Can You Flush Cat Litter Down the Toilet?

Handling waste is the only downside of having a cat in your home. You want to scoop the clumps and get rid of them quickly, and your toilet looks like an easy way out. It takes a single flush to dispose of cat litter for good.

If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. The toilet will soon start backfiring because you can’t flush cat litter. Cat litter clogs the toilet and messes with your sewer lines.

And what about flushable cat litter? Keep reading to find out!

Why Is Flushing Cat Litter Bad for Your Toilet?

Flushing cat litter down the drain is effortless, but it’s bad for your toilet. We will point out three ways cat waste impacts your toilet.

Cat Litter Absorbs Water

First of all, you must understand that cat litter absorbs water. Its purpose is to collect cat poop and urine so it quickly absorbs liquid elements. It means that cat litter thrives in the toilet water because it feeds off it.

After flushing cat litter, you can expect it to grow and become too large for bathroom pipes. The usual width of a toilet drain is two inches — this is not enough to sustain large cat litter clogs filled with water and debris.

It Sticks to the Pipes

Water absorption helps litter flourish, but it also makes the material greasy and sticky. In other words, large chunks of moisturized litter end up sticking to the drains.

All it takes is for a little piece to get stuck, and the rest will follow. Every time you flush the toilet, some waste or debris will glue to the newly-formed litter chunk.

Cat Litter Forms Clogs

Finally, cat litter becomes large enough to form clogs in the drains. Your toilet will stop working, and you’ll be happy if you prevent an overflow. Clogging a toilet means two things:

Perhaps it sounds like we’re exaggerating, but that’s what happens when you regularly flush cat poop and litter down the toilet.

The Right Way to Dispose of Cat Litter

Now you know it’s bad to throw kitty litter in the toilet, so we have to discuss the correct alternative. Here’s how you should dispose of cat litter.

Step 1: Throw It in the Trash Can

Sometimes the proper choice is the obvious one — throw cat litter in the trash can. You can simply scoop cat litter and put it in a bag. We recommend using biodegradable bags because they eventually decompose, not harming nature.

When you throw pet waste in the trash, it ends up in a landfill. It’s not the perfect option, but it beats flushing cat litter down the toilet and all the other garbage disposal methods.

Step 2: Compost the Remnants

The second step is to pick whatever’s left in your cat’s litter box and use it for composting. If done properly, composting cat litter will help you fertilize the soil and make an eco-friendlier environment in the yard.

However, avoid putting compost piles next to edible plants and waterways. This kind of compost may still contain dangerous particles and parasites that harm nature and humans — use cat litter composting for flowers and similar non-edible plants.

5 Types of Cat Litter

Not all cat owners use the same type of litter, so you might be curious to learn which one is better for flushing. The straightforward answer is that none of these types is suitable for the toilet. Let’s take a closer look.

Clay Litter

Clay litter is the oldest and most popular type. It is the cheapest litter box solution, but it’s also one of the most harmful. This material is dusty and doesn’t cover the odor as well as other types.

Clay absorbs water quickly, and it can clog your toilet faster than any other type of cat litter. It’s a convenient option for cat owners, but don’t flush pet waste in the toilet.

Pine Litter

Some cat litter brands use pine, a wood-derived product. It can be a great choice if you want to improve your home odor. Pine litter is often lighter and better at preventing cat poop odors than clay litter.

On the other hand, it’s not as easy for cat owners to find pine litter. This type is also more expensive, but it doesn’t form clumps as well as you’d expect. Pine litter is not flushable, so don’t throw it down the drain.

Paper Litter

Paper litter is a favorable choice for cat lovers who want to create a comfortable litter box. Shredded paper is soft, which makes it ideal for kitties and cats with injured paws.

The biggest downside of paper litter is that it doesn’t control odor as well as other types. Paper absorbs moisture quickly, but it can’t keep bad smells under control. As a highly absorbable material, paper litter doesn’t belong in your toilet.

Silica Gel Litter

Silica gel litter absorbs moisture and keeps cat waste from creating an awful smell in your home. It doesn’t make dust clouds, and it successfully traps cat feces and urine.

However, silica gel litter is not something you’d want to throw in the toilet — it decomposes slowly and becomes heavy in the toilet water. As such, silica gel litter represents a serious clog-maker.

