cat sitting in litter box

Can You Flush Cat Litter?

Last Updated December 2023

This article was reviewed by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Gillian Hill BVSc (Hons).

As a cat owner, you're likely to be familiar with the daily task of managing your pet's waste. Not only do you have to worry about keeping kitty litter from smelling up your home, but disposing of used cat litter in a way that's convenient and responsible isn't always simple.

While flushing cat litter may seem like an easy solution, it comes with a host of potential issues, from plumbing problems to environmental concerns. Moreover, not all cat litters are created equal - some are flushable, while others are not.

We explore this topic in depth, covering the pros and cons of, the risks of flushing, the types of non-flushable cat litter to avoid, and responsible disposal alternatives. Our aim is to help you make an informed and eco-conscious choice about cat litter disposal that safeguards not only your home but also the environment.

In This Article

What is Flushable Cat Litter?

Types of Natural and Biodegradable Materials Used in Flushable Litters

Pros & Cons Of Using Flushable Cat Litter

What Types Of Cat Litter Can't You Flush?

Best Way To Flush Cat Litter

What is Flushable Cat Litter?

Flushable cat litter, as the name suggests, is a type of cat litter specifically designed to be disposed of via a toilet or septic system. It is typically made from materials that dissolve or break down when exposed to water, thus minimising the potential for plumbing blockages.

Types of Natural and Biodegradable Materials Used in Flushable Litters

Flushable litters are often made from natural and biodegradable materials. Some of the most common materials include:


Wheat-based cat litters are biodegradable and compostable. They offer excellent clumping capabilities, making them an ideal choice for those seeking flushable options.


Corn cat litter is another popular choice due to its biodegradable properties and good clumping ability. It is also generally dust-free, which can help to reduce mess.


Recycled paperkitty litter is lightweight and flushable. While it's not typically the best at clumping, it is easily disposed of via flushing and is often very dust-free.

Pros & Cons Of Using Flushable Cat Litter


  • Convenience - one of the major benefits of using flushable cat litter is the convenience it offers. It eliminates the need for bagging litter waste and taking it to the garbage bin.
  • Reduced landfill waste - as flushable litter can be disposed of through the sewage system, it can help reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.
  • Eco-friendly - many flushable cat litters are made from natural, renewable resources, making them a more sustainable choice than clay-based litters.


  • Potential plumbing issues - even though these litters are designed to break down in water, it can still cause blockages in some plumbing systems, particularly older pipes.
  • Environmental concerns - these varieties can carry toxoplasmosis, a disease that can negatively affect marine life. In certain regions, it is illegal to flush cat litter due to these environmental concerns.
  • Price - these litters often more expensive than their non-flushable counterparts, which could be a significant factor for some pet owners.
  • Ease of Cleaning - flushable litters do not tend to clump, which does make cleaning urine from your cat's litter tray much more difficult. It is also unsuitable for use in litter tray systems that are designed for clumping litter like self cleaning litter boxes.
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What Types Of Cat Litter Can't You Flush?

Clay Litter

Clay-based litters are one of the most common types of cat litter, but they are not suitable for putting down your toilet. This is primarily due to their clumping nature - when mixed with water, they form a hard, cement-like substance that can cause significant blockages in your plumbing system.

Crystal Cat Litters

Crystal litters (also known as silica gel litters), are popular due to their high absorbency and ability to control odours. However, these litters are definitely not safe for toilets. The crystals do not dissolve or break down in water and can lead to severe plumbing blockages. Additionally, silica gel is non-biodegradable, which means that if it ends up in waterways or in the ground, it doesn't decompose.

Pine or Wood Litters

While pine litter is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to clay and crystal-based litters, it is not suitable for flushing. Pine litter is made from pine pellets that disintegrate into sawdust when wet. However, the sawdust can form clumps that may cause clogs in your plumbing system. Moreover, the essential oils present in pine litter can be harmful to water ecosystems if they are flushed into the sewage system.

Best Way To Flush Cat Litter

Putting cat litter down your toilet should be approached with caution, as not all types are safe to flush, and even those labelled as flushable can potentially cause issues. If you choose to flush cat litter, consider the following tips:

Confirm That Your Litter Is Flushable

Only flush cat litter that is labelled as flushable by the manufacturer. As previously mentioned, materials like clay, silica, and even some natural materials like pine are not safe for plumbing systems.

Flush in Small Quantities

Only a small amount of litter should be flushed at a time. Trying to put large amounts can lead to clogs and plumbing issues.

Be Aware of Your Plumbing System

If you live in an older home with older pipes, even appropriate types of litter can pose a risk. You should also consider whether your home uses a septic system or city sewage. Septic systems are not designed to process cat litter and, coupled with a new style low water volume toilet, this can lead to problems.

Watch Out for Signs of Plumbing Issues

Keep an eye out for slow-draining toilets or other signs of plumbing problems. If you notice anything amiss, stop flushing litter immediately and call a plumber.

Do Not Flush Litter If Your Cat Is Ill

If your cat is on medication or has a parasitic infection, do not put their litter dow the toilet. Certain medications and parasites can contaminate water supplies and harm wildlife.

Main Takeaway

If you're leaning towards flushing as your go-to disposal method, it's a must to make sure your cat litter is specifically labelled as flushable. This usually means it'ss made from biodegradable materials, such as wheat, corn, paper, or grass seed. But remember, "flushable" doesn't always mean it's the right choice for you, your plumbing, or the environment. If you're set on flushing, make sure to get rid of your kitty litter in small quantities and keep a close watch for signs of plumbing trouble.

Popular Flushable Cat Litter Products

Tofu Cat Litter Australia Original

Tofu Cat Litter Australia Original offers the ultimate cat litter for your feline. Designed with plant based materials, this litter is 100% natural and biodegradable, and flushable in small quantities.

Rufus & Coco Wee Kitty Clumping Corn Litter

Rufus & Coco Wee Kitty Clumping Corn Litter is the best choice for your pet as well as the environment. Extremely absorbent and with odour controlling qualities, this natural and biodegradable litter can be flushed in small amounts.

World's Best Cat Litter Clumping

he Worlds Best Cat Clumping Litter is a corn-based, eco friendly, odour-reducing clumping litter. The formula has outstanding odour control and forms tight clumps, which dont stick to the bottom or the sides of the box and can be safely flushed down the toilet.

Rufus And Coco Wee Kitty Eco Plant Clumping Litter

Rufus & Coco Wee Kitty Eco Plant Clumping Litter is the litter that doesnt litter. Designed in neat non-tracking pellets which form tight, easy-to-remove clumps which make for easy removal and flushable in small quantities.

Further Reading

Want to read more? Check out our other articles:

Best Rated Cat Litter

Best Cat Litter Box

How To Reduce Litter Tracking

Hairballs In Cats

Best Indoor Cat Toys

Best Cat Trees Reccomended By Our Vets

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