Flushable Cat Litter

Flushable cat litter is a better way of disposing your used litter than throwing it into a land fill.

Is flushable litter really an option?

What to consider before flushing cat waste down your toilet?

Will I be damaging the environment?

These are all questions that you should consider as a responsible cat owner.

There may be other ways of using waste and used cat litter that are beneficial to the environment.

What is Flushable Litter?

Types of cat litter purported to be 'flushable' are usually made from biodegradable materials.

Common components include: whole kernel corn, shredded newspapers, wheat by-products, pine pellets, pine sawdust and cedar.

Flushable cat litter brands are also marketed as natural because their ingredients are sourced from nature and they are free of perfumes, clay, silica and sodium bentonite (a naturally swelling clay clumping agent that when mixed with water expands).

Top flushable and Eco-friendly brands are:-

  1. Swheat Scoop Cat Litter - wheat based litter for cats and other small animals and birds.
  2. World's Best Cat Litter - one of the premium litter brands consisting of whole kernel corn.
  3. Elegant Cat's Green Litter - free from clays and silica, made from all natural ingredients
  4. Premium Choice Flushable Scoopable Litter - unscented
  5. Luv My Kitty - made from 100% recycled pine saw dust.
  6. Feline Pine - available in clumping and non-clumping forms, it's made from yellow pine pellets. Great at absorbing odors.
  7. Yesterday's News - by Purina is made from recycled newspaper pellets and contains no perfumes.

Things to Consider
Before Flushing Cat Litter

Plumbing - the first factor to consider is your home environment and plumbing system.

Scoopable cat litter contain clay and silica (a form of sand). Clay is a common aggregate material in making cement, so adding clay plus water and other debris in litter (such as sand) to your water pipes will eventually cause a thick build up of material and cause a major blockage.

If you have a septic system, you'll likely already be aware how easily they can be blocked by paper towels and other household waste.

Don't ruin your septic system!
The convenience of flushing cat litter will be made redundant when you get a massive plumbing bill and perhaps a flooded garden.

Local Regulations - consider any local/city/homeowner association restrictions before you begin regularly flushing cat waste into the water systems. Find out if it's allowed first, then consider whether they allow the flushing of the waste products alone or the litter and the waste together.

Environmental Impact - although we think flushing cat waste may be convenient, for us, it is reported to have negative impacts on ocean mammals.

Putting cat feces into the sewer system will result in it being processed and treated in the same way that human waste is.

However, the difference with cat feces is the presence of a nasty parasite called toxoplasma gondii. It's usually contracted by cats eating birds and rodents. This can lie undetected in many cats, yet the eggs of this parasite are not killed by standard water treatment processing.

When cat feces are flushed away it eventually ends up in our oceans where small fish such as anchovies become infected with the parasite. Larger mammals (otters, dolphins and porpoises) then eat the anchovies and become infected with toxoplasma gondii.

This article explains the problem in more detail -

New Scientist, World's Most Successful Bug

Alternatives to Flushable Cat Litter

Using a natural Eco-friendly brand of cat litter is good for the environment and the health of your cat.

Disposing of the waste and the used litter doesn't have to mean flushing it down your toilet.

As well as being a risk to your home plumbing and the ocean Eco-system, it may be unlawful to do this in your area. California has outlawed this practice already.

Composting Cat Litter

If you have a garden, you can safely compost flushable cat litter - i.e. not litters made with clays, silica (sand) and sodium bentonite.

Make your free garden fertilizer!

  1. Buy or make a composting container. It doesn't have to be air tight but should have a lifting lid on the top.
  2. Start using a flushable cat litter made with natural ingredients, such as the brands listed above.
  3. Place a layer of composting material such as shredded newspapers, saw dust or soil on the bottom few inches of the container.
  4. Throw in clumped cat urine and feces on top.
  5. Cover with another layer of composting material.
  6. Repeat the layering of waste and composting materials.
  7. For trees and plants that you know you will not be eating, you can use the fertilizer after around 1 year. For fruits and vegetable it's recommended to wait for 18 months before applying. This is so all the toxins are gone and it no longer resembles cat waste.
  8. Pregnant women shouldn't handle such fertilizers.

Paper Bags and Newspaper

You can always be kinder to the environment by disposing of cat litter in paper bags rather than using plastic ones that will sit in landfills for years.

I've often used the free local newspapers that get thrown on my driveway. Alternatively you can buy small paper bags from the store and add them to your normal household trash.

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