Green Your Life: Green Cat Ownership

| 3/9/2009 3:21:53 PM

I’ve only had one cat, and that was when I was about 8 years old. He was a black cat named Spooky, which was fitting because he used to hide under the bed and attack my feet when I would walk by. This scared the compost right out of me.

I’ve never really been a cat person, but cats are the only other animal after a dog that I’d want to own, so I’m considering not only how I could own a green dog, but also how I could own a green cat.

Creating a garden with cat-friendly herbs and plants for your feline friend is a safe way for him to spend time outside. Photo By OiMax/Courtesy Flickr

• Just as with dogs, adopting a cat from your local shelter or Humane Society is one of the greenest things you can do. This way, you can help decrease the growing number of unwanted pets while finding a new best friend. Spaying or neutering your cat is another important step in green pet ownership. This will help cut down on potentially unwanted kittens, thus preventing them from filling up the shelters.

• Use green products as often as you can, which includes what kind of litter you buy. Yesterday’s News is made from recycled newspaper and is not toxic if ingested. World’s Best Cat Litter is another option that is made from all-natural whole-kernel corn, which absorbs odors without the need for extra chemicals. Feline Pine is another all-natural litter that I hear is really good. Their website even offers tips on how to transition your cat to a new litter. Regardless of which litter is your match, do not dump the entire box every time you scoop. Don’t leave the litter in there forever, but dumping the entire box instead of scooping is extremely wasteful, no matter how eco-friendly the litter itself is.

• Instead of buying expensive and potentially harmful toys, amuse your cat with safe items from around your house. Simply tie some fabric strips to the end of a stick with a long string and watch the hilarity ensue. Cats love to play, and they don’t care how much a toy costs as long as it’s fun to bat around. You can also plant a garden for your cat to play in, and fill it with cat-safe herbs and flowers. Catnip (or cat mint) is a favorite, and planting wheatgrass can give your friend something healthy to chew on outside. Just make sure to designate a spot for your cat to relieve himself. While this is a great idea, some plants are not safe for cats to ingest. The ASPCA provides lists of toxic and nontoxic.