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Cat Proof Toilet Brush – Can This Be Done?

If you have a cat that keeps playing with or destroying your toilet brush, you may be looking for reasons why this happens, and what you can do about it…

Why do cats play with toilet brushes?

Toilet brushes have nasty connotations for us, but for a cat, they are just interesting fuzzy toys. You’ve got a stick made of light plastic, with a horseshoe-shaped brush at the end, and the weight, fuzz, and texture mean that your cat can easily knock it over or even simply carry it away.

Ultimately, it’s curiosity or simple boredom that motivates them, so you might be able to get your cat to leave the toilet brush alone by simply adding a few toys to their collection to keep them properly distracted.

What is a toilet brush?

A toilet brush with a toilet brush holder hanging on a wall.

A toilet brush with a toilet brush holder hanging on a wall.

A toilet brush is simply a tool for cleaning out your toilet at home, which can come in a few different permutations. Common varieties include a plastic handle with a horseshoe-shaped bristle brush for scrubbing the rounded inside of the toilet bowl, while some are a bit more rounded overall for the same purpose.

They’re useful, but also quite interesting for your cat, so don’t forget to close the bathroom door!

What can a cat do to a toilet brush?

From a damage perspective, your cat might bend the brush attachment or even damage the brush itself by ‘chasing’ the fuzzy bits or even biting and tugging at them.

What’s more alarming for most, however, is that these light brushes are easy to move around, so surprised owners might sometimes find them in places where they’d rather not see a toilet brush.

How can I cat proof a toilet brush?

Thankfully, keeping the cat at bay when it comes to a toilet brush isn’t all that difficult in most cases. You’ll just need to pick a strategy or two and stick with them. Let’s take a look at some ways to keep your kitty from damaging or absconding with your toilet brush!

Keep your toilet door closed

A closed toilet door with toilet tissue paper inside the toilet.

A closed toilet door with toilet tissue paper inside the toilet.

The easiest and most effective method is simply to always close the bathroom door. It’s a more hygienic option, anyway, and so it’s not a bad habit to get into in the first place. If your cat can’t get in, it can’t get the brush, so your problem is solved in one decisive stroke.

Use a closed toilet brush holder

Toilet brush holders are both a sanitary way to host your brush and a cat deterrent to boot! Typically brush holders will be in the form of a tall, standing tube, which the brush fits into quite neatly.

These are quite handy, as you can simply stow the brush after use and if it’s still wet, then that’s not going to get on your clean bathroom floor. The caveat, however, is that you need to ensure that it is placed snugly in the corner if you can –use double-sided tape under the base for extra hold.

While the design makes it harder for your cat to get the brush, they might still knock it over and its shape means that it will roll, so for this solution to be effective make sure that you try to affix it in the corner if you can.

Train your cat to avoid it

You can train your cat to stay away from the toilet brush and the easiest way to do it requires minimal time and effort – you can citrus spray it. Cats hate the smell of citrus, while humans tend to like that sort of smell, especially in a bathroom.

By spraying the citrus on the brush, you’ll be building negative associations with it for your cat. The citrus scent should keep the cat away from the brush in the meantime and eventually they won’t even consider the toilet brush as a source of potential entertainment.

Should you use a toilet brush to clean poop?

While you can use a toilet brush to clean poop from the toilet, it’s not considered by everyone to be the most sanitary choice. The problem is that bits of fecal matter can end up in the brush, which then sits for periods in the holder becoming more unhygienic over time, even if it’s sitting in soap.

It’s not good for you or your kitty, so at the very least if you still want to clean with it then you can always introduce a sanitation regimen to help minimize the hygienic risk of the toilet brush design. A better option, however, is to find another way to clean your toilet that is more efficient and hygienic.

What can I use instead of a toilet brush?

Thick, rubber gloves are a good way to get the job done, though it might take some getting used to. Unlike a toilet brush, rubber gloves don’t have bristles that fecal matter can cling to, so when the job is done you have a much easier time sanitizing the gloves.

You won’t have to worry anymore about an unsanitary toilet brush breeding bacteria that could make you or your kitty quite ill, so while it doesn’t sound like much fun, rubber gloves are a better way to clean your toilet and keep the bathroom as germ-free as possible.

Should I discipline my cat for playing with my toilet brush?

No, you should not discipline your cat for playing with the toilet brush. After all, from their point of view, it’s a weird-smelling, plastic stick, with a fuzzy tip that moves when you swat it it’s a toy!

If you try to punish your cat for this, they won’t understand what it is that you are angry about, and likely they’ll think that you are just being mean. This can erode the trust bond that you are building with your furry friend, so you mustn’t punish your cat for playing with the brush.

How often should you change your toilet brush?

With a plastic toilet brush, you want to wait no longer than 6 months for replacing it. During this time, you also want to make sure that you are rinsing it thoroughly after every use.

An initial flush so that the water gets cleaned should be done, and a couple more flushes so that the clean water rinses your brush is a good idea.

If you want a brush that will last longer and be a bit heavier (and thus harder for your cat to get into much trouble with), then you can try a wooden-handled toilet brush, preferably with natural bristles, and give it a regular cleaning for good measure.

While you might want to replace it after 1 year, if you sanitize it regularly and thoroughly then you can likely keep using it for a much longer time – it’s ultimately up to you.

Lindsey Browlingdon