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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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    Cat Owners Can Go Green Too

    Received a great guest post from Becky and wanted to share! Enjoy!

    If you are a cat owner, you can go green to help protect the environment and do your part at making a difference. Going green can help to reduce pollution, improve air quality, and even help you to save money on your bills. You can go green for yourself and for that lovable little cat of yours.

    Recycle Products for Cat Toys

    You can recycle products around the home and turn them into cat toys. For example, you may have recently received a large package in a cardboard box from FedEx or UPS. Instead of throwing it out, you can create your own little sanctuary for your cat. It may not last forever since it is only cardboard, but for the time being, it will still be fun for your cat. You can do the same with many other things that you have around the home, including old yarn.

    Buy Vita-Greens for Your Cat

    Vita-Greens offer you the opportunity to grow organic greens for your cat. These greens are good for your cat because the help cats digest their food properly while also helping to reduce the number of hairballs your cat suffers from. The Vita-Greens products are completely organic and are easy to find in local pet stores.

    Create Your Own Kitty Litter

    Why spend tons of money each month on store-bought kitty litter when you can make your own with recycled newspaper. Not only are you saving money, you are using items that you already had and recycling them for another purpose. If you regularly read the newspaper and receive magazines, this is a great opportunity for you to take the pages of the paper and magazines, shred them up, and turn them into comfortable kitty little for your four-legged furry friend.

    Knit a Blanket for Your Cat

    It may sound ridiculous, but you can buy or knit a blanket for your cat to help keep him or her warm during the winter month. The fur that your cat has likely already keeps it warm, but a warm blanket can provide additional warmth, especially so that you can keep your thermostat a little lower during the winter month. You can cut the cost of your energy bill without compromising the comfort of your cat. You can also check for other energy saving tips that can benefit both you and your cat at websites like www.Albertaenergyproviders.com.

    Give Your Cat Filtered Water

    No matter where you live, whether you are in the United States, Canada, or another country across the globe, you can easily save a lot of money by using a faucet water filter instead of buying bottled water. When you buy bottled water, you are wasting money on something you could basically get in your home and there is a lot of plastic being wasted as well. You can give your cat filtered water from the faucet and eliminate all of those water bottles that you used to use. Your cat will still graciously enjoy the water you provide to it.

    As a cat owner, even the littlest of things can make a difference with the process of going green. Recycling is a major component of going green, especially when you are a cat owner and need kitty litter. Following just a few green tips can make all the difference for you and your cat.

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    Win a Joe Jacket Reusable Coffee Cup and Beverage Sleeve

    Joe Jacket ReviewIt seems fitting that I’m writing this post while sitting in a coffee shop. Of course, I’ve got my reusable travel mug beside me. And it’s the reason why I originally declined an offer from Joe Jacket to review their reusable beverage sleeve. However, when they asked again, I suggested I would give it to a friend to try out and they sent me one of their adorable Pet Couture sleeves with a darling kitty print.

    The Joe Jacket is a reusable beverage sleeve that comes in a cat or paw-print design. It’s made out of neoprene, which helps to insulate hot cups, ceramic and steel tumblers, and cold drinks, including plastic tumblers and sports drinks. Using a reusable sleeve can help save our landfills from billions of pounds of trash from traditional throw away paper cup sleeves.

    I have something to confess. I kept the sleeve and I’ll tell you why. Right after I said I didn’t need one, I found myself at the coffee shop twice in a month, needing a tea, but I had forgotten my travel mug. Let’s face it, that big steel tumbler is not the most convenient thing to tote around. Luckily, I had my Joe Jacket reusable sleeve handy. It’s small and stores flat, so it fits easily into a glove box, a purse or the pouch of a backpack.

    When I used the sleeve for the first time, the barrista exclaimed, “Oh it has cats on it!” Yes, the sleeve is THAT cute — and now you have a chance to win one!

    How to Enter the Giveaway

    1. Like our Facebook page
    2. Leave a comment under the Joe Jacket picture at the top. Tell us which design you prefer (the cat print or the paw print) and why.

