Those little treasures your cat leaves buried in the litter box not only stink, they can harbor bacteria and parasites. You probably want to get rid of the used litter as quickly as possible, but there are a few disposal rules to follow to ensure safety.
Scoop feces and urine-clumped areas of the litter out of the kitty litter box, using a kitty litter scoop and dispose of it into a plastic trash bag. Sift through the remaining litter in the pan, using the scoop, to find any additional fecal matter or urine clumps.
Tie the plastic trash bag closed using a knot or a zip tie.
Place the closed trash bag in an outside waste bin that is out of the reach of children and animals. Used litter not only contains bacteria, it can be harmful if ingested. Ingested clumping cat litter swells in the stomach and intestines.
Add enough fresh clumping cat litter to the kitty litter box to replace what you scooped out.
Empty the kitty litter box completely every four to six weeks to prevent bacteria buildup and to reduce odors. You may need to replace the litter more often if you have multiple cats. Dispose of the cat litter using the method described in the previous steps. Refill the kitty litter pan with fresh clumping cat litter.
- Cats often won't use a dirty litter box. Clean your cat's litter box daily or more often if the box gets a lot of use.
- Be environmentally conscious and save plastic by reusing old plastic grocery store bags instead of new trash bags to dispose of cat litter.
- Pregnant women should not clean cat litter boxes, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), because it may be contaminated with Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can be found in the feces of some cats. Exposure to the parasites may cause toxoplasmosis, which can cause serious health problems in an unborn child. If you are pregnant and do not have anyone to clean the kitty litter box, wear latex gloves and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards to avoid contaminating yourself with possible parasites.
- Never flush clumping cat litter down the toilet. Clumping cat litter can clog plumbing and sewer lines.
Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.