Toilet Training Toddlers Isn’t Litter Training Cats
I am the proud mum to two delightful toddlers, a 2.5 year old boy and a 9 week old kitten. Now whilst they shouldn’t be directly comparable in normal circumstance, they are both toilet training (litter training in the kitten’s case) and the comparisons between two creatures going through the same process is eye-opening.
What’s both fascinating and frustrating is that the kitten has learnt to adapt to the new litter training rules much faster than my son has. The kitten responds brilliantly to repeative behaviours and persistent encouragement such as being regularly put in/near the litter tray. The kitten too is rather less argumentative, not caring for example that her litter tray is coloured cream or placed in the right/wrong spot.
Nor does she seem to mind my gentle reminders to go potty. My son however has adopted a passionate form of denial to the suggestion that he may need a loo trip. He is definately less appreciative of the demands of his own bladder and is more emotionally sensitive to any small trigger… his morning was ruined by the casual suggestion he may want to ‘go’ before we left the house on the school run. The kitten couldn’t have cared less.
Whilst they have an alarmingly different approach to the regularity and consistency that has to come with toilet training, what they DO share is a very short forward alert time.
When they need to go, it is relatively immediate. In fact, although I haven’t timed it because that would be a bit weird, I would estimate that the similar panicked mewing from kitty is about the same 20 second duration as the manic dance of the ‘clutched trouser seat’ that occurs with my toddler.
Equally disturbing is that both toddler and kitten seem to have the same efficiency of bowel… no sooner has meal gone in, but 20-30minutes later, something comes out. In part, I have nothing but respect for both of their healthy, young, finely honed innards, but it is stretching me a little thin as I try to help both littles learn how its done with confidence.
As a result our house has become a buffet of toileting equipment. We have potties and various toilet seats all around the house ready for use at any time. We too have a number of strategically placed litter trays. However despite these preparations, nothing declares you’ve missed a spot like a kitten sized offering on the hallway carpet, or indeed the fast spreading dark flush in your childs trousers.
But after the last 5 days of doing both kitten and child, which would I say is easier….?
Neither, niether. The kitten has a Pavlovian response system which works well until the parameters shift, then she’s all at sea, but she is tidy about it. My darling boy has a less consistent attitude which does weigh heavy at times, but he’s not making the same mistake twice and he smiles cutely at me so that’s worth a lot.
But if Im being honest, I just want it to be over… as Im sure you all do to.