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 Post subject: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:12 pm 
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I'm having a heated 'discussion' on the presence of Toxoplasmosis gondii in cat poo and its advisability for use for composting. I say it's fine--poo is poo, and nature will do as nature does and disinfect it.

The research I've done tends to back me up, though it may take a bit more time.

I use biodegradable litter, BTW.

Any input will be greatly appreciated, even if you tell me I'm wrong. :?

Thanks,
Gaia.Smith


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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Put it all in the compost. Dog waste, cat, rabbit, whatever pets. By the time the compost is completely broken down and has the appearance of black soil, the waste is completely broken down.

I used Nature's Miracle cat litter when I still had cats (they died of old age in the last couple of years). I found it had good clumping properties and was totally recyclable without putting kaolin clay in the compost. It used ground dried corn husks - and the husks didn't have the weevil problem that some of the grain-based litters had. The only thing with this is that it was a clumping litter - if you look under cat litter you'll see that Howard has some issues with the clumping ingredients in cat litter (as far as cat health was concerned).

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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Thanks nwnr!

I looked for the reference you made to "...Howard has some issues...", but couldn't find it. Perhaps a link? I much prefer the clumping litters as I have mobility issues, and the easier, the better.

I too, used Nature's Miracle, till it got so pricey. Arm & Hammer has one that's less $$, and with 5 BIG litter boxes, that's important. And now Petsmart has a 'generic' made from a mix of corn and pine which works just as well, but is dustier than the plain corn; doesn't generate the dust that the plain paper, wheat, and pine litters do though.

And as we're on the subject of bio-degradables, there's a new one made from walnut. Wonder if it will have the growth inhibition properties as the trees themselves? Don't want THAT in the compost pile, eh?

Thoughts on that issue? Ask around?

TIA
Sam EarthMutha


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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:57 pm 
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It's all in the library.

Cat Litter Dangers

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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:05 pm 
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:oops: Well, DUH, on me... :oops:
Haven't visited in a LONG while, forgot what I did know about where to look for what.

TNX!


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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:02 am 
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Location: California, San Joaquin Valley - home of 105* summers, foggy winters.
For many years, we used stove pellets for cat litter. You can buy 40lbs of stove pellets for under $10 where we are, and it will last most of a year. We used about a quart of stove pellets per litter change. At first it looks like a scrawny amount in the bottom of the litter tray, but if you give it about 10 sprays from a hand spray bottle, some of it it will start to fall apart into sawdust, making it attractive enough for the cat. The cat does the rest.

We found that there was never an odor problem using the stove pellets, and each change of cat litter lasted much longer than regular cat litter.

The used cat litter went into the compost, where the sawdust became worm bedding (we're vermicomposters) and the cat leavings joined the rest of the inputs.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Thanks so much for your input. I bet I could come up with some other handy uses for them as well--like sopping up big wet spills...

As a disabled person, I really prefer the clumping litters, as the whole thing is easier to deal with (I'm currently using 5 large litter boxes!) A side benefit of the GOOD clumping litters is virtually NEVER having to do a total litter change--unless there's a cat-ass-trophe! :lol: (sorry--couldn't stop myself.)

Based on what Mr. Garret pointed out about the clumping agents, I will be getting in touch with the manufacturers of the products I use, just to ease my mind.

On a side note, I was quite excited to see that my recently begun pile is crawling with Black Soldier Fly larvae!


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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:02 am 
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I posted some of my research a while back (my cats have been deceased for a couple of years now and I didn't get any more - the dogs prefer it that way). I found the product by Nature's Miracle, a clumping cat litter made from ground dry corn cobs (not corn itself) was excellent from a dust standpoint and from a clumping standpoint. The fact that it was corn meant I could easily put it in the compost and not worry that there was clay in the mix. I was having trouble finding the litter so I called the company, and while I was at it, I asked about the product and that's how I learned about the corn cobs. (Their skunk odor remover is also an excellent product - tested many times in my 3-dog household!)

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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:09 am 
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Yes, I agree that Nature's Miracle is just that--a miracle. It's my hands (and paws!) down favorite. Pricey, for 5 big litter boxes, though.

Recently, Arm & Hammer has put a cob-based product, the scent of which we were none-too-fond, and shortly thereafter, they changed that--apparently, we weren't the only ones that found it too "perfumey". Now it smells 'piney/cedar-y' like NM, it's less expensive, & works identically. Recently, Petsmart has introduced their 'house brand' Exquisite Cat. I don't like it as well, as it's a bit dustier, neither does it remain as firmly clumped, but it's fine in a pinch.

HATED the walnut based--as heavy as clay, really course texture, and didn't clump at all.

And as you were the one who answered my original question, have you any 'evidence' that the Toxoplasmosis dies in the compost? I'm having a discourse with a neighbor about it, and her 'evidence' is that "all the gardening magazines & websites say don't use it..." in a vegetable garden.

