We’re all about conscious living here at The Conscious Cat, and green living is a big part of living a conscious life. Earth Day is a great day to remember that green living isn’t just good for us and the planet, it’s also good for our cats.
Here are some ways you can celebrate Earth Day (and beyond) by going green with your cat:
Feed natural foods
Even though the term “natural” is an often misused marketing term, truly natural cat foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients. Read labels, and make informed choices.
Use natural cleaning products
Many household cleaners contain contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum based chemicals which can release volatile organic compounds into your indoor air. Some ingredients in household cleaners are known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected human carcinogens. Lysol, Pine-sol and other products containing phenols are deadly to cats as they can cause serious liver damage. Chlorox bleach, especially when concentrated, can cause chemical burns when it comes in contact with sensitive cat paws. Use cat-friendly products instead.
If your house is anything like ours, you have a lot of old toys your cats never play with anymore or cat beds they never use. Your local shelter or private rescue group will appreciate the donation. They may also be able to use old blankets and towels. Be sure to call first to see what they need.
Use chemical free pest and parasite control methods
Many of the flea and tick treatments available today contain toxic chemicals that can be hazardous to pets and to people. Even when these products are used according to the manufacturer’s directions, these chemicals are not safe for pets or humans. A more natural approach may require a bit more effort, but it’s safer for both cats and humans.
Don’t wear shoes inside your house
Have you ever gone for a walk in your neighborhood, and every yard you passed just had chemical fertilizer applied? That same fertilizer will stick to the bottom of your shoes, and can present a danger to your cats, even indoor cats. They will absorb these chemicals when they lick their paws. It’s better to take shoes off right inside your front door, rather than spreading those chemicals all through your house.
Use eco-friendly cat litter
If your cat will accept one of the alternatives to clay litter such as corn, wheat or pine-based litters, make the switch. Clay is strip-mined, which is bad for the planet, and clay litter contains silica, which is a known carcinogenic. However, don’t make the switch at the expense of your cat’s litter box habits. Some cats will simply refuse to use the new litters, and no amount of going green is worth risking having your cat avoid the litter box.
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day with your kitties?