Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Ungreenest Cat Product of 2009!

I recently received a catalogue from Drs. Foster and Smith, one of the largest mail order companies for cat products. They’ve added a few more green products, but nothing to write home about. I’m not even sure how they got my mailing info since I’d never heard of them before getting their catalogues. It was easy enough to call them and get my name removed.

Anyhow, while flipping through the pages, it occurred to me that there were quite a number of very ungreen products for cats, so I decided to have a little fun for the end of the year and post what I thought were the least eco-friendly cat products and ask you to vote for the winner of the “Ungreenest Cat Product of 2009”.

Products were selected completely subjectively with no research whatsoever into the manufacturing process. I just went with what seemed rather useless for a cat or used a lot of materials. Vote for your “favourite” using the poll at the bottom of this post.

Also, I’d love to hear from you about what you consider to be ungreen. Please send your nominations for a future poll to furball [AT]

And the nominees for 2009 are…

1. Play-N-Squeak Whack Attack


Indoor cats can stalk and pounce and engage their natural predatory instincts in a healthy way. Its also let cats engage in solitary play, which provides mental stimulation and needed exercise. The bouncy mouse promotes hours of frolic and fun.

I chose this one because I bought a pom-pom on a spring toy for Furball when he was a kitten. He swatted it once, found it really boring and never touched it again. This looks like it functions along the same lines, only chunkier with more carpet and material. I wonder if the cat has been Photoshopped into the picture.

2. Pawprint Ornaments


Festive resin ornaments with clever cat sentiments show your love for your feline friends. Perfect for your holiday tree, or as a gift for cat lovers on your list. Includes red hanging ribbon.

I enjoy Christmas as much as anyone, and have purchased ornaments for the family tree.  But this one is aesthetically-challenged.  No surprise it’s on sale now.

3. Memorial Stone


Use as a stepping-stone in your yard or garden, or use the attached hanger to display on your wall or an outdoor fence.

I have experienced the passing of a beloved cat, but this is not what I would choose to honour their memory.  This “stepping-stone” also weighs about 5 lbs.


4. Kitty Hoots Bobber Toy


A single paw swipe sends this cat toy bobbing erratically. Weighted plastic cat face won’t tip, no matter how hard your cat swats and bats. Spring steel “hook” and dangling catnip-scented Mouse Lure entice kitty to pounce relentlessly.

My well-meaning brother bought a similar toy for Furball.  The large plastic base scared him a bit and the bobbing action was too tame to interest him.  Lots of material for low play-value.

Please Help Support This Green Animal Shelter Through The Coolest Online Auction Ever

Here’s the coolest charity auction for an animal welfare organization that I’ve ever seen.  Where else can you bid for ultra-hip items such as:

  • An autographed Sean Paul package
  • Three nights at a couples’ resort in Jamaica
  • Edun clothing gift certificate
  • A “Tattoo You” wall hanging, autographed by Keith Richards
  • And many more Jamaican vacation treats and hot music industry paraphernalia

The money raised goes to support The Animal House birth control Jamaica, one of only two shelters in the entire country. The Animal House provides assistance to the island’s many abused, abandoned and injured animals.  I featured this organization in a previous post because of the creative ways they’ve found to operate in an eco-friendly manner.

Visit this ultra-hip Holiday Auction before it ends on Dec. 19th!

Related Articles

Why Antibacterial is Anti-Cat and Anti-Human

I was recently reading the latest newsletter from the David Suzuki Foundation.  If you’re Canadian, you know who he is.  If you’re not, David Suzuki is like the Al Gore of Canada, only he’s been in the public eye supporting the environment since the 70’s and no one questions the science he presents because it’s always sound.  Anyway, the newsletter had a great article which sums up why most antibacterial soaps and cleaners are harmful.

With the H1N1 scare going around, I’ve noticed people are going overboard with the hand sanitizer.  Also, with a new baby, I keep seeing ads advising people to wipe all sorts of surfaces that your baby comes into contact with (eg., toys) with a certain brand of antibacterial wipe.

