When he wasn't busy recording the Greatest Jazz Concert Ever, famed jazz pianist Charles Mingus apparently dabbled in feline toilet training, going so far as to produce a "CAT-alog for Toilet Training Your Cat."
WNYC reported on this strange hobby back in 2014, which you can listen to below. I've also included some excerpts from the "CAT-alog," which is still on available on CharlesMingus.com.
First, you must train your cat to use a home-made cardboard litter box, if you have not already done so. (If your box does not have a one-piece bottom, add a cardboard that fits inside, so you have a false bottom that is smooth and strong. This way the box will not become soggy and fall out at the bottom. The grocery store will have extra flat cardboards which you can cut down to fit exactly inside your box.)
Be sure to use torn up newspaper, not kitty litter. Stop using kitty litter. (When the time comes you cannot put sand in a toilet.)
Once your cat is trained to use a cardboard box, start moving the box around the room, towards the bathroom. If the box is in a corner, move it a few feet from the corner, but not very noticeably. If you move it too far, he may go to the bathroom in the original corner. Do it gradually. You've got to get him thinking. Then he will gradually follow the box as you move it to the bathroom. (Important: if you already have it there, move it out of the bathroom, around, and then back. He has to learn to follow it. If it is too close to the toilet, to begin with, he will not follow it up onto the toilet seat when you move it there.) A cat will look for his box. He smells it.
Don't be surprised if you hear the toilet flush in the middle of the night. A cat can learn how to do it, spurred on by his instinct to cover up. His main thing is to cover up. If he hits the flush knob accidentally and sees that it cleans the bowl inside, he may remember and do it intentionally.
Also, be sure to turn the toilet paper roll around so that it won't roll down easily if the cat paws it. The cat is apt to roll it into the toilet, again with the intention of covering up- the way he would if there were still kitty litter.
It took me about three or four weeks to toilet train my cat, Nightlife. Most of the time is spent moving the box very gradually to the bathroom. Do it very slowly and don't confuse him. And, remember, once the box is on the toilet, leave it a week or even two. The main thing to remember is not to rush or confuse him.
Image: Ocdp / Wikimedia Co