How can I reuse or recycle cat litter?
We’ve had an email from Andy Whittington about a subject that is close to my own heart (and nose):
We have two new feline housemates, and the accompanying cat litter with waste, does anyone have any idea how I can reuse/recycle this after the solid waste has been removed, and is the sawdust product more eco friendly than the porous stone chip version?
Congratulations on the new additions to your household Andy and welcome to the world of sitting on the floor because they’ve snagged the best chairs and refuse to be moved.
As I say on our sister site Compost This, it’s tempting to compost wood-based litter but poop parasites can cause a problem. Our garden is too small for multiple compost heaps but my mum and dad have a heap they just use for litter and accept that it’ll take ages to break down and not use it on their veg plot.
If the poo is, well, perfectly contained, then it’s less of a problem because it can be disposed of separately and the absorbed urine might actually help your compost heap because it’s nitrogen based. Just be careful to keep the heap balanced with other materials if you want it to breakdown in a reasonable time-frame.
I don’t know for sure about the eco-friendliness of the wood-based versus clay ones (does anyone else?) but I suspect (read: hope) that the former is a waste byproduct of the wood industry. It is also less likely to cause clumping issues for the cats. We’ve also tried recycled paper-based litters – they worked alright, just left the room smelling of damp paper – and if poo-free, could be composted like the wood ones.
Any other thoughts? Anyone know if the clay-based ones be used as aggregate in concrete or anything like that?
(Photo by mzacha)