Is cat poop good for plants?

The question is: can cat faeces go into compost? I did some research on the internet some time ago and concluded that it is unwise to use cat faeces in compost. The general consensus is that it shouldn’t be done (click this link for another article on the topic). Although, a strict answer to the question in the title will probably be, yes, it’s good, because when animal faeces are added to dirt it is called manure and manure has all the sorts of things plants need to grow like nitrogen.

Can cat poop be used in compost?
Can cat poop be used in compost? Well, yes and no! Probably unwise to for peace of mind. Picture of compost: Pixabay. Image: MikeB.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The problem which always comes in a discussion about cat faeces is toxoplasmosis. People cite this parasitic disease as a barrier to using cat poop as a manure. For example, a gardening website starts straight off by stating that cats “are the only animal known to excrete toxoplasmosis eggs in their faeces”. These are oocysts which are a source of infection. And toxoplasmosis can be a problematic disease in people although it is said that many more people are already infected than people imagine.

The point that is frequently overlooked is that these infective oocysts are only passed for a very short time after initial exposure. Also, if your cat is a full-time indoor cat who only eats cat food, she is not likely to be infected. A cat becomes infected with toxoplasmosis from eating raw or undercooked pork, beef, mutton or veal or unpasteurised dairy products that contains toxoplasma organisms.

So, when the experts pooh-pooh (excuse the pun) the idea of cat poop making manure they’re overlooking this important aspect of the life cycle of this protozoan. In contrast, the use of unprocessed human faeces as fertiliser is not criticised so much but it does contain pathogens and therefore it’s a risky practice.

From my perspective, I wouldn’t use any poop, either human or cat, for manure. It’s too problematic and too unpleasant to be honest! Although it does seem a good idea in terms of the environment and creating this natural loop between ingesting food and using the waste to create more food. It sounds like a perfect example of sustainability.

Toxoplasmosis has always been used to criticise the domestic or feral cat. It is overdone for the reasons stated in the third paragraph above. Serologic tests show whether a cat has ever been exposed to the disease. A positive test in a healthy cat indicates that the cat has acquired active immunity and is not a source of infection to humans. FYI – toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease.

I have some more articles (in fact, I have a lot more articles!) on toxoplasmosis so if this topic interests you then please click on one of the links below.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

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