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Green Little Cat is the only blog dedicated exclusively to greener living ideas for cats and cat lovers. It's written by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time.
 
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    Need a Last Minute Gift for the Cat Lovers and Cats in Your Life?


    Here’s a purrfect gift that’s fun, cheery, eco-friendly and IDEAL for last minute shopping. It’s Furball’s amazing book on how to, Make Your Own Cat Toys. Now available in digital format (PDF format), you can get your shopping done in just a couple of minutes without sending carbon into the atmosphere by driving to the store and spending 20 minutes circling the parking lot looking for a space.

    Avoid the hassle and give a gift that keeps on giving. This fun book features over 50 toys that you can make in minutes from stuff you already have lying around the home.

    If you have ever purchased a fancy cat toy only to find Kitty preferred the bag it came in, this book is for you. Make Your Own Cat Toys shows you how to create new toys from old stuff in minutes. Have fun, save the planet and save money at the same time.

    It’s the purrfect green gift for cats and cat lovers all over the world. Great for kids too!

    Purchase the digital version and you’ll immediately receive a single use link to download the PDF file of the book. Send the link to your friend along with a personal message and presto! Your shopping is done!

    Ebook Price: $10.00

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    Did You Know You Can Compost Cat Litter?

    I bought a home composter a couple of years ago and part of what I had to mix in with the compost included wood pellets. They looked suspiciously a lot like the organic wheatgrass cat litter I used to buy, so it got me wondering if it was the same thing. Can you use compost cat litter?

    Well, I found out the answer to this question when I received a recent press release about Swheat Scoop® Natural Clumping Litter. Similar to wood pellets, Swheat Scoop is made from a renewable, biodegradable, plant-based resource—namely wheat.

    The folks at Swheat Scoop included a few tips on how to compost cat litter, so I thought I’d share them with you. Here they are:

    1. Clean the litter box regularly

    • It’s recommended that you scoop twice a day to encourage your cat to use the box regularly and also to keep  the remaining, non-soiled litter clean and fresh.
    • When it’s time to replace the litter (it’s recommended that the litter box be fully emptied, cleaned and refilled once a month), the residual litter can be added to the compost pile meant for enriching decorative gardens with flowers, shrubs, trees and other plants not intended for consumption. DON’T USE the cat litter compost  in vegetable gardens.

    2. Sort your waste

    • To yield the most successful compost, you must have the right “ingredients.” If you’re composting indoors you’ll want a compost bin, which may require you to add water periodically. An outdoor compost pile will naturally receive the appropriate amount of moisture from the ground and the rain.
    • Materials you can add to the compost pile or container include:
      • Non-protein food scraps
      • Plant, vegetable, fruit or grass cuttings
      • Eggshells
      • Grains
      • Coffee grains (this balances the compost’s pH levels, which helps manage odors and encourages a faster compost cycle)
    • Items to sift or discard from your compost are:
      • Meat or fish
      • Dairy
      • Grease
      • Plastics or plastic-coated paper products

    3. Maintain and enjoy the spoils, literally

    • Add your “ingredients” as they become available and turn your compost pile regularly (once a day is recommended). Over time, the materials will break down and begin to look like rough-textured soil, that’s when it’s ready to add to your ornamental gardens!

    Based on these recommendations on composting cat litter, it occurred to me that I don’t need to bother buying wood pellets to mix with my compost. All I need to do is add cat litter and I could probably use clean litter straight out of the bag. Happy composting with cat litter!

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    A Video About World-Changing Dreams

    Here’s a little something that crossed my desk this morning. By desk, I mean the table at Starbucks! While this is a sponsored video, I thought I would share it because it’s about changing the world and maybe, just maybe, it’ll get you thinking about how YOU can change the world.

    In summer 2012, more than 550 “IF WE” world-changing dreams were collected from contributors globally through a contest called the “IF WE Challenge” This video illustrates 3 of these dreams:

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    Review of Instinct Raw Boost Minis Freeze Dried Treats for Cats

    I’d been thinking of switching my cat to a raw food diet when the folks at MrChewy.com offered to send us a package of Nature’s Variety’s Instinct Raw Boost Minis Freeze Dried Treats for Cats. Raw Boost Minis come in two flavours—duck and chicken&mdash and I was given my choice to pick the flavour. Feeling adventurous, I chose the duck for Furball. He’s never eaten duck in his life and I was curious to see what his reaction would be.

