A Cleaner, Greener Home for Your Cat
Being environmentally responsible is healthier for the planet, for us, and for our pets. Since we want the best for our pets, we should definitely include them in the go green movement. Here are a few ways you can create a cleaner, greener home for you and your cat:
Reduce the impact eliminations have on the environment. Cats have to “go” and it is up to us to monitor their bodily functions and to provide suitable outlets for nature’s call. Cats acclimate to a litter box quite well, but you still have to scoop the poop. Plastic waste disposal bags (both new and recycled) are not all biodegradable, which means that these bags linger in landfills for years before decomposing. Even though your cat’s feces is organic matter, it cannot break down when sheathed in non-biodegradable plastic. Instead, look for environmentally-friendly, biodegradable waste disposal bags.
The type of litter in the kitty’s box also needs to be carefully considered. Lots of litter is made from clay acquired from earthen mines, which can take a toll on the environment. Clay litter also introduces dust particles into the air when cats scratch and bury their stool. This clay dust can be irritating to both human and feline lungs. Thankfully, there are many biodegradable litters on the market made from various recycled products such as newspaper and sawdust pellets. That’s a two-for-one green step!
Select eco-friendly collars and leashes. Your cat’s collar and leash may seem like a small thing, but avoiding synthetic materials even on this level can help the environment. Collars and leashes made from natural fibers, like hemp and cotton, are literally “green” because they start as green plants. They are especially green if the plants are grown organically. Hemp and cotton leashes (minus the metal or plastic clips) are biodegradable, yet durable. These natural fabrics are also comfortable and hypoallergenic.
Keep fun time green. Toys are fun, but they can be dangerous, too. Most cats like to play with toys which end up in their mouths where they can actually ingest toxic components. Toys should be free of contaminants like lead, which can be harmful if ingested. Again, purchase toys made from natural fibers like cotton, hemp and make sure your cat nip is organic.
More than anything, cats love to scratch, so in an effort to save the furniture, cat owners often provide them with alternative scratching surfaces. Scratching posts made from bamboo or recycled cardboard are more environmentally friendly than those made from carpet and glue.
Consider green sleeping quarters. Once playtime is over, your cat may need a rest. If your feline does not sleep with you, perhaps he will enjoy a good night’s slumber on a bed constructed of recycled material or organic cotton.
Keep your cat indoors. There are many studies showing the negative effect that roaming cats have on the native wildlife surrounding their homes. If your cat needs some outdoor time, make sure to supervise them or make an outdoor enclosure to minimize their impact on the other species in the area.
Food can be green! Nutrition is a vital part of staying healthy so your pet’s diet must be nutritionally balanced. His diet must also address existing age or health issues. If you choose to feed your pet an organic diet, make sure it is balanced and meets USDA and AAFCO standards. Organic diets consist of sustainable meat raised humanely, fish from clean waters, and vegetables grown without pesticides. They contain no artificial preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically engineered ingredients. If you choose to purchase organic meat and vegetables and cook your cat’s food, make sure you consult your veterinarian first. Recipes for a home-cooked diet should be obtained from a veterinary nutritionist; online and book sources have been found to be inadequate for most pets.
The Best Way to Go Green
One of the biggest things you can do to maintain a greener home for your cat is to bring a “recycled” pet home in the first place. Consider visiting a shelter or rescue organization. Then, raise your cat in a wholesome, environmentally-friendly manner that will benefit you both.