Dr Cockatiel is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Can a Cockatiel Be Potty Trained? A Complete Guide

can a cockatiel be potty trained

Ever wondered “can a cockatiel be potty trained?” As you delve into the intriguing world of pet parrots, particularly cockatiels, you might have this question on your list. In the pet community, this query is more common than you’d think. Especially given that bird poop can, let’s say, ‘adorn’ your furniture and personal belongings quite profusely. Here’s the much-awaited answer: yes, a cockatiel can indeed be potty trained. However, while it’s certainly possible, it requires patience and a good understanding of your bird’s behavior.

Does the idea of patience bring doubt to your optimistic heart? Don’t let it. Training your bird to control its bowel movements is similar to how many animals, like dogs, are toilet trained. Bird Talk magazine even warns that cockatiel owners need to tread lightly and use positive reinforcement during the process. It’s important to remember that all birds are different. What works for larger birds may not work for your cockatiel.

To efficiently potty train your cockatiel, you’ll have to put in a significant amount of time and observe your pet parrot’s habits. This includes noticing signs your cockatiel gives before it poops. You could even designate a special perch or place for your bird to poop. The key is repetition and verbal praise. Over time, your feathered friend will start associating the commands and the special perch with going potty, simplifying your cleaning routine in the long run.

Understanding Your Cockatiel’s Natural Habits


Dive into the world of bird ownership, and you’ll probably find yourself asking, “Can a cockatiel be potty trained?” Like many animals, cockatiels develop habits that can feel a bit frustrating to their human companions. Bird poop can be a particular concern. But is potty training your feathered friend a feasible solution?

Let’s understand the natural habits of your cockatiel. Cockatiels, like most birds, poop frequently. You might find these miniature ‘mines’ throughout your home – on your shoulder, special perch, or even your favorite chair. Oftentimes, ‘Bird Talk’ warns pet parrots’ owners that attempting to significantly alter these bowel movements can lead to health complications. It’s crucial to remember that, unlike dogs, birds can’t hold it in until they’re in the right spot – poop is a regular, ongoing part of their day.

Training your bird to avoid your precious fabrics may be a goal you’re marching towards. The process of potty training begins with observing your bird’s natural rhythm. Watch the frequency of their poops, see if there’s a pattern, or if certain actions, like flying off the perch, prompt them. Gathering this knowledge under your wing will serve as a solid foundation for the training process.

While it’s a bad idea to try and control your bird’s bowel movements, you can certainly teach your cockatiel to go potty in certain areas, using positive reinforcement as a key strategy in potty training. You might sit them on a perch above a trash can or a newspaper, for instance. When your bird poops in the desired location, verbal praise and treats come into play as a reward.

In the long run, you’ll find that your bird associates the act of pooping in the designated spot with a reward. They’ll likely find their way to that special perch or corner of the cage when nature calls. You’ll have a bird that’s partially potty trained; they will still have accidents but will generally prefer their training area. In contrast, attempting toilet training, like trying to train your bird to poop on command, according to ‘Bird Talk’, can lead your bird profusely pooping from stress. It’s always recommended that you consult with a vet for personalized advice.

As cockatiel owners, it’s crucial to balance your wish for a cleaner home with respect for the natural habits of your pet. Instead of seeking total control of your bird’s pooping patterns, settle for a middle ground. This understanding will ensure a happier, healthier bird, and it’s certainly a more sanitary option for your home than a stressed, unwell cockatiel.

Poop-Off Bird Poop Remover Sprayer, 32 oz
$13.95 ($0.44 / Fl Oz)
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2023 08:07 pm GMT

Exploring the Possibility: Can a Cockatiel Be Potty Trained?

You’re no doubt familiar with the phrase “potty training”, usually associated with toddlers and puppies. But did you know it’s possible to potty train your cockatiel? Yes, that’s right, these intelligent and social parrots can be trained to control their bowel movements to some extent, keeping your home cleaner and your bird’s cage tidier.

Hold on, you may be asking – can a cockatiel be potty trained in the same way as a dog? The answer might surprise you. Cockatiels, like many parrots, are intelligent enough to be trained with positive reinforcement. So, while the specifics differ from teaching a puppy, there are similarities in the methods.

three birds with yellow and grey feathers are standing next to each other

Let’s clear one thing up: not all birds are suited for potty training. Bird Talk warns that trying to control larger birds’ bowel movements can do more harm than good. It’s also important to note that not all cockatiels will be receptive to potty training. But for those willing to put in the effort, it can pay off in the long run.

Before embarking on this journey with your feathered friend, there are a few key steps to follow. First, observe your bird profusely. Cockatiel owners should understand their birds’ bodily signs before a poop is imminent. This will allow you to act swiftly once the training begins.

Second, decide on a specific spot like the trash can or a newspaper to be the designated “potty place”. Be sure to pick spots that are bird-safe, and avoid areas where your bird might associate going potty with danger.

Third, pick a simple phrase or command to associate with potty. “Go potty” is a common choice among pet parrots’ owners. Always say this command when you see your bird poop or when you place it on the designated spot.

Once your cockatiel starts to associate your command with relieving itself, remember to reward it with verbal praise or treats. Positive reinforcement plays a crucial role in helping your bird develop this new habit.

Keep in mind though, even a well-trained cockatiel isn’t perfect. Expect some accidental poops outside the designated area as part of the training process.

Offering patience and consistency throughout this process will increase your chances of successfully training your bird. But remember, if this method does not work for your cockatiel or causes any stress, it’s best to stop and return to the natural ways. The health and happiness of your bird should always be the number one priority.

Final Thoughts: Balancing Convenience and Your Bird’s Health

While it is possible to potty train a cockatiel, it takes patience, understanding of your bird’s behavior, and consistent use of positive reinforcement. By observing your cockatiel’s natural habits and designating a specific potty spot, you can gradually condition your bird to associate certain actions and phrases with going potty. However, it is crucial to remember that the health and happiness of your bird should always be the primary focus. If potty training causes undue stress or is not working out, it’s better to settle for a middle ground and respect your cockatiel’s natural habits.