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The Toilet Is Not A Litter Box~How To Clear Kitty Litter From The Toilet

Updated on October 22, 2011

So you have discovered that trying to flush cat litter down the toilet wasn't such a great idea, huh?

Cat litter expands as it gets wet, that is why it is able to absorb your cats urine. So it is no wonder that when poured into a toilet full of water, it clogged. Luckily, there are some things you can try before calling in the plumber.

Depending on the amount of litter attempted to be flushed and the extremity of the clog, try the obvious solutions first.


Use your plunger to try to loosen the clog. It might take some real effort as most litters contain clay and can really clump together, but give it your all. If you see no signs of progress after 10-20 plunges, move on.

Boiling Water

Boil some water on the stove (a teapot is easier to pour)and dump it directly into the toilet. Sometimes this will break off a piece of the clump and the rest will go down the pipe.

Dish Soap

Many people swear that Dawn dish soap will resolve this issue.

  • Turn off the water source on the toilet
  • Dispense three squirts of Dawn dish soap into the hole of the toilet
  • Allow to sit for approximately 15 min
  • Pour boiling water into toilet
  • Plunge with plunger

If those three attempts were failures, it is time to get serious.

Pull Out The Vacuum

A wet/dry shop vacuum is very helpful with all kinds of drain clogs and just might do the trick with the cat litter.

  • Set the vacuum to liquid
  • Remove the dry filter prior to use
  • Place the hose into the siphon (hole of) of the toilet
  • Turn on unit

If you get results from using the wet vac, make sure to empty the basin of the unit and clean the hose. Otherwise, within a day or so it will not only grow bacteria but will start to smell.


Time to pull out the snake! Also known as an Auger, this tool has a hand crank and a long sleeve handle with an auger bit at the end to break through a clogs. The auger bit is connected to the crank handle that you ultimately control to eventually unclog that toilet.

  1. Push the cable (don’t worry it’s flexible and will curve with the shape of the pipe) into the drain and crank the snake clockwise.
  2. Once you cannot feed the cable any further, give it a push.
  3. The snake may feel as if it broke up the litter, if so, pull back and look if the water is draining down or if litter is coming out. If so, use your plunger again until fully clear.If not, do these steps again but this time, push the snake and then turn the crank back and force until it breaks up the litter
  4. If litter is in the toilet, clear it out and dispose of it elsewhere. You don't want it down the toilet again.
  5. If the toilet appears to be unplugged, flush toilet.

If for some reason these suggestions did not work, it may be time to call the plumber. It'll be an expensive lesson as the average cost of a plumber is $75.00 an hour, but I'm willing to bet it won't happen again!


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    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 6 years ago from United States

      I would have never thought to flush cat litter down the toilet, hopefully this helps someone who did. :)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      The problem with kitty litter is mainly with the types marketed as "scoopable," and people will get the idea that you just need to shake the excess off the "poo" with the cat box scoop, and then dump the rest into the toilet.

      WRONG! There is litter clinging to that poo, and it WILL build up over time, and cause a cumulative issue.

      Litter can also fall in the toilet by means of people trying to 'toilet-train' their cats. This is because you begin with a plastic insert under the seat containing some kitty litter. As the cat learns the new location, less litter is added, and the plastic is gradually cut away, until kitty has learned to balance on the seat. Unfortunately, the remaining litter does end up in the loo during the training process.

      Excellent hub, good advice! Nice illustration of a toilet auger, too, which is ever so slightly different than the general-purpose plumber's snake in my article. ;-)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, kitty litter down the toilet! Never heard of THAT happening before, but I bet more kitty litter gets flushed annually than one might expect!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

      I would never think to flush cat litter, but I guess I can understand why someone might got here. I found the Dawn dish soap process for unplugging a toilet full of kitty litter fascinating! Dawn works great on oil spill covered wildlife also! What a good product, and hub!

      Nice work.