I often get asked whether cat or dog poo can be placed in the compost bin.
The short answer is yes. With a big fat caveat. You don’t want it mixed with your regular compost that goes in your veggies.
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Whilst all organic matter is compostable, it’s highly advisable that you don’t mix cat and dog poo into your regular compost, especially if that compost is destined for your veggie patch.
The reason for this is our pets can carry diseases that affect us and you don’t want any of that near the food you harvest and eat.
Cat feces in particular can contain toxoplasmosis which can cause birth defects and issues for people with compromised immune systems.
Dog poo is composed mostly of water but undigested food including carbohydrates, fibre, proteins and fats from their digestive system. Plus a whole sway of bacteria and if they are infected with worms, there’s those too.
Why you would compost pet poo
Composting pet poo is not necessarily to make amazing compost. And especially not for your veggie patch. It’s definitely more of a management of poo, and effort to not add extra things to landfill.
How to compost dog and cat poo
Dedicated Compost Bin
You can compost it, but give it it’s own spot and it’s highly recommended you use a hot composting method (3 days of temps over 60 degrees celsius) to kill the nasties. Having said that the finished product has no place on your edibles. You’re best using the finished product on ornamentals and indoor plants. It is certainly not worth the risk.
Dedicated Worm Farm or Worm Tower
The general consensus is that worming products may affect composting worms. I am trying to find evidence on this as all I can find is anecdotal commentary. So err on the side of caution if your pets have been recently wormed before adding the poop to a dedicated worm farm. I’d recommend leaving for a couple of weeks before adding it directly to the worm farm.
I have seen a few pet poo bokashi systems on the market as well, mostly they are in ground variety. Which let’s be honest , who wants a bucket of fermenting pet poo sitting around. You essentially add microbial inoculated grains to give it a kick start and help it break down faster.
So summing up, yes you can compost your pet waste. Just don’t put it on your edibles and you’ll be good to go.
Do you compost your cat or dog poo? Leave a comment below explaining how you do it.