One year ago today, we fell in love with a tiny orange kitten. When I brought Milo home, I was determined to make him a zero waste cat, or at least a tiny trash cat! 😉 Here's how I do it:
I use a compostable cat litter called Yesterday's News by Purina, which is made from recycled newspapers. It's easy to find at pet stores and vet clinics. Unlike most other compostable litters, Yesterday's News comes in a recyclable paper bag rather than plastic. I scoop the litter into a washable stainless steel wastebasket (no plastic bag needed). Once it's full, I empty it into a separate compost bin in my backyard (I won't be using this compost in my garden). After I scoop, I sprinkle the litter with baking soda to help with odors then add a layer of fresh litter.
I buy Open Farm dry cat food, which has a free recycling program through TerraCycle. Another pet food brand with a free recycling program in the U.S. and Canada is Wellness Pet Food. I like Open Farm because their ingredients are sustainably and ethically sourced, and I don't have to mail in the packaging—the pet store where I buy the food collects the bags for recycling! 😃 For an occasional treat, I supplement Milo's dry food with canned wet food. He knows after I trim his nails he'll get a yummy feast 😋 The metal cans are easily recyclable through curbside recycling programs.
There's no need to buy cat toys. Cats will play with just about anything. Have you ever tried working at a computer with a cat nearby?! 😜 To keep Milo active and happy, we give him hand-me-down stuffed animals to play with. And my son loves to repurpose items around the house that would otherwise go in the trash to make upcycled toys for his furry friend 😊
When I first got Milo, I bought a used cat bed from garage sale, but he recently destroyed it. Now he sleeps on a folded blanket—it keeps him warm, and it's easier to wash 👍
How do you reduce waste with your pet? Share your tips in the comments below!
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4 thoughts on “Zero waste cat”
I just read your article on the CBC news website and what you’re doing is fantastic! I’m slowly working my way to a zero-waste lifestyle, but I have a ways to go yet. My boyfriend and I just recently bought a house and we’re trying to implement environmentally friendly activities into our designs, like a vegetable garden, and our own compost. We’re looking at adopting two dogs but I don’t enjoy the idea of using single-use plastic bags to pick up after them? Any suggestions on how to keep a zero waste dog?
Hi! Glad to hear you’re thinking about the environment as you settle into your new house 😀 Consider rain barrels, too!
The best way to get rid of dog poop is to flush it. And there are several water-soluble bags on the market that are flushable (but do your own research, just to be sure)! If you still have plastic bags around your house that you haven’t eliminated yet (i.e. bread bags, frozen fruit/veggie bags, interior plastic bags that come in cereal/cracker boxes, etc.), use those for dog poop. If you don’t have any plastic bags anymore, try using toilet paper, newspaper or any other item that allows you to pick up the poop and carry it to the nearest toilet or trash can. If you’re out walking your dog, you could use a piece of litter you find (like coffee cups, grocery bags, etc.) to pick up the poop—and clean up your neighborhood in the process! 😀
The same pet food companies I mentioned in my post make dog food as well. You can then recycle the packaging through TerraCycle.
Hope this helps!
When I used to own a house with a large garden, and we had a dog, I dug a deep hole in a remote corner of the yard and sank a (plastic) garbage container into it so the lid of the container was flush with the ground. I punctured the bottom liberally with drainage holes. When doggie did her poopy business I used a long-handled spade to scoop the stuff and drop it into the bin to decompose. I think there was some stuff I would sprinkle on top from time to time. You can google for examples of how to do this. Worked really well. Now I’m a renter and use bags 🙁
Great tips! 😀