Being an owner of two cats, I gave the subject of disposing of cat litter some careful thought.
In the world of global warming, when we consider how much litter is thrown away in a household daily, it’s enough to make us cringe.
According to research published in March 2020 by Statista, the global cat pet population was roughly 370 million.1
With the number of cats in the world growing, this problem is going to get bigger and bigger if we can’t do something about it quickly.
We shouldn’t take the problem lightly because every piece of litter that goes into a cat litter box stays there in an enclosed container until you clean it out yourself.
Living with a cat means you will need to do your part in maintaining the environment inside and outside your home.
One of the most difficult tasks involves dealing with the task of disposing of your cat’s waste.
Are there eco-friendly ways to dispose of your cat litter?
The answer is yes.
You can achieve this with the right material and the knowledge provided in this article.
There are many eco-friendly ways of cat litter disposal, each with its advantage and disadvantage.
I think we can all agree that we do not want to be part of the litter problem, and we want to do our part in improving the world around us as much as we can.
Below you’ll find a few ideas and tips on how you can help make a difference.
This is one place where I feel like we can make a difference as individuals.
The impact, although small at first, will spiral out and make an even bigger difference once enough people have started doing it.
Table of Contents
Why Use Green Ways to Dispose of Cat Litter?
- To save planet earth: An environment free from plastic bags will save our animals and birds. Animals are curious creatures and they may mistake the plastic waste disposed to the environment as food. The plastic waste ends up in our water bodies affecting even marine life and sea birds. This messes up their intestines and ultimately causes their death.
- To preserve our health: Traditional cat litters contain toxic ingredients such as silica dust which is a carcinogen and harmful when inhaled continuously. If you dispose of this type of litter into your environment, it ends up in our water sources and may be harmful to us and our animals. An environmentally friendly kitty litter would be an ideal alternative.
Easy Steps to Kickstart Your Eco-Friendly Cat Litter Disposal Journey:
1. Don’t Use Cat Litter That Contains Clay
Not only is sodium bentonite (clay) harmful to your cat, but it’s also detrimental to human life.
The extraction process involves strip mining, commonly known for the damage it causes to the environment.
During the mining process, miners remove trees and bushes growing above the deposit. The cleared vegetation, topsoil, and dirt are then dumped in a different location.
In the end, the process leaves behind a massive pile of discarded matter that was useful to the environment.
2. Go for Biodegradable Litter
Not all cat litters are biodegradable; some are, but others are not. It would be best to choose eco-friendly litter made from natural materials that can decompose back to the earth. These are examples of the most environmentally-friendly cat litter:
- Grass seed: This eco-friendly litter controls the odor of the waste and doesn’t spread dust. It clamps the waste well, making it easy for pet owners to scoop the waste.
- Wheat: the material neutralizes the litter box’s odors and forms compact and firm clamps for easy scooping of waste.
- Recycled composed paper: it clamps well with the waste for easy scooping, but it doesn’t control the smell like other litters.
- Pine: cats are naturally drawn to pine, which makes it an excellent material for transitioning. It absorbs well and is biodegradable.
- Coconut: This biodegradable cat litter is incredibly useful for absorbing waste and eliminating odor.
Other eco-friendly litters include wood shaving, corn, and sawdust. Most biodegradable cat litters are usually made from various plant-based products.
Cat litter made from these materials is generally expensive compared to non-biodegradable litter that contains silica dust. It may cause a respiratory infection in both cats and cat owners.
3. Avoid Flushing the Litter in The Toilet.
If you want to go green, forget about flushing the litter down the toilet as a method of kitty poop disposal.
The box may say that the litter is flushable, but that shouldn’t encourage you to do so.
Your feline waste is different from humans, and without proper disposal, it’s dangerous to the environment.
Domesticated cats may contain Toxoplasmosis gondii parasites and shed their active oocysts or spores in the cat feces.
When you flush cat litter down the toilet, it may contaminate the water bodies since the wastewater treatments may not effectively eliminate them.
This leads to contamination of the drinking water, infection, and even death of sea creatures like sea otters. Ultimately, this hurts the ecosystem.
