What Kind Of Cat Litter Is Flushable
There are kitty litters available that claim to be flushable – these are usually made with ingredients such as corn or wheat or some type of shredded wood. So, it seems that they would be biodegradable and it would be fine to flush them.
But – the problems here are…
- Not all flushable cat litter products work with all septic systems – so you may end up with problems there
- It’s advised to break up any large clumps before you flush it – so that means that larger clumps can clog the pipes
- If you have a water saving type of toilet – the flushing power on that toilet is usually not strong enough to push those kinds of clumps further down the sewer system
- Most of us clean out a litter box once or twice a day so by the time you get to clean it – your cat’s poop has hardened – essentially making it a hard rock that you are flushing down your toilet
- Besides all the issues to your pipes – flushing down your cat’s urine and feces into the water system introduces parasites that really should not be there
All in all – NOT a good idea to flush any type of cat litter!
Can You Flush Cat Litter
No, you should not flush cat litter down the toilet. Traditional cat litter is designed to absorb liquid like cat urine so that it may be removed conveniently. Because of this the litter will swell and cause clogging in the toilet and/or the sewer. It is made from very absorbent clay minerals that help bind the odors in cat urine.
The same goes for clumping cat litter, which should not be flushed either. This type of litter is designed to clump and stick together when it gets wet resulting in clogged toilet pipes and sewers. Clumping litter is made of sodium bentonite clay which clumps when it is wet, allowing soiled litter to be removed or replaced.
Do Not Flush Cat Poop Down Your Toilet
Pets are loving creatures. And the animal lovers among us gladly open our homes to them. However, while you may be willing to share most things with your pets, your septic system should not be one of them.
Why You Should Never Flush Cat Poop Or Litter
Whats In Your Cat Litter?
- Most cat litters are made from bentonite clay which hardens when it gets wet. Add some water, and you get a cement-like consistency. If youve ever waited too long to clean out the litter box, you know how quickly the litter can clump and turn into a solid force that is difficult to deal with. Imagine if the litter solidifies in your pipes the solution may be costly. Depending on how clogged the pipes are they may require water jetting or, if they are completely blocked, the only solution may be to remove the pipes and replace them.
FloHawks advises against flushing any unsanctioned item down your drains, including your cats litter, because it can cause harm to your septic system and to marine life. Its always a good idea to dispose of your cats waste properly. Leaving cat or dog feces in your yard can also spread disease. So, what is a pet owner to do? The best way to discard your pets waste is by emptying it into a biodegradable bag and putting it in the trash.
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I Can Flush My Cat Litter Down The Toilet Right
The quick answer to the titled question is no, you should not flush cat litter down your toilet. We here at Five Star Plumbing understand that many cat litter manufacturers boast that their cat litter is safe to flush down the toilet but this simply is not the case, at least not in our vast experience. Even if you potty-train your cat and, yes, this can be done it isnt safe to flush your felines fecal matter after its done with its business. Here are the reasons why you should never flush cat litter down the toilet.
Ways To Better Handle Cat Poop
Instead of flushing your cat poop down the toilet, consider adopting these methods to make your cats business easier to handle:
- Add baking soda: It can help reduce smells in the box. Just dont use so much that your cat dislikes the box.
- Replace the box: Replacing the box once a year can actually reduce the smell in the space you keep the cat box, and its more hygienic for the cat.
- Try a new litter: Litter formulas have come a long way in the last few years. The new litters are better at trapping smells. But dont be fooled, none are good for your sewer.
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Flushable Cat Litter Causes Health Issues
Cat excrement is a very dangerous substance, and most water treatment plants can not make it safe. It is classed as a pollutant by the United States Environmental Protection Agency which states that the group of polluting materials it is included with “can harm fish and wildlife populations, kill native vegetation, foul drinking water, and make recreational areas unsafe and unpleasant.”
It can also contain the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which won’t be killed by water treatment centers or septic tanks. This means it will then continue into the water system or surrounding water table and infect other animals, including humans. Although typically dealt with by our immune systems, it can be deadly, especially for those with compromised immune systems. Marine and river life is already showing high levels of this kind of parasitic infection near waste outlets, and the likely cause is yep cat litter being flushed down the toilet.