    When you leave a comment, Facebook lets me get in touch via the the thread and that’s how I’ll be able to get in touch with the winner. One person will be chosen by random as the winner by March 15, 2013. Please note that you do need to live in the U.S. or Canada to be eligible to win.



    CLICK HERE TO LIKE OUR PAGE

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    From The Daily Cat: Advances
    Go Green for Your Cat’s Health



    By Darcy Lockman for The Daily Cat

    Go Green for Your Cat\'s Health

    What do Easter lilies and antifreeze have in common? These, and many other substances, are all poisonous to felines. “Cats have a very low threshold for toxicity,” explains Dr. Trisha Joyce, DVM, of New York City Veterinary Specialists. This uber-sensitivity in cats results from their body producing little of the enzyme that other mammals rely on to break down chemicals, leaving cats generally more vulnerable to toxins.

    Jumping on the green-tech bandwagon, a handful of pet care companies are now hocking organic cat wares to save Fluffy from the evils of plastics and perfumes. Below, Dr. Joyce weighs in on what to try and when to proceed with caution.

    Dishware
    Plastic has received bad press in the last few years as worried parents keep their children away from the chemical BPA and legions of water drinkers refrain from refilling their plastic bottle empties. But is plastic potentially bad news for your cat too? Yes, but for different reasons than for humans.

    “A cat’s life span isn’t long enough that carcinogens impact them the same way as humans,” she explains. Still, Dr. Joyce emphasizes that ceramic and metal dishes are not only better for the environment in general but also for your cat’s skin. Plastic dishes retain bacteria and can cause chin acne, an uncomfortable condition for your pet.

    Veterinary Verdict: Choosing ceramic or metal over plastic is good for the environment and kitty’s complexion.

    Flea Remedies
    The slew of chemicals in traditional flea and tick products may seem like reason to stay away from them, especially when “natural” flea remedies tout compounds that won’t pollute your pet’s bloodstream and your family’s home. However, buyers beware. “I’m not a fan of any over-the-counter flea preparation,” Dr. Joyce says. “You can get away with it for a dog, but cats are more sensitive and can have bad reactions. Sometimes, chemicals can be good.”

    Veterinary Verdict: Ask your veterinarian to prescribe a flea and tick medication. If you must try a natural product, use one that’s approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Check with your pet’s doctor before applying.

    Kitty Litter
    Without a doubt, natural cat litter made from wheat and corn is better for the environment. It breaks down naturally rather than spending a lifetime in a landfill. The impact on your cat’s health? Inexpensive litters in general create more dust, which can trigger asthma attacks. If you’re concerned about your cat’s lungs, monitor how much dust is stirred up in the burying process. Switch litters if necessary.

    Veterinary Verdict: Natural cat litter is best for the environment and produces the least dust, which is also best for your cat’s respiratory system.

    Shampoo
    Over-the-counter cat shampoos often contain perfumes, which smell pleasant to cat owners but may irritate sensitive feline skin. If so-called organic cat shampoos are perfume-free, your pet may tolerate them. However, veterinary-prescribed cleansers are less likely to cause dry skin and allergic reactions.

    Veterinary Verdict: If you choose an organic, over-the-counter product, make sure it is cat-specific as opposed to a general pet shampoo. Look for the AVMA seal of approval. Be on the alert for signs of allergic reactions (e.g., excessive scratching) after the first use.

    Cat Accessories
    When it comes to beds, collars and toys, carcinogens are not a big kitty health concern — for reasons explained above — though the well-being of the environment may be. Such items are currently made from a variety of recycled and organically grown materials, taking less of a toll on the natural world. “With cat toys, the main health concern is not lead paint but a small piece that may break free and be ingested by the animal,” says Dr. Joyce.

    Veterinary Verdict: If being kind to the environment is on your priority list — and it should be — organic cat accessories can help you meet your goal. When buying cat toys, forgo those with small pieces that may break off.

    General Tips for Choosing Organic Cat Products

    • Buy products specifically made for cats as opposed to products for all pets.
    • Look for a seal of approval from the AVMA.
    • If your cat is doing well on a traditional product, think twice before making a switch to organic.
    • Be cautious. Consult your veterinarian before trying new cleaning or medicinal products.

