Dry Cat Food as Fertilizer

garf_gwJuly 24, 2012

I wonder if leftover dry cat food is any good as fertilizer?

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

You might attract critters to your garden. Do you have lots of extra cat food? The birds will eat it if you want a use for it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:41AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Racoons, skunks, groundhogs, mice, rats, and possums will come for miles to get it long before it could possibly provide any benefits to plants.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:10AM
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garf_gw

My feeding procedure for my cat takes a bag of dry food and divides it into 3 pint ziploc bags. I place food in the dish every 4 hours and take the food up that he doesn't finish. Near the bottom of the ziploc, most of whats left is fine particles. At a certain point, I break out a new bag and dump the old one. I'm thinking about mixing the remainder into a container. I guess it may draw stray cats. My main question is will it help the plants.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:00PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

My cat wants to come live at your house.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 5:23PM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

Dave answered your question quite well in his last post imho.

Not to mention that it will cause putrid soil in your container, unbeneficial bacteria and mold. That's if there's any soil left once the rodents and raccoons dig it all out looking for whatever stinks in the container, that's no joke either.

That stuff would have too be composted first before it would be "safe" to use.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:10PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

garf - what is it you think it might supply?

I suppose it would depend in great part on the brand of cat food since the ingredients vary so widely. But nitrogen, in the form of the protein in meat/fish by-products, would require substantial decomposition before it would be plant-useble. I would assume the same would hold true for any source of P or K it 'might' contain. Calcium? A year from now. Maybe. Boron, iron, magnesium? Is any of that even in cat food? Iron, maybe in very small amounts.

It's one of those "it might help but I can't imagine how and could really hurt thanks to the pests" situations IMO.

If you HAVE to do something with it feed it to the wildlife away from the garden.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:03PM
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garf_gw

2 days ago, I stirred about 2 oz of dry cat food into one of the smaller pots. So far, nothing has disturbed it. After 1 or 2 weeks, I will place a small plant into the pot and see what happens.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 9:09PM
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garf_gw

Today something dug up a container I had added Tomato Tone to. SO, I set up a trap and caught a small possum. Tomorrow, I dispose of the carcass.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:24PM
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garf_gw

Gone.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Need2SeeGreen(10 (SoCal))

Does tomato fertilizer attract pests? Or did the critter just happen to dig up that particular pot?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:24PM
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garf_gw

It was a pot that I had just pulled a plant from, and just added some Tomato Tone to. No other pot was disturbed.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:31PM
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garf_gw

The trap has claimed another possum. A big one this time.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:27AM
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garf_gw

This one got lucky. It got shipped out intact. It was released alive a few miles from my place.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:55PM
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suncitylinda

TomatoTone is not a very good fertilizer anymore but it remains a wonderful critter magnet.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 12:50AM
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garf_gw

Which fertilizers are better?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 6:20PM
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garf_gw

Possum #3 also got a free ride down the road.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:44PM
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garf_gw

The trap was tripped twice without catching anything. The first time, the bait was eaten. I've never known this trap to fail before.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:08PM
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garf_gw

Today the bait was gone without tripping the trap. Something out there is smarter than I am.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:15PM
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suncitylinda

Garf - TomatoTone is just not very strong anymore. If you are using in in well ammended soil I imagine it is fine. I grow in containers and Earthboxes and the last year I used it everything was struggling. I still have a 20LB bag left and I will apply it much more liberally.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:21AM
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garf_gw

#4 possum was a biter. He did a job on the bait tray. This was baited with catnip.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:52PM
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