It’s not always easy to adopt a green lifestyle, but once good habits become ingrained, they become second nature. Remember the days before recycling?
You’re probably a lot greener than your cat. That purry ball of fur in your lap can be both the cause and the victim of environmental desecration.
In honor of Earth Day, here are seven ways to keep your cat safe from environmental hazards and keep him from despoiling the Earth. We’re gonna focus on easy fixes that don’t require major lifestyle changes or major investments of your time and money (but kudos to you if you want to take it a little further)….
Clumping clay litters not only cause problems for your cat (lung problems, asthma, irritated pawpads, etc.) but for the environment as well. The clay doesn’t break down in landfill. Which means that in a hundred years, we could have entire mountain ranges composed of discarded cat litter. Okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but when litter goes into landfill, it stays in landfill. Forever.
In addition, the clay extraction process ravages the environment through strip mining. Evil.
Instead, try a natural litter such as The World’s Best Cat Litter which is made of corn, Feline Pine* which is made of recycled wood pulp, or Yesterday’s News, made of recycled newspaper (it’s 3 times more absorbant than clay).
These litters don’t have a cloying perfumey odor; they have a pleasant, naturally fresh smell that doesn’t scream to visitors that you have a cat. Stove pellets, sold at many hardware stores are identical to Feline Pine at a fraction of the cost — just check with the company before you use them to see if they’re approved for pets.
Get Back to Basics
As Maru has demonstrated, for a cat there’s nothing more fun than a cardboard box. Unless it’s a big brown grocery bag. Eschew eco-unfriendly pet store toys in favor of recycled bags and boxes.
Purrmote Re-Use by Donating
Cats are finicky beasts. One week, they can’t get enough of a new toy. The next week, it’s assigned to oblivion. When your cat loses interest in toys or other cat supplies but the toys are still in good condition, clean ’em up and donate them to your local animal shelter rather than tossing them or stowing them away in the garage.
When your cat towers are shredded to pieces, replace/re-cover with sisal rope, available at any hardware store. It’s a quick and easy job and keeps cat furniture out of landfill. If you have carpet remnants, those can be used, too.
When buying cardboard scratchers (we go through a ridiculous number of these each year), buy those made from post-consumer recycled waste like Scratch ‘n Shapes®**. They’re biodegradable: good for the planet and good for your cat.
Give Your Cat a Green High
There are now many companies producing organic cat nip and cat grasses so Fluffy can get high and satisfy the munchies without a negative impact on the environment. After doing her part to protect the planet, she can indulge in an edible bed of oat grass or a pinch of Certified Organic Catnip. Snack ‘n Treats come to the rescue on both counts, providing 100% organic treats without preservatives, filler, additives or by-products.
Grow a Green Thumb
Practice non-toxic green gardening techniques. Even if your cats are indoors-only, it’s better for any outdoor cats and wildlife in the neighborhood. Rather than reaching for the weed-killer, lay down a biodegradable weed barrier mat*** with mulch on top. Instead of fertilizers, use natural compost. Use ladybugs to keep pests away. Control your slug population with a product like Sluggo, a non-toxic alternative to metaldehyde.
Using toxic cleaners in your home can pose a health hazard to your cat. Not only do non-toxic alternatives like white vinegar, borax, lemon juice, salt, citric acid and baking soda clean as well as their toxic alternatives, they won’t cause health problems when your cats ingest them during grooming. Here are instructions on assembling your own non-toxic home cleaning kit.
** Imperial Cat® Scratch ‘n Shapes® are made from 100% post-consumer recyclable materials and are 100% biodegradable. Simulating the texture of tree bark or honeycomb, Fluffy will naturally want to dig in her claws. Each scratcher comes with a bag of Certified Organic Catnip. With over 80 whimsical designs, Scratch ‘n Shapes have a form factor to appeal to any cat. Satisfy your cat’s natural instincts in an environmentally sensitive way.