There are multiple ecological ways to dispose of cat litter, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Due to the wide variety of cat litter, the different wastewater and sewage treatment systems in each city or location, and the difficulty of composting cat litter, there is no one solution that will work for everyone.
Cat faeces are different from dog faeces. If not disposed of properly, cat waste has the potential to be hazardous to your health and the environment. Owning an eco-friendly pet is not always easy, but it’s important to know every option and purchase to make the most sustainable decision.
Opt for the biodegradable
Choose a cat litter made of natural materials that decompose and return to the earth. Look for ingredients such as recycled paper, wood shavings, corn, grass seed, pine, wheat or sawdust.
Most biodegradable cat litter is made from a variety of plant products and can be more expensive than the litter sold at the supermarket. Keep in mind that many of these conventional cat litters contain silica dust, which can cause upper respiratory infections in both cats and humans. Also, avoid sands that contain sodium bentonite (clay) or fragrances. These materials are harmful to both cats and the environment due to their extraction methods and use of chemicals.
The easiest and most common method of disposing of cat litter is to take it out of the box, seal it tightly in a bag and throw it away. A biodegradable bag designed for cat litter may seem like a great option. However, these types of bags, supposedly designed to make compost faster, have mixed results and are not available in many countries.
So, the best option is to put the litter in a plastic compostable bag or a brown paper bag.
Not for the toilet
Dumping cat litter and waste in the toilet is hazardous and potentially harmful to the environment. To begin with, cat litter can clog pipes, contaminate drinking water and damage ecosystems.
Cat feces can contain the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause toxoplasmosis in humans. Healthy humans can normally fight off this type of infection, but it is dangerous for those with compromised immune systems. Because Toxoplasma gondii can be spread in water and soil, it is important not to dump cat litter or cat poop into waterways. The parasite has been linked to a number of deaths in sea otters, as well as beluga whales and Hawaiian monk seals, which are endangered.