If you own a cat or more than one, you probably know that cleaning those litter boxes is just about the worst thing about owning a cat. And you may think that it would just be easier if you could flush that cat litter down the toilet – instead of bagging it and disposing of it.

Well – we are here to tell you that as professional plumbers, we advise you NOT to do that!

The reason is that the majority of cat litters are made with bentonite clay and non-clumping litters are normally made up of zeolitediatomite and sepiolite. But, whater “ite” these litters consist of, the point here is that these ingredients are NOT biodegradable and can cause serious damage to your home’s sewer pipes.

These materials can clump together and basically create a large “rock” which can not only block your pipes but depending on what the pipes are made of – could also crack and puncture them as well.

So, you may now be wondering if there is such a thing as a kitty litter product that you can flush down your toilet?

What Kind Of Cat Litter IS Flushable?

There are kitty litters available that claim to be flushable – these are usually made with ingredients such as corn or wheat or some type of shredded wood. So, it seems that they would be biodegradable (which they can be) and it would be fine to flush them.

But – the problems here are…

  • Not all flushable cat litter products work with all septic systems – so you may end up with problems there
  • It’s advised to break up any large clumps before you flush it – so that means that larger clumps can clog the pipes
  • If you have a water saving type of toilet – the flushing power on that toilet is usually not strong enough to push those kinds of clumps further down the sewer system
  • Most of us clean out a litter box once or twice a day so by the time you get to clean it – your cat’s poop has hardened – essentially making it a hard rock that you are flushing down your toilet
  • Besides all the issues to your pipes – flushing down your cat’s urine and feces into the water system introduces parasites that really should not be there

All in all – NOT a good idea to flush any type of cat litter!

Can Cat Poop Be Flushed Down The Toilet?

If you are thinking that maybe you can just flush your cat’s poop down the toilet without the litter (if you can separate the two) the answer to that is NO – do not do that.

As I said earlier – by the time you get to your litter box to clean it – your cat’s fecal matter has been sitting there for a while (usually) and that means that it has hardened. It’s basically like a rock at this point and you would then be flushing down a very hard substance down your toilet and into your sewer pipes.

Never mind the biological factor that the fecal matter that a cat excretes contains the parasite Toxoplasma gondii which is dangerous to humans that are immuno compromised.

How Long Does It Take For Cat Litter To Clog A Toilet?

The answer to this is it depends on the condition of your sewer pipes. If they are already compromised – then it won’t take long at all – it could even be immediately after you flush it.

If your sewer pipes are fairly clean and functioning well – it could take a few days or weeks before you notice the signs of a sewage backup, which are…

  • Gurgling sounds from your drains or toilets
  • Water backing up out of drains or toilets
  • Water pooling around drains or toilets
  • Smell of raw sewage coming from your drains

How Do You Properly Dispose Of Kitty Litter?

Most everyone has their own method of disposing kitty litter – but basically the main idea is to dispose of it into your regular garbage. Here are some methods most commonly used.

  • Scoop out the kitty litter clumps into a plastic bag (biodegradable bag if possible) and dispose of it with your regular garbage
  • You can use old food bags such as the inner lining of cereal boxes and cracker boxes, old potato chip bags, etc.

If you have any questions about toilets or are having some problems with one, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.