    While organic goods appeal to consumers for a variety of important reasons, Dr. Joyce warns that the industry is not yet well-regulated. “Theoretically, organic has less chemicals, and that’s best for cats because they’re so sensitive,” she says. “But I recommend caution in experimenting with new products. Try things slowly and only in moderation.” Those are words for the healthiest cats to live their nine lives by.

    Darcy Lockman is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to The Daily Cat. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times and Rolling Stone.

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    Stacking Up Catty Stacks: Eco-Friendly Cat Furniture That Looks Good Too!

    Green Little Cat recently had the opportunity to review Catty Stacks, stackable, eco-friendly cat furniture. We were lucky to get the inside scoop from Catty Stacks’ creator, Frank Callari.

    Furball loves cardboard boxes as much as any cat–and so does my preschooler. Boxes are cozy, great for hide-and-seek and basically, you can imagine them to be whatever you want. So what’s not to love?

    Well, they’re butt ugly for one thing. When we were in full-on box mode, my living room looked like the packing department for Amazon. I once had someone ask me when I was moving, that’s how bad it was.

    When guests came over, I’d frantically grab all the boxes and stack them in a corner. I couldn’t throw them out because my kid would notice if even one out of the ten boxes went missing.

    Frank Callari, creator of Catty Stacks eco-friendly cat furniture, experienced some of the same frustrations when he got the idea for making Catty Stacks. In his words:

    “The idea for Catty Stacks was born out of necessity. I am very particular with aesthetics, so I wanted to find something that would not be an eye-sore in my living room. I set out to find the most beautiful cat furniture on the market and was very disappointed in just about all of my options. Not only are most cat trees ugly, but they are also bulky, heavy, and expensive.”

    It was during the holiday season that Frank noticed that his cats, Tito and Stains, loved all of the big boxes that arrived when he was buying gifts. As a result, he got crafty, cut doors, started stacking and built a kitty castle. But, he still had a few problems.

    Frank said, “My cats were thrilled, but there remained several fundamental problems with what I was doing. First, regular boxes and duct tape remained ugly and was nothing that I cared to display in my living room. Next, the whole process of cutting, stacking, and securing was very time consuming. Lastly, most of the regular boxes that I was using would not last very long, as they would eventually collapse from the big boy jumping up and down while chasing his smaller sister.”

    Over a couple of years, Frank created many prototypes until the final Catty Stacks eco-friendly furniture was born. He created sturdy, modular, easy-to-assemble boxes that could be stacked in a multitude of ways and rearranged whenever your cat (or you) got bored.

    Most importantly, Catty Stacks are damn fine looking. They blend attractively with your decor, without making your living room look like the loading dock at UPS. Catty Stacks are also eco-friendly. They’re made with post-consumer recycled fiber, printed with vegetable-based inks and they’re 100% recyclable.

    Frank was kind enough to offer to send us a couple of Catty Stacks to review. When I told him my kid would probably fight with the cat to play with them, Frank generously sent an additional two boxes for my son.

    My preschooler was enthralled with Catty Stacks

    When the Catty Stacks arrived, both Furball and my son were so excited. Assembly was a breeze, even with a “helpful” preschooler. As I predicted, my son hogged the box for a few hours before Furball finally got a turn to play. In terms of the fuzzy review of Catty Stacks, let’s just say Furball loved his Catty Stacks. The box was a safe little cocoon for him to hide in and when I poked a wand toy inside, he was in kitty heaven.

    Furball finally gets his turn and loves it inside the Catty Stack

    Most importantly, I can proudly display the eco-friendly Catty Stacks in full view without upsetting my sense of design aesthetics. Now, if only there was something that could make the children’s toys scattered all over the living room look good…

    Catty Stacks are available in five fashionable and eco-friendly colours including Sky Blue, Chocolate Brown, Snow White, Pistachio Green, and Tickled Pink. And, you can buy them individually so that you can create the purrfect cat home in your home. You can find Catty Stack on Amazon for under $15.

    Disclosure: The link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a teeny tiny commission of about 60 cents. I’m sharing this link not because of the commission, but because Catty Stacks are an awesome eco-friendly alternative to ugly boxes and overpriced “Made in China” cat furniture. Your support also helps me to continue growing this site and sharing eco-friendly news and ideas with the world. Thank you.

