Undoubtedly, disposing of cat litter can be a real pain. While it may sound like a smart idea, you should never flush your cat litter down the toilet. You might be thinking, what about the litter labeled flushable? West London Plumbers, a plumber in West London, explains that even this litter should never go down the toilet, as it can still do harm. Read on to learn the best way to handle each type of litter.
Non-Flushable Cat Litter
Generally, cat litter is made of clay. This is the traditional type of cat litter. It is often made to clump upon absorbing moisture. It is very good for managing urine, as the litter absorbs the urine then creates a scoopable clump.
You don’t need to be an expert to know that litter of this type should not be flushed down your toilet. It could clog your toilet pipes or even cause damage to your septic tank.
Flushable Cat Litter
Cat litter labeled as flushable is a common sight in today’s market. The fact that it is flushable makes it appealing to buyers. However, going beyond the advertisement gimmicks of the marketers, is cat litter really flushable? Technically yes, it is. However, this does not mean it should be flushed down the toilet.
The fact that a small bar of soap can fit into your mouth and go down your throat with ease does not mean it should, neither would you let it. The flushable cat litter has been made in such a way that it can easily go down your toilet pipe, but like soap to the throat, it shouldn’t go down your toilet pipe.
This type of cat litter has been made with the problem of clogging your toilet in mind. This is, however, not the only problem caused by flushing cat litter down your toilet. Flushing cat litter down your toilet could potentially cause a lot of problems. Here are a few of them.
Introducing Parasites into the Waterway
Cat litter will always contain some amount of cat excreta, no matter how little. Cats have been identified as carriers of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is often present in cat waste.
Toxoplasma gondii is responsible for the condition called toxoplasmosis, which according to the CDC, affects around 40 million people in the U.S alone. Most people are often not aware they have this condition, as the symptoms are few and the human body can easily fight it off. However, this condition is very dangerous for people with a compromised immune system and pregnant women. It could cause brain damage, loss of eyesight, premature birth and death of the fetus. It has also been associated with some mental disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.
This condition is also dangerous to wildlife. It has been observed to negatively affect marine mammals when they are infected. When you flush your cat litter down your toilet, you introduce Toxoplasma gondii into the water supply and increase the chances of public infection.
Cat Litter Is Often Not Compatible with Your Septic System
Your septic system is designed to break down human waste and biodegradable toilet tissues. It was not made to break down cat litter and waste. Cat litter (either flushable or non-flushable) and cat waste do not break down like human waste. This has a potentially adverse effect on your septic system and could cause it to overflow or become damaged.
So, unless you have a few hundred thousand bucks to repair or build an entirely new septic tank you really shouldn’t flush your cat litter down your toilet.
Flushable Cat Litter Can Also Clog Your Toilet Pipes
Flushable cat litter could also clog your toilet’s pipes, despite what it says on the box. This is not to say that all of those advertisements are entirely false. All I am saying is that they fail to factor in the realities of today and they are entirely made to convince you and make you buy their product.
Newer toilets only use 1.6 gallons of water per flush. This isn’t enough momentum to flush the cat litter entirely down the toilet pipe, and a continuous reoccurrence of this will ultimately lead to the cat litter clogging your toilet pipe.
What Are the Alternatives to Flushing Cat Litter?
You may be wondering if not by flushing, how then should I dispose of my cat litter? Cat litter can be disposed of by scooping it into a plastic bag then into your trash. This is suitable for clumping litter. When doing this, you must watch out for small particles from the litter, as they can cause respiratory problems when inhaled.
Another way cat litter can be disposed of is by recycling. Some cat litter brands are biodegradable, like the “World’s Best Cat Litter”. You can allow it to decompose and use it as manure in your garden.
If you do not like the idea of using cat litter as manure or you do not have a garden, you could just bury it.
The disposal of cat litter is often a worrisome issue for cat owners, and flushing it down the toilet may seem a safe and easy solution. It is not a recommended method of disposing of your cat litter, as it could clog your toilet pipe or even damage your septic system. It also poses a potential health risk which may be fatal in some cases. Flushing cat litter down your toilet isn’t worth it; avail yourself of any of the alternatives.