Welcome Rose! I'm thrilled to know there is a guide out there on proper pet poo composting. I've been composting my cat and dog poo for several years - I dig a deep pit about 5' deep and just wide enough that a galvanized trash can with the bottom cut out fits on top. I use the wheat kitty litter plus I feed my two cats and the dog a raw meat/veg diet. As I toss their stuff in, I also toss a little of the sandy soil from the pile I dug out back in along with whatever leaves, twigs, etc.. are lying nearby. I also pour in a small bucket of water on occasion and maybe some woodstove ash. I probably fill two of these pits in a year. Good thing we have a few acres, but now that I have several of these filled in pits around the place, I'm starting to think about how to improve my process. It also never occurred to me when I started doing this that the composted pet waste might be useable. My primary focus at the time was to keep it out of the landfill.
I am very thankful that this subject has been researched and written about by Rose as it is a subject I have been really wondering about.
I am very, very far from being a perfect organic, permie person but one has to start somewhere! I have only just today become aware that there are better alternatives to clumping cat litter (from a post on here stating that "we all know how terrible it is" err, I am not a "we" I'm afraid, this is the first I have heard of it!), for example. Also my cats don't eat organic food. I have a lot to learn and I am looking forward to making whatever changes that I can afford. This is a fantastic topic! Thank you so much for being here Rose! And thank you to everyone else with experience and knowledgeable posts!
Hi, I'm new here. Welcome Rose. Great site.
I have a small garden, and two rescue greyhounds on a raw diet. Their waste is now much much smaller and nicer (if dog poo can be nice) than it was on dried kibble. I tried a pet poo composter early on, pre raw diet, when I only had one dog, but it did not cope with the volume. The composter was bought from the shops but was basically a bottomless bin with a lid, and some stuff to pour in to help the composting. With more land, I can see how a series of buried bottomless bins would be possible. I currently collect it up and flush it along with my own waste. Not very permy, but better than land fill.
Rach - I've heard that raw pet diets really reduce the poop, so that's a good place to start (like "reduce, reuse, recycle." That compost bin is a great system. Now that you have more land and can do multiple bins, you could fill them part way, remove the bin, add soil and plant a tree or shrub on top. By the time the roots reach the poo, it will have degraded into fertilizer. This would have been a great way to plant those trees lining the entrance at Twelve Oaks in Gone with the Wind !
Maria - Aw - kittens! Wood shavings are also good litter. A shelter manager once told me that after switching to shavings they had fewer kitten respiratory problems. Maybe some cats react badly to the chemical additives in clay litter meant to minimize odor. But I haven't seen anything definitive on that.
I have a lot to learn, too, Anne. And I'm learning more with every post. Like you, affordability is key to me. Any time I consider adopting a better environmental alternative, I consider first cost and then effort. I'm notoriously economical, but I think the bigger factor is that expensive new items are fossil and resource intensive. As for effort, some things start out seeming like a lot of work. But you can usually figure out how to do them smarter.
Laurie - You've got the right approach to litter and diet. I like how you use water, ash and bits of yard waste to improve the degradation process. Recycling depends so much on instinct, climate, weather and materials at hand. You're always changing and adapting, so it's hard to pin things down with recipes. You might want to try my suggestion to Rach above and include partly filled pits into your landscape plans.
Location: SW Washington. zone 8a
posted 5 years ago
Thanks Rose - I LOVE the idea of partially filling the pits and planting trees on top!!! Fantastic!