The other day I was sitting in my living room working on my laptop, when my hubby went into the bathroom in time to see my six year old male cat Max sitting on top of the toilet. He was so shocked he came running out to me yelling.
“Max is sitting on the toilet and peeing.” I can’t believe this. Did you show him the videos you downloaded a couple of weeks ago.” I had showed J.D. videos of cats using the toilet, but they had been trained to do so, the method explained in the videos.
“No, I did not have him on my lap that day when I downloaded those videos. Sometimes when I work on my laptop he paws at me to be let up on my lap.
I jumped up as fast as I could to see this unconditional stimuli. My cat reacting to stimuli without training. This kind of unconditional behavior usually includes pain, food or “instinctive” stimuli.
By the time I got up and made it to the bathroom, he was coolly walking out of it.
“Tell me how he was sitting on the toilet.” I asked, enlightened that my cat had done something extraordinary in all of his six years of life.
J.D. Looked at me, then back at the now deserted toilet, “he was sitting with his front paws in front of him, and his two back legs on either side of the toilet.
We looked at each other, then back at Max who now sat outside in the foyer looking at himself in the mirror, that stood against the wall.
I ran and grabbed my video camera, walked back to my seat and laid it on top of my desk. I looked at J.D. “Just in case he does it again.”
I kept my eye on Max and where and what he was doing, hoping he would do it again. Was it a one time fluke? Or would he do it again?
Do you think it is possible that he learned this by watching me use the toilet. My cats often think I need company in the bathroom when I use it throughout the day, especially in the mornings. They both like to come in, Max and Fierce, my female cat.
When my hubby and I retire for the night, he puts his arm around me before turning over for the night. We have noticed over the last 2 or 3 months that our cats who sleep on our bed, have observed and repeat our behavior. Max sleeps with his arm over Fierce.
If cats see repeated behaviour can they learn this by observing only? I would not have thought it possible, if my hubby had not witnessed it. Do I believe him, yes, he was stunned by seeing Max do this, but agreeing that Max is a very intelligent cat, his behavior should not have surprised us.
I still have my camera next to me…