Which cat litter is compostable?
More and more cat owners are thinking about the environment. With this in mind, they seek a cat litter that is eco-friendly and compostable. But which types of cat litter can be composted and what do you need to consider?
The type of cat litter is important
Compostability depends in principle on the type of cat litter. If it’s biodegradable, it can also be composted. We take a detailed look at the different types of litter below.
Silica cat litter
Silica litter is made from silica gel, which comes in the form of crystals or granules. The litter particles contain very fine pores, giving rise to a high level of absorbency. Silica litter can normally absorb roughly its own weight in liquid. Since it doesn’t decompose, however, this type of litter can’t be disposed of with organic waste or on the compost heap.
Bentonite litter is extremely popular with many cat owners, who value its high absorbency and good odour-binding properties.
Bentonite consists of various clay minerals, hence its description as mineral litter. Even though the raw material is a natural product, bentonite litter may not be disposed of with organic waste. It doesn’t decompose, and won’t rot down in composting facilities, therefore. You must dispose of this litter only with household waste.
Another aspect to consider is that bentonite is obtained through open-cast mining. This has a significant environmental impact, because mining operations to extract the raw material leave a substantial scar on the landscape.
Plant-based cat litter
Plant-based cat litter consists of natural fibres such as wood, corn or straw. These raw materials are 100% biodegradable and so they can be composted. It’s important to ensure, however, that the litter contains no chemical additives or fragrances.
Plant-based litter is available in both clumping and non-clumping varieties. Our COSYCAT organic clumping litter is made from wood and can absorb up to 800% of its own weight in liquid. Thanks to the high absorbency of the wood fibres used, it only needs to be replaced completely every 6 to 8 weeks. This is why it’s so popular with environmentally aware cat lovers.
In our Advice section, we feature a comparison of plant-based and mineral clumping litters.
COSYCAT cat litter: compostable and eco-friendly
Our COSYCAT biodegradable cat litter offers a host of environmental benefits. It is eco-friendly because it’s obtained from sustainably managed forests. It also weighs less than bentonite litter, for example, thus giving rise to lower CO2 emissions in transportation. And because it’s compostable, it has a smaller environmental impact.
Disposing of compostable cat litter correctly
When using a plant-based litter like COSYCAT, you have two options for disposal:
- with organic waste
- on the compost heap
Disposal via the organic waste bin is not permitted in all regions. You can obtain information regarding the disposal options in your area from your local authority. Many municipal authorities wish to prevent litter contaminated with faeces from being disposed of with organic waste, because the faeces of cats that spend time outdoors can contain toxoplasmosis pathogens. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that can be found in cats that eat raw meat. If the composting facility fails to reach a sufficiently high temperature, the pathogen can survive the composting process and find its way into the human food chain via the compost.
In most cases, toxoplasmosis does not cause humans any problems. In pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems, however, infection caused by toxoplasmosis pathogens can have serious consequences.
How to compost cat litter
If you use COSYCAT and have an indoor feline, you can safely dispose of the clean remaining litter on the compost heap when deep cleaning the cat toilet. A number of points must be borne in mind, however, when composting your litter.
How to compost COSYCAT correctly
1. Remove the faeces
Sieve the cat litter carefully using a screening scoop and remove the cat faeces. Dispose of this in the household waste bin. By doing this you avoid contaminating the compost with toxoplasmosis pathogens.
2. Remove urine clumps
Urine contains nitrogen, which is a valuable garden fertiliser. Too much of it can result in overfertilisation, however. If you regularly put the remaining litter on the compost heap, we advise removing the urine clumps with the scoop before you do this. In this way you also prevent any potential pharmaceutical residues in the urine from ending up in the compost. You can dispose of the clumps either with the household waste or in your toilet. In our feature Flushable cat litter – easy to dispose of you can find out what you need to keep in mind when disposing of litter in the toilet.
3. Ensure optimal decomposition
To ensure that the litter rots properly, the litter layers in the compost shouldn’t be too thick. Distribute the clean remaining litter evenly on the compost heap. Then cover the litter with a layer of soil, garden waste or vegetable scraps. This will ensure good mixing.
4. Duration of the rotting process
Give the litter time to break down. Leave your compost to stand for 1 to 2 years so that it can rot down properly. The longer the compost has to rot, the more effectively germs are destroyed.
5. Use the compost
If your cat spends time outdoors, we recommend that you only use the compost containing its litter to fertilise non-edible plants. Even if you remove the faeces in advance, you cannot be sure that the litter contains no residues. It is better to err on the side of caution and eliminate the risk of your vegetables becoming contaminated by pathogens.
If you follow these tips, you can safely dispose of your cat litter on the compost heap. As well as being eco-friendly and avoiding generating waste, you also provide your garden with valuable nutrients in the compost.
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