Owning and caring for a pet cat is one of the most satisfying ways to spend your days at home. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats tend to be independent and are obsessed with cleanliness. They like living in a clean environment and will let you know if they find the place is filthy. Which begs the question, how do you dispose of cat litter when it’s time to get rid of them?
What are the different ways to dispose of cat litter?
Having a litter box at home means there will be an unpleasant odor that will stink up the whole place if you don’t maintain it regularly. The best way to dispose of cat litter is actually quite simple: put it in the trash. Flushing litter in the toilet and composting are some of the alternative ways to dispose of cat litter.
How do I dispose of cat litter in the trash?
Depending on the litter box that you use, you should be able to filter between soiled and clean litter. A handy scoop is helpful to manually sift out the used ones from the rest. The tried and tested method of disposing of used cat litter is simply putting it in the trash. The most important thing you have to remember when you put the scooped litter in the trash is that it has to have its own garbage bag. It is not recommended to put the cat litter in your trash bin without an added protection like a brown bag, a garbage bag, or anything similar because cat droppings may climb in the airways and contaminate the immediate area.
Is it safe to flush cat litter in the toilet?
Some cat litter brands claim to be flushable. You will know because their label will say so. Though it’s possible, we encourage cat owners to not practice flushing used cat litter as it’s another hazard to our sewer lines. Most wastewater treatment plants aren’t capable of processing animal waste from cats and have a high chance of contaminating our water supply. To add to this, cats may carry the protozoan parasite Toxoplasmosis gondii. Treatment facilities cannot eliminate this particular parasite and will stay in the water supply putting everyone at risk. Even when your product states it’s safe for used cat litter to get flushed, we highly recommend sticking with putting them in the trash.
Can cat litter be composted?
If you’re thinking about composting cat litter, then sure, it’s also possible. But it depends on the type of litter you’re using. For starters, you can’t compost clay-based litters so if you’re looking for eco-friendly litter to help the environment, you should start with ditching the use of those clay-based ones. Clay-based litters cannot be composted even if the label says they do. Don’t get fooled with this labeling as they are simply not ideal for your plants.
When composting cat litter, make sure you’re using biodegradable materials like pine, corn, wheat, recycled newspaper, or other similar substrates. Keep in mind that cat droppings may sometimes carry bacteria like E. coli or the parasite T. gondii. You can compost cat litter for use in decorative garden plants or flowers but not for edible food like vegetables to minimize the risk of infection to you and other animals.
Are there eco-friendly ways to dispose of cat litter?
A lot of popular articles suggest flushing when it comes to disposing of your cat litter. As mentioned earlier, you can do so provided your cat litter product states it’s possible and you’re sure it won’t clog the toilet. But again, we highly discourage you from going this route as it’s damaging to the environment in the long run. Since we’re trying to prevent more contamination, the best route for an eco-friendly way to dispose of cat litter is via composting as suggested above. As long as it’s away from edible plants, you should be able to compost most cat litter safely.
If this is not possible, prepare a brown bag or a garbage bag if you’re not using a liner and prepare to sift or scoop used cat litter into the garbage can. Even when it’s not ideal as others might say, it’s still the best and most practical option available for most cat owners.
Can I burn cat litter?
If you live in a more rural area, make sure you’re not using clay-based litters so that it’s possible to put them in a burn pile or burn barrel. Keep in mind that burning cat litter means you’re releasing harmful toxins that will become airborne so do it with necessary precautions.