    Instinct Raw Boost Minis Cat TreatsInstinct Raw Boos Minis are made from all natural, pure raw ingredients. These treats don’t contain any wheat, corn, soy, grain, gluten, by-product meals, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. They’re also made in the USA and contain only 2 calories per treat.

    The ingredient list for the duck formula reads like a who’s who of health foods and supplements:

    Duck (Including Ground Duck Bone), Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, Pumpkinseeds, Apples, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Dried Kelp, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Salmon Oil, Mixed Tocopherols, Olive Oil, Rosemary Extract, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Persimmons, Inulin, Rosemary, Sage, Clove.

    As you can see, with the exception of Montmorillonite clay and Inulin, all of the ingredients are foods that you might find in your own pantry or fridge. Being a curious cat, I had to look up what the two exceptions were.

    According to the Nature’s Variety website, Montmorillonite is a natural clay that sourced from deposits in southern Utah that is approved by AAFCO for use as an anticaking processing aid. Inulin is an insoluble plant fructan, also known as a prebiotic, that stimulates growth of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in the digestive system. It’s harvested from plants such as chicory, dandelion, and Jerusalem artichokes.

    As someone who has been frequenting health food stores for almost 20 years, I have to admit that uber-healthy sometimes doesn’t equate to uber-tasty. In order to give Instinct Raw Boost Minis a passing grade, they’d have to pass the final taste test with Furball.

    I sprinkled four treats into his dinner bowl and eagerly watched his reaction. At first, Furball ate around the treats. Then, his curiosity got the better of him and he tried one. Right after that first taste, he gulped the rest down and every day after, whenever I added the treats to his food bowl, they were the first thing he finished.

    I’d say the Instinct Raw Boost Minis passed with flying colours!

    Learn more about Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Mini Bites for Cats and Nature’s Variety raw pet foods.

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    How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Pets

    I was invited a few weeks ago to participate as a panelist on NPR’s City Vision show. The show was about how to reduce the carbon footprint of pets. During the show, there were some interesting facts presented about pets and their impact on the planet.  One of the panelists shared that the pet carbon footprint is negligible compared to what we do as people.

    While this is undoubtedly true, given the number of people vs. pets, I advocated that making small changes for our pets does add up.  And, if we can encourage people to green wherever possible, I say, “Go for it!”

    You’re welcome to tune into the show recording here:  How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Pets

    The show and presenters were quite academic and then all of a sudden, I come on and talk about how to make cat toys out of toilet paper! :)

    It was a good metaphor for my blog.  I’m all about easy, simple changes to green your cat vs. overloading people with environmental numbers and facts.  If there was one thing I learned while working at World Wildlife Fund, it’s that you can accomplish a lot more for the environment by working within people’s everyday lives and making going green accessible to all.

     

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    Natura Pet Products – Huge Dog and Cat Food Recall

    Shame, Natura Pet Products, was once highly renowned for their green practices and for providing quality dog and cat food.  In fact, they were the winner of my Natural Cat Food Throwdown a few years back.

    Then, success got to them. It was announced in May 2010 that Proctor & Gamble was purchasing them.  As a result, I promptly revoked the winning title that I had awarded Natura Pet Products for environmental stewardship.

    Unfortunatly, it didn’t take too long for a fall in quality to occur under P&G’s cost-driven leadership.  The FDA found salmonella contamination in one of their products and now ALL of their pet food, from dogs, cats and ferrets, is being voluntarily recalled.  This includes the following brands:

    • Innova
    • EVO
    • California Natural
    • Healthwise
    • Karma
    • Mother Nature

    I guess you can’t buy your way into pretending to care about Mother Nature or food quality.  Karma’s a bitch, huh?

    For more details on which foods are being recalled and what you can do if you have some, visit the FDA website.

