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NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How Can We Love Our Indoor Pets and Our Environments?

Sticking with the established theme on Wednesdays, today I'd like to address another issue that I've been pondering that relates to my own experiences with striving to live a "greener" life. I recently lost one of my cats (RIP Bruce (that's a picture of him sunning himself to the left)) and have been spending a lot of extra time with my remaining domestic long-hair Gremlin (below.) She's been very needy lately... I'm actually sitting with her right now as she sleeps =)

It's been hard while I'm traveling to leave her home alone due to my own fear of what may happen to her while I'm gone and also because it is difficult to acclimate her to my reappearance after a few days. Needless to say, it's a good couple of hours of "Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow" from little Gremmers (and chasing me all over the apartment) when I get back. I've been considering getting another little friend for her, but haven't made a concrete decision yet if that's the best idea.

One thing that has also been weighing on my mind concerns our pets' impact on the environment. Our feline friends use a lot of products that can harm the planet. How can we be more eco-conscious with our pet purchases? For instance, Gremlin may be unaware about her impact on the environment, but I definitely am! Our cats leave more of a footprint behind than many of their owners know. Just think of all the plastics – cat food bowls, litter boxes, toys, etc. that we purchase and eventually throw away. Even the containers kitty products come in are typically plastic. And where does all that clay cat litter go? It doesn’t just go away!

With most families having more than one cat and the litter box rule being “have one litter box for every cat plus one,” creates a lot of kitty litter. Unfortunately, clay litters are the least expensive and the hardest on our environment. There are, however, a wide variety of environmentally friendly kitty litters on the market. Check out Feline Pine, Swheat Scoop, the World’s Best Cat Litter, and Yesterday’s News. Not only are they organic, but several of these litters can also be reused as mulch in your garden. Talk about a bargain! Most of these litters come in a bag rather than the big, plastic tubs, too. If you do use the plastic tub, simply recycle.

Lately I've also been considering buying a CatGenie even though they're quite expensive. This automatic self-washing litter box is the best in terms of green litter alternatives. It uses permanent washable granules that never need changing which are clean/dry (and also satisfy your cat’s need to dig and cover), it takes cat litter out of your life for good, and is tested/recommended by veterinarians.

Consequently, this may be an issue that most people don't enjoy addressing, but I thought this was the perfect medium for it. How can we love our indoor pets and love our environments at the same time?

Until next week! Cheers- BA


rouse1jk said...

One way that we could help other than the litter, is by using old things around the house and recycling them. I actually like to use old socks to put cat nip in and make them into balls for the cats to play with. Instead of throwing their fur (dogs and cats) throw them in the yard - animals will use them for making nests!


katlupe said...

I was never happy with store bought litters. Not only the price but my previous cat, Nutmeg seemed to get stuffed up after using the dusty litter box. It bothered me that the litter did not compost also. I started using pine shavings for the litter box after working at a horse barn and seeing the barn cats using sawdust or pine shavings that was used for bedding in the stalls. I buy a bale and it lasts for months for one cat. My other two cats like the outdoors best and do not use a litter box unless it is an emergency. It composts and we like it better.

Daisy said...

I like Yesterday's News. For my rabbits, we get pine and red cedar litters and then compost them. The plastic bags are still an issue, but if we buy them in bulk we don't have as many bags to throw away.