How much cat litter will I need?
Can I compost my cat litter?
We would love for this section to be a one sentence explanation of how to compost cat litter but unfortunately, composting cat litter is complex topic.
Why would I compost my cat litter?
Composting cat litter is an eco-friendly way to dispose of your cat's waste and litter. It helps to reduce waste going to landfills, and the resulting compost can be used as a natural fertiliser for your garden. However, composting cat litter requires special care to ensure it's done correctly and there are potential health risks if you do it wrong.
Choose the right cat litter
Not all cat litter is suitable for composting. Check with the manufacturer of the litter if your litter is compostable. Tippaws Long-lasting Clumping Litter is compostable and is OK Compost Certified. In order to receive this certification the compostability of the litter was tested under ambient conditions (36 degrees celsius), and it was determined that 90% of the litter had completely degraded after 6 months. It’s important to note that this was with fresh litter, not soiled litter.
Collect the cat litter waste
Collect your cat litter waste and litter in a separate container or compost bin. It's important to keep the cat litter waste separate from other compost materials, such as food scraps, as any residual urine or faeces could contain harmful bacteria. We would always recommend removing all traces of any urine or faeces from the litter to be composted to reduce any risk of toxoplasmosis.
Add other organic matter
Once your cat litter waste is ready to compost, add other organic matter, such as food scraps, leaves, or grass clippings, to the compost bin to create a balanced compost pile. This will help the compost break down more quickly and create a nutrient-rich fertiliser for your garden.
Monitor the temperature
The compost pile needs to reach a temperature of at least 60 degrees Celsius to kill any harmful bacteria or parasites. Use a compost thermometer to monitor the temperature and make sure it reaches the desired temperature. The higher the temperature you can get above this point, the better.
Turn the compost
Turning the compost regularly will help it break down more quickly and ensure that all the materials are evenly distributed. Use a compost fork or shovel to turn the pile every few weeks. There are many resources available to give guidance on getting the most from your compost pile. Organisations such as Recycle Now have useful information.
Wait for it to mature
It can take several months to a year for the compost to mature, depending on the materials used and the conditions. Once the compost has turned dark and crumbly and has a sweet earthy smell, it's ready to use as a fertiliser.
It's important to note that composted cat litter should never be used on edible plants, as cat waste can contain harmful bacteria that can contaminate the soil and food. Instead, use the compost on non-edible plants or add it to your soil as a fertiliser.
A final reiteration of safety
While, as far as we are aware, there are no cases of toxoplasmosis being contracted due to cat litter composting, it is incredibly important to ensure that if you decide to compost your cat litter at home, you are taking every precaution to be safe and careful. It is also important that you are comfortable with the personal risk associated with composting cat litter.
Two points we want to reiterate are:
1) Remove all traces of urine and faeces before you compost your litter
2) Do not use your compost on any edible plants or anything intended for human consumption