When it comes to having a cat, no owner’s favourite part is cleaning up the litter. Cats are great companions for adults or even children, but like all animals there are obligations. Caring for a pet means putting up with some things that are a little messy. Clean-up doesn’t have to be a hassle though. There are many different types of cat litter around and cat litter boxes, the right combinations of which can really cut down on this unpleasant task. There is even flushable cat litter. This makes cleaning up after your pet considerably easier, but there are drawbacks.
When looking at the different cat litter, you always have a few choices. There are clumping or non-clumping, different materials, and even dust-free litters to consider. Flushable cat litter is another option, it is typically clumping and comes in a variety of different materials. If you’re looking to minimise the mess from cat litter, you need to look at your type of litter box and type of litter.
Flushable cat litter is much easier to dispose of than regular litter, going straight down the toilet. However, there are pros and cons. Not all cat litter marketed as flushable is particularly healthy for your toilet. There is also the environmental impact to consider.
As with changing litter to any different type, switching to flushable litter runs a few risks. Cats don’t always take to the new litter, so you may have to make sure your pet is okay with the change. Introduce it gradually before switching over entirely. This is what you need to know about flushable cat litter, and which are the best options on the market.
What is Flushable Cat Litter?
Flushable cat litter might seem like a strange concept at first, but it works quite simply. This is litter that does a good job of clumping and staying clumped. This means your cat’s litter will form solid pieces that are more easily flushed. It should also be low on dust, to keep everything moving around your pipes easily. It can be made of different materials, but it is best to have a material that won’t react strangely to being submerged in water.
There is no specific difference in material or production that makes cat litter flushable or non-flushable though. There is no big scientific breakthrough. It just comes down to those characteristics. Being made from non-clay materials helps this. Clay is terrible in combination with water which makes it difficult to flush. Flushable litter is never made of clay.
The packaging and marketing for flushable cat litter makes a pretty big deal about its easily flushed away contents. It promises a life free from the messiness of actually cleaning up after a cat. However, things aren’t quite as simple as that. When you’re looking at flushable cat litter, you have to think about the pros and cons of it.
Some of the main positives of using flushable cat litter are how much easier it can be to dispose of. On top of this though, it is also not clay-based. This is great since clay litter can actually be quite harmful to your pet.
When it actually comes to flushing it though, things are a bit more complicated than they appear.
Can You Just flush it Down the Toilet?
The pipes and system around your toilet are a bit complicated and they vary from house to house and toilet to toilet. Flushable cat litter is designed to work in some toilets and has been tested for it. However, just because the litter flushed fine in tests of the manufacturer it doesn’t mean it is going to go smoothly down your own pipes.
The granules from flushable cat litter can easily be caught in the pipes. Over time this can build up and cause some problems. This all depends on the health of your pipes. Some people may not have a problem, but others can. You have to consider the scale of what you’re flushing. While most people only flush the clumps from litter down the toilet, this is considerably more non-waste material going through your pipes than normal. Small amounts might not seem like that big of a deal, but a small amount of litter going down a toilet can still have a real effect on your plumbing’s health. it is worth keeping in mind that flushable cat litter might not be the best thing to flush down your toilet.
This doesn’t mean that cat litter isn’t safe to flush. For the most part, flushable cat litter will function just as intended. It is just worth keeping mind that there is a trade-off for that convenience.
Environmental Factors of Flushable Cat Litter
Some flushable cat litters claim to be biodegradable, which gives them something of a natural or eco-positive image. Unfortunately, though, flushing cat litter down the toilet is not a great move environmentally.
Pet waste has been found to be a pollutant. Flushing cat litter down the toilet exposes the water system to parasites that while safe and fine in cats or litter, can grow and become a problem in the water treatment cycle. The infrastructure of water treatment simply isn’t built to deal with your pet’s waste. This can make flushing litter down there a bit of a strain. While most people aren’t kept up at night concerned about their local water treatment centre, flushing cat litter puts an unnecessary strain on infrastructure.
The pollutant elements of a cat’s waste will eventually make their way into the oceans. Here, parasites that are safe for household cats find their way into marine life, which has an immune system completely alien to them. Parasites found in cat litter and waste have been found to be directly to blame for the deaths of sea otters and other creatures because of this. You should consider all of this when weighing the pros and cons of flushable cat litter.
The Top 5 Flushable Cat Litters
If you’re confident that flushable cat litter is for you despite some of the drawbacks, there are a lot of choices out there. Different brands are made of different materials and have some clear pros and cons. Your choice of brand or type of cat litter is a bit more complicated than with some other litter types since it isn’t going straight in the bin. These are the top flushable cat litters around at the moment.
World’s Best Cat Litter Original
This cat litter might have something of a braggadocios name, but it gets the job done. This is a cat litter that is specially formulated to be flushable. It is also dust-free, so you can be sure that those little particles aren’t going to spread around whenever you empty or clean out the litter box.
This is a litter that does a good job of odour control since it is quite absorbent. It also clumps into easily scooped sizes. This makes it really quite a good choice for a flushable cat litter.
World’s Best Cat Litter Extra Strength
This is another flushable cat litter from the same company, but with a few differences. This is particularly for odorous control and heavy use. This makes it great for cats with health problems or those that are bigger than your average cat. This litter does a better job of hiding smells and coping with heavy use. This is perfect for bigger cats whose diet and builds make normal litter a bit inadequate.
Siria Organic Clumping Cat Litter
Siria is a brand of cat litter that tries to keep its products free from harmful chemicals. It is branded as organic, but this is essentially just a by-word for not having chemicals on the litter. This can be misleading, but it is worth keeping in mind that there is no legal definition of ‘organic’ for pet products, just about anything can put it into their name with any real need. However, Siria does seem to be chemical-free at least, so this is good news is you’re looking to keep your cat healthy.
This cat litter isn’t specifically advertised as flushable. Customers have flushed it though and found that its clumping characteristics make it about as safe to flush like any other.
Green Cat Cat Litter
Green Cat is another brand of cat litter that is specifically formulated to be flushable. It is made from clumping materials that eliminate dust. This is great for keeping unwanted particles out of your pipes. It is also relatively odourless, managing to contain the smell from a litter box.
It is lightweight litter, which makes disposing of it considerably easier. If you need to flush your cat litter, this is a great choice that should help you keep things natural.
Nature’s Calling Cat Litter
Nature’s Calling is a cat litter that tries to be a little more environmentally conscious. To do this, it is made from natural and biodegradable materials. This means there is less dust from the litter and less mess from this. It clumps easily and quickly. It does a good job of keeping odours in too.
However, while this cat litter would like to claim to be environmental, there is little you can do to make flushed cat litter an environmental positive. Biodegradable cat litters can degrade perfectly safely once disposed of, but even these do damage when pumped into oceans. This is all to say don’t put too much emphasise on which brand has that organic label since all flushable cat litter has largely the seem environmental impact.
Which Flushable Cat Litter is Right for You?
Flushable cat litters come in as many different varieties as ordinary litter. There are some pros and cons of using it though. Clean up is easier. However, they have a particularly bad effect on your plumbing, your water treatment infrastructure, and even the wider oceans and marine life. However, if circumstances mean that your only option for disposing of cat litter is by flushing it, then these flushable cat litters can be really helpful.
These are the best flushable cat litters available at the moment, which should cater to any type of cat.