Flushable Cat Litter

Flushable cat litter should be a game-changer, right? As the name suggests, manufacturers make this litter suitable for flushing because it only contains biodegradable components.

Its ingredients are wheat, wood, corn, and paper. All these components dissolve in water and don’t harm the environment. But there is one thing we have to mention here — flushable litter harms your toilet.

It’s easy to flush it, but experience taught us that flushable cat litter clogs toilets as well. It turns out that clogs compose much faster than flushable litter decomposes, so it still ends up blocking your toilet.  

Can I Throw Flushable Cat Litter in the Toilet?

In theory, flushable litter should be harmless and unable to clog a toilet. But the reality is different, so we advise you not to throw flushable cat litter — it’s not clear whether the toilet will unclog itself

First of all, flushable cat litter is absorbable, and it builds up quickly. Though its elements are biodegradable, you can’t expect them to break down as soon as they enter the sewage system.

Secondly, throwing cat feces in the toilet poses a danger to public health. Cat poop doesn’t decompose in the sewer plant, so it continues its journey to nature. It carries a parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii that harms fish and wildlife populations.

It’s also a danger for humans, especially kids and pregnant women. That’s because Toxoplasma Gondii causes various illnesses like blurred vision, seizures, brain inflammation, etc.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t throw flushable cat litter in the toilet for both reasons we mentioned above.

Pros and Cons of Flushable Cat Litter

Like all things, flushable cat litter brands and their products come with certain qualities and downsides. We’ll analyze the pros first:

Flushable cat litter is eco-friendly

Flushable cat litter ends in a landfill and gradually decomposes when you throw it away.

It works well

A flushable kitty litter is good because it fulfills its primary purpose — collecting cat waste.

We can, however, point out a few downsides of flushable litter boxes. 

It forms clogs

The functionality of your toilet is our main concern, so we begin with the obvious drawback — flushable cat litter forms clogs in the drains.

Public health

Although unlikely, flushable litter can indeed endanger public health.

Price

Manufacturers believe this product is better than traditional litter — you can see it on the price tag.  

Allergies

Many cats are allergic to wheat and corn. Your cat may be suffering without you even knowing it.

How to Unclog a Toilet After Flushing Cat Litter? 

If your toilet stops working because you flushed cat poop, we encourage you to act quickly. That’s the only way to make the toilet functional again and prevent overflowing. Don’t flush the toilet before fixing it, or you’ll end up with a flooded floor.

Solution 1: A Plunger

One option is to use a toilet plunger to push the clog and remove it from the toilet line. You probably have this tool at home, and it’s easy to handle — press it against the bowl and start plunging.

When it breaks the clog, you will hear the sound of water running through pipes. You can test it by flushing the toilet a few times — water will go down the drain effortlessly.  

Solution 2: A Toilet Auger

The second option is to drill through the clog with a toilet auger. The drill can go much deeper into the sewage line, removing everything that comes in its way. Its sharp metal edges enable the auger to break even the toughest clogs.

Solution 3: Dish Soap

Another option is to use your favorite cleaning product, such as dish soap. It can’t dissolve clogs, but it can make them slippery enough to slide through the system.

Pour a cup of dish soap, add a bucket of hot water, and wait for it to penetrate the toilet trap and pipes. When cat litter soaks in dish soap, it should become slick and able to move through the tube with ease.

Final Thoughts

Can you flush cat litter? It’s a direct question, and we gave you a straightforward answer: No, you can’t flush cat litter down the toilet.

It doesn’t matter which one you’re using — all cat litter products will end up clogging your toilet. Flushable kitty litter is biodegradable, but it won’t dissolve in your toilet fast enough to prevent clog formation.

The only proper way to dispose of cat litter is to put it in a biodegradable bag and throw it in the garbage can. Every other solution is bad for your toilet and the environment.

FAQ

How can you dispose of cat litter?

The right way to dispose of cat litter is to place it in the trash. If you want to get rid of cat poop without harming the environment, put it in a biodegradable bag and throw it in the garbage bin.

Is cat litter bad for my toilet? 

Yes, cat litter is bad for your toilet. It builds up in bathroom pipes and grows large enough to form clogs. When this happens, your only option is to unclog a toilet. 

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