Should you flush animal waste down the toilet? OnTheWight finds out

Do you flush your pet’s faeces down the loo, or bag it and bin it? OnTheWight has discovered the correct thing to do – and why you should be doing it.


The Isle of Wight is bursting with animal lovers, whether they’re horse lovers, dog people, cat people, bird people or even weasel lovers, we’ve got them all here.

So it’s not surprising to often come across discussions about how to look after our pets. The latest debate we’ve seen is about how to dispose of cat waste from litter trays.

What’s the right thing to do?
An Island cat owner concerned about the risk of infecting the water supply with toxoplasmosis (nasty parasite found in cat waste) – and thereby impacting the health of humans and marine mammals – was keen to hear from other cat owners about what they did.

The overwhelming response to the question was “flush it down the loo”. Some people disagreed, saying the person who asked the question was correct – that it was dangerous to mammals who live in the water.

Don’t flush animal mess down the loo
OnTheWight got in touch with Southern Water to find out what the rules were.

A spokesperson told us,

“You should not flush animal poo down the toilet. The wastewater treatment process is only designed to treat human waste and animal poo has much higher levels of bacteria, as well as a higher nitrate content.

“For example, toxoplasmosis (a parasite found in cat faeces) cannot be destroyed by sewage treatment, and therefore escapes into our waterways, jeopardizing the health of marine mammals. Most litter manufacturers warn on their packaging not to flush feces or litter down the toilet, and that is the reason.

“The safest thing is to bag it and put it in the bin!”

So there we have it. Don’t flush it, but bag it and bin it. Cue sale of fragranced nappy sacks on the Isle of Wight ;-)

Image: yeungb under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 17th November, 2017 6:39pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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6 Comments on "Should you flush animal waste down the toilet? OnTheWight finds out"

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Robert Jones

I just wish people wouldn’t bag it up and then leave it hanging from twigs and branches: are they trying to preserve it for posterity? It seems to stay there forever.


I cannot understand why on earth anyone would anyone go to the, frankly unpleasant, bother of picking up Fido’s poop only to hang it in the nearest tree.

Robert Jones

I suspect they actually throw it into the hedge, and it then hangs there, invitingly…. But in some cases it does look very much as if it has been carefully placed in the branches: why – Dog knows.

Mark L Francis

Join the According to a sign I saw on Shanklin Seafront “There is no such thing as a poo fairy” so I am baffled that people continue to hang up these sacrifices to it.
Ah, well…just another piece of the magic of childhood cruelly snatched from us by heartless reality.

Rhos yr Alarch

I’m staggered that anyone could possibly think this was the correct thing to do…. what next?!


The bag-it-and-sling-it brigade are a symptom of a feckless society. Perhaps the answer is fewer “pets” – and we could start by shooting at sight dogs permitted to worry livestock (see another story), and do society a favour by shooting their owners as well.