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    World’s Best Cat Litter Giveaway – Win a Year’s Worth of Litter

    I don’t use World’s Best, but in case you do, I thought I’d pass along this contest.  World’s Best Cat Litter has teamed up with PetFlow.com to offer a summer contest where you can win a year’s worth of World’s Best Cat Litter.  It’s the cat litter that’s made from corn.  I’ve heard that it’s really lightweight.

    Here’s a link to enter the contest: http://www.worldsbestcatlitter.com/simplifygiveaway/

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    Cat Health Advice to Avoid a Flabby Feline

    Furball’s been battling the bulge and on a diet since January. The results are stellar as he’s much more active and playful now. I’d have to say that weightloss for an overweight cat is one of the best natural ways to improve your feline’s health. That’s why I’m delighted to share this guest post from David with tips to keep your cat trim and healthy. Here it is:

    The health of our cats is always an issue on a very fundamental level. For most of us, there are obvious concerns, such as what food to give them, what facilities we provide them and what to do if their health becomes an issue. Well, I thought that everyone did, but it appears some pets’ health issues expand at an uncontrollable rate.

    Source: NYDailyNews.com; Bournemouth News/Rex / Rex USA/Bournemouth News/Rex / Rex USA

    I found Ulric Mitchell last week. This Norwegian Forest Cat weighs around 12.65kg (two stone), when his ideal weight is 6kg. That means he is 111% overweight. According to the PDSA he had been an adept food thief since kittenhood, regularly pinching his siblings’ dinner and anything else lying around. I assumed this was an anomaly and, in a way, I suppose he is, but then I saw he was part of a scheme called the Pet Fit Club, which is a group of twenty one obese animals, including cats, dogs and rabbits, who embark on a six-month diet programme to try and reduce their weight and, ultimately, save their lives.

    The health effects the extra weight can have a massive impact on the animals’ lives, including heart disease, stomach problems and psychological problems caused by the uncomfortable living conditions when they have to lug all the extra weight around.
    They released some facts along with the contestant information from an Animal Wellbeing Report from 2012 showing the human psychology that can lead to obese pets:

    • 48% of owners give their pets regular treats because they think it make their pet happy, but 29% say it’s because it makes themselves feel happy.
    • 71% of owners know that food for humans isn’t good for a pet’s diet (I wonder how many do it anyway)
    • 93% of owner know that pets are susceptible to the same overweight conditions as humans

    What the stats don’t say are how many owners adjust their pet diet in knowing these figures.

    So what are the steps that can be taken to stop your cat’s health falling with weight gain?

    • Play together for around 20 minutes every day.
    • Get your cat used to only two meals a day. If they like to graze at their food bowl, take the bowl away after a set meal time of 30 minutes or so. Just make sure it’s the same time every day so you don’t disturb their sense of routine.
    • Use high quality cat food. Cheap and light foods can have less nutrients in which are essential, especially when the cat’s diet is being changed.
    • Monitor the cat’s weight weekly. If it rises or drops more than 1-2% over the week, there could be something seriously wrong.
    • Seek veterinarian supervision. When the cat’s health is at stake, you don’t want to make any bad decision that could affect them. If you’re putting them through an intense diet, or you’re unsure of anything, consult your vet.

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    Scientists: Ubiquitous Household Chemical Could Be Killing Cats

    For your cat’s health and happiness, please go as green as you can. I recently came across this article about a government study that found a “significant association” between hyperthyroidism in cats and certain flame retardants.

    Basically, the flame retardant that’s sprayed on your furniture, carpet and CHILDREN’S CLOTHING is linked to the death of cats from thyroid issues.

    To learn more, read the article on Komonews.com, Scientists: Ubiquitous Household Chemical Could Be Killing Cats.

    I know it’s tricky and sometimes even overwhelming to be green and find what’s best for you and your pet. Let’s face it. No matter what chemical cesspool may be lurking in our homes, it’s simply not realistic or feasible to toss out the sofa or rip out all the carpet.

    So instead of feeling overwhelmed and doing nothing, what I recommend is to start making small changes so that you can find a balance that works for both you and your cat. For some great greening ideas, check out my 30-Day Green Cat Challenge.

