How to Green Your Spring Cleaning & Keep Your Cat Safe

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Do you ever feel like your lost socks and those missing Tupperware lids are hanging out somewhere, laughing it up when you go to use their single partner? Well, guess what’s just around the corner. Spring cleaning! The time of year when those lost socks come out of hiding and your kitty remembers just how much she hates the vacuum. If you’re choosing to go green this spring, you’ll be happy to learn that green and your cat’s wellbeing go hand-in-paw.

eco-friendly spring cleaning for pets

Spring cleaning always leaves my house feeling fresh and me feeling accomplished. I always think of my home having a little extra sparkle when I’ve used green cleaning products that are safe for my kitty, too. To encourage you to spring clean green, I wanted to share my tips for finding eco-friendly, kitty-safe products and more.

Why Choose to Go Green with Your Cat In Mind?

Understanding Cleaning Products

Most people consider cleaning a universally good thing, but is it? We want to share a tidy, comfortable, and sanitary space with our cats and keep them safe. What does this mean when it comes to cleaners, then?

eco-friendly cleaning products for pets

Most cleaners contain disinfecting or sanitizing chemicals that kill bacteria. How do these bacteria assassins work their deadly magic on bacteria? They damage the outer protein layer of the cell, weakening it, causing it to lose its form or structure. Kind of like popping a balloon.

Sanitizers attack all microorganisms while disinfectants only kill bacteria. These chemicals are inherently dangerous and considered toxic for you and your cat if ingested-- No problem-- don’t ingest the cleaner, right? No so much for cats. Cats naturally like to keep themselves clean--using their tongues---which is a problem when they walk across a surface you cleaned.

In fact, cleaning products remain high on the list of household poisons that harm and sometimes kill cats. They’re #6 on the list of pet toxins made by the ASPCA.

How Do Green Products Differ from Typical Cleaners?

For the most part, green cleaners contain less harmful chemicals that come from nature, which often makes them less dangerous for you and your cat.

Green cleaning products also do less damage to the environment once they rinse down your drain. The chemicals that sneak through wastewater treatment can harm wildlife just as they can hurt your cat.

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The right choice, for your kitty and the earth.

What Does Green Cleaning Even Mean?

Before dressing up like the Jolly Green Giant and mopping the kitchen, be sure you are understanding the concept of green cleaning correctly. Green cleaning means making eco-friendly choices that reduce waste and pollutants while choosing products created using sustainable and environmentally responsible methods.

What Areas of Your Spring Clean Leave Your Kitty Feeling Fine?

So what chores should you focus on for your spring clean this year? If you want your cat to benefit from your hard work with good health and a better quality of life, we suggest you put these on your spring cleaning list.

Some Spring Cleaning Must-Dos for Cat Parents:

cat washing the floor in the apartment
  • The Litter Box: When was the last time you emptied and scrubbed the box? Plastics cling to odor and bacteria. Don’t let it overstay its welcome with a good scrub.
  • The Food and Water Dish: These tend to get a little grimy over time. Give them a good wash to improve your kitty’s dinnertime.
  • Bed & Bedding: Read the instructions and put a towel or two down for your kitty while her bedding is in the wash.
  • Wipe Those Kitty Nose Prints Off the Window: After a few weeks, my windows look like Dalmatians they have so many spots! I like to wipe them clean so my kitties can restart their nose print collection.
  • Toys: Refillable toys offer a greener option rather than disposable toys. But if yours are disposable, see if you can clean them up by running them through the wash, adding a little stuffing and sewing them up, or adding a few new feathers.

What Common Cleaning Ingredients Aren’t Safe for Cats?

Cat with eco-friendly cleaning supplies

Many people debate what is “safe for us” versus what is ”good for us.” And the debate often comes down to whether or not green products contain the chemicals needed to kill viruses and germs that can make us sick or if the germ-killing ingredients cause us more harm in the long run.

While I’m the first to geek-out over the science behind ghost-busting germs, it’s vital to realize that our cats walk across our floors, counters, and bathrooms then lick their paws. This is the most common way for cats to get poisoned. So, when I clean any surfaces my cat contacts, I avoid chemicals that can make her sick or irritate her eyes and nostrils.

Some of the ingredients to avoid include:

Strong fragrances: Why? Your kitty’s sniffer is sensitive. The EPA even has a label designated for fragrance-free products, which certify that they won’t cause your kitty to turn her nose up from overpowering perfumes.

