Should you use tofu-based cat litter?

According to a 2004 article published in Chemical & Engineering News, 60 percent of cat litter sold in the United States is made of clumping clay that does not decompose and should not be flushed down drains or septic tanks. “Unlike clay litters, tofu litters seem to be a more sustainable choice,” says Whitehurst. “On the one hand, they can break down, which naturally provides more disposal options, such as rinsing. Second, they are made from a byproduct of soy products and tofu waste, bringing to life a waste stream that would otherwise go to waste. It’s important to note that it’s not clear where each brand of tofu cat litter sources its soy dregs from. So while we can confidently say that these litters are biodegradable, we want to pause on calling them “sustainable” until brands provide more clarity on their sourcing methods.

Plant-based alternatives to clumping clay litter have been commercially available since the 1980s and include sawdust, wheat, alfalfa, oat hulls, corn cobs, peanut hulls, recycled newspapers and, yes, tofu. Their “flushability” is an important marketing point and you will notice that the word “flushable” appears on many packages of tofu cat litter, including prominently on the packaging of Nourse Chowsing Tofu Cat Litter.

Who can blame any cat owner for dreaming of the day when they can just go to town flush all that trash down the toilet and be done with it? But keep this thought. For starters, cat feces have been implicated in infecting southern sea otters along the California coast with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and in infecting humans with T. gondii, an infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii which does not usually trigger symptoms but can be harmful. during pregnancy and in people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of Toxoplasma gondii infection may include flu-like muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and signs of ocular toxoplasma, such as “reduced vision, blurred vision, pain (often with bright light) , redness of the eye and sometimes tearing. according to Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger even signed a bill in 2006 requiring all cat litter sold in California to contain a statement informing customers of the water quality benefits of disposing of cat feces in the trash and not in the toilet or sewer.

Read the fine print and you’ll find that some brands of tofu cat litter don’t condone dumping their litter or use cryptic language when it comes to their claim to be flushable. Frisco Tofu Clumping Cat Litter educated on his box not empty its litter box, and Zen cat states on its bag that to “maintain good water quality, do not flush cat feces down the toilet or flush its contents into toilets or septic tanks,” as this will “clog the pipes.” Nourse’s Amazon product page claims that you can pour clumped cat litter down the toilet, let it dissolve in water, then flush it.

As for Pidan, the brand does not provide rinsing instructions on its website, but its Amazon product page gives this advice: “It is allowed to flush the toilet. Due to water solubility, waste treatment is more convenient. (Do NOT flush too much trash down the toilet at once.)” There are no additional instructions on how much trash is “too much” to safely flush.

How do cat experts handle this? Galaxy says he tries not to throw away the cat’s natural litter. “There are always going to be potential issues, whether or not they’re septic systems,” Galaxy says. “Even though the toilet can handle it, I tend not to, but that’s a personal choice.” He adds: “I mean, most of them will say they’re flushable. It’s just that I think with the vagaries of septic systems, a lot of times I think no company wants to take responsibility for it.

In other words: flush the toilet at your own risk.


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