People are usually excited to report how proud they are of their pets that have been toilet trained. Others even boast that the pets trained themselves after watching the humans do it. While toilet training animals may appear to be such a significant achievement, in the real sense, it is a major disservice to not just your pet but also to other animals. Therefore regardless of how hygienic you are or how tired you are of cleaning the litter, flushing down cat poop is not the answer to your problems. Here are a few reasons why.
You will be saving otters
In 2014, takepart published that toxoplasmosis accounted for 17% of all sea otter deaths every year. While the scientists had concluded that it is the parasites that only reproduce in felines that caused the fatality, how the parasites reached the seas remained a mystery. Although it was clear that the marine snails that the sea otters ate were to blame for transmitting the parasites, it was still unknown how the marine snails ended up carrying the Toxoplasma gondii. However, that mystery has been solved.
An associate professor at the University of California, Karen Shapiro, revealed that after decades of research they had found a significant link between deaths of sea otters and cats on land. Cats are the only know hosts of the parasite, which is usually in its egg-form (oocytes) in the feces of felines. Once a cat poops outside, the feces get into waterways when washed away by rain. The feces end up on seaweeds, which are then eaten by marine snails. The food chain continues, and snails are, in turn, consumed by sea otters. Sea otters then get severe brain inflammation from consuming the toxic marine snails and die. Those that do not die from parasite instead get a mild brain inflammation, which makes them easy prey for sharks.
While flushing may seem to solve the problem of disposing of cat litter, unfortunately, wastewater treatment does not kill the oocytes. Therefore Karen advised that we should avoid disposing of cat litter by flushing it or dumping garbage offshore. She also discouraged people from feeding feral cats since their poop will still end up in waterways and later in the ocean.
Health reasons for both you and your cat
WUSA-TV reported that not all modern filtration systems can get rid of the toxoplasma. Since locating safe drinking water sources is a challenge, the best thing you can do is prevent the problem. Therefore by not flushing your cat’s poop, you will also be ensuring that you and other humans do not fall ill since the parasite can be carried over long distances through water. Most people do not show symptoms after infection, but in the rare cases they do, fever, fetal developmental disorders, brain or eye damage, premature and death have been known to occur.
On the other hand, it is uncomfortable for your feline friend to jump to reach the toilet bowl, especially when the bowl is at a considerable height. Although a young cat may not mind the height when he grows older and develops arthritis, you will only be punishing him since reverting to the natural way of disposing of their litter will then be too late. Besides, poop in the litter box allows you to investigate any signs of illness such as blood-stained feces, loose stool, reduced volume of urine, among many more. Without evidence of the changes in poop or urine, chances of your cat’s health problems going undetected are high.
If causing the untimely death of sea otters or other human beings does not move you, then maybe you should consider how deep you will dig into pockets if you fail to dispose of your cat’s poop properly. Even if you get flushable cat litter, you are still facing a huge plumbing bill. Experts still think that the flushable litter will wreak havoc in your plumbing system as your septic tank develops issues, according to Mother Nature Network. Most modern toilets are designed to save water hence the 1.6 gallon available for flushing the litter is not enough to completely keep the poop moving.
Additionally, toilets are made with human waste in mind meaning that the hard feces of cats will result in clogging. Cat poop hardens the longer it gets exposed since you cannot be around to dispose of it immediately your cat does his business. The hard matter will clog your pipes, and you should, therefore, expect a huge plumbing bill if you continue flushing the cat poop down the toilet.
Best way to dispose of cat poop
Researchers found the direct link between cat poop and death of sea otter, thus advocate for putting your cat litter in the trash. The Spruce Pets agrees that putting litter in the trash is the best methods of disposing of cat poop. The article goes ahead to give guidelines on how to do it properly, and first of all, you should ensure that you clean the litter box at least once every day; that goes for every litter box in your house.
You should be able to scoop the stool and urine clumps and put them in a trash bag. Since you do not want to have a stench in your compound, ensure that tie a knot tightly around the bag, which also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria. Therefore even if you read advice to use the trash instead of flushing poop, you are not supposed to put the litter directly in the trash. Such a disposal method would defeat the purpose of avoiding using the toilet since the fecal matter would still end up in the environment every time the trash can is opened.
Further, if you are thinking of adding some manure to your garden through the cat litter, ensure that there is no fecal matter, and the litter is biodegradable. Still, you have to ensure that the compost bin heats to over 145 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be good enough to use around your edible foods. However, if you live in the coastal region, avoid using the litter even in your garden, even if it is for decorative purposes.