Adding Cat Litter to a Compost Pile?

Is it safe to use, used cat litter after it has been outside in the weather for over 6 years? We have 6 rescued cats we keep inside our home, they go thru a lot of cat litter each year approximately 1,400 to 1,500 pounds. I hope to use it in a compost pile along with grass clippings, kitchen waste, etc.


Please let me know.

Thank you.

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May 22, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you're talking about litter that has been outside for 6 years then it may be safe to use in your flower beds or even garden but I think I would use when I first started a garden but flowers and lawns sounds like it would be very good. Environmentalists say it has to compost at least 2 years to be safe to use.
I guess one question would be - was it ever 'turned' during that time? If any of it is less than 2 years old then I would say to wait until it is - maybe start another pile and keep track of dates.


If you are using 'clay' litter you should remember that clay by itself will still be 'slippery' when wet and will need to be mixed with dirt - think of this as just an added ingredient that has some fertilizer mixed in and should be good for plants. Be sure to test a small area to see if you like how it mixes with your yard.

This seems to be a controversial issue but everyone(?) agrees that it all depends on the type of cat litter being used, whether you 'clean' it before trying to compost, where your compost container is located, etc.
The biggest concern is what type of litter being used as it cannot have clay but has to be of all natural material.

This is what you can do. If all natural material litter is used you can compost for a flower bed but NOT where you will be growing anything edible.


"If youre willing to put in the work, you might consider composting cat poop to fertilize your lawn or flower gardensanything that isnt edible."
Let the compost sit for at least two years. This should be enough time for all the harmful bacteria to die off."

Now - is it worth all of this?

I have one indoor cat and I try to use all natural litter. I have a nice sized piece of property and my son digs a large hole at the back end (large 'forest behind me) and when I need clean litter in her box, I empty the litter in the hole and add dirt on top. I use this until it needs to be topped off with dirt and then start another hole.
All actual poop is discarded in the garbage each week. I use a special can until garbage day and then I cut a hole in the plastic bags when I place them in my garbage can so they will hopefully decompose.


Does any of this help? I hope so but it is a lot of trouble.

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March 11, 20210 found this helpful

Huh? The animals go outside on their own. If a cat poops in your garden and you don't see it , do you look for cat poop everyday? This is the most ridiculous conversation. Why put it in landfills in plastic bags? Train your cat to go outside to poop. Or bury it without bags containing it.

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May 21, 20200 found this helpful

Depending on the type of litter you are using it can be composted. A recycled/recyclable litter would be the best choice for this. Some clay litters will just take a while to decompose.


A good option is Yesterday's News, a litter made from recycled newspapers.

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May 21, 20200 found this helpful

Only natural brands are good enough for compost. Other brands are not recommended because of it's chemical additives!

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May 22, 20200 found this helpful

I personally would not recommed this and it is also not good for the earth to add this there. I would say no do not do this.


I know some people say it is fine but cat litter has chemicals in it which are not good for the dirt.

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May 30, 20200 found this helpful

I don't necesarily think old litter is bad for cats, but definitely please do not compost it! Especially if your compost goes towards vegetables that you eat.

If you just use the compost on flowers and trees, then OK. Though it might kill the tree because the pH would be all off

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