I afraid you can only really get front loaders here now, I remember my grandparents had a toploader but they aren't available any more. You can stop them mid cycle, but you have to wait 2 mins to open the door, and when you restart them they go right back to the start of the cycle again. Ours is environmentally friendly so it uses hardly any water, but takes an hour and a half to do a load!
My dad put the old jumper the cat used to sleep on into the cat bed. I had already tried this but he just dragged the jumper out again. However my dad plonked him in on top of it and apparently he slept there all afternoon, though he just used it as a pillow after lunch. My dad got a photo for me on his mobile.