Asked on Jun 21, 2014

What is the best way to remove cat litter from the bathtub drain?

by Kris

I kept the cat litter box in the bathtub and then one day the plumbing clogged in another bathroom and water got into the tub. Alot of the litter went down the bathtub drain before I could catch it. I've poured hot water to try and clear it. I've also let it dry and then tried to suck it out. The drain is PVC pipe, not cast iron. Recommendations for what can effectively remove the litter without harming drain are appreciated! Thanks!!

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  14 answers
  • Ana Hartmann Ana Hartmann on Jun 21, 2014
    You need a plumber's snake from your local hardware store. It will dislodge the litter and lots of water will wash it down.
  • Delyne Nunez Delyne Nunez on Jun 21, 2014
    I've had this problem - I used baking soda and vinegar! Took a large box of baking soda and the biggest jug of vinegar ... use a little at a time over and over and over. It will eventually break through and be clean as a whistle! All for less than $5
  • I would try the baking soda and vinegar first, if that don't work use the snake if that fails CALL A PLUMBER…SINCE IT GOT WET ITS PROBABLE GOING TO BE HARD TO GET OUT...
  • Ann S Ann S on Jun 21, 2014
    try a wet and dry vacumn
  • Jodi Jodi on Jun 21, 2014
    Shop vac might work if you can get it under the drain cover. I have a cat and keep the litter box in the mud room.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 22, 2014
    OH MY! This reminds me of the time Hubby discovered our drain in the upstairs sink stopped up. Could not unstop it so took of P-trap....FULL OF BBs. Found out son had put BBs in the sink. Why? "I was washing them"! OK, I guess that computes in a 9 year old male's brain. With a tub? Take out the grate at top of drain and use a shop vac? It may or may not work. I notice when I looked below as I type that there are instructions on cleaning on your own post and read these. GOOD LUCK!
  • Kris Kris on Jun 22, 2014
    Thanks everyone!!!! I will try the baking soda & vinegar. If that doesn't work, I will buy a snake drain.
  • NV87 NV87 on Jun 22, 2014
    Hardware stores sell a long (14", 15"?) piece of plastic that has sharp nicks on the sides and a hole at the top for your finger. It is used to dislodge clogs and it's inexpensive, around $ has saved me many times. I think some of the chemicals that come for clearing drains have the same tool (or similar) attached to their bottle. I don't like using the chemicals and found this tool sold separately. Works every time.
  • Delyne Delyne on Apr 04, 2018

    Baking soda first.. Pack it in. Then start pouring in the vinegar slowly!

  • Cayli Dvorak Cayli Dvorak on Jun 08, 2021

    Oh My GOODNESS! First, I thought I was the only one this has happened too. I wish I was smarter, because this was a bad idea! The baking soda, and vinegar was GENIUS. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I LITERALLY WOULD HAVE NEVVERRERRRR THOUGHT OF THIS MYSELF! It worked perfectly. I’m a renter and I move out tomorrow so I was DREADING dealing with all of this mess! Y’all saved my life ! Thank you !

  • Em Em on Jul 19, 2021

    • Don't Use Chemicals to Dissolve Cat Litter. Most fast-acting drain cleaners contain sodium hydroxide, which turns greases and oils that cause most clogs to a soapy solution that flushes away ...
    • Start by Plunging and Snaking. A plunger, used correctly, can clear 90 percent of clogs, including those caused by cat litter. ...
    • You May Have to Disassemble the Pipes. If you dumped kitty litter in the bathtub or poured cat litter in the shower drain, you don't have access to the drain ...


  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 09, 2021

    Whatever you put down the drain, the cat litter will absorb!, Best to call a plumber in to undo the ubend under the bath and retreive the stuff. Maybe you could disintigrate it with a Drain Block substance yourself?

  • Amir Hyman Amir Hyman on Jan 03, 2023

    To remove cat litter from the bathtub drain, you can try the following steps:

    1. Use a pair of pliers to remove any large clumps of litter that may be stuck in the drain.
    2. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for a few hours. The baking soda and vinegar will react to create a foaming action that can help to loosen and dissolve the litter.
    3. After a few hours, flush the drain with hot water to help wash away any remaining litter.
    4. If the litter is still not coming out, you can try using a drain snake to remove it. A drain snake is a long, flexible tool with a hook or auger on the end that can be inserted into the drain to loosen and remove debris.
    5. If the litter is still not coming out, you may need to disassemble the drain and remove the litter manually. Be sure to follow any safety precautions and be careful not to damage the drain.

    Remember to use caution when removing cat litter from the bathtub drain, as the litter can be sharp and may cause damage to the plumbing.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 03, 2023

    Mix one part white vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle and spray the hardened litter evenly. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Add more vinegar and water if the litter absorbs some of the liquids. After a few minutes, that hardened litter will loosen and scrape off the surface easily.

    Depending on how bad this is is could need to be repeated several times until you reach the desired effect.