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Green Your Cat Adoption: Sustainable Kitty 101
Lifestyle

Green Your Cat Adoption: Sustainable Kitty 101

green your cat adoption shelter cat

I’ve changed this past month. I’m more cautious, I’ve had to reconsider every plant in my apartment, and I look tired. A new bundle of joy came into my life, and although challenging, I’m super-happy. Welcome to my crazy green lifestyle, Pounce DeLeon! 

Pounce came into my life after I moved into a studio apartment. Growing up with dogs my entire life, I made sure to research and contact a few local shelters. Since I volunteer with PAWS Monster Miler program, the Old City Adoption Center was my preference. Luckily an orange and white tabby remembered me from my first visit, and his consistent snuggles stole my heart within a half hour. After watching him interact with a few other cats (and tested well in the plays well with dogs category), I knew it was meant to be!

Want to green your cat? I will give my best (new) advice to you!

Here’s a few ways to green your cat adoption:
  • Don’t shop, adopt. With millions of shelter animals (estimates are 70 million cats), there’s no reason to buy from a breeder. According to the ASPCA, there’s approximately 5-7 million animals that enter shelters each year, and approximately 3-4 million are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats). Every time you rescue a shelter animal, you’re saving two lives: one of the animal you rescue, and the animal who can take that ‘spot’ next. Looking for a specific breed? 25% of dogs who enter local shelters are purebred and can be found on PetFinder.
  • Be Ready to Commit. I’ll admit, I’m terrible with commitments from a night to go out to finalizing a workout regime. Do some research and consider your next 10-15 years, including how to accommodate your pet. Planning on moving? Be ready to look for a pet-friendly apartment. Want kids? Don’t pick a cat (or dog) that doesn’t play well with small beings. Small hint: Animals will pee, poo, claw and jump on or even break something of yours on occasion. Be prepared to adjust your lifestyle and for an occasional mishap – the snuggles and returned love are worth it. I beg you. Although it’s common sense, it’s heartbreaking to see how many animals are returned to shelters for selfish reasons.
  • Spay or Neuter your pet. The last thing you want to do is add more animals to the adoption ‘competition’. I adopted Pounce DeLeon from PAWs, which spays and neuters every pet. PAWS also has a low-cost Wellness clinic which spays and neuters, too.
  • Green your clean, green your cat. Cat-kinds are adventurous and love exploring furniture and every crevice. If you’re using toxic cleaning agents, they’re going to get on their tiny paws (and in) your kitty. If you don’t already use Seventh Generation and Method, here’s extra incentives to make the switch. Plus, plain ol’ baking soda & vinegar will clean most of your house singlehandedly.
  • Sleeping. Go for cat beds made from natural, organic cottons and stay away from pesticides.
  • Reuse if possible. As a current cat mom, I’ve realize Pouncey despises some toys/products I bring into the house. (Like the ‘recycled cardboard’ scratching post he wouldn’t touch. Good one, Pounce.) Check Craigslist or free-cycle for unwanted or gently used products. Greening your cat means he can go Good Will Style, too!

    sustainable-green-your-cat
    Best free toy: (Recyclable) paper bags.
  • Choose a wise litter box. Although it’s nearly impossible to avoid plastic for litter boxes, try ‘reusing’ from previous pet owners or Craigslist. If you have to purchase a new box, a good-sized tray will do rather than fancy contraption. (Litter covers are more for the owners than the pets, and baking soda will neutralize odors.) Whatever you do, do NOT USE disposable plastic litter boxes! Or the plastic liners. Both are not necessary. And just stupid.
  • Green your cat startup kit. Avoid clay litters and go for natural versions (made of wheat like Swheat Scoop, corn, or used newspapers) instead. Choose organic, grain-free cat food. Look for recycled and biodegradable toys, scratch posts & more. (Hint: some of the best toys are boxes, paper bags & toilet paper rolls.)

Want more specifics? Stay tuned for Green your cat: Part II on GPB! (Hint: It may be told from a certain feline point-of-view…IF someone can stop cat-napping.)

sustainable cats

Readers, what suggestions do you have to green your cat adoption?

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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

4 thoughts on “Green Your Cat Adoption: Sustainable Kitty 101

  1. This is great! I adopted a kitten a little over a month ago, and I was focused on being green everywhere I could. I think I passed all these steps! 🙂 And some of Milo’s favorite toys are paper bags and toilet paper tubes. I love it!

  2. Congrats on your new pal, Caitlin! 🙂 It sounds like Milo & Pounce would get along great with their paper bag & toilet paper tubes playtime.

    Please let us know any new catMom tips and if you find any other green solutions!

  3. We got two barn kittens (Pizzazz and Houdini) and trained them to use the toilet (using Swheat Scoop)! It took about 4 months, but now, there is no litter in our apartment whatsoever! And the best part is, we take them out a lot to keep them social, so if we take them to someone’s house (like our parents) they don’t need a litter box there either! We used the City Kitty system, but the Litter Kwitter is a good one too. For $60, it is well worth it!

  4. my two kits are rescues. malachi, now 5, was found in a paper sack outside the vets office one morning with his 6 siblings. their eyes weren’t even open yet. he looks just like pounce and is very healthy now. my girl, coco puff, was attacked by a druggie who broke her right leg, broke her jaw and fractured her face. when I got her she only weighed 6-7 pounds and was near death. shes a fighter. she liked the red beans and rice I was eating and decided to help me clean the plate. she had a long hard recovery but is great now and fat and sassy. both are totally inside kits in my small apartment and all the neighbors love them. before I retired I did rescue work with rotts and kitties because I had the room, the money and the love. these two are my only babies now that im in an apartment but keep me entertained all the time. I am going to look into some of the food and litter you’ve mentioned to make them greener. im an old hippie bunny hugger from the 70’s and am as green as I can be but I do appreciate all the help and ideas I can get for the kits. thanks.

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