Is Flushable Cat Litter Blocking Your Toilet?

Switching from standard cat litter to a flushable brand makes some sense. You wouldn't dream of putting regular litter down the toilet, but a flushable alternative looks like an easy way to get rid of your cat's used litter.

Flushable litters are made from biodegradable materials like woods or grains. Technically, you can dispose of this kind of litter down the toilet because it will eventually break down in water. However, this isn't guaranteed to work, and you may find that even flushable litter blocks your toilet.

Why does this happen, and what can you do about it?

Why Flushable Litter Sometimes Doesn't Flush

On the face of it, flushable litter looks like a perfect feline waste management solution. However, toilets aren't really suited to having anything put down them apart from human waste and toilet paper.

While flushable litter does break down, it can block your toilet before it gets to this stage. This can happen for a few reasons:

  • Clumping: Some flushable litters clump up when they are wet. While this is useful in the litter tray — it allows you to pick waste out of the litter without throwing away the whole tray — it's not great in a toilet drain. Clumps stick together and cause blockages.
  • Hard waste: By the time you clean out your cat litter, its faeces may have dehydrated and gone hard. Cat faeces gets really hard very quickly. It may block your toilet if it isn't soft enough to flush.
  • Multiple dumps: If you only clean the litter tray every few days, then you could dump multiple pieces of faeces down the toilet at once. Your toilet may not be able to cope.

If your toilet doesn't seem to be coping with flushable litter, even if it is just a bit sluggish, then you should stop dumping the litter in the toilet and try to clear the blockage.

How to Clear a Cat Litter Blockage

Sometimes, a little bit of time allows the cat litter to break down enough to flush away. You can help things along by putting some bleach or hot water down the toilet. Wait at least a couple of hours and then try to flush again. If you have a toilet plunger, this may also dislodge the stuck litter.

If your toilet stays a bit sluggish or is completely blocked, then you need to make an appointment for your plumber to handle the drain cleaning. If your plumber agrees that the litter was the problem, then look for other ways to dispose of it in the future.