To meet the challenges of climate change, its important we shift to more sustainable practices in every aspect of our lives, including pet ownership. Here are four simple tips for making sure that our love for animals and need for their companionship doesn’t have a negative impact on the planet.
D.I.Y Cat Toys
According to Inhabitat there is no regulatory body in the U.S. tracking toxins in pet toys; manufacturers are required to self-regulate. But many pet toys are made overseas, meaning that this is difficult to do.
Manufacturers tend to use phthalates, an ingredient that can cause kidney, liver and reproductive system problems in cats. Phthalates are also linked to contaminating and polluting surface water, making them harmful to fish and other wildlife.
You can avoid harming your pets and the environment by making your own eco-friendly cat toys using materials you can find around the house. There are hundreds (no exaggeration) of D.I.Y cat toy ideas you can find online – we have picked a few to get you started.
- Make Your Own Cardboard Cat House by Cat Lessons
- Simple Cardboard D.I.Y Catscraper by Shelterness
- Easy D.I.Y T-Shirt Cat Toy by Muslin & Merlot
To learn more about D.I.Y cat toys that are fast and easy to make, Holly Tse has written a book called ‘Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Toy At a Time’, with over 50 toy ideas.
D.I.Y Cat Litter
A common cat litter owners use is clay-based. However, according to Humboldt Pet Supply, the clay used for litter is strip-mined, a process that destroys ecosystems and pollutes neighboring water sources.
The U.S. Mineral Commodity Summaries Report of 2019 states that in domestic production and use in the U.S., 52% of bentonite and 98% of fuller’s earth clay was mined and used for pet waste absorbents. In 2018 the production of bentonite and fuller’s earth resulted in 5,300 tonnes of clay being mined that year.
D.I.Y Cat Care
Catster points out that one of cat shampoo’s main ingredients is aloe. Aloe is poisonous for animals, and if a cat were to ingest this, it could cause vomiting, diarrhea, and more.
It is also important to remember that shampoo and other grooming products come in plastic packaging, which adds to our planet’s plastic problem. To avoid causing harm to your animal and to reduce your plastic use, we have found natural and eco-friendly ways you can pamper your cat.
The Fluffy Kitty has a great guide with multiple ways to clean your cat. They have a dry shampoo option which uses simple ingredients you can find around the house. They also have a simple liquid shampoo recipe which only requires three ingredients!
Being a sustainable pet owner doesn’t have to involve making all your own products. There are several are simple actions you can take, like opting for more eco-friendly options, that will help you and your pet have a positive environmental impact. The first change you can make is buying your cat food and cat litter in bulk to reduce packaging waste while save money at the same time.
MeYou Paris suggests replacing your cat’s food with more sustainable options, choosing chicken and rabbit products over beef meat, for example, as they have a lower carbon footprint. You can also invest in ceramic or metal food bowls to reduce the amount of plastic you use. PetsCorner has a wide selection of ceramic bowls at affordable prices to choose from.
If you’re looking for sustainable litter products, it is worth purchasing a metal scoop. It is also important to make sure you use eco-friendly litter. If you don’t have the time to make your own, Natusan sells cat litter that is made from recycled wood fibers and is 100% biodegradable and compostable. Silica litter is also a great choice, as the granules are biodegrades and non-toxic. You can find many places that sell this type of litter, both online an in-store, though we recommend Sanicat’s Professional Diamonds Non-Clumping Silica Cat Litter.
When searching for sustainable toys, The Natural Pet Company’s gift set makes this easy. The toys in their collection are made from natural materials like wood, sisal, and feathers. They’re also long-lasting and safe to use. You can also reduce your plastic use by replacing plastic bags used for your cat litter clean-up with biodegradable ones. You can find them online, and most are compostable too.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Cat looking out the window from carton tower. Featured Photo Credit: Eric Han.