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Earth Day: How to Green-Up Your Cat-Care Routine

Green-up your cat care routines this Earth Day.

Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 since 1970. It is a day meant to develop awareness about our planet and how the things we do may impact its health. It's a great day for reflecting on how you manage your environmental impact and to consider ways to improve in the future.

There are effects on the environment related to having cats live with us, so we've come up with some ideas for honoring Earth Day with your cat.

Litter Management Can Be Environmentally Friendly

  • Consider biodegradable litter. There are many options available for biodegradable cat litter. Cats tend to love the feel of clay litters, but these are mined from the earth, then fill landfills, leaving a considerable impact. They also contains silica, which may carry potential health concerns for cats and people. Other options for more environmentally-friendly cat litter include:

    • Sand: Cats usually love using sand as litter, and you can get it in bulk many places that sell sandbox sand.
    • Recycled newspaper: You can shred any newspaper that you have or use a product such as Yesterday's News to create biodegradable litter.
    • Formulated biodegradable litters: World's Best Cat Litter is an example of an all-natural, biodegradable cat litter. Other such products include litters made out of plant products, such as Feline Pine. These products are natural and chemical-free, degrading back to the earth rather than staying put in the landfill.

Be sure that you don't switch your cat's litter type quickly. Your cat may not take to the new litter type immediately and could begin eliminating outside of the box. Put down a second box with the new litter type and see if your cat uses it. Alternatively, mix a very small amount of the new litter with the old litter type, and very gradually add more of the new and less of the old until you are using all new litter.

  • Green-up your used litter receptacles. Rather than using a new plastic garbage bag every time you scoop or clean out your cat litter box, consider the following options:

    • Employ used shopping bags. Recycle your plastic shopping bags for use as used cat litter receptacles.
    • Use a covered metal container. Place a covered metal container next to your cat litter box, with a liner (or plastic shopping bag) inside. Continue to fill the liner until it is full, rather than using a new one every time you scoop or clean out the box.
    • Consider biodegradable dog poop bags or paper bags. Rather than use a non-biodegradable plastic as a used cat litter receptacle, use biodegradable plastic dog poop bags or paper bags.

Spring Cleaning Donations

When you are doing your spring cleaning this year, don't just throw out any cat toys, cat beds, scratching posts, or towels and bedding that you no longer want. Donate them to a cat rescue group that will be able to continue to get use from them.

Recycle Cat Food Packages

If you feed your cat canned food, buy the biggest containers you can, and cover and refrigerate them if your cat can finish them within a few days. This decreases the amount of metal used for your cat's meals. Then, recycle the can when it's empty.

Keep Your Cat Indoors

Outdoor cats have an effect on bird populations and the environment. Indoor cats are also safer from predators, cars, and feline communicable diseases.

Don't Feed Your Cat Much Fish

As much as 10% of the world's fish supply is used in pet food. This is having a big impact on global fish quantities. Fish is not a food that cats evolved eating, anyway, and there are many negative health effects associated with feeding them too much of it.

Use Environmentally-Friendly Cat Toys and Beds

Cats need toys to stay mentally and physically healthy. Consider these earth-friendly cat toy options:

  • Toys and beds made from recycled materials: There are a variety of toys and beds made from recycled materials, such as the SmartyKat CatnipChase Catnip Toy.
  • DIY cat toys: It can be fun and cheap to create cat toys from materials you already have at home. Get ideas and learn the safety considerations of diy cat toys here.

Green-Up Your Cat's Bathtime

Many cats dislike water, but if you do give your cat baths, make sure to use earth-safe shampoo. Use only shampoos that are formulated for cats because their skin's pH is different from that of humans. Don't use medicated or flea shampoos unless specifically recommended by your veterinarian.

Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Spaying or neutering your cat can make a huge difference for the planet. Just one un-spayed female and un-neutered male cat pair and their un-altered offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in a seven-year time span. Feral cats impact the environment due to their effect on wildlife as well as the spread of parasites through their waste.

Adopt a Rescued Cat

Adopting a rescued cat is just like up-cycling. You are using a previously-made product rather than producing a new one!

Celebrate this Earth Day by considering all the ways you can green-up your cat-care routine.

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