Is Dr Elsey’s cat litter biodegradable? (7 examples of eco-friendly cat litter)
The article will discuss the biodegradability of Dr Elsey’s cat litter. Other topics covered would include:
- Is Dr Elsey’s cat litter biodegradable?
- Is Dr Elsey’s cat litter sustainable?
- Is Dr Elsey’s cat litter compostable?
- Is Dr Elsey’s cat litter recyclable?
- What are alternatives there to Dr Elsey’s cat litter?
Is Dr Elsey’s cat litter biodegradable?
Dr Elsey’s cat litter is not biodegradable because it is a clay litter made from Sodium Bentonite clay which is inorganic and non-biodegradable.
Biodegradation is defined as the breakdown of materials by the action of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, algae, and decomposers. It is a natural process of ensuring that there is no waste accumulation so that the environment may be saved from the detrimental effects of waste accumulation.
However, not all material is biodegradable. Microbes only degrade the materials that are natural and organic (having nutrients for the microbes). In the case of Dr Elsey’s cat litter, it is made of clay otherwise known as bentonite which is inorganic. Therefore, microbes can not ingest this cat litter.
Is Dr Elsey’s cat litter sustainable?
No, Dr Elsey’s cat litter can not be regarded as sustainable because Dr Elsey’s cat litter would not degrade and would remain in landfills for hundreds of years. This will contribute to the waste problems which are already quite intense given the context of increased urbanisation and consumerism.
As per research, more than 2 billion tons of waste are added to exacerbate the situation of waste management and it would not be wrong to say that Dr Elsey’s cat litter and other bentonite clay cat litter would have their share in this problem because bentonite clay accounts for 25-85% of all cat litter globally.
Also, another factor that advocates Dr Elsey’s being non-biodegradable is that it is made from bentonite clay which needs to be strip-mined.
The mining process is energy intensive and accounts for the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that may contribute to environmental anomalies such as global warming, deforestation, acid rain, ozone depletion, and unprecedented weather patterns.
Further, not only Dr Elsey’s cat litter bad for the environment, but it may also be dangerous to the cats since it is seen that in some cases, non-biodegradable cat litter results in toxicity and respiratory issues in sensitive cats. Also, the fragrances used in synthetic cat litter may also take a toll on cats.
How to make the most of Dr Elsey’s cat litter?
It is important to know what steps must be taken to sustainably use Dr Elsey’s cat litter because the usage is equally important as the disposal, if not more. For that, consider the following points:
- Regularly clean Dr Elsey’s cat litter as cat urine contains urea which can damage the litter if kept for a longer period of time
- Always empty Dr Elsey’s cat 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
What are disposal options for Dr Elsey’s cat litter?
A common question that is asked related to the disposal of Dr Elsey’s cat litter is that since it can not biodegrade, can it be composted? After all, it is made from natural material (clay).
It is not possible to compost Dr Elsey’s cat litter because there is little difference between composting and biodegradation. If something is not biodegradable, it is very unlikely that it can be composted too because it is the same microbes that will compost any particular material.
Like biodegradation, composting is also quite specific because it has to be added to the soil; therefore, it is essential to only compost materials with organic content inside.
In the case of bentonite clay, there is no organic content and therefore, Dr Elsey’s cat litter can not be composted.
When Dr Elsey’s cat litter is recycled, it is modified to be reused as if it were new material. This is considered green because when Dr Elsey’s cat litter is recycled, there is no need to extract the raw materials which basically means the cutting of trees.
Therefore, let us discuss what you can do to have your Dr Elsey’s cat litter recycled.
- Disposing of in recycling bins
- Transporting Dr Elsey’s cat litter to recycling facilities
- Having the nearby recycling centres pick up your Dr Elsey’s cat litter and other recyclable material via appointment
Are there greener alternatives to Dr Elsey’s cat litter?
Since it has been established that Dr Elsey’s cat litter is neither biodegradable nor can be composted, therefore, let us explore other options that are more eco-friendly than Dr Elsey’s cat litter.
When it comes to cat litter, the best options include ones that are made from natural and plant-based materials (such as walnut, wood, corn, and grass) so that the use and disposal of cat litter are also made eco-friendly other than the production.
When looking for eco-friendly cat litter, some of the key features you need to focus on include:
- Biodegradable and compostable
- Made from recycled material
- Made from clean energy
- Avoid the use of chemicals, fragrances, and preservatives
Based on these features, let us explore some examples:
- World’s best cat litter
- Feline cat litter
- Arm and hammer cat litter
- Littermaid cat litter
- TofuKitty cat litter
- Pioneer pet cat litter
It is concluded that Dr Elsey’s cat litter is non-biodegradable because it is a clay cat litter and bentonite clay (that makes up Dr Elsey’s cat litter) can not be ingested by the microbes.
It was discussed that Dr Elsey’s cat litter can not be regarded as an eco-friendly option since it is not biodegradable and also can not be composted. Moreover, it is made from mining processes which are considered bad for the environment.
Lastly, eco-friendly alternatives to Dr Elsey’s cat litter were discussed and some common traits were drawn that included naturally derived, compostable, free from chemicals and preservatives, and also affordable.
- Batista, Candice. (June 24, 2022). Eco-friendly cat litter that won’t harm your cat. Retrieved from: https://theecohub.com/eco-friendly-cat-litter/
- Krosofsky, Andrew. (March 2, 2021). What is the best eco-friendly cat litter? Retrieved from: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/best-eco-friendly-cat-litter
- Wilde, Lorraine. (February 15, 2022). The 6 best eco-friendly cat litter of 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.treehugger.com/best-eco-friendly-cat-litter-5180604
- Dr Elsey’s. Can the litter be composted or disposed of in a garden? Retrieved from: https://www.drelseys.com/faqs/can-the-litter-be-composted-or-disposed-of-in-a-garden/