Many companies have recently designed all natural, 100% biodegradable cat litters made from a variety of different materials. We now have available to us cat litter that is made from paper, aspen, walnut shells, corn, wheat and other materials. These products are eco-friendly and have made a drastic impact on the waste left from cat litter in our landfills. Some of these cat litter suppliers are also advertising their products as flushable, which could drastically cut back on the amount of plastic bags used to clean cat litter boxes each year.
How Does It Compare to Clay Litter?
Flushable litters are not only safer for our landfills, but they are also safer for our lungs. Clay litters produce a lot of dust which contains crystalline silica. Prolonged exposure to silica dust can lead to respiratory issues and lung disease for you and you cat. Another great feature about flushable litters is that they are made from natural materials which crumble and disperse in water. Therefore, if a cat were to ingest the litter it would not expand to absorb moisture, it would simply break down and your cat would be able to pass it through its digestive tract.
Will it Clog My Toilet?
Although these products disperse in water and are approved flushable, they must be flushed in very small quantities to prevent drain clogs. Even when flushing small amounts of litter at a time, there is still a risk of clogging. You may also have to use several flushes to push the litter down, which wastes water.
Before You Flush… Read This
Before you flush your litter down the toilet, have your cat tested to make sure that he or she does not carry parasites that could be transferred into the water from flushing its waste.
Cats are the primary hosts of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii which is transmitted to other animals through fecal matter. Water treatment facilities are not designed to kill this parasite and therefore it could spread to rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.
What is Toxoplasma gondii?
T.gondii is a parasite that is usually transferred to cats from consuming infected rodents or raw meat. This parasite can also be transferred to humans with weakened immune systems, such as, pregnant woman or people with AIDS. Scientists also suspect this parasite to be harmful to aquatic life, and could possibly be the cause of premature death in sea otters.
Even if your cat litter states that it is flushable, it may be safer just to throw it away. You will still help the environment by using biodegradable products without having to worry about wasting or polluting our water.