Many people think it’s okay to flush cat litter down the toilet. However, that is not the case. In reality, you should never flush cat litter down the toilet due to plumbing and health problems. In addition, kitty litter also has an unpleasant odor that causes various issues.
As a cat owner, you are held responsible for causing health problems even if you accidentally flush cat litter down the toilet. So be cautious and keep reading to find about why you should never flush cat litter down the toilet, how to dispose of cat litter, and what to do if you accidentally flush cat litter.
What is Cat Litter, and what are its Types?
Cat litters are sold in markets for indoor cats that can absorb cat urine and separate the cat’s waste. In addition, cat litters control the smell of cat poop as well.
There are different types of cat litters, such as;
1. Clay Litter
The most common and affordable cat litter is the clay litter that can clump the cat’s waste, making scooping easier. However, clay litter produces a lot of dust particles.
2. Silica Gel Litter
Silica gel litter produces fewer dust particles, has less odor, and doesn’t clump. However, it is expensive.
3. Pine Litter
Pine litter is an eco-friendly litter that comes in both clumping and non-clumping variety and controls odor.
4. Paper Litter
Another type of cat litter is the softer paper litter that is designed for cats with paw injuries.
5. Flushable Cat Litter
Flushable cat litter is made up of biodegradable products such as; Wheat, Wood Products, and Shredded Paper. It is easier to use and makes disposing of cat litter faster. However, it will be best if you don’t flush the flushable cat litter.
Can You Flush Cat Litter Down The Toilet?
It is easy to buy an adorable cat, but sometimes it isn’t easy to take care of their hygiene. For example, most cat owners can’t handle cat litter and don’t enjoy cleaning the cat’s litter box. Therefore, cat owners constantly search for shortcuts to dispose of cat litter faster and with ease. However, flushing cat litter down the toilet can never be an option.
Why shouldn’t you flush cat litter down the toilet? Following are the reasons behind not flushing cat poop or litter;
1. Toxoplasmosis Gondi infection
Cat litter has Toxoplasmosis Gondi (a parasite), and if you flush cat poop down the toilet, cat feces will cause health problems in humans with the compromised immune system.
Toxoplasmosis Gondi spreads via cat feces to humans and causes fetal developmental disorders if the mother is exposed to the cat litter during pregnancy.
The fetal developmental disorders caused by Toxoplasmosis are; jaundice, seizures, enlarged spleen and liver, and eye infections. In addition, Toxoplasmosis Gondi can also cause miscarriage and intrauterine death of the fetus.
Toxoplasmosis also affects the elderly population and people with suppressed or low immunity. Encephalitis (brain infection), seizures, and blindness are caused by Toxoplasmosis Gondi in the elderly and those infected with HIV (AIDS).
Therefore, never flush cat litter down the toilet as Toxoplasmosis Gondi can enter the water and cause an epidemic. Moreover, clean your cat’s litter box daily and avoid children’s contact with the cat’s litter.
2. Clogged sewer pipes
Another problem with flushing cat litter down the toilet is the clogging of the sewage pipes. The cat litter absorbs water and swells up. Therefore, cat litter clogs sewer pipes. In fact, ‘flushable’ cat litters are also not flushed completely, and they block the sewer pipes.
Therefore, flushing cat poop down the toilet will cost you a lot and waste your time fixing the clogged pipes.
Furthermore, even septic tanks can’t dispose of cat litter completely as litter can collect and solidify, resulting in further problems such as harm to the environment.
The wastewater treatment systems can’t eliminate Toxoplasmosis from the water before discharging it back into the environment. Therefore, fish, shellfish, otters, and other marine life can also be affected by Toxoplasmosis Gondi, resulting in brain damage and death.
How do you dispose of cat litter?
Follow the below steps to dispose of cat litter without causing severe health issues;
- Remove and separate the stool and urine clumps from the litter box by using a litter scoop.
- Place the clumps in the trash bag.
- Tie a knot on the trash bag and place it in a second empty trash bag to avoid odor and bacteria leakage.
- Now put the sealed trash bag full of cat poop in the trash can that is outside your house.
- Make sure to fit the lid of the trash can tightly.
Also, sanitize your hands before and after disposing of the cat litter.
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 poop’s smell around the cat litter box’s area.
- Try adding little baking soda to the litter box to minimize the poop’s smell.
- Try out new litter as new litter formulas can trap the odor. However, the new litters are still not suitable for your sewers.
What to do if you accidentally flush cat litter down the toilet?
If you accidentally flush cat litter down the toilet, you can add dishwashing soap to the toilet bowl. Then, add a cup of hot water and let it sit for a minute. Now try plunging. The boiling water dissolves the cat poop and allows you to remove it from the toilet.
However, if your sewer pipes get clogged, call the plumber to avoid more problems.
Can you flush cat poop down the toilet?
No, it’s not okay to flush cat feces down the toilet even if you separate it from the clay-based litter. Cat poop can spread Toxoplasmosis Gondi and cause seizures and brain infections in immune-compromised people.
Does anything dissolve cat litter?
Two parts of hot water mixed with one part of hydrogen-based bleach can dissolve cat litter, and you can easily remove the cat litter by spraying this mixture on it.
Can I throw cat litter in the garden?
No, you can’t throw cat litter in the garden. The only way to dispose of cat litter is by putting it in a trash can.
Is clumping litter bad for cats?
If cats ingest the clumping litter, it can prove to be dangerous to the digestive system of cats.
Can indoor cats have Toxoplasmosis?
Not all indoor cats have Toxoplasmosis. However, if you are planning to get pregnant, stay away from the cat’s litter.
You can’t flush cat litter down the toilet as it contains the Toxoplasmosis parasite that causes health hazards. In addition, cat litter can clog your sewer pipes. Therefore, always dispose of the cat litter in a trash can.