I've been sort of absent from this blog during the holidays - but I can assure you that I have not been absent from the toilet training process. No, sir.
To recap - the cats' litter box was right up next to the toilet last (check out that pic of Rex below), and certain issues needed to be resolved before we moved on.
Preference to use other places as litter box - Pascha has become ever-picky about the cleanliness of her pan/box. Before, when we had a huge litter box, we could be a little lazy and clean it out every other day and be fine. Now, if it is not entirely clean (and she will inspect), then she'll hop into the sink.
How I fixed this - I made sure to take note of when they used the box. Then, right afterwards I'd clean out the bad litter and spray a little pet litter refreshing spray. If Pascha went over to the box and used it immediately, I made sure to have a declious treat waiting for her. If she hopped up in the sink and started pawing, I put her in front of the pan until she used it. Then I'd also give her a treat. The trick is to stop getting her to expect that the box is dirty. As soon as she could reliably hop into the box knowing it would be clean, then the problem went away.
Messy Bathroom - The bathroom became a complete, disgusting mess ... real fast. Litter kicked everywhere. In order to keep this process healthy for me and the cats, I had to make sure the area around was in good condition. Don't just clean the pan, be prepared to sweep every day, and mop at least once a week in the bathroom. Keep deodorizers nearby.
Drinking Toilet water - Just one or two sprays of bitter apple in the toilet helped a lot. This problem will fix itself once the litter pan goes inside the toilet.