Cats don’t have a very good reputation when it comes to being green. They kill a lot of animals, eat a lot of meat, and use a lot of cat litter. We all love cuddling our furry friends at the end of the day and would do anything for them, but they are not the pinnacle of eco-friendly living. Luckily, there are a few changes cat makers can implement to have our cats make the planet as happy as they make us.
Look At What You’re Feeding Them
Don’t worry, we aren’t suggesting you stop feeling your cat meat. They require animal flesh to survive, and while vegan pet food and meat pet food may look identical, their nutritional value is not. Instead, try to look for more sustainable options that still align with your cat’s diet. Buying food in bulk or tracking down local or zero-waste pet food options is also a great way to minimize a cat’s carbon pawprint. Think about how many plastic pet food bags you go through every year – quite a few, right?
Let’s Talk Litter
There are two environmental issues with litter boxes. The little baggies that line the boxes and the litter itself. The clay used in traditional cat litter is not biodegradable and requires lots of resources to produce. That means a thrown-out bag of kitty litter will be sitting in a giant landfill for hundreds of years after your cat used it. There are a few ways to make your cat litter from newspapers or other easy-to-source materials. Looking for biodegradable litter box liners is also essential since those bags also end up in landfills.
An unclean litter box can cause serious respiratory issues, so be sure to scoop it out regularly and change it a little often. We like wiping the little box down with vinegar then washing it with some eco-friendly soap.
The Pros and Cons of Keeping Your Cat Inside
This is a tricky one. Cats are partly responsible for the extinction of 63 species. Their hunting jeans paired with the sheer volume of cat populations have brought down many species of birds, lizards, and small mammals. This is a great reason to keep them inside, especially if they are content spending their days lounging in the sun on a sofa or fluffy rug.
On the flip side, letting your cats roam the great outdoors minimizes the previously mentioned litter box waste. So, if you can manage to source eco-friendly litter and litter box liners, keeping the cat inside might be the best environmental choice.
Spay or Neuter the Cat
We know, it may sound scary putting your cat through surgery, but spaying or neutering your animal is a relatively quiet and painless process that does a lot of good for their health and the environment. Cats are considered an invasive species, so keeping their population to a minimum is essential. It also reduces their risks of catching certain diseases and developing unpleasant behaviors associated with reaching sexual maturity. Finally, going back to how bad it is to let cats outside, spayed or neutered cats are less likely to want to spend more time outdoors, an added bonus for the billions of birds and other tiny creatures roaming in our backyards.
It’s tempting to want to buy every cute toy mouse or colorful ball, but trust us, you can find all of that and more second-hand. Small stuffed toys given with children’s fast-food meals make great pet entertainment and thrift shops are filled with cat-friendly knick-knacks. You might also be surprised just how entertaining a cardboard toilet paper roll or balled-up receipt is for your pet.
Buying brand new cat toys further fills landfills and promotes unnecessary consumerism, so get creative with ways to keep your cat playing and active!
Our feline companions aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and why should they? They provide companionship, make us laugh, and keep us on our toes. It would be a shame to continue letting creatures that have such a positive impact on our lives negatively impact the environment. See what changes you can make to your cat’s diet, bathroom habits, lifestyle, and entertainment, and start turning your fluffy fur baby a little greener.
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