Contents of Article
- Don’t you ever wish you could just flush away your cat’s litter?
- What’s the Best Flushable Cat Litter?
- Types of Flushable Cat Litter
- Top 5 Best Flushable Cat Litters
Don’t you ever wish you could just flush away your cat’s litter?
Standard clumping clay cat litter is made from sodium bentonite, a natural clay that’s often used for plugging holes and sealing ponds and landfills. This highly absorbent clay expands 15-18 times its original size when dampened.
The cement-like compound formed by the combination of water and sodium bentonite clay can clog pipes and damage your septic system. That’s not something that you want to flush. These highly absorbent qualities make clumping clay litter a clean and convenient favorite among cats and humans alike.
If you’d like to flush your cat’s litter, you’ll need to seek out a septic-safe alternative that works for your plumbing and the environment.
What’s the Best Flushable Cat Litter?
- World’s Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula – Our Favorite
- sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Natural Wheat Cat Litter
- Garfield Cat Litter Tiny Grains Flushable Cat Litter
- Next Gen Pet Products Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter
- Okocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter
What’s good about flushable cat litter?
Especially for people who live in apartment buildings or who build up trash for weekly trips to the landfill, bags of used litter can become a back-straining source of frustration. You often don’t realize how dense cat litter and waste is until you have to haul a stretching garbage bag full of dirty cat litter up or down the stairs.
In terms of environmental impact, flushable litter takes plastic bags out of the equation and doesn’t send your litter to the landfill. Instead, the waste is cleanly flushed away to the same treatment facility or septic tank that handles human waste.
But flushable litter isn’t perfect.
Toxoplasma Gondii is a parasitic organism that can infect any mammal. Domesticated cats and other members of the cat family are common carriers of this parasite. When infected, they shed hundreds of millions of eggs through their feces. While infected humans usually don’t show any symptoms, it can cause serious illness in immunosuppressed people. A pregnant woman may pass the infection to their fetus – this is why it’s always recommended that pregnant women avoid cleaning out the litter box.
By flushing your cat’s waste down the toilet, you may introduce the parasite to waterways, which may eventually route it to the sea. Once there, toxoplasmosis could contribute to the deaths of endangered sea otters, Hawaiian monk seals, and other marine mammals.
It’s reasonable to theorize that when the waste passes through the municipal water treatment facility, the parasites will be killed. But if you believe that, you’ve underestimated T. Gondii: the parasite is incredibly hardy and usually passes through wastewater treatment unscathed.
The state of California requires all litter manufacturers to label their packages with a warning against flushing litter or disposing of it outdoors in gutters or storm drains.
Even if you don’t ever introduce parasites to waterways through flushing, they’ll likely find their way to new hosts eventually. The parasites can survive for years in soil and cold water; even the parasites in feces buried in soil outdoors can eventually make their way to marine mammals via rainwater runoff.
Flushable cat litter isn’t guaranteed to pass through your plumbing smoothly, and in fact, it could cause clogs. This is a particularly serious consideration if your pipes are older. It’s a good idea to let the litter disintegrate in the water a bit before flushing it. Go gradually and avoid dumping large amounts of litter into the toilet. Any clumping litter, including biodegradable clumping litters, might stick to grease or other buildup in your plumbing – with very unpleasant consequences.
Another thing to consider is that flushable litter could damage your toilet bowl.
More abrasive products could scratch the surface, and staining is another possible problem. If you choose a dark-colored product like walnut litter, it might stain the inside of your toilet bowl.
Finally, tossing a boxful of cat litter into the toilet isn’t as easy as pouring the contents and forgetting about them. It’s not easy or a good idea to dump an entire litter box full of cat litter into the toilet – you’ll have to linger over the bowl for the duration of at a few flushes.
There’s a certain convenience and easy-breezy unobtrusiveness about the act of discarding cat litter down the toilet, but it doesn’t make the job effortless.
Types of Flushable Cat Litter
The best flushable cat litter is one that has been tested and approved for both septic and sewer systems. If you aren’t connected to a city sewer system and use a septic system instead, it’s important to make sure that the litter is approved for your situation.
Flushable cat litter comes in a variety of types, but one quality is universal: they’re not made with sodium bentonite clay. Almost all litter marketed as a natural and biodegradable alternative to traditional clay is flushable. That means that you can choose from a variety of clumping and non-clumping litter products.
Common flushable litter types include newspaper, corn, wood, and wheat. You’ll find that these are available in a variety of textures and formulas, all of which offer varying degrees of effectiveness in different areas.
Let’s dive into our picks for the top 5 best flushable cat litter products and talk about what sets them apart from the rest.
Top 5 Best Flushable Cat Litters
Besides all being safe to flush, all of the products on the following list score well in key performance areas.
Because cats consistently choose clumping litter over those that don’t clump, the following list only includes clumping products. These provide superior freshness and are easier to clean.
They are all relatively fine-grained litters – this is the texture cats prefer. Compared to large pellets, these products are softer on their paws and easier to dig in.
While personal experiences vary, all of the following products have earned a healthy percentage of positive reviews and have a reputation for quality.
