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Ecological Cat Care - how?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm working on an article for Earth Day (April 22nd), focusing on "green" cat care. 

 

Any special measures that you take when it comes to your cat care routines?

How about green products? Cat food, litter, toys - anything recycled, homemade or bought, or otherwise green products that you recommend?

post #2 of 14

Nothing to contribute but I'd like to know how many counties (USA) will let you recycle cat litter.  Anne Arundel County (Maryland) has a recycling program, but I cannot put in litter.

(And from a practical standpoint, how do you keep used litter from smelling for a week?)

post #3 of 14

We use Swheat Scoop instead of clay litters - waste is flushable, and when I clean out the box the litter goes in the compost.

 

I wish I could say we were making an effort to be more green, but the truth is our cat Tophel kept having problems with the clay litter (eyes tearing and sneezing). I'm glad he made us switch after finding out more about clay dust and how bad it is for our and our cats' lungs.

post #4 of 14

We use a clay clumping litter because we have the littermaid box.  But I rarely buy cat toys anymore.  The favorite toy in my house are the pull tabs from milk or water jugs.  Or the "rings" from mayo jars.  The only toys I buy are the toy mice or the occasional mylar ball.  One of my mother's cats adores small wads of paper.  I guess that and the milk rings are recyclable?  But they last forever!

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

How about organic stuff? Do you make a point of buying organic catnip, for example? Obviously better for the cats, but also more eco-friendly, I think? 

 

I found some interesting eco-friendly products. I think I may feature these in a special blog post on earth day. Does anyone have any feedback on these - 

 

Anyone using any of these? I'd love to see some product reviews by our members.

post #6 of 14

It is hard to find "green" cat products.  I use corn, biodegradeable litter (corn)...won't use clay because of environmental impact, and I like it better.   I do buy organic catnip....although the requirements for calling something organic are pretty iffy sometimes.  

 

Probably one of the biggest for me is trying not to use pest control chemicals.  I had a flea problem last year, and rather than fogging with chemicals, which covers everything with nasty stuff....I treated my carpets with food grade diatomaceous earth.  It worked great!!!  This year, I'm going to try treating the cats and dogs with it rather than putting chemicals on them.  The cats don't go outside, but the dogs do....so they bring passengers sometimes.  It also is supposed to have benefits in terms of parasites, as well as other health benefits, so no concern if they lick it. It has to be FOOD GRADE.....not the stuff for pools or yards.  You can get it on Amazon or other sites....but the cheapest way is at a farm store....farmers use it as a natural wormer for livestock.

post #7 of 14

Here is kind of cool website that talks about diatomaceous earth and its uses for pets  http://www.earthpetsorganic.com/Diatomaceous-Earth-Gainesville

 

Here is another site about diatomaceous earth  http://www.earthworkshealth.com/pets-animals.php

 

Another "green" possibility is flower essences.  Most people know about the Bach Remedies, I have used the Green Hope Farm Essences Animal Wellness products with dogs with success  http://www.greenhopeessences.com/animalwellness.html  

 

Jackson Galaxy promotes Spirit Essences http://store.jacksongalaxy.com/Spirit-Essences-Bestsellers-s/1850.htm which were formulated by Dr. Jean Hofve.

 

I used essences with dogs with stress or anxiety at shows with great success.  I had a border collie who would totally freak in storms.  After using essence to calm her down, she would pretty much come to me and ask for it when a storm was coming.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Can you elaborate some more about why you think flower essences are a more ecological option? I can see how it may be a more natural solution, but I'm not sure if you mean it's somehow more helpful to the earth?

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne View Post

Can you elaborate some more about why you think flower essences are a more ecological option? I can see how it may be a more natural solution, but I'm not sure if you mean it's somehow more helpful to the earth?

 

Sure......they are "all natural" substances which can achieve results without using medications or chemical solutions.  They do no harm to the animal, and have no side effects.  They are formulated using just the natural substances from the earth, and leave no tracks in terms of chemicals in the ecosystem, which can be a problem with medications.  

 

I agree tho.....probably more on the natural side....but there is a big problem with unsafe disposal of unused or expired medications  http://greenliving.about.com/od/healthyliving/a/safe_drug_disposal.htm

post #10 of 14

Even though they are "all natural" how much waste comes from distilling them?  What kind of energy does the manufacturing plant use? How do they keep pests and diseases off the raw crops?  All these go into making a product more ecologically friendly.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw66 View Post

Even though they are "all natural" how much waste comes from distilling them?  What kind of energy does the manufacturing plant use? How do they keep pests and diseases off the raw crops?  All these go into making a product more ecologically friendly.

Most of the sites I have perused talk about putting the flowers into spring water and exposing them to sunlight for a period of time.  They come up with a "mother essence" which is then diluted with brandy, or shiso, or something else for the most part.  Doesn't seem like much waste to me????  

 

The one I know the most about is Green Hope Farms.  They don't grow crops per se, but create gardens with a theme.  Given their orientation, I'm pretty confident that you wouldnt find any but organic gardening practices there. No manufacturing plant....everything is done by hand.  

 

Your points are valid, however, for many products that claim to be ecologically friendly with their end product.

post #12 of 14
I didn't know how they were made and figured asking questions would get the ball rolling. Thank you for informimg us.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

You mentioned you were using essences prepared by Dr. Hovfe, who's a veterinarian, so I'm sure there's no alcohol in them. Just thought I'd mention it for the benefit of any readers of this thread - flower essences, or homeopathic remedies for that matter, prepared for people can be dangerous to cats since they may contain alcohol.

 

Back to green, one thing that came to my mind yesterday is the plastic bags I use when cleaning the litter box. I make a point of buying only biodegradable bags, myself. I wonder what others are using.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne View Post

You mentioned you were using essences prepared by Dr. Hovfe, who's a veterinarian, so I'm sure there's no alcohol in them. Just thought I'd mention it for the benefit of any readers of this thread - flower essences, or homeopathic remedies for that matter, prepared for people can be dangerous to cats since they may contain alcohol.

 

Back to green, one thing that came to my mind yesterday is the plastic bags I use when cleaning the litter box. I make a point of buying only biodegradable bags, myself. I wonder what others are using.

 

Good point on the bags.  I use Litter Champ disposal system and the liners do degrade:  Single Pack Refill Liner for Litter Champ is made with high density polyethylene and environmentally friendly biodegradable resin. Litter Champ refill will fully degrade under ground and in landfills

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