Cats are known as pretty fastidious creatures, and they don’t use the litter in their boxes to cover up the smell for your benefit. It’s an instinct for wild cats that covers their tracks, so to speak, from predators or a dominant cat. But cleaning out the litter box is no one’s favorite task, so some cat owners prefer to teach their feline pets how to use the toilet. Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy isn’t a fan of the practice, however (he doesn’t think we need to make cats more human), and some vets say this would leave you unable to monitor your cat’s health as well.
But people still want to leave litter behind, and it’s quite a process. There are books, videos, kits, all kinds of things to help you get Lord Fluffernutter to do his business on the throne. Teaching your cat how to flush the toilet is also part of the training, but one couple hadn’t quite gotten to that step when they were scheduled to go out of town. Rather than revert back to litter for the weekend (or leave the toilet unflushed), Joceylin and Dan figured out how to automate the flushing process, according to Hack a Day.
Instead of spending over $100 on Amazon for a commercial solution, Dan 3D-printed a frame that fit under the lid to hold a stepper motor. “The idea here was to use a motorized pulley system to wind up fishing line in order to lift the flapper in the toilet water tank and initiate a flush,” Joceylin writes. An Arduino triggers the motor once or twice a day, so the cat’s business isn’t mellowing too long.
Considering how much some cats love flushing the toilet, this might be a preferable solution to teaching your potty-trained kitty how to do it himself.