How to Compost Cat Waste

Overview

Cat manure contains roughly 2.5 times the nitrogen cattle manure contains. However, cat waste also contains the intestinal parasitic disease toxoplasmosis, which is transmissible to humans. Because of the high risk of transmission, the veterinarian and soil experts at the University of Minnesota advise against using cat waste as a fertilizer. However, if carefully handled, cat feces can be sterilized through the composting process and safely used in home gardens.

Step 1

Avoid handling cat waste, even with garden gloves, if possible. Use a small shovel, disposable plastic bag, or other implement to pick it up.

Step 2

Add the cat waste to the center of a freshly turned compost pile.

Step 3

Insert a compost thermometer into the pile. The cat manure will be sterilized when the temperature of the compost heap exceeds 165 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 days.

Step 4

Turn and add to your compost pile as usual once the cat feces is sterilized. The humus is ready for use when it is dark brown and crumbly like rich garden soil. The amount of time that this will take largely depends on the size of your compost pile and its contents.

Tips and Warnings

  • Toxoplasmosis is transferred when you touch your mouth when your hands are infected. The disease can cause abortion and fetal malformation in pregnant women.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost thermometer
  • Small shovel

References

  • University of Minnesota: Using Dog and Cat Manure on Home Gardens
Keywords: compost cat waste, compost cat manure, compost cat feces

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.