Why Is A Cat Litter Important
If you have an unmatched love for cats, understandably, you would want one for your house. Without any doubt, you would pamper your new little kitty for a while, but later, you would want it to learn basic life etiquettes. Therefore, house training for indoor cats is the utmost essential duty of a responsible cat owner, and you must fulfil it with all your efforts!
Training your little furry friend involves many activities. However, teaching your cat about peeing and pooping in the litter box tops the list! Understandably, you would not want your cat to keep urinating or defecating in every other part of the house. So while you make your cat learn about the litter box usage, you may need to clean its mess for a while, but not for the whole life, which would be gross!
Cat litter comprises clay material that can absorb urine and faeces. There are multiple types of litter that you have to choose from as per your kittys needs. Besides, cats of different ages are comfortable with litter that correspond to their sizes.
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Answering The Big Cat Litter Question
With most cat litters being made from clay or silica gel, is it safe to flush them down the toilet? Experts would say that it should be a big no.
Some companies advertise their cat litters as flushable, but that doesnt mean that it is still the best or most acceptable way of disposing of them. Lets take a closer look:
Why shouldnt you flush your cat litter down the toilet?
The logic here is simple: Whether your cat litter is made from clay or silica gel, theyre both created to clump to absorb urine. Clay-based litters are especially absorbent so they can be used for a longer time without worrying about wetness or odor.
But when its time to dispose of them, they often end up in plastic bags where they dont break down like compost and add to our growing environmental problems.
Can you flush cat litter down the toilet? Flushing cat litter down the toilet may seem like an easy solution. But if you think about it, what would all that clumped clay do to your homes pipes?
It is believed that commercial cat litter can expand as much as 15 times its size. And even if its already used, it can still expand more once in your pipes.
So, if you dont want to spend a lot of money on plumbing, its best to find other ways of disposing cat litter instead of flushing it in your toilet and clogging your pipes.
Is flushing cat litter a health risk?
What about flushable cat litter?
What To Do If You Do Flush Cat Litter
If you do want to try flushable cat litter, and think your plumbing system is up to it, here are a couple of tips on how to reduce the potential issues of this kind of litter disposable.
- Don’t flush the whole tray in one go. Flush it in smaller portions as most toilets, especially water-saving toilets, won’t be able to deal with it in one flush.
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How To Handle Cat Litter
You can adopt the below measures to handle cat litter instead of flushing it down the toilet
- Replace the litter box yearly to reduce the poops smell around the cat litter boxs area.
- Try adding little baking soda to the litter box to minimize the poops smell.
- Try out new litter as new litter formulas can trap the odor. However, the new litters are still not suitable for your sewers.
How Do You Properly Dispose Of Kitty Litter
Most everyone has their own method of disposing kitty litter – but basically the main idea is to dispose of it into your regular garbage. Here are some methods most commonly used.
- Scoop out the kitty litter clumps into a plastic bag and dispose of it with your regular garbage
- You can use old food bags such as the inner lining of cereal boxes and cracker boxes, old potato chip bags, etc.
If you have any questions about toilets or are having some problems with one, call Atlantis Plumbing today at . We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Can You Flush Kitty Litter Down The Toilet
Many pet owners are concerned with needlessly filling up landfills with bagged litter. Flushing litter down the toilet initially seems like the more environmentally favorable method. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
- Sewage systems cannot inactivate toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that may be present in cat feces. This same parasite is the reason why pregnant women are told to avoid cleaning litter boxes.
- Toxoplasma gondii may make its way through sewage systems and into the ocean where it becomes harmful to wildlife.
Is Cat Litter Safe To Flush
The short answer to this question is that it depends on the type you get. Some products, such as our own Wee Kitty Clumping Corn litter or the Do Good Cat Litter, can make a pet parents life easier as they can be flushed down the toilet.
Other types arent as safe and they run the risk of not just adding microorganisms to your local waterways, but they might also create a clog.
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You Risk Plumage Blockage
Do you know what cat litter is made of?
Most cat litter consists of sodium bentonite , which absorbs moisture and expands up to 15 times its original size when wet.
Clay litter continues to expand when it comes in contact with water. It also hardens and clumps together into cement-like stuff thats hard to break apart.
Think about the times when youve neglected to clean the litter box for a day or two. You had to scrape the mess because it was stuck to the bottom, right?
Now imagine what would happen with your sewer system if you flush the litter.
The least that could happen is that the clay will clog your pipes and cause your toilet to overflow.