Personally, I never use the stuff because I feel that they’re worse than the bugs going around.  And, if you’ve got a cat, antibacterial cleaners really make no sense to me.  Your cats rub up against you, you pat them with your “sanitized” hands and they lick the stuff off of your hands. I could never give an adequate, scientific explanation to people why they should stop using antibacterial cleaners, other than the increased resistance of bacteria to these products and a general feeling that any sort of chemical you rub into your hands is not a good idea.

However, thanks to the David Suzuki Foundation, I now have a better explanation other than my gut tells me it’s wrong.  Here it is:

“Triclosan is one of the most common antibacterial agents in household cleaners and personal-care products. It creates a known carcinogen, dioxin, as a by-product. Dioxin causes skin disorders and liver problems, and impairs reproductive functions and the immune system (to name a few effects).”

Notice the reference to impairing the immune system.  This is important to note because I read a friend of a friend’s Facebook post saying that they used antibacterial cleaners because they had a compromised immune system and didn’t want to catch anyone’s cold.  The David Suzuki Foundation article also mentioned that studies show that hand sanitizers aren’t any more effective than washing your hands with soap and water.

Here’s where to read more and get recipes on making your own hand sanitizer:

What Your Cat Does While You’re Away

Okay, this isn’t really a green post, but I found it immensely amusing so I thought I’d share it with you.  Plus, watch how I turn this into an eco-friendly topic!

A friend emailed me this tidbit published in the Globe and Mail:

In research sponsored by Friskies cat food, animal behaviour scientist Jill Villarreal gave 50 house cats collar cameras that took a photo every 15 minutes, Associated Press reports. Some of the leading ways the cats occupied themselves:

  • Looking out of windows– 22% of the time
  • Interacting with other family pets – 12%
  • Climbing on furniture – 8%
  • Sleeping, looking at television or other media, hiding under tables – each 6%
  • Playing with toys – 5%
  • Eating or looking at food – 4%

And, here’s how I’ll turn this into an environmentally-themed post.  Friskies is made by Purina, which may just well be one of the largest pet food manufacturers around.  I’ve taken a look at a variety of organic and natural pet foods (to read the posts, click the “Food” link in the top navigation bar – The Natural Cat Food Throwdown is a good post to start with) in terms of how green the manufacturers are.  BUT, I have yet to tackle the mainstream pet companies.  I’ll put it on my “to-do” list to inquire just what they are doing if anything to be more eco-friendly.

All Natural Pest Control – Safe Picnic Bundle Giveaway

Picnic season may be over where you live, but if you would like to be prepared for next spring and want to win a selection of green pest control products for your home and the great outdoors, enter our Safe Picnic Bundle Giveaway.

The prize consists of an EcoSMART Safe Picnic Value Bundle, featuring the following green home and outdoor products:

  • Home Pest Control (24 oz spray bottle)
  • Flying Insect Killer (14 oz can)
  • Insect Repellent (Two 6 oz bottles)

Visit EcoSMART’s website to read more about their all natural pest control. Or, click this link to go directly to their product page for home pest control.

To enter the Safe Pincic Budle Giveaway, simply click the link at the bottom of this article and you’ll be redirected to an entry form on my cat toy book website,  Sorry, it’s not on Green Little Cat, but with the new baby in the house, it will be quite some time before I port the code over to Green Little Cat.


Because I’m really passionate about encouraging other cat lovers to go green for the health of their pets, families and the planet, I’ll triple your entries if you would be so kind as to help spread the word about greener living.  Please do one or more of the following:

  • Join our Facebook fan page
  • Click the “Share” button on the bottom of any Green Little Cat blog article to post it to your favourite social networking site.
  • Click the “ShareThis” link to email an article to a friend.
  • Send a tweet out on twitter and include our website:
  • Tell a friend about Green Little Cat the old-fashioned way.

There will be a checkbox on the entry form asking whether you helped spread the word.  Check it to triple your entries.  Obviously, I can’t verify whether or not you did any of these activities.  It’s based on the honour system and I thank everyone for respecting the spirit of my request.  Some free cat food is definitely not worth compromising your integrity.  Thank you.

The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents in the continental U.S. (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).  Please enter a maximum of once per day and the deadline to enter the giveaway is December 31st.


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Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.