Can You Flush Cat Poop Down the Toilet?

Written by Sammi Caramela
Published: December 4, 2023
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Many cat owners assume it is safe to flush their furry friends’ feces down the toilet. Rather than scooping the poop from the litter box and into a bag, they transfer it directly into the toilet and flush it. While this might seem like a convenient way to get rid of your cat’s poop, it can actually pose health risks and serious plumbing issues.

In this article, we will discuss the dangers of flushing cat poop down the toilet.

Should You Flush Cat Poop Down the Toilet?

No, you should not flush cat poop down the toilet. Unfortunately, cat feces often contain a dangerous parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma gondii can lead to a parasitic infection called Toxoplasmosis, which can be severe in pregnant women or individuals with compromised immune systems. This can cause damage to the brain, eyes, and other organs. 

Once it’s treated, sewage water eventually empties into local rivers, lakes, or oceans. However, because municipal sewer systems cannot eliminate Toxoplasma gondii, you are potentially spreading the harmful parasite by flushing your cat’s poop. This parasite can then infect wildlife, including shellfish, game animals, and livestock, as well as infect local water sources.

It’s never a good idea to flush cat poop or litter down the toilet.

©axelbueckert/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Another reason you should avoid flushing cat feces is that it can lead to serious blockages in your plumbing or sewer system. This is especially true if the feces still have some litter attached to it. Cat litter can swell when flushed, causing blocked pipes and other costly issues.

How to Discard Cat Poop

Next time you’re tempted to flush cat poop down the toilet, remember the above dangers. Instead, scoop the poop out of the litter box and into a small bag (preferably biodegradable so it can more easily break down in a dump). Then, simply toss the bag into your regular garbage bin. 

Most experts recommend scooping your cat’s litter box at least once or twice per day to keep it as clean and fresh as possible. Additionally, you should completely clean it out at least once every two weeks. Pour all the dirty litter into a garbage bag and toss it in your garbage bins for collection.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pawel Kacperek/iStock via Getty Images


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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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