How to Properly Dispose of Cat Litter

Litter cleaning is nobody's favorite activity.

Litter cleaning is nobody's favorite activity.

Cleaning the litter box probably doesn't rank as your favorite pet-related chore—but it's necessary if you share your home with a kitty. Just don't head for the bathroom or kitchen trash can when it's time to throw the litter out.

Use double-lined bags or at least two bags when disposing of cat litter. Scoop the litter into a plastic bag, then tie up the bag and place it into another. Tie up that one tightly as well. This prevents odor and bacteria from "leaking" out of the bag and into the house or apartment. A double bag is also less likely to break.

Throw the double-bagged litter into a trash container with a lid. If you simply put the bag outside, it could attract other cats, who could break the bag and spread the discarded litter.

Use litter as mulch or garden fertilizer, but only if your litter is biodegradable, such as litter made of paper, wood, corn or wheat. Clay or crystal litters should not be added to your garden. And under no circumstance use discarded litter of any kind in a vegetable garden. No matter how much you love Kitty, you don't want that around edibles.


  • Use "green" litter whenever possible. Litter made from recycled newspaper, wood shavings or other natural elements is safer to dispose of, even if you're just throwing it away in a plastic bag. For starters, green litter doesn't produce dust the way clay litter does.


  • Don't flush your litter. Clumping litter can wreak havoc in your septic system. Even greener litters—which sometimes are labeled as "flushable"—should not be flushed, as you're sending potentially dangerous bacteria down the drain. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii—which causes toxoplasmosis—cannot be killed during normal waste plant treatment, so you might be putting people at danger without even knowing it.

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About the Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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