You do all you know how to keep your environmental footprint as small as possible, but what about your cat? There are things you need to buy, to use, in order to be the best cat parent you can be, right? Right! But the twist in the tail is that these don’t need to be harsh or hard on Mother Earth. I’ve put together a range of items necessary for anyone who shares a house with a cat. And they just so happen to be environmentally friendly, as a bonus! Next time you need to ‘Add To Cart’ when shopping for your furbaby, why not make your purchases green? After all, green goes great with fur!
There is more than one reason to avoid plastic when shopping for your cat’s next food or water bowl. First, the BPAs in the plastic can leach into their food and water, which can be toxic. Second, plastic aggravates the skin around their mouth and chin and can lead to potentially painful feline acne. Third, limiting the plastic products in our homes, lives and consumption habits is always a positive! While glass and ceramic are great options, and more easily recyclable than their plastic counterparts, the most environmentally friendly bowls are made from bamboo. This is because bamboo has a relatively small carbon footprint and requires little water to grow. And, you can compost the bowl when you’re done (you may need to break it down into itty bitty pieces first, though). Purrfect! These bowls from The Green Pet Shop come in different shapes and are made from 100% natural and biodegradable materials.
Not perhaps a necessity, but a nice touch nonetheless, a raised feeding station can put the kibble within easy nibbling distance. Bamboo ones are your best option for good durability and a lighter tread on the earth’s resources. These cool stands from LePet also make cleaning up a breeze, as they wipe clean easily, making sure the dining room is always in tip-top shape for your majesty. Even more importantly, the bowl recess is shaped like a cat’s face with little ears and everything, and if that’s not just the cutest thing then I don’t know what is!
Keeping with this theme of food… You can stimulate your cat’s mind and body by giving them their food in a puzzle feeder. This extends the meal time and allows them to ‘hunt’ and ‘catch’ their food, satisfying the call of certain instincts. These products can be made from cardboard, like this example from Cat Amazing, which is made from 30% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable itself.
On to fashion now, and the absolute statement that is a cat’s collar. These are a very easy product to keep on the green side, both in terms of colour and environment! You can opt for all natural materials that don’t require a lot from the planet, such as these collars from Earth Hero. They are made from organic cotton (good) and hemp (goooood): two fibers that are renowned for their sustainability.
It’s important that the substances used to cleaning a cat’s area are non-toxic, as their grooming habits mean they are likely to ingest anything that has been sprayed on the ground or surfaces they frequent. They also have sensitive noses, so heavily perfumed cleaners aren’t a great option for their feeding area or litter box. Luckily for us, there are many options out there for eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products that will leave your home fresh as a daisy and keep your furbaby happy too. You can create your own cleaner by mixing up some baking soda and vinegar at home. Or try out this set from the Green Pet Shop that covers all your bases. The bottles are reusable, the product dilutable, and the enzymes all natural and completely non-toxic. What more could you want?
Clay or plastic litter that is thrown into plastic bags which are then funneled into the landfill is doing no-one any favors. There is a much better way of disposing of your cat’s waste now. TofuKitty makes a 100% biodegradable, vegan litter that is made from food grade soy. It is soft on your cat’s paws and is completely flushable, meaning that cleaning up is super easy, as well as environmentally friendly. You can find out more about it, here. Another option is to dispose of the soiled litter in biodegradable litter bags, like these ones from the evocatively named Anti Icky Poo, for if you’re not big on flushing.
The return of bamboo! This wonder-fiber is used in the creation of a lot of animal products and I have to say, I’m a huge fan. This litter box from Beco is great as it’s easy to wipe clean - as a surface and due to its detachable upper section -, and it has high sides to prevent spillage while providing privacy. It’s super hard-wearing as well, being made from bamboo and rice husks. Ticks all the right boxes, as it were.
Cats sometimes need someone to lend them a paw when it comes to keeping their coat in the best condition. It’s a great bonding activity and can help prevent them from ingesting too much fur. There are a bunch of brushes out there with bamboo handles, but a lot of them either have synthetic bristles or boar bristles. The better, vegan, biodegradable option is this 100% natural brush from Bampooch made from bamboo and natural rubber. You can keep that coat shiny and sleek while keeping the earth happy too!
While cats don’t need bathing very often, barring some kind of accidental foul substance bath, there is the odd occasion that it’s called for. At those times, it’s nice to be able to reach for a product that covers all your bases. This dual shampoo and conditioner from Earth Bath is made from all natural ingredients that are safe for use on your cat’s fur and skin. Just remember to seal off any escape routes before hosing your furbaby down. That already agile kitty is about to get a whole lot more slippery!
Even with all that brushing and shampooing, there’s a high chance your kitty will still end up ingesting a fair bit of their fur. This will then come out in the ever-charming hairball form. For some cats, bringing up a hairball is more of a marathon than a sprint. It can also potentially block airways, making it dangerous to your kitty’s health. Help can be at hand though, with this hairball lubricant from Pet Wellbeing, that will make the whole event a lot easier on you both. The ingredients are all natural, organic and plant-based - the trifecta!
When it comes to playtime, there are many awesome environmentally options around. You always have the option of making your own toys, which is not only eco-friendly but is also a whole lot of fun! In a ready-made form, however, comes these fantastic felt balls from Earth Hero. Cats love them and so will their cat parents (you!). They’re plastic free, compostable and 100% natural. Made from organic New Zealand wool, they are also certified cruelty-free and come with the leaping bunny sticker to prove it. The crafters are women living with disabilities in Nepal who are paid a fair wage for their work. There’s not much more a toy can do to be eco-friendly while also supporting fair trade! There are also these epic cardboard creations from Petique that will have your cat living like royalty. As if it wasn’t already!
In order to keep your sofas, armchairs, bed legs, carpet, table legs, duvets, and anything else vaguely scratchable safe this year, it’s a wise idea to invest in some kind of scratching surface for your cat. Cats simply have to scratch, taking as much joy from it as you do a giant yawn and stretch after a nap! There are options for vertical scratchers as well as horizontal. Just note what it is that your cat likes to claw. Carpet? Horizontal scratchpad. Sofa leg? Vertical. The main requirement is that it be big enough for your cat to stretch in full. These ones from Amznova are pretty enough to blend into their environment, while also being made from 100% recyclable cardboard.
When your furbaby needs somewhere to rest that weary head, that isn’t directly on your face at 3am, I’ve got you covered. This super cute, lightweight bed from Petique just needs lining with your cat’s favorite blanket. It’s made from compressed paper, as a wood alternative, so it is completely biodegradable. Or there’s this funky hammock, from the same company, which is ready-to-use as is, and comes with certification for its paper-based materials from the Forest Stewardship Council. This means you can be assured it’s sustainable as can be.
While your cat may have many needs, those needs don’t need to be a drain on our planet. Feeding, grooming, cleaning and lifestyle products: you can kit out your cat in full, while upholding your environmental standards. Now, I call that a win!