Cat Who Hates His Litter Box Finds A Better Way To Go
"He scowls always. It's just his way."
You could say Skeleton never cared much for cat litter.
For Tyler Silva, it was a problem from the very day he brought the hairless cat home to his apartment in Toronto, Canada.
"He was a goddamn disaster," Silva tells The Dodo. "He would get litter everywhere and track it through the house."
Silva found himself constantly cleaning in Skeleton's woeful wake - a stench stew of bathroom business and kernels of litter everywhere the proud animal stalked.
"It was hard to clean," Silva says. "And I tried a few different box methods and placements and gravel but nothing really worked."
While Silva's love for his cat - a completely hairless sphynx - knew no bounds, he knew that, for decency's sake, Skeleton needed a little structure in this aspect of his life.
It turned out Skeleton was brought to heel at last by the porcelain god.
After ordering a $40 kit over the internet, Silva managed to wean Skeleton from a pee-where-he-damn-well-pleases cat to ... well, this:
The toilet-training kit promised to have a cat using human facilities in about eight weeks. Skeleton nailed it in just three.
"Basically, there are different pieces and you remove them which reveals the hole in the toilet so they slowly and gradually get accustomed to it," Silva says.
"One time I forgot to put it back on right away and he just used the toilet no problem," Silva recalls. "Now only if i could teach little Skelly how to flush."
But Skeleton did add his own signature ingredient to the mix: A number two.
"It's literally the most excited I've ever ever been at someone using a toilet," Silva says.
Silva, it seems, gets excited a lot these days. Skeleton takes a bathroom break at least four times a day.
"He's got a lot of business," Silva notes.
There is, of course, another weighty matter to consider in all of this.
Should cats use toilets made for humans?
Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh, a veterinarian at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, says there's nothing "definitively wrong" about a cat using the toilet.
But, she adds, it doesn't exactly come natural to them.
"Cats are not able to naturally dig in litter as they would prefer, or squat in a comfortable position, since they are often required to straddle the toilet bowl," she tells The Dodo "This can be stressful for the cat, especially if they are older or injured in any way."
Dr. Brittany Jaeger, of BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, Florida, concurs, telling The Dodo there's nothing particularly unhealthy about a cat peeing in the toilet as opposed to a litter box. But she adds, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on the proceedings - as cats could slip and fall into those murky depths.
But if Skeleton is any indication, you may have to weather a withering stare if you're just going to stand there and watch.
"I'm not too sure if he minds," Silva explains. "He scowls always. It's just his way. He lives a modest life and isn't a big fan of the spotlight.
You can follow Skeleton's every movement - as in every movement - on his Instagram page.