If you have cats, no doubt you know that keeping the litter box clean is one of the biggest chores you face. And the odor can be a constant problem no matter what you do. To this end, marketers have tried to come up with ways that will make this chore easier. One of these ways is using flushable cat litter.
Flushable litter can be convenient for owners because instead of having to dispose of clumping or other types of litter in waste receptacles, you can simply flush it down the toilet and get rid of smell and mess in one instant. And indeed, this can be a great convenience for many cat owners.
These litters are often also lighter in texture. Typically, the cost is roughly the same as other types of litters in cost per use. They may appear more expensive because of their lighter weight (for example, if regular clumping clay costs 20 cents a pound and the flushing type costs three times that, this looks more expensive, but you should remember that it will weigh less per use and thus can go farther). They can be hard to find as well, but availability of Internet shopping makes this a relatively minor problem, since owners can have it shipped to them if it is not available in their area.
However, you should know that this has its drawbacks as well. One of these is that you exchange contributing to landfill waste with used litter, for water waste and extra sewage. Therefore, it may not be any more environmentally sound than simply disposing of used litter in the trash. Its advantage is that because the soiled mess is flushed instantly, there is usually much less lingering box odor. In addition, some types of litter can be composted once dried stools are removed. This may be the way to have the least environmental impact from your cat’s box.
One other consideration with using flushing versus conventional litter is your cat’s “opinion” of the litter itself. Many cats are so used to the regular texture and feel of clay that they will not use the flushing type. In this case, of course, the most important consideration is whether or not your cat will use the box at all. You should keep careful watch to see if you cat does or does not like the flushable litter.
You may be able to get him or her to use it if you began by mixing a small amount of the flushing litter in with your cat’s regular litter (without flushing this at first, of course, but disposing in the trash as usual) and gradually increasing the amount of flushable litter and decreasing the amount of the clay until you’re using 100% flushable. Even with this type of “break-in” period, some cats never get used to the flushing type and will only stay with tried-and-true clumping variety. However, if your cat does like it, it may be a viable alternative for you.
In short, if you have a cat, your litter box use is going to have at least some environmental impact that will be detrimental. However, flushable cat litter can give you a much “cleaner” way to manage waste than other traditional types. Because they can be flushed and do not have to be thrown away in the trash, it generally makes for much less smell and mess than traditional clays do. The choice is yours, and as always, you should make the best one possible for your lifestyle and preferences. Just remember your cat will likely have the final say.