Besides food, there are several other aspects of your cat’s life that you can ensure will have very little, if any impact on the environment.
Only purchase toys made out of recycled material, that’s preferably made in the USA, for those of you who care to support jobs in the US. Toys do not need to be anything fancy. If you do not feel like spending money on toys, there are lots of websites that show you how to make cat toys from things you probably have laying around your house (aluminum foil, milk jug rings, etc.) Basically, either buy recycled or make your own.
Many companies have started selling bowls that are made from bamboo, a sustainable material. These bowls usually have little grips on the bottom, so even though they are lightweight, they are unlikely to topple over. Make sure you pick bowls that are wide enough for your cat to fit her face in without her whiskers touching the edges. It is extremely irritating to cats when their bowls are not wide enough, and you will know because your cat will start pawing cat food out of her bowl and onto your floor.
DO NOT use scented clay litter. The scents in the litter are not good for your cat and the perfume smell mixed with cat urine or feces is unpleasant. Clay litter in general has a huge environmental impact. The litter is actually mined, just for your cat to poo in. It does not disintegrate, and it requires a lot of petroleum to bring it into the form you see on pet store shelves. Avoid it. Good kitty litter options would be those that are corn-based, walnut-shell based, or made from recycled materials.
There are many cat scratchers available now that are either made from recycled materials or from bamboo. If you would like to create your own, find some old carpet and cut a 1ft x 2ft section out. Punch holes one of the 1ft edges and run a rope or twine through it. Now your scratcher can be hung on a doorknob. Ta da! You have a scratcher for your cat.
If you are lucky enough to have a cat that refuses to clean itself, or is too old to reach certain areas, I would suggest a dry shampoo. If your cat is one of the rare ones who enjoys water, go for a normal shampoo. If your cat is on topical flea medication (Revolution, Frontline, etc.) stick with a shampoo that is detergent-free. There are lots of shampoos that are Eco-friendly and contain no harsh dyes or perfumes.
Since treats should only make up a small percentage of your cat’s diet, the first three ingredients are not quite as important as they would be for food. Try treats that are freeze-dried or ones that help solve conditions your cat has. Another option for treats is cat grass, which can be easily grown yourself and cats actually do seem to enjoy it. Make sure that if you grow your own that you do so organically.
It is actually fairly easy to go green with your cat. Cats usually are not very needy, and they do not need too many things to make them happy. A warm lap is usually sufficient.
Thanks for reading!