The pet industry is booming. “Cat consumerism” is at an all-time high. Here’s how we’re taking the necessary steps to become sustainable cat owners. And how you can too.
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Sustainability in the cat industry – does that even exist? We like to think so, along with a handful of other motivated pet businesses dedicated to making eco-friendly cat products.
When we first adopted Yoda, we weren’t aware of the negative environmental impact cats and other pets have on the planet!
But slowly we became more aware of our choices to care for our cat and our consequential impact on the environment and on the industry.
In the beginning…
The day we brought Yoda home from the shelter was a special one. I remember going to Wal-Mart and buying all the essentials. After all, it was convenient and the most obvious place to go for pet supplies on a budget.
We probably picked up a hefty tub of conventional cat litter too, along with the best budget-friendly cat food Wal-Mart supplied. I think it was Purina One.
Also on our shopping list was a laser toy made in China, a plastic litter box and scoop, and a food dish.
All are very common household items for cats, right?
But we would never do that today. So what changed?
Well, over the years as Paul and I traveled with Yoda around the world, we became more and more aware of our impact. We learned that tossing cat litter into a plastic bag and throwing away wasn’t very eco-friendly. So eventually we switched to a biodegradable litter.
After researching to write articles for our blog, we found out that commercial cat food is the underlying problem for many health conditions in cats. A lot of the crap they eat was the reason why they weren’t healthy later in life.
So we upgraded the quality of Yoda’s cat food, too.
It was about a year and a half ago that Paul and I really started to cut out plastic as much as possible. And this initiative extended to Yoda, too.
Our transition to becoming eco-friendly cat owners
The transition was slow but so worthwhile. Not every country we traveled and lived in had the same pet culture as we have in the United States. So products for cats were very limited. And they definitely weren’t eco-friendly.
That’s when we got creative and started making DIY cat toys or even our own cat litter (at times) to enrich Yoda’s lives without contributing to the harmful pet industry.
Sometimes our progress went really quickly, and then we’d fall back into old habits. But increasingly, we became more aware of our choices and our options.
It took and is taking, a long time for the pet industry to become more sustainable. But the change is happening. Now we have certified organic pet foods with ethically-raised and treated animal meat. That was never the case a decade ago. And if it was, it wasn’t a trend like it is becoming now.
Every decision we make with Yoda now, 4.5 years after his adoption, takes the environment into consideration. We are proud to be part of a movement that is so crucial to the health and well-being of not only our pets but of our planet too.
Why it’s important to be a more sustainable pet owner
As we detail in our eBook, our pets have detrimental impacts on the environment in practically ALL areas of their lives.
Cat and dog’s food production is among the worst polluters, with cat litter coming in at a close second.
Did you know billions of birds are killed each year by outdoor cats (domestic, stray, or ferals)?
Then there are the overwhelming amounts of plastic and harmful materials in the production of cat accessories like toys, cat trees, beds, trinkets, games, and so on.
And our choice as pet owners to spay or neuter our pets has drastic consequences on pet overpopulation, another contributing harmful factor that negatively impacts the planet.
Lest not us forget also the immoral and unethical practice behind backyard breeding and puppy and kitten mills which are so harmful to pets, people, and the planet.
I mean, there is SO much that goes into the pet industry we don’t even think about.
We give the complete run-down on how to be an eco-friendly cat owner in our eBook and we provide eco-friendly solutions to these problems!
Final Thoughts: Our Journey of Becoming Sustainable Cat Owners
We have a long way to go before being zero-waste with Yoda. But the industry is changing and that means more eco-friendly options for caring for our pets are becoming available. And that my friends, makes ALL the difference.
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