After your cat has received Radioactive Iodine Therapy (RIT), your pet will emit a very small amount of radiation for a short time. The radioactive iodine is useful in treating the condition that your veterinarian has diagnosed in your cat. However, caution should be taken in disposal of products that may contain trace amounts of this radioactive substance.
You should use the following methods for disposing of your cat’s waste that may contain trace amounts of radiation. These disposal methods will enable the waste containing radiation to be safely handled and to not enter the environment before it is at a safe level. The radioactive iodine will exit the cat’s body by way of the urine and feces. For this reason, any excrement, vomit, or soiled kitty litter should be disposed of using the following procedure:
- Upon returning home, provide a clean litter box with a disposable liner - a trash bag works well - and scoopable litter in an area where there is the least contact with humans and other animals.
- Every day, you will need to scoop out the excrement and place it in a sealed container. Sealable plastic bags used for food storage work well. Place them in a covered container - again, plastic containers used for food storage work well. Use gloves when scooping the litter or cleaning excrement outside the litter box, vomit included. Replace the litter as needed in the pan. Your veterinarian will have informed you of the length of time that your cat may emit radiation.
- At your convenience, please deliver the covered container which has the soiled litter and excrement to the animal hospital or veterinary facility where your cat received the radiation therapy treatment. Each facility will store and monitor the products until the radiation is deemed safe for disposal into the garbage.
- Please do not simply put the soiled kitty litter or excrement into your household trash.
Please follow the above procedures to ensure the safety of your family and our environment. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact your healthcare provider.