I say bull ****. Virtually anyone who has grown veggies, especially out in the country, has UNcomposted cat poo in the beds. WASH/peel your veggies & get a life!


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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:16 pm 
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gaia.smith wrote:
Virtually anyone who has grown veggies, especially out in the country, has UNcomposted cat poo in the beds. WASH/peel your veggies & get a life!

You are exactly correct. If toxoplasmosis survived the composting or non-composting decomposition process, then every cat would have it. Unless you are directly eating raw pork or cat feces, your chances of getting toxoplasmosis are extremely rare. Even if you get the disease, unless you are pregnant or HIV positive, it will probably run its course and you may not even know it.

One of the reasons compost is such a great material is that it converts pathogenic materials into beneficial materials. How? By the action of species which are not affected by the human pathogens. The fungi and bacteria which digest it are not affected by the toxoplasmosis protozoa. Once it is decomposed into amino acids, it is harmless.

Regarding Arm & Hammer cat litter: A&H puts baking soda in every product they make. Baking soda is a non selective fungicide which will kill the beneficial fungi in your compost and soil. I would never use that product if I planned to ultimately compost it or toss it in the garden.

Regarding sodium bentonite: As I understand it the original Kitty Litter product contained calcium bentonite. A few decades later the advantage of sodium bentonite came to the product in the form of clumping litter. Then a cat breeder lost a couple litters of kittens to a mysterious problem. Her holistic veterinarian attributed the cause to clumping cat litter saying the kittens had eaten it. The cause was backed up by a second holistic vet and the Chicken Little effect was set into motion. Since then the breeder has written articles for cat magazines exposing the dangers of clumping cat litter. Interviews with other veterinarians do not back up the idea of clumping kitty litter being a serious issue. Well, maybe kittens can get too curious and start eating a LOT of litter, so for kittens maybe steer clear. But for adult cats, I don't think there would be a problem. However, there are other issues with sodium bentonite. Sodium bentonite is the material they use to line the bottoms of lakes. It is the clay of your worst nightmares. This is the stuff you do not want in your garden, because it can form an impenetrable layer of muck that could ruin your soil's ability to receive water. Calcium bentonite (non clumping) is probably a much better choice if you are planning to compost or dump the litter in the yard.

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Last edited by user_48634 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:21 pm 
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When I was pregnant the first time I asked my ob/gyn to run the text for toxoplasmosis, because I'd had cats for years and wanted to be sure I'd built up an immunity, and I had. I imagine my kids have also, because we had cats up until a couple of years ago.

If you haven't had it, it can be a problem if you're pregnant, but if you've owned cats for a long time, chances are good it won't be a problem.

But cats in the garden - that is an annoyance!

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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:38 am 
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Personally, I NEVER put feces of canines, felines (or any animal that eats food derived from meat products) on a garden, composted or not. Science backs me up on this. noting that parasites such as various worms that live and breed in their digestive tracts, can be transferred to humans through consumption of food grown in soils containing these materials.

The parasites are very hardy and eggs can remain dormant for long periods. even if Fluffy or Spot have been wormed. These parasites are capable of surviving very high temps in the intestines of these animals as well as the stomach acids, so even a well heated pile of mulch can still harbor potentially dangerous critters.

Even if our compost is used strictly for flowers (rather than food producing plants) the potential to inadvertently include soil contaminated with this material in a vegetable garden sometime later, is not worth the risk.

Fecal matter from carnivores (even those eating a vegan diet) should not be included in a compost pile, but treated as toxic or hazardous waste and bagged, sealed and discarded with the weekly trash. My father in law habitually puts his dog's feces on his veggie garden. Now, he's certainly not "the sharpest knife in the drawer", but means well. So I thank him when he shares some of his homegrown produce, but I throw it away when he leaves.

Stick to manures of herbivores such as cattle, beasts of burden and poultry.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:59 am 
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You're behind the times in the production of organic compost, CountryBoy, and we sharp knives in the drawer are fine with composting cat and dog waste. It's an old wives' tale that the droppings of predators are somehow different than those of ungulates. And when you argue a position that is counter to the accepted knowledge of this site, you really need to cite the literature and post links to the "science" articles that you quote.

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat poop??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:04 pm 
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This caused me a great deal of concern:
Quote:
Howard has some issues with the clumping ingredients in cat litter (as far as cat health was concerned).
So I dug into the issue, contacting every manufacturer of the corn-based clumping litters, and every one of them uses GUAR GUM as the clumping agent. Is that going to be an issue?

...and this was also a good point, which I hadn't considered:
Quote:
Regarding Arm & Hammer cat litter: A&H puts baking soda in every product they make. Baking soda is a non selective fungicide which will kill the beneficial fungi in your compost and soil.
I haven't bought another A&H litter since, no matter how 'on sale' it was. So thanks for the head's up on that, Dchall!

Now to go discover whether or not the DE in my dogs' food is killing the dung beetles...


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