Is Clumping kitty litter biodegradable? (3 eco-friendly pet litter) 

The article will deliberate the biodegradability of clumping kitty litter and will also shed light on associated topics such as 

  • Is clumping kitty litter compostable?
  • What is clumping kitty litter made of?
  • How to sustainably use clumping kitty litter?
  • How to dispose of clumping kitty litter?
  • What are the greener alternatives to clumping kitty litter?

Is clumping kitty litter biodegradable?

The biodegradability of clumping kitty litter depends on the materials used to make clumping kitty litter. As it can be assumed from the name, clumping kitty litter is made from different forms of clay such as bentonite clay.

Therefore, we need to answer two major questions to develop a stance on the biodegradability of clumping kitty litter. These questions include 

  • What is biodegradability?
  • What are the conditions for biodegradability?
  • Does clumping kitty litter fit into the conditions necessary for biodegradation?

What is biodegradation and what are the conditions for biodegradation?

Biodegradation can be explained as the breakdown that is caused by the action of microbes. The microbes may include names such as bacteria, fungi, algae, and even viruses. 

The process of biodegradation can be simplified into basic steps and the overall purpose is to convert the waste into simpler material so that the waste does not add up. 

The simpler materials that are formed as an end result of biodegradation can assimilate back to natural cycles leaving the net waste zero. 

However, biodegradation requires certain properties or prerequisites. These include 

  • The material should be natural 
  • Or, the material should be sourced from nature
  • The material must be organic in nature 
  • The material should be degraded by microbes in 180 days or less
  • The material should be eco-friendly

Does clumping kitty litter fit into the conditions necessary for biodegradation?

No, clumping kitty litter does not fit into the conditions necessary for biodegradation because clumping kitty litter is made from inorganic clay. 

If we recall the points from the last section, we will recall that clumping kitty litter is made from clay which is inorganic in nature and therefore, there is no food offered to the microbes that bring about biodegradation. 

Based on these points, it can be said that clumping kitty litter is not biodegradable. It is anticipated to remain in the system for a very long time, let alone 180 days. 

What about composting?

The case of biodegradation and composting are very similar because the microbes that cause biodegradation will also cause composting. 

Composting is a process by which organic waste is converted to compost which can be used as a natural fertiliser to cause certain advantages such as better water retention, increased yield et cetera. 

However, for composting to occur we need organic waste because the overall function or reason of composting is that there is an addition of organic content to achieve the benefits mentioned in the previous passage. 

Since clumping kitty litter is made from clay and clay is inorganic in nature, it can be said that clumping kitty litter can be put in the compost pile and also can not be converted to fertiliser. 

What are the sustainable ways of using clumping kitty litter?

It is important to know what steps must be taken to sustainably use clumping kitty litter because the usage is equally important as the disposal, if not more. For that, consider the following points:

  • Regularly clean clumping kitty litter as cat urine contains urea which can damage the litter if kept for a longer period of time 
  • Always empty clumping kitty litter in a trash bag before disposing it of so that there is no risk of contamination 
  • Do not dispose of cat litter in a flush because there are chances of contamination. Plus, wastewater treatments are not designed to cope with the pathogens present in cat faeces
  • Do not dump cat litter openly as it can cause contamination 
  • Do not dump cat litter in your backyard or in open ground as pathogens in the faeces can contaminate the soil 

How to properly dispose of clumping kitty litter?

We know that clay cat litter is neither biodegradable nor compostable. Hence the most appropriate thing to do is to bag it up and throw it in a trash can.

However, you can be careful in choosing a biodegradable bag instead of those made from plastic films or materials as these materials will not be biodegradable and can remain in the system for a long time. 

Some people also consider throwing the clumping kitty litter in toilets but it is not really advisable as the septic systems are not really designed to deal with the pathogens present in the faeces of cats and other pets. 

Also, discarding the kitty litter remains in your backyard will also cause problems rendered by pathogens and will also cause a bad smell in the vicinity. Therefore, there are two main things that you can do

  • Prefer a biodegradable cat litter 
  • If not, then put the litter in plastic bags, double it if you want and discard it with regular trash

Are there any better alternatives?

Yes, there are better and greener alternatives available that are made from sustainable and organic materials. Options include

  • Wheat-based Cat Litter 
  • Walnut-based Cat Litter
  • Wood-based Cat Litter
  • Corn-based Cat Litter
  • Grass Seed Cat Litter
  • Recycled Paper Cat Litter

Thus, let us explore some of the options that are available when it comes to eco-friendly cat litter:

  • World’s best cat litter 
  • Feline pine cat litter 
  • Arm & Hammer cat litter

These names top the charts because of the perks offered. Some of these include 

  • Plant-based 
  • Biodegradable 
  • Compostable 
  • Odour-free
  • One of the most affordable options available 
  • Features recycled and biodegradable packaging material
  • Green-e certification ensures the use of clean energy 
  • Avoids the use of preservatives and synthetic fragrances 
  • Avoids the use of preservatives 

Conclusion 

It is concluded that clumping kitty litter is inorganic and therefore, can not be given the status of being biodegradable. The best way, therefore, to discard it is to bag it up and throw it in a trash can.

However, you can be careful in choosing a biodegradable bag instead of those made from plastic films or materials as these materials will not be biodegradable and can remain in the system for a long time. 

The article also discussed sustainable ways to make the most of clumping kitty litter and also highlighted some of the eco-friendly kitty litter. 

References

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