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    The Honest Kitchen: Review of Prowl Cat Food

    If you’ve been thinking of switching your cat to raw cat food, but are looking for a more convenient option, here’s my honest review of The Honest Kitchen’s Prowl cat food.

    Honest Kitchen Prowl cat food review

    My cat, Furball, had been on the same diet for about two years. Because he had a history of struvite crystals, I had him on the prescription cat food from the vet’s and supplemented his diet with organic turkey baby food.

    I know, I know. The natural solution would have been to put him on a high protein diet, and I did explore this in great depth in my Natural Cat Food Throwdown. However, Furball also had a sensitive digestive system where he would vomit if he was stressed and the high protein cat food was particularly difficult for him to keep down. I don’t remember exactly what triggered it, but at some point, he experienced another struvite crystal scare and when the vet told me to get Furball on a prescription diet or else, fearing the worst, I followed the vet’s instructions.

    So, for two years, my little cat ate the prescription diet. I noticed right away that his fur wasn’t as nice on the diet and that’s when I added the organic turkey baby food (easy to digest). I always felt slightly uneasy about feeding him the factory food, but I let myself listen to the “expert” and thought it was best to keep Furball on the anti-struvite diet.

    A few months ago, I looked into Furball’s eyes and noticed that they were starting to show flecks of gold and brown in the irises. In iridology, it is believed that the eyes reveal one’s health and that muddy splotches are signs of disease. My cat’s eyes had always been a pure minty green and now, they were starting to turn brown and splotchy.

    I could have chalked it up to age as he is heading into “middle age cat years”, but I suspected it was his diet. If you eat processed crap, it affects your health. It seemed to me that the same would hold true for cats.

    That’s when I began searching for a raw meat cat food for Furball. However, I also had to factor in my curious son who was old enough to know not to touch the cat food, but that didn’t mean he always listened. I wanted something that was convenient and safe and that’s where the Honest Kitchen’s Prowl cat food came into the picture.

    The Honest Kitchen originally began making raw dog food, but they’ve since branched into producing both cat and dog foods from human-grade ingredients. Because their pet foods are made from human-grade ingredients, the meats are steamed and dehydrated so they’re technically not raw. Only their fruits and vegetables are technically ‘raw’, so this makes their foods safe to have in the home even with small children who might be a little too curious.

    The Honest Kitchen is also very eco-friendly. Based out of San Diego, many of the Honest Kitchen’s employees commute to work by bicycle. The packaging for their pet food is made from recycled materials and is also recyclable, even the plastic bag inside. As well, because the food is dehydrated, it’s very light (for cat food) and this helps to reduce the amount of resources needed to ship the food to stores or your home.

    The Honest Kitchen also has supported hundreds of organizations over the years such as Heifer International through their Pawlanthropy program.

    The Honest Kitchen was kind enough to send me a sample of Prowl dehydrated cat food. Prowl is an all natural cat food made with free range chicken, eggs and produce like sweet potatoes, spinach and cranberries. And, it’s made up of almost 70% meat.

    When I first received the sample, I was surprised to see that Prowl in its dehydrated form, is actually a powder. I was expecting chunky pieces or dry slivers. Because it’s a powder, it was incredibly easy to measure and mix up a batch of Prowl for my cat. All you need to do is measure food out in a 1:1 ratio of food to water. Pour it in a bowl, stir and allow it to hydrate for 5 minutes. Then, voila! Dinner is ready. Prowl cat food expands to 4 times its original weight when hydrated.

    The true test was whether Furball would eat it. I started out only adding a teaspoon to his food. Furball left it for last, but then gobbled it up. I then gradually increased the proportion of Prowl until after about 2 weeks, he had completed the switch to Prowl cat food.

    See these eyes so green. It’s the Prowl cat food!

    It has been almost 2 months since I switched Furball to Prowl dehydrated cat food and I’m happy to report that I do notice a difference. When I look into his eyes, I see the brown muddy splotches are clearing up and his bright green eyes are shining brightly once again.

    Prowl Cat Food is available online and at specialty pet stores.

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