Cat Litter Disposal – Is Cat Litter Flushable?

What is the proper method of cat litter disposal? If your cat is not litter trained, the answer is simple – clean up the poop with tissue paper and flush it, mop up the pee with more tissue paper and flush it. But what do you do after your cat does its business in the litter box? Can you still get rid of it the same way – is the cat litter flushable?

That depends on whether it is pee or feces, and what type of cat litter you are using. If you use sand for your cat’s litter box, you should not flush it. Even though not much sand will stick to the cat poop, your toilet will choke up in the long run. The same goes for the other two main types of litter: clay cat litter and clumping cat litter. The plumber’s bill to unclog your pipes will bankrupt you.

If you use crystal litter, which is made of silica gel, your job of cat litter disposal is slightly easier. Crystal cat litter absorbs cat urine into itself without clumping, so it is flushable in small amounts. Not much sticks to the cat poop either, so you can also flush that down the toilet. However, it is still not adviseable to do this regularly in the long run.

As for biodegradable cat litter, that depends. Some of them are made of rather large pellets which might also choke up your plumbing. Others are made of wood, or sawdust and might go through without any problems. Still, if you have a septic tank, realize that these material do not necessarily degrade immediately. We could be talking about years – which could cause your septic tank to become rather full. Somehow, the thought of used litter and cat poop coming out of my backed up drains leaves me with a cold sweat.

Some manufacturers have started to make flushable cat litter, in the face of calls for more convenience. Naturally, these flushable cat litter costs more. To make cat litter flushable, they use various biodegradable materials which are supposed to safely go through your plumbing. These newer types of cat litter will not turn into a sludge which can choke up your sewage pipes – in theory. Some plumbers beg to differ. In the course of their business, they have gone to homes where the sewage pipes and plumbing were choked up by flushable cat litter. Or so the embarrassed and distressed house occupant said. Who is lying, here? I do not know, but it is probably not adviseable to flush large amounts of litter down the toilet.

It is still better to dispose of the bulk of your cat’s litter the old way – either bagged up together with the rest of your trash or carefully buried somewhere in the garden. In the garden, your cat’s urine and feces would make a good fertilizer for your grass and flowers. Cat urine and feces can contain dangerous bacteria, so you should not use it to fertilize vegetables and fruit trees.

I must admit that a true flushable cat litter would be awfully convenient when it is snowing or raining heavily. It would really simplify cat litter disposal.