The idea of flushing cat litter is an appealing one but it’s not a perfect solution. In the best-case-scenario, flushable litter means less garbage you have to lug out to the curb.
But while it’s made with small, biodegradable granules that break down quickly in water, there’s no guarantee against clogs. And for some plumbing systems – especially older ones – even flushable litter can cause damage.
The fact remains that cat litter probably doesn’t belong in your toilet – even so-called “flushable” cat litter.
While we can’t whole-heartedly recommend it, we’ve rounded up some of the available options for comparison. Just remember that flushing litter is not recommended for older plumbing systems or toilets connected to city water.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Flushable Cat Litters
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- 100% natural, made from wheat
- Free from synthetic fragrance
- Granules may track less than some litter
- Made from renewable grass materials
- Lightweight and gentle on cats’ paws
- Clumps well for easy scooping
Why Should You Trust Us?
Over the last several years, we’ve written in-depth reviews on over two dozen of the most popular cat litter brands and more than 50 litter products.
Our litter team has spent hundreds of hours testing these products’ clumping ability, odor control, dustiness, tendency to track and scatter, and more. In addition to our own product research and testing, we’ve read thousands of customer reviews and consulted several veterinarians to get their take on the safest and most effective cat litter.
Based on extensive research, hands-on testing, and expert insights, we’ve selected the following five cat litter products as the best flushable options on the market.
Our Veterinary Advisors
The Best Flushable Cat Litter: Our Top 5 Picks
Is It Safe To Flush Cat Litter Down the Toilet?
Generally speaking, no. Most cat litters are designed to absorb liquid and some – like clumping cat litters – expand on contact. Flushing these types of litter down the toilet puts you at risk for damaged pipes that can be messy and expensive to fix.
Clay cat litter turns into a gooey cement-like substance when it gets wet. A small clump or two might not cause an issue, but frequently flushing cat litter can clog your pipes over time. Silica cat litter is lightweight and doesn’t clump, so it may flush more easily – but it doesn’t dissolve in water, either, so it can cause blockages over time.
What about cat litter that is advertised as flushable? Some natural cat litter is marketed as flushable and septic-safe, but you should still think twice before dumping clumps in the toilet.
For one thing, flushing cat litter – even cat litter designed for that purpose – can still clog your pipes.
Because it’s designed to dissolve in water, flushable cat litter doesn’t tend to form hard clumps. But if you don’t break up the clumps, they still might not flush well.
Soft clumps can also make the chore of scooping the litter box more difficult. Depending on the litter scoop you’re using, you may find yourself making several trips back and forth to the toilet each time you clean the litter box.
It also means you’ll be using more water to flush all those clumps away. This may be a serious concern if you live in an area that frequently experiences water shortages.
Finally, flushing cat litter can introduce pathogens into the environment.
Even if your plumbing system can handle flushable cat litter and the accompanying waste, you may want to think twice before flushing it.
Cat feces can carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites (like Toxoplasma gondii). When these pathogens are introduced into the public water system, they can make their way into the ecosystem and harm wildlife. Waste produced by outdoor cats and cats eating a raw food diet may have an even higher risk of parasite contamination.
If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of using cat litter, consider a natural alternative to clay and silica-based litter. Natural cat litter is made from environmentally friendly – and often sustainably sourced – materials. Many options are biodegradable and compostable.
How To Use Flushable Cat Litter
If you’re determined to give flushable cat litter a try, be sure to do so properly. If you’re not careful, you could still end up clogging or damaging your plumbing.
Before you start flushing cat litter down the toilet, do a test run. Add a tablespoon or so of the litter to a cup of water and wait for it to dissolve. Once the litter dissolves, flush it down the toilet and see what happens. If the litter flushes easily and completely, it may be safe to test with dirty litter and waste from the litter box. If your toilet leaves litter behind, reconsider flushing it in the future.
Here’s how to dispose of flushable cat litter properly:
- Flush only one clump at a time to prevent clogging.
- Divide large clumps into smaller pieces using a litter scoop before putting them in the toilet.
- Allow the clumps to soak for at least 10 minutes, but ideally 20 to 30 minutes.
- Only flush the clumps once they have dissolved – if they still look solid, wait.
Note: If you have a low-flow toilet, it’s especially important to do a test run. More water may be required to completely flush the litter away.
Alternatives to Flushable Cat Litter
Flushable cat litter isn’t the only option if you prefer to dispose of your cat’s waste via your home’s plumbing system there are some alternatives. The Cat Genie A.I. is an automatic litter box specifically designed to liquefy solid waste so it can be safely flushed down the toilet.
Cat litter made from natural materials like pine, corn, and wheat can be composted instead of throwing it out with the garbage. Take care, however, not to compost it near vegetable gardens or water sources where it may come into contact with food you and your family plan to consume.