We have indoor rats as pets, and are interested in using the used bedding as compost (as there's a reasonable amount of it). The bedding itself reckons it makes good compost, but we're unsure about the droppings / urine.

They're fed on pre-mixed food and vegetable trimmings etc, with next to no meat involved in their diet. Various sites list that waste from small household pets is safe, whereas waste from dogs and cats is not. The distinction seems to be whether there is meat in the diet or not (generally)

We're not really looking at going fruit/veg, so this will be used on flowers only

4 Answers 4


General rule is not to add to your compost faeces from omnivorous or carnivorous animals, but from herbivores it's okay. It doesn't sound like your rats are completely vegetarian (so to speak), whether that's a small amount of meat or not, and most rats are considered omnivorous. If you're certain they're never given anything other than a vegetarian diet, then it should be okay.


We use "droppings" from cows, horses and chickens. So I think it is safe.

You are right, dog and cat pop is not ideal. I think because of their processed food: there are many chemicals, which are (hopefully) good for pets, but not necessarily for humans. Additionally cats and dogs walk a lot around you, so they could bring some human diseases. On olden time, also rats brought to houses a lot of diseases, but I assume your rats are not walking to sewage.

If your rats eat human rated food, I think there is no problems.


Animal matter may be safely composted by the bokashi composting method. There is a lot of information (and misinformation) available on the internet.

  • 1
    Can you add more detail to make this a really good answer?
    – kevinskio
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 11:53

(Rather late than never? Lol) You stated the finished compost was to be used on flowers only; you were not planning to use the compost for growing fruits or vegetables. As long as you were not consuming the plants grown, removal of feces from the soiled bedding isn't necessary prior to composting; however, if consumption of any part of a plant grown with the compost is a goal, feces should be removed prior to composting the soiled and used bedding. 😉

  • 1
    It would be good to have some reference for this. I suspect that the compost would turn to a messy gloop with the faeces. Commented May 18, 2023 at 4:53

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