda.
stevenagy
May. 17th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
No worries. I thought that's what you meant.
stevenagy
May. 17th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
What's amused me about her when she used the sink was how she clawed at the porcelain, trying to bury it. Loo is much more preferable to sink, though, because we won't always be around to run the water afterward. Habits, as you say, are hard to break.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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