Is Cat Litter Flushable? Should I Dispose of Cat Litter Via the Toilet?
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Is cat litter flushable? If you’re new to the world of cat ownership, then you may be wondering whether or not it’s safe to dispose of your feline friend’s litter down the toilet.
Many factors are at play when deciding whether to flush cat litter, including what material it’s made from and how quickly waste breaks down in the water. While some litter brands do claim to be flushable, most plumbers would agree that it’s not the best idea to flush cat litter. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of disposing of cat litter in the toilet.
Is cat litter flushable, or will it clog my pipes?
It’s important to consider health, safety, and environmental impact when deciding where to dispose of cat litter. There is always the risk that flushing litter down the toilet will clog pipes or cause other major plumbing problems for homeowners.
Flushable cat litter has become a popular convenience option for cat owners. Many brands of “flushable” or “biodegradable” cat litters are now available. These are generally made from materials that will quickly disintegrate when they come into contact with water, such as corn, wheat, or shredded paper.
Related Article: Why Do Cats poop Outside the Litter Box?
Is cat litter flushable? Pros of disposing of cat litter in toilets
There are many benefits of using a flushable brand of cat litter. As long as the product has been designed to be flushed, you shouldn’t have any problems. Some cat owners have been using flushable cat litter for years without issue.
- The used cat litter won’t take up valuable space in your trash can or outside garbage area.
- You won’t have to worry about the build-up of odor around your bins.
- Having less used litter hanging around will also reduce the likelihood of pests showing up at your doorstep.
- Some brands of flushable litter are more eco-friendly as they are made from recycled or sustainable materials, including paper, wheat, or corn kernels.
Is cat litter flushable? The disadvantages of flushing
It’s worth noting that even when using a flushable product, some issues may occur. If your home has an older plumbing system, it may not be able to handle cat litter. You should also be careful flushing cat litter if you have more than one cat, as large amounts of ‘biodegradable’ materials can cause issues.
Here are some of the disadvantages you should carefully consider when deciding whether or not to switch to a flushable litter.
Flushing a large amount of litter down the toilet can create a clog. For this reason, it’s important to use only a small amount at a time and never flush more than recommended by your specific brand. Even then, you should be prepared for the risk that it might not break down as expected.
Clay-based litters are often described as ‘clumping’ and should never be flushed. If the litter contains very absorbent clay and expands when wet, it will cause plumbing problems like clogged pipes or major drainage issues. Always read the label or check with your litter company before flushing.
Sewer back up
The amount of litter you use at a time will affect how quickly your waste breaks down in the water. The build-up can cause plumbing problems or lead to a sewer backup if you go overboard.
Septic tank issues
Flushing cat litter may not be an option if you live in a community with a septic tank rather than the main sewer system. Septic systems will not process this waste and could become backed up or clogged.
Flushing cat litter has been known to interfere with septic tank bacteria and lead to a malfunction of your septic system. The waste may not break down as expected and could lead to a costly repair bill.
If you use a litter that is colored or scented, the color or scent may end up in your waterways. This will be harmful to the environment.
Some cats also have toxoplasmosis, which causes toxoplasma gondii infection. In recent years it’s been reported that there has been an increase in the number of marine mammals suffering from this infection. This is because sewer treatment plants can’t filter out the infection, and it’s getting into the oceans.
Flushable cat litter is convenient and may seem like a cleaner and more hygienic product, but it’s also more expensive than clay-based litter.
People with wheat allergies need to be careful when handling wheat-based cat litter.
Is cat litter flushable?: Final thoughts
Although it may be nice not to have to think about cat litter after your cat has used it, flushing the waste down the toilet is generally not recommended by experts. Never flush cat litter unless it’s described as ‘flushable’ on the label, and be aware that even some litters that are designed to be flushed may cause a blockage.
Related Article: Cat Litter Alternatives