How to Responsibly Dispose of Kitty Litter

Disposing of kitty litter once it’s past its prime may not be a favorite chore, but it’s a necessary one. Unfortunately, cat litter is no joke. The cat feces it holds sometimes carries a dangerous parasite called Toxoplasma gondii that can cause the formation of cysts in the brain. As such, getting rid of it in a responsible manner is super important! Here’s what I recommend:

First, never flush litter. This practice has been shown to directly harm marine life.

Even if the product says it’s flushable, you should absolutely never send it down the drain. That parasite we mentioned earlier sheds active spores that are not eliminated by wastewater treatments. Flushing them simply sends the parasite out into larger bodies of water where it may be contracted by sea otters who are particularly vulnerable to infection. Just don’t do it!

Second, quit using clay litter and choose a more eco-friendly biodegradable product.

Nearly all the bentonite clay mined in this country is obtained by an environmentally destructive process called strip mining which involves bulldozing precious natural areas (and the living things that inhabit it) to get to mineral deposits underneath. It’s an icky process – one we should never support. Your cat litter just isn’t worth that.

Litter tray and scoop for cat on floor, top view. Pet care

As an alternative, look at one of the many biodegradable options on the market. Here are a few options worth considering:

If your cat tends to be picky about its litter and switching to a new product sounds risky, try this method: replace one quarter of your cat’s litter with a new litter each week. By the end of the month they’ll have adjusted, no problem!

Third, retool your litter disposal routine.

When it comes to responsibly disposing of kitty litter, you have two primary options: composting or scooping and tossing in a safe bag. If you can swing it, composting is absolutely the best option out there.

To compost cat waste, you’ll need to make sure your compost pile heats to more than 145 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure bacteria and pathogens are removed. It’s a bit of extra effort, but well worth it in the end.

If composting isn’t in the cards, scoop feces into a biodegradable bag and toss in your curbside garbage with the rest of your household waste. When it’s time to change out your litter entirely, empty the box in the same fashion then wash with a gentle but effective cleanser like Castile soap or white vinegar.

Oh, and before you go, be sure to check out this easy-to-keep-up litter box routine. It will make keeping that litter box in check so much simpler!

84 comments

Daniel N
Daniel Nabout an hour ago

thanks

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Olivia H
Olivia H3 days ago

Thank you for posting

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Hannah A
Hannah A4 days ago

Thank you

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill5 days ago

thanks - good info.

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Carla G
Carla G7 days ago

TY

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Vincent T
William T7 days ago

thank you for sharing

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Diane E
Diane E7 days ago

I use wood-based litter and clean the boxes frequently.

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Chad Anderson
Chad A8 days ago

Nice.

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Chad Anderson
Chad A8 days ago

Thank you.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill8 days ago

Let’s not put food (wheat) in the litter box!

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