The national obsession with cleanliness has been extended to the animal kingdom, with the release of a video showing cat owners how to get their pets to flush a toilet. The video makers promise that after two weeks of watching the video, cats will be able to use the toilet and then flush - thus bringing a whole new meaning to the term house-trained. The video has been selling briskly, with hundreds of copies sold in just two weeks. But this being Japan, the reason behind the video's success is not just about teaching cats toilet etiquette - it's seen much more as a reflection on their human owners. This is a society that believes an odourless body is an indication of beauty - the Japanese use the same word for clean and beauty. The nasal senses will not be assaulted upon entering packed train carriages carrying workers in the muggy Tokyo summer. Shower facilities are commonplace at work and many people shower at least three times a day. Packets of paper tissues, often advertising nightclubs or special deals for mobile phones, are handed out free at intersections. Sweating in public, which would pass almost unnoticed in the West, is considered a social gaffe. With such a fastidious approach to public cleanliness, owning pets is discouraged because their cleanliness cannot be vouched for. But if you do have a cat, neighbours will be more accommodating if they know that you care so much about its hygiene that you're training it to use the toilet. Also, by extension, your own personal hygiene must be of a high standard if you care so much about the cat's. Buying the video, and more importantly informing the neighbours of the cat's progress, allows you to kill two birds with one stone.