Can Cat Litter be Flushed?
One of the biggest parts of owning a cat that can be frustrating for owners is needing to deal with the upkeep of a litter box.
Even if you are only scooping daily and then replacing litter once or twice a month, figuring out the best way to dispose of waste and unused kitty litter can be a time-consuming affair.
That is why many cat owners are left with the question: “Can cat litter be flushed down the toilet?”
Flushing used kitty litter away is an appealing solution since it would eliminate the problem without needing to put it in the trash or find another disposal option.
Still, just because you can do so, it does not mean that you should. Technically, there are flushable cat litters available in the market today.
Aptly named, you can flush them down the toilet without any immediate concerns.
Some cat owners choose to purchase flushable cat litter because they believe that this will be the easiest way to dispose of used litter.
As similar to any products, though, there are pros and cons of using them, which means, flushable litter is not always a cut-and-dry solution.
Some of the best reasons why you should consider flushable litters are:
One of the biggest benefits of flushable litter is that you can easily dispose of cat waste without needing to dispose of it in your standard trash.
It is a huge convenience compared to regular cat litter, and that is why many people are initially attracted to flushable litter.
Another benefit of using flushable litter is that you will not be adding to the buildup of landfill waste.
The environmental impact of flushable litter in that sense is less than that of regular cat litter.
An additional investigation into the process of flushing kitty litter shows that this might not be the best idea because of the following:
Risk of Parasites
Most pet owners do not realize that pet waste is actually a pollutant that can cause serious devastation to the environment if it is not disposed of properly.
Flushing kitty litter and cat waste down the toilet also puts both humans in the area and wildlife at risk of some parasites that can develop in waste.
Cat waste, in particular, can contain parasites that can infect humans. While most can easily fight off these infections, those with compromised immune systems will find it more difficult to do so.
Additionally, water treatment plants that handle waste management do not always use the right chemicals to treat away the specific parasites found in cat waste.
These plants manage human waste, so parasites spread through pet waste will not be handled properly, which can lead to more problems.
In particular, those who live in coastal regions should not flush cat poop down the toilet because it puts sea otter populations at risk due to a specific type of bacteria that may not be properly destroyed by the waste management systems in place.
Those who use septic tanks should also avoid flushing cat waste since the parasites could develop in the tank and then cause the waste management products inside the septic system to stop working properly.
Pipe or Plumbing Problems
Regardless of whether or not you are using an eco-friendly and flushable litter, there is a good chance that your plumbing system can’t handle that specific type of waste effectively.
In many cases, the following could be a problem for disposing of cat waste in this way:
- Small pipes
- Low-flow toilets
- Septic systems
- Clogs caused by climbing
There are many ways that flushing cat litter down the toilet can go wrong, so it is best to avoid this unless you first check out how your plumbing works and are sure that it will not cause any issues.
Pet Waste: A Hidden Pollutant
Can cat litter be flushed down the toilet? Yes, it can, but it shouldn’t be in most cases.
Disposing of cat litter by flushing it down the toilet can seem like an easy out-of-sight, out-of-mind option, but there are more potential problems to this solution than most cat owners realize.
If you want to dispose of cat litter in an eco-friendly way, the best thing you can do is to use biodegradable bags to collect all the cat waste and litter affected by cat waste.
Then, dispose of cat litter in a compost pile with the appropriate disinfectants.
Do not use any compost that was treated with cat litter on edible plants to avoid the risk of spreading diseases.
Overall, it is not a good idea to flush any pet waste down the toilet. The risk is far higher than the potential reward, in this case, so finding another disposal method is a better idea.