Does Cat Litter Dissolve in Water?

Adorable cat near litter tray indoors, Does Cat Litter Dissolve in Water?There are a considerable number of cat litter products on the market these days, all touting their supposed superiority over other types and other brands. Some even broadcast their products’ ease of disposal, marketing their cat litter as being “flushable.” The prospect of tossing your pet’s waste into the toilet bowl and saying goodbye with the push of a button can seem appealing, but is there a flushable cat litter? Does cat litter dissolve in water? Rest assured, we’ve researched the most common types of cat litter on the market, and whether or not they will dissolve in water. Read on to find out which type is right for you.

  • Clumping litter will not dissolve in water
  • Non-clumping clay-based litter will not dissolve in water
  • Silica crystals litter will not dissolve in water
  • Biodegradable litter could be more likely to dissolve in water, depending on what materials it is made out of

Read on to find out about each common type of cat litter’s capacity for absorption, and varying likelihood to dissolve in water.

What Happens to Cat Litter When It Gets Wet?

Most types of cat litter will not fully dissolve in water. Cat litter is usually composed at least in part of clay or some other absorbent material, which will absorb moisture and expand when wet. While some types of cat litter will absorb more or less water, even biodegradable cat litter will not completely dissolve in water. There are countless stories about the catastrophic effects of accidentally getting bags or boxes of cat litter wet, resulting in mountains of cat litter slurry spilling out and over of the containers.

Does Cat Litter Soak Up Water?

Water repellent cat sand in litter box with cat urineYes, due to its absorbent properties, cat litter will soak up any source of moisture, cat urine, water, or otherwise.

Because of cat litter’s capacity to soak up moisture, plumbers never recommend flushing cat litter down the toilet. You can read our guide on flushing cat litter down the toilet here. Some cat litter companies market their product as flushable, but for the long term health of your septic system, it’s best to dispose of cat litter in another manner. The last thing any cat owner wants is a clogged toilet from disposing of their cat’s litter incorrectly. You can read our guide on proper cat litter disposal here.

Now that you understand the basics of how cat litter interacts with water, let’s more thoroughly examine each type of litter and if it will dissolve in water.

Clumping Litter 

Clumping litter is usually composed of a mixture of natural fibers and aluminum phyllosilicate clay bentonite. The aluminum phyllosilicate clay bentonite is what gives this type of litter its name, as it causes the cat litter to absorb moisture in, well, clumps, rather than distributing evenly throughout the litter box. While this clumping action can be great for keeping the litter box clean, it also makes it so that clumping litter will not dissolve in water. Like other types of cat litter, clumping litter will expand when it becomes wet.

Non-Clumping Clay-Based Litter

Non-clumping clay-based litter is another highly absorbent type of cat litter. Much like other types of cat litter, the clay-based litter will expand when it becomes wet. Unlike clumping litter, clay-based litter tends to distribute moisture throughout its area more evenly. As such, coming into contact with a lot of water can turn this type of cat litter into a solid brick of clay.

Silica Crystals Litter

Silica crystals litter gets its name from specially designed the silicone crystals which it is made. Silica crystals litter is also highly absorbent and will expand when wet. While not as prone to expansion as other types of cat litter, silica crystals litter will still not dissolve in water.

Biodegradable Litter

Biodegradable litter is trickier to pinpoint accurately whether it will dissolve or not, mainly because there are so many types of cat litter that fall under this category. While biodegradable cat litter is typically less absorbent than other types of cat litter and composed of all-natural ingredients, it is usually made up of too many fibers to allow it to dissolve entirely in water.

Now that we’ve gone over the most common types of cat litter and their likelihood to dissolve in water, let’s look at some additional questions a lot of people have about cat litter, and it’s capacity to soak up water.

Can You Use Cat Litter For Condensation?

Close up of cat litter box in bathroom with clay or wheat at home with urine

Cat litter is not only great for absorbing your pet’s waste, but it can also be used to soak up condensation too. Cat litter is so absorbent that it will soak up radiant moisture right out of the air without needing to even come in physical contact with the source of the moisture.

Does Cat Litter in a Sock Work?

Yes, putting cat litter in a sock is an effective way to deal with condensation. Simply fill the sock with cat litter, seal it shut and hang it up in any space that is having an excessive condensation issue.

As you’re now sure to see, cat litter does not dissolve in water due to its absorbent properties. You can, however, use it’s absorptive properties to your advantage beyond cleaning up your pet’s waste by applying it in areas of your home or elsewhere where there is too much moisture.