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Why Flushable Kitty Litter isn’t Exactly Flushable

The nice thing about cats: companionship. The bad thing about cats: kitty litter.

Unlike dogs, which have the decency to do their business outside, cats present certain inconveniences when dealing with their doodoo. While cat litter has evolved over the years from dirt to odor-eliminating non-clumping silica, we’re still scooping and disposing and it’s making a real mess of our plumbing systems.

Even so-called flushable litter isn’t the solution it purports to be. Here’s why:

The Problem With Cat Poop

Flushable kitty litter is marketed as a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to the conventional variety. It’s made of woodchips, wheat, cornmeal, or other biodegradable material. This type of litter is certainly more flushable than clumping clay litter, which expands with moisture to create a serious blockage in your drain.

Still, it’s not wise to flush cat poop. It turns out Felix’s feces are toxic for the environment.

Cat poop can contain a parasite called toxoplasmosis gondii. It’s transmissible to humans with sometimes fatal results. The Environmental Protection Agency cites the parasite’s transmission through our water system as a genuine public health risk. Modern water treatment facilities cannot remove T. gondii or other intestinal parasites from our water supply. That’s why some states, such as California, have mandated that manufacturers place a warning on the packaging to discourage pet owners from flushing cat feces.

None of this is to say that you shouldn’t use flushable cat litter. It’s the more eco-friendly option made of sustainable materials; just don’t flush it.

Toss it in the Trash

The garbage can remains the best place for pet waste. To make disposal a little greener, place cat poo in compostable bags. These are the same type of bag you would use to pick up after your dog on a walk, but these are biodegradable. Place the bags in a trashcan outside and secure the lid. This way, you’re doing both the environment and your plumbing a considerable favor.

Bottom line: Love your cats and discard their waste responsibly. If you’ve been flushing clumping clay litter, you owe it to yourself to get your plumbing system inspected. To schedule your appointment, call AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric at (303) 622-3449.