The litter can also clog your pipes interfering with the sewage lines.
Is it illegal to flush cat poop?
No, it is not illegal to flush cat poop down the toilet.
However, traditional clay litter should never be flushed down the toilet.
NB: Do not flush any kind of litter if you have a septic system.
4. Reduce Processed Food in Your Cat’s Diet
Feeding your cat, a lot of processed foods harms our natural world. Processed foods usually have little nutrients and lots of chemical preservatives.
When your feline ingests these preservatives, their fecal matter will also contain high levels of chemicals.
Because the natural ingredients are few and chemical levels are high, the waste will break down slowly. This leads to higher emissions of methane increasing greenhouse gases in the air.
Those who dump their cat litter in the woods only worsen the situation. They are turning these places into landfills, meaning more greenhouses gases in the air.
Your cat is an obligate carnivore meaning that it must eat meat…..even though you are vegetarian!
NB: The perfect diet for a cat is a mouse!
While feeding your kitten, remember that there are commercial cat food, home-cooked diets, and raw diets.
5. Go for a Sustainable Cat Litter Box
Many cat litter boxes are made from plastic, a hazard to the environment.
As a responsible pet owner, you need to look for an eco-friendly cat litter box option. You can start by swapping your old plastic box with an eco-friendly bamboo box.
A stainless steel litter box is a great substitute since it is durable and will probably last forever. This means saving you annual cat box purchasing budgets and they are easy to clean.
It would help if you only did this once your plastic box has run its course. There is no need to toss your current box if it’s still useful.
6. Avoid using litter liners
Plastic litter liners will only end up polluting the environment once you dispose of them.
Instead, biodegradable liners will reduce your carbon footprint tremendously since they can last up to 3 months.
7. Avoid using disposable plastic litter scoops
Invest in a stainless steel litter scoop that is durable and will probably outlive your cat!
How to dispose of cat poop without using plastic bags
Finding eco-friendly kitty poop disposal methods will not only affect our planet positively but also your health and wallet.
Here are some environmentally friendly kitty litter disposal methods;
- Scoop and Dispose of the Cat Litter
The method involves scooping the waste out of the cat box, tightly sealing it in a biodegradable cat litter bag, then throwing it in the trash.
This is the best eco-friendly way to dispose of your cat’s waste if you live in an apartment.
Many people use a biodegradable bag designed for cat litter to seal the waste.
The best eco-friendly cat litter bag is a brown paper bag because it breaks down faster than plastic bags or even biodegradable bags.
- Compost the Cat Litter
One of the best eco-friendly ways to dispose of your cat litter is composting. If it’s not done correctly, the process can be dangerous to human health and the environment.
Before building a compost bin using your litter, these are some of the things to note on how to dispose of cat poo in the garden:
- You should ensure that the compost’s litter is made from a biodegradable material like sawdust, pine, or paper.
- When using your cat litter as compost for edible gardens, ensure that you remove any pet waste from the litter. You can only use the pet waste if you are building compost for decorative gardens like a rose garden.
- Ensure that your compost bin reaches the required temperature of 145⁰ F to kill any pathogens present if you are using it for edible gardens.
- You’ll have to be patient and cautious at the same time. It will have to sit for at least two years to be ready as an ideal waste compost.
PS: Avoid this method if you live near a large water body like the coastal area. Wanna guess why?
It will help if you consult a local composting expert if you want to embark on this journey.
They will guide you on whether it’s even worth it to have compost or not and how to build one safely should you go this route.
Your cat’s litter has a significant impact on the environment.
Purchasing the right materials and finding a suitable cat litter disposal system should only be the start.
Always research for better options and never forget to be environmentally cautious with the litter of your cat.
Ensure that you only use products that are:
- Made with renewable materials
- Ozone layer friendly
There is an easier way to dispose of cat waste-and it’s not by flushing it down the toilet.
In this post, I have talked about a few different ways on how to dispose of cat litter the green way, and save money while at it.
If you have ever thought of a way to dispose of cat litter in a safe and eco-friendly way, then you now have more than one way to do it.