Cat poop is a valuable waste material having a high composition of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as compared to other animal dung materials like cows and horses.
Most pet owners have no knowledge of how much precious plant feed the cat poop is. Pet dogs and cats together are producing million tons of manure each year and most of it is going to landfills or to sewage disposal plants.
Cat feces have high proportions of nitrogen and phosphorus that can be used for fulfilling the nutrient demands of plants but with the proper care in handling.
The only reason for the big loss of a billion bucks worth of plant feed material in the form of pet poops is less awareness. People have no knowledge of the benefits of using pet poops as fertilizer and the method of application.
This guide will literally help you with cat poop composting. Additionally, will you cat poop good fertilizer or not? If yes, how to use cat poop for flowers?
- 1 Is cat poop good fertilizer?
- 2 Can cat poop go in compost?
- 3 How is cat poop dangerous for humans?
- 4 Why shouldn’t you use cat poop near edible crops?
- 5 Cat poop composting – How to compost cat poop
- 6 Use of cat poop compost
- 7 Is it safe for cat urine and feces in the garden?
Is cat poop good fertilizer?
Yes, cat poop is a good fertilizer but only for non-edible plants like flower gardens and bushes. Never use cat poop on edible plants or crops because it has many health issues.
Being an omnivore animal, the cat poop has high proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as compared to other herbivores. But it has high chances of contaminating with parasites and diseases organisms that present significant health risks.
So, composting cat feces is not a good idea. But it does not mean it is a total waste material, cat poop composting can be used for non-edible plants like lawns, bushes, and ornamental plants after the proper composting for around 2 years.
Can cat poop go in compost?
Cat feces contains 2 ½ times more amount of nitrogen than cattle manure and about the same amount of phosphorus and potassium. It seems more beneficial for plants due to high nitrogen contents but it has the risk of contamination of parasites and diseases.
Therefore, composting cat litter and its content is the better option if you really want to get full use of it.
How is cat poop dangerous for humans?
Cats are omnivores so they eat a variety of foods that can be contaminated with any pests or diseases. This contaminated food will result in a form of parasite infected poop.
Toxoplasmosis is the parasite in cat poop that can be dangerous for humans and animals. That unique parasitic eggs are released in feces only by cats.
Human contact with this parasite causes headaches, muscle aches, and flu symptoms. Moreover, people suffering from immunodeficiency diseases like AIDS can become more ill from toxoplasmosis.
In addition, it can be fatal for pregnant women that results in a form of birth defects.
In addition to toxoplasmosis, the cat poop often contains parasites for intestinal worms like roundworm, tapeworm, and hookworm.
How to deal with cat poop parasites?
The best action is to wear gloves, wash hands, and rinse and wash the crops to minimize any chance of parasite infection.
Composting cat poop is the other method to deal with parasites to some extent but it does not completely kill the parasites. Composting cat feces will make the poop ok for use in non-edible plants like lawns, bushes, and other ornamental plants with much care.
To kill the parasite in cat poop compost, the temperature of the compost pile should reach 165 degrees F. but it is difficult to achieve. But make sure to take precautions while contacting cat feces to sever the risk of contaminating with parasites.
Why shouldn’t you use cat poop near edible crops?
You have heard of using cattle and horse manure as organic fertilizer in crops. But the cat poop, being the risky parasite contaminated fertilizer, cannot be used for edible crops like vegetables and fruit trees.
Cat feces carry the harmful bacteria that can be harmful to humans by consuming the edibles fertilized with cat poop compost.
Cat poop composting – How to compost cat poop
If you are willing to use cat poop as a nutrient source for nonedible plants then composting cat feces is the best method. Here are some valuable tips on composting cat poop that will help to decompose the feces while killing the pathogens as much as possible:
- Don’t use the clay-based litter for cat poop composting. Use paper-based litter
- Select the large plastic trash bin having a lid with no holes, but make the holes in the bottom and along sides to minimize the stinky odor.
- Now dig a big hole in the earth that is big enough to put the trash can into it. It will help to decompose more precisely and speedily.
- Start adding the manure/poop/feces by first putting a layer of shredded newspaper, straws, and fall leaves in the bottom, that layer by layer adds the cat poop along with more straw layers.
- Keep the contents moist to favor the decomposition. Close the lid tightly.
- Let the compost sit for the next two years to get the perfectly decomposed compost. This long time is enough to kill most pathogens and parasites.
After the compost is ready, now it’s your decision to decide whether to use it for flower beds or lawns. But never use it for edible plants and crops.
How long does it take for cat poop to decompose?
It takes around two years for cat poop to decompose completely. During these two years, the cat poop decomposes entirely into stiff material having a high composition of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The two years composting time is good enough to kill most pathogens and parasites.
Use of cat poop compost
Composted cat poop is the ready material to apply to the non-edible plants. Once you have got the finished compost after two years, there you can go for application to any type of plant other than edibles.
Cat poop compost can be used for fertilizing:
Cat poop compost can be used to fertilize the lawn with high nitrogenous material. Nitrogen is the most crucial nutrient for lawns growth and lush green color so cat poop is the perfect match for fertilizing lawns.
Cat poop compost can also be used around perennial gardens and ornamental flower beds. The high potassium composition in cat poop helps in the form of boosted flower growth.
The finished compost of cat feces and straws has high contents of phosphorus and carbon to increase the productivity and organic matter of the soil. Using the cat poop compost around shrubs is a wise idea to get the full advantage of cat feces without any danger.
Is it safe for cat urine and feces in the garden?
No, it is not safe for cat urine and feces in the garden. It will increase the risk of contamination of edible plant materials with parasites released in cat feces.
Cat urine and feces are high in nitrogen and phosphorus that can adversely affect plant growth by causing the yellowing of leaves due to more saturated nitrogen application.
You should keep the pets especially cats away from the garden so as to save the edible plants from pathogen contamination.
Strategies to keep cats away from the garden
These are some tricky solutions to keep the cats away from the garden and edible plants. You can save your garden from the direct effect of cat feces and urine by following these strategies. These are:
- Using deterrents to keep the cat away from the garden is an old remedy. It has a risk of hurting cats and can be toxic for children, and dogs.
- Place the cut-up pieces of garden hose in the garden beds to imitate the large garden snakes. This will help to keep the cats away from beds.
- Mulching the loose soil with chicken wire, stone mulch, spiky mats, and coarse mulch is another method to keep the cats away from garden beds.
- Inserting the plastic forks and small twigs into the garden beds is also beneficial to save beds from cat reach.
- Cats are not fond of scents and inherent dislike for herb rue. Growing the herb rue near the garden beds will discourage the cat from reaching the beds.
Other methods include using citrus fruit peels, lemongrass, citronella, lavender oil, coffee grounds, eucalyptus, and spraying vinegar around the garden beds.
Usman is an aspiring writer and Agronomist from Pakistan. He certified with Masters in Planting and growth behaviour. His research on vegetable growth and fertilizer supply is published in many research papers.