For those of us who are both cat lovers and Mother Earth lovers, the idea of litter that is safe for kitty and safe for our environment is very appealing. Luckily, there are some excellent kitty litters out there that can be flushed or even composted because they are completely biodegradable, meaning that they won’t end up in landfills. Plus, they are healthier alternatives for kitty.
It’s estimated that over 2 million tons of non-biodegradable clay litter ends up in landfills every year! Clay and clumping litters also pose certain health risks to our feline friends. Chemicals and fragrances can irritate skin, noses and eyes, dust can irritate air passages and the tiny particles of clumping litter can be life threatening if ingested or inhaled. Biodegradable litters on the other hand, are chemical and fragrance free and are not toxic if ingested. Inhalation is impossible because the biodegradable litters “grains” are too large. Because biodegradable litters are made from renewal resources such as wheat, corn, sawdust (usually pine) or other such materials, they can be flushed or composted. Composting is the preferable means to get rid of old litter, after the kitty poop has been removed of course (and not for your vegetable garden). Flushing should be done with discretion, as there is still a small chance of clogging your septic system. Take your old litter to the back forty where it will become part of the soil, or use it to make compost for your flowerbeds instead.
Here are a few well-liked biodegradable cat litters. There are others on the market that you may want to try also.
- Swheat Scoop – This is a scoopable litter made from naturally processed wheat. It can be licked or digested without problems, and it’s easy on delicate paws. It is safe for septic systems, so it can be flushed, and it’s compostable.
- Feline Pine – All natural, made from (you guessed it) pine shavings that have been compressed into little pellets. Urine will form clumps at the bottom of the box, so keep the litter to two or three inches at the most. It is both compostable and flushable.
- CareFresh – this isn’t really cat litter - it’s animal bedding for small pets like rabbits, hamsters and gerbils, but it’s made from reclaimed wood pulp waste and contains no chemicals, etc. Very soft and good for when kitty has delicate toes after declawing. It’s also good for pets with allergies.
All of the above litters are better for your cat, and great for the environment, too. With biodegradable cat litters you get a double-whammy of good, helping your cat stay healthy and happy and our Earth get healthier, too.