Tips for having a Zero Waste Cat
Updated: Jun 3
Having a cat could mean adding more waste to your current low waste lifestyle. There are things a cat needs to have it live comfortably in the house with you which could lead to lots for trash. With these tips, you can keep your favorite furry friend rather sustainably.
Sustainable Cat Food
Buy in bulk
Lots of pet stores are offering food (and treats) for animals in bulk nowadays. Just take your bags/containers with you to the store and fill them up. If your local pet store does not offer this, look for wholesale pet stores in your area. Just make sure to check if the nutritional value is up to your standards as some of the brands you know might not be available.
Make your own
In this case, you buy raw ingredients at the butcher using your containers instead of buying canned cat food. Multiple recipes are out there but keep in mind that certain vitamins and minerals need to be supplemented for your cat to remain optimal health.
If the first two options are not for you then a more sustainable packaging for your cat food might be an option. Increasingly more companies know how important it is to steer away from plastic and are offering their customers a more sustainable option.
Vegan cat food
Vegan cat food is available nowadays and it is more sustainable than the non-vegan version but whether or not it is something to consider for your cat is up to you.
When you have a pet, they eat and they will poo. There is no avoiding it.
If your cat can go outside, they will usually dig a hole for their poo to burry it in. It should be their instinct. So, if there is a possibility for your cat to go outside you should use it.
Not everyone lives in a house with a garden so for those a litterbox can be used. The most sustainable option is to use sawdust or mulch to fill the litter box. This can often be bought plastic-free in your local landscaping store. These don’t have fragrances to mask the smell (like commercial cat litter) but you add some baking soda to the litter box to neutralize smells.
If this is not for you, clay filling for the litter box can be bought in bulk just like the food.
Do not put cat waste in the regular compost bin. Yes, animal droppings are used as compost often but only from animals that are on a strictly plant-based diet. Cat poo can contain bacteria (because cats eat raw meat) that can be harmful to your composting worms. Also, when you use this compost in your veggie garden, you can consume these bacteria and possibly make you sick. If you want to compost their waste, you need a separate composting bin. Check this video for more information.
Toys and accessories
Use what you have
Cats don’t need fancy toys to play with. They can have hours of fun with a feather or a pine cone. A (scrap) cloth string tied to a stick can also be loads of fun for a cat and let’s not forget the good old cardboard box. There is nothing more fun then a cardboard box (if you are a cat).
A secondhand store is a great place to find a litter box, bowls, and collars for your cat. You save money and you avoid products being thrown away. A win, win!
I hope you find this information useful so you can make the life of your favorite furry friend more sustainable.