Ammonia: Even though its ‘natural,’ ammonia can do severe damage to your kitty’s eyes, ears, nose, skin, and tummy. In some extreme cases, ammonia can be fatal.

Bleach: Chlorine bleach may make your eyes burn, but it causes your cat long term respiratory problems.

Phenol: Phenols, found in ‘sol’ products can lead to heart, liver, and kidney damage. This chemical causes damage after a kitty walks across a freshly mopped floor or inhales a mop solution.

What to Look for In Eco-Friendly Products That Are Safe for Your Cat

Cat sniffing the flower is a Daisy. Beautiful natural background

All-natural, organic, Earth-friendly: do these labels mean “green.” Many products out there want to appeal to Earth-conscious consumers with packaging that appears natural and using descriptions that sound eco-friendly. While these factors can encourage you to pick a product up for a closer examination, there’s an easy way to tell if the product is safe and environmentally-friendly: EPA Safe Choice Labels.

In addition to the EPA Safe Choice Label for green products look for

  • Non-Toxic
  • Plant-Based ingredients
  • Enzyme action

Top 7 Green Cat-Friendly Products to Help Make Spring Cleaning a Breath of Fresh Air

While we hope you’ll go green as you spring clean, it’s important to keep in mind that not all green products are created equally. Some are safer and more feline-friendly than others.

1) Biokleen Bac-Out: I imagine there is a group of green wizards at the Biokleen factory. This stuff is amazing. It uses enzymes and citrus to remove stains and odors. And it works!

Use this product to freshen and clean around the area around your cat’s litter box. You can also use it as a pre-treatment before washing her bedding.

All of the products produced by Biokleen, including Bac-Out, are biodegradable, non-toxic, plant-based, never tested on animals. They also use sustainable and recyclable product packaging, and they offset their energy use!

2) Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent: Seventh Generation has a wide range of products, but we especially adore their laundry detergent.

This detergent features oh-so hard-working plant-based ingredients. They also are USDA certified as 97% biobased. Plus they use sustainable palm oil.

3) Simple Green Naturals: Degreasers can be harmful to cats, but you also want your stove and countertop to not have that icky, sticky, stinky residue.

Simple Green is non-toxic, biodegradable, and versatile. Simple Green uses natural microorganisms to combat odor. Use Simple Green in your bathroom, kitchen, and windowsills.

4) Clean + Green: Furballs happen to the best cats. Unfortunately, sometimes they happen on your light-colored carpet or rugs. Clean + Green Stain Remover can help those stains disappear with plant extracts!

5) Mrs. Meyer’s: We love the light scent of Mrs. Meyers’s products and we can trust them to get our kitties’ bowls clean without leaving any unwanted chemicals that might make them sick. Are hearts pound just a little faster, too, when we remember that Mrs. Meyers uses renewable plant ingredients, biodegradable recipes, and post-consumer plastic for their packaging.

6) Puracy: All natural, all organic, and biodegradable: Puracy offers a line of products to make your home sparkle in the spring sunshine! We particularly love their multi-purpose cleaner for glass, granite, and your kitty’s litter box.

What else makes Puracy stand out? They are certified cruelty-free and vegan!

7) Ecos: Green, green, and greener! Ecos is committed to eco-friendly practices and quality cleaning products. Ecos practically started the green cleaning movement! They only use renewable energy and carbon-neutral plants to make their products.

They also make a pet shampoo if you want to include kitty in your spring cleaning with a relaxing bath (joke).

Bonus: Their ice melt melts our hearts!

Wishing You a Squeaky Green and Clean Spring!

This spring is going to be amazing! Open the windows and let some fresh air in. Don’t forget to read ingredient lists, invest in quality eco-friendly products, and follow any product directions carefully. Prepare for this lovely season with a fresh, tidy, and green home to enjoy with your feline best friend.

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Introducing TofuKitty litter

Hi, I’m Molly, an environmental ecologist and creator of TofuKitty. I created a new kind of litter that was made with you, your kitty, and the planet in mind. You shouldn’t have to choose between effective cat litter and making green choices. My litter is:

Sustainable

Triple odor protection

Plant-based

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Chemical free

Super absorbent

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The right choice, for your kitty and the earth.
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The right choice, for your kitty and the earth.
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