We recycle, we bring our reusable bags to the grocery store, we compost, we try and eliminate plastic in our lives, but there is one family member who isn’t pulling their weight….your cat!
Between their litter box needs, cat toys, and food; they’re not the most eco-friendly pet to have. What is an environmentally conscious cat parent to do? We’ve scooped up some tips to help you become a more eco-friendly cat parent.
Spay and Neuter for the Planet
Spaying or neutering your cat is one of the most important things you can do as an eco-friendly cat parent. This routine medical procedure helps your cat stay healthier, happier, but most importantly, the choice to spay or neuter your cat helps to save lives.
Every year in the United States, millions of healthy cats are being euthanized simply because there are not enough homes to go around. It all stems from the simple fact that not everyone spays or neuters their pets. The choice to spay and neuter your cat not only maintains the cat population, but it also decreases the carbon footprint and resources needed for shelters to take care of these unwanted kittens.Every year in the United States, millions of healthy cats are being euthanized simply because there are not enough homes to go around. Click To Tweet
Adopt, Don’t Shop!
Cats end up at the shelters for one reason or another. Anyone looking for a pet can directly help ease cat overpopulation by adopting these “unwanted” animals. Seek out local shelters or rescues instead of going to breeders or pet stores that breed animals merely for profit.
As an eco-friendly cat parent, be mindful of where you are spending your money and who you are supporting. Purchasing from shops that breed animals for profit allows them to continue to do so while shelter animals still exist. However, some reputable stores like PetSmart or Petco do work with local shelters and host foster days. Be on the lookout for these opportunities!
Choose Sustainable Cat Food
It’s easy to be an eco-friendly cat parent without switching cat food brands. You can help by choosing more sustainable options over others. For example, it takes significantly more land and water resources to produce one pound of beef as compared to a pound of chicken. Consider choosing chicken over beef and look for seafood choices that are sustainably harvested, such as sardines or mackerel instead of tuna.
Serving your kitty dry food versus wet food also helps decrease the carbon footprint since wet food contains water, which make it heavier. This increases the fossil fuel and resources needed for transporting and shipping. Consider alternative options like freeze dried cat food that is healthier and more nutritious. Then you can add moisture to it before serving it mouse temperature. Avoid buying single food pouches as they are not easily recyclable. Food for thought!
Choose Eco-Friendly Cat Litter
Avoid using disposable liners or disposable litter boxes (even if they’re biodegradable) to cut down on waste. You can keep your cat’s litter box fresh with daily scooping and washing it regularly with mild soap and water. Try to keep your litter box as long as possible, but if you do need to replace the litter box; look for one made from recycled plastic.
As an eco-friendly cat parent, there are many types of cat litter to choose from that are sustainable in nature. Select the litter that fits your needs best, but keep in mind there are some great entirely natural and biodegradable options.
Using cat litter made from cedar or other woods, walnut shells, recycled paper, wheat or corn, can even reduce the amount of dust and debris your cat tracks around the house. These cat litters are composed of renewable or recycled materials that reduces waste by their very production.
Consider using compostable waste bags when scooping the litter box or even flushable litter. Always check with local municipalities or make sure your septic tank is equipped to handle it.
Eco-Friendly Cat Toys
Playing and “hunting” is vital for a cat’s well-being. As an eco-friendly cat parent, you can still spoil your furbaby and buy cat toys. Try to avoid purchasing plastic toys that are packaged in even more plastic. Instead, choose more eco-friendly options that are made from sustainable or toys made from recycled materials like cardboard or fabric. If you must choose cat toys that are made from plastic, then try to select cat toys that are made from recycled plastic.
Another option is to make some DIY cat toys. A little creativity can go a long way! You can make your own cat toys by repurposing some items you would recycle anyway. For example, toilet paper rolls can be pinched at the ends to make into a food puzzle. Simply place some dry food or their favorite treat inside and let them try to problem solve. Scrap paper or tin foil can be crumpled up into balls that are also fun to bat across the floor.
Source Eco-Friendly Cat Shampoos and Flea/Tick Treatments
We know kitty bath time isn’t the most coveted time (for anyone involved), but sometimes it just needs to happen. Selecting shampoos with quality ingredients is important. Not only is it better for your pet and less irritating, it’s also better for the environment.
As an eco-friendly cat parent, choosing products that are paraben-free and made with organic ingredients ensures they are made without pesticides and other harmful chemicals. This is better for the environment so these chemicals do not enter our drinking supply through run off.
There are also natural remedies for flea and tick treatment as well. Diatomaceous Earth is a great natural solution for your pet and your house! Diatomaceous Earth is made from fossilized skeletal remains of unicellular plants called diatoms. The ground up remains create a lethal dust that is razor sharp to insects.
It is harmless to humans and pets even though it is powerful to insects. You can sprinkle it around common problem areas and around the perimeter of your home. As an eco-friendly cat parent this is a great preventative measure! In addition, using a flea comb often is another great solution.
Reducing Your Carbon Paw-Print
Small steps lead to big changes. Awareness is the key to understanding the changes you can make as an eco-friendly cat parent. Purrhaps choosing one or two items on this list to start with and having an eco-friendly mindset as a cat parent will allow you to make changes over time. If we all do our part, we can work together to take care of our planet.