Depending on how severe the blockage is, you might have to call a plumber to come and unclog your pipework.
However, the litter might also damage your septic system, which would mean that youll have to pay for new pipes!
Its better not to risk it unless youre confident that your cat litter is flushable.
Instead of clay, flushable cat litter consists of biodegradable materials, such as recycled newspaper, grass seed, or wood shavings.
Such biodegradable litter doesnt expand when wet and shouldnt pose a problem for your sewer and septic tanks.
The video below shows what could happen if you ignore this advice:
Safer Kitty Litter Options
Using biodegradable litters and biodegradable baggies will provide you with a safer and more ecologically sound method of litter disposal. Keeping your cat indoors will also lessen its exposure to pathogenic organisms that can contaminate its feces. There is no perfectly safe and hygienic method of handling cat waste but using products that will not harm the environment combined with careful disposal methods will lessen both your cat’s carbon footprint and your own potential for disease.
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What Happens If You Flush Cat Litter
Even though it may seem like a good idea, you should not be flushing your cats litter or feces down the toilet. It can cause havoc on your plumbing, clog pipes, and damage your septic system. Flushing your cats litter adds more solid waste load into the biological mix going on in the septic tank.
Flushing cat litter down the toilet, even if that cat litter is marketed as safe for pipes, allows Toxoplasma gondii to enter the water supply and increases the possibility of public infection. In short, it is NOT advisable to flush kitty litter down the toilet in ANY circumstance.
Similarly, why cant you flush kitty litter? Yes, cat feces contains a parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii which is harmful to humans, and most cat litter shouldnt be flushed anyways because it causes major plumbing issues by clogging drains.
Hereof, how do I dispose of cat litter?
To prevent odor and bacterial leakage, double bag your scooped litter. Place in an outside trash can with a tight fitting lid. Be sure to use a heavier duty garbage bag because, again, litter, especially clay litter, is dense and can quickly get heavy. Do not scoop cat litter into a trash can and then let it sit there.
How often should you change cat litter?
What Is Flushable Litter
Flushable litter is often made up of corn, wood, pine, or wheat, so it’s biodegradable if you don’t put it in a plastic bag and, according to its creators, also flushable. The corn and cassava ingredients in some provide excellent odor control without using artificial fragrances, which are common in clay-based litters. Some also clump, making it easier to remove urine and feces without having to empty the whole box.
The biggest upside is, of course, that these litters can be discarded in the toilet. Gone are the days of sending plastic bag-wrapped cat poop to the landfill. Flushing clumps is certainly a lot easier than the outdated process of scooping, bagging, and trashing. However, most don’t clump as easily as nonflushable litters, they can contain common cat allergens , and they tend to cost more.
Flushable litter is often positioned as a sustainable alternative to clay-based litter, the most common kind. Some clump, some don’t. Clumping litters, in particular, are popular for their ease of removing urine, as the litter absorbs liquid and creates scoopable drops. The litter doesn’t need to be replaced as often as nonclumping litters however, these clay-based litters end up in the trash, often in plastic bags, where they wind up in landfills and create other environmental woes.
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There Are Pros To Flushable Cat Litter But They May Not Come From Actually Flushing It
At first glance, purchasing biodegradable, flushable cat litter seems like a great idea. Youre avoiding purchasing regular cat litter, which often ends up in landfills, and you wont need to toss that plastic bag either.
And, since regular cat litter is made from clay, and clay comes from mining, youre actively choosing not to support mining when you purchase flushable litter. With over two million tons of clay mined each year in the U.S. alone, the environment is suffering from loss of natural habitats, flooding erosion.
But if you really want to do right by the environment, keep your cat happy and your litter box as fresh as possible, consider a pet compost in your yard . This means, youd actually be composting biodegradable, flushable cat litter instead of actually flushing it.
However, its essential this is done correctly. Your pet compost shouldnt be anywhere near edible food sources, crops or plants. This is fundamental for avoiding contamination. This compost can also be very stinky, so youll want to keep this far away from living or recreational spaces, neighbors, etc. Youll want to have a bin with a lid, and hot composting is also an option. If you plan to do this, make sure to do it right.
And dont forget about the litter box itself. Most are made from plastic, but you could consider purchasing a more sustainable one made from recycled plastic or stainless steel. Or, you could consider a self-cleaning litter box.
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