May 15, 2018

Vermicomposting Cat Litter?

Question from Ken:

Hello-live in a semi-rural location in Oregon. Have the cat wastes, with biodegradable litter, in an outdoor wooden sided bin. Would like to try worms.
What should we do to make the bin more attractive to worms? If we purchase worms, do I just dump the worms on top of the pile?
Thank you,

Hey Ken,
I’ve worked a fair bit with biodegradable cat litters, and can confirm that vermicomposting these wastes is indeed possible. But there are definitely some nuances (to put it mildly). The big challenge is almost always going to be ammonia release. Worms are extremely sensitive to this gas (it kills them at very low levels), and as I’m sure you know, the amounts wafting off of used cat litter can be enough make your nose hurt and eyes water.

SO…it is going to be important for there to be a pretty decent aging/composting period before worms get involved (i.e. absolutely don’t add them straight to the system). It sounds like you have actually been depositing the wastes in your bin for a period of time – so perhaps there are indeed zones further down where the worms would be ok.

Regardless, my advice would be to (more…)

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