World’s Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula Review
Made from whole-kernel corn
This formula for multiple cats contains an all-natural plant derivative that helps to improve odor control, keeping your house smelling better and encouraging your cats to use the box. The litter creates solid, cohesive scoops for easier cleaning. This popular litter is one of the most reliable products in the alternative litter space, consistently impressing customers with its ability to stop odors and create excellent clumps.
The litter doesn’t create a large amount of dust, but the fine particles may get stuck to your cat and track around the house. That said, cats love the fine texture – it’s gentle on their paws and easy to dig in.
Aflatoxin mold growth is a concern for those using this litter – since the mold flourishes in warm, damp places, it’s doubly important to keep the litter box clean.
The litter is safe to flush for both sewer and septic systems. – Buy It
- Natural, biodegradable corn litter is safe to flush
- Traps odors and creates solid clumps
- Cats like the fine texture of the litter
- Corn may develop dangerous aflatoxin mold
- Tends to track quite a bit
sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Natural Wheat Cat Litter Review
Made from wheat
This product is designed for multiple cat homes and has enhanced odor protection to help keep your home smelling fresh. You could opt for one of sWheat Scoop’s other wheat cat litter products, but none of them receive the consistently positive reviews that their multi-cat litter does.
It’s made from 100% natural wheat – no chemicals or fragrances and deodorants. It’s a completely unscented litter, which cats prefer. It provides good odor control and clumps well – natural wheat enzymes neutralize smells, while the wheat starch acts as a clumping agent. The wheat clumps quickly, helping to prevent litter from getting stuck to the bottom of the litter pan.
It doesn’t produce any dust but does tend to track around the house.
This biodegradable wheat litter is safe to flush, whether you’re connected to a sewer system or use a septic system. – Buy It
- Good odor control and clumping ability
- Cats like the fine texture of the litter
- 100% biodegradable and safe to flush
- Tends to track around the house
- Doesn’t produce the strongest clumps
Garfield Cat Litter Tiny Grains Flushable Cat Litter Review
Made from corn and cassava
This is a biodegradable plant-based litter made from a combination of corn and cassava. The grains are extra-fine – which appeals to cats, who prefer to dig in a substrate similar to the soil or sand that they might use in nature.
This 100% natural litter effectively creates hard, scoopable clumps that help you to easily keep the litter box clean. It does a moderately good job of controlling odors without using any irritating deodorants or fragrances. Reviewers like the pale off-white color of the fine litter granules – they look clean and help to make health problems easy to spot.
It’s important to keep this natural cat litter clean, since aflatoxin mold tends to grow on corn in a damp, warm environment. Another reason to keep the box clean: as the litter degrades over time, bugs may become attracted to the grain.
Although the litter is safe to flush, you’ll need to let the clumps dissolve in the water before flushing them away. It’s safe for both septic and sewer systems. – Buy It
- Quickly creates hard, cohesive clumps
- Safe to flush after letting the litter dissolve
- White litter makes it easy to monitor urinary tract health
- Cats like the fine texture of the litter
- Minimal dust
- The biggest problem with this litter is its cost – it’s an expensive litter that will cost you around $20 for one 15-lb case
- Natural corn-based cat litter may be the target for aflatoxin mold growth and could attract bugs
Next Gen Pet Products Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter Review
Made from wood and green tea leaves
This is an all-natural wood based cat litter that effectively controls odors and creates small, moderately cohesive clumps. Although the clumps aren’t the hardest or most cohesive out there, according to Next Gen, this product creates clumps that are ⅓ smaller and lighter than those produced by clay litter. That means easier, faster scooping.
The litter gets a deodorizing, antibacterial boost from a natural astringent found in green tea – catechin. Reviewers say that the litter puts off an authentic green tea aroma. It’s made without artificial fragrances or any other additives.
It’s low in dust and doesn’t have a tracking problem.
This 100% biodegradable litter is safe to flush with both septic and sewer systems. – Buy It
- Creates moderately solid clumps
- Safe to flush with both septic and sewer systems
- Good odor control
- The large granules aren’t compatible with most cat litter scoops
Okocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter Review
Made from wood
Okocat, an environmentally-conscious cat litter brand, offers this natural wood clumping litter made from reclaimed timber or lumber materials. To be specific, it is made from a blend of spruce, fir, and pine which makes it extremely eco-friendly.
The litter does an excellent job of controlling odors without using any harmful chemicals that could irritate your cat.
Tree fiber has a natural capillary system that absorbs and locks in moisture, and this litter harnesses that power to create a highly absorbent product. According to the company, the wood pellets absorb 5X their weight in moisture. Besides trapping moisture, the litter also locks in odors for up to seven days.
It’s a lightweight litter that’s easy to pour and handle. Okocat screens their wood litter before packaging, so it’s a 99.9% dust-free product. That said, it does have a tracking issue. The wood particles cling to cats’ paws and tend to deposit around the house.
The litter is completely safe to flush with a sewer system and the box is compostable. That said, it’s not recommended for flushing on a septic system. – Buy It
- Extraordinary odor control
- Excellent clumping ability
- 100% biodegradable and safe to flush on a sewer system
- Tracking is often a problem when using this litter
- Not recommended for flushing with a septic system