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    Crafting With Your Cat’s Hair

    I just saw this book and had to post it. Is this taking “reuse” a little too far or is it so kitschy that it’s simply brilliant? When you factor in that the book was originally written in Japanese, it all starts to make a lot of sense!

    Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat

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    How to Create a Homemade Holiday Card From Old Greeting Cards

    Transform an old Christmas card into a holiday scene of a cat or dog eagerly awaiting the treats inside their stocking. Here’s how to make your own homemade greeting card.

    What You’ll Need:

    • A blank greeting card made from recycled paper OR old cardstock OR an old file folder or something similar
    • An old Christmas card
    • Scissors
    • A tiny square of corrugated cardboard
    • Non-toxic glue or tape
    • Scissors
    • Marker or pen

    1. Create Your Canvas
    Use a blank greeting card made from recycled paper as your creative canvas. I’ve found them at Michael’s. For the card featured here, I used some old cardstock that my mother-in-law was saving for my nieces for arts and crafts projects. You can also make your own card blank by cutting an old file folder into a the shape of a card.

    2. Make a Colourful Rug
    make homemade greeting cardMeasure the width of your blank card and use this measurement to cut out a trapezoid from an old Christmas card. You can also cut one out of old wrapping paper. Why a trapezoid and not a rectangle? The angle will help to create more movement and interest in your final design.

    3. Make a Stocking
    A simple sock-shape can be turned into a stocking. Feel free to cut one out freehand or if you’d prefer, draw an outline on the back of the old Christmas card for you to cut out. Just remember that the finished stocking will be a reverse image from what you draw.

    4. Make a Pet Silhouette in Duplicate
    To create your cat, do an online search for “cat sitting silhouette.” Alternately, if you want to feature fido, search for “dog sitting silhouette.” Trace or print the silhouette onto a sheet of paper and then use this as a pattern to cut out TWO shapes.

    I held up the paper to my computer screen and traced the outline using a washable marker. DON’T DO THIS AT HOME unless you are sure that you won’t dent your screen by pressing too hard with the marker AND you’re also sure that the marker will not bleed through the paper onto your screen. If you’re not sure, just print it out.

    Use your tracing to draw and cut out TWO identical cat shapes (or dog shapes if you’re making a dog card).

    5. Arrange Your Holiday Scene

    Before pasting anything down, arrange your shapes on your card so that your cat (or dog) is sitting on the rug and looking at the stocking. Paste down the rug, the stocking and ONE cat (or dog). You should still have one pet outline remaining.

    6. Make it Pop Out in 3D

    how to make a homemade greeting cardTo create a 3D effect of your cat (or dog) ready to jump off the card, cut out a tiny square of corrugated cardboard. This you can definitely find by raiding your recycling bin. My mother-in-law’s happened to be empty, so I cut a sliver off the inside of the box she used for storing old Christmas cards and you can’t even notice it’s gone. That’s how small this piece should be. You will affix this to the back of the remaining pet silhouette.

    Now paste the second cat (or dog) on top of the previous. Place it just a smidge offside of the original to create the 3D effect.

    7. Add a Holiday Greeting
    Use the marker or pen to add a holiday greeting to the front of card. Lay it out in your mind’s eye first so that there’s enough room to write your entire greeting. Note: Some markers may smudge or not write well on the cardstock. If you think that might be the case, simply skip the greeting on the front of the card and start writing your words of love inside your homemade greeting card.

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    Eco-Friendly Gifts for Cat Lovers: 15 Gift Ideas Under $15

    If you’re looking for gifts for cat lovers who are also tree-huggers, check out our list of green gifts featuring everything from organic cat toys to natural cat treats and more. With 15 gift ideas under $15, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for cat lovers in your life.

    Gifts for Cat Lovers: Cat Toys

    1. Make Your Own Cat Toys

    Gifts for Cat Loversgift for cat loversHere’s the purrfect gift for finicky cats.  If you’ve ever spent a lot of money on a fancy cat toy only to have your cat prefer 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.

    For less than the price of a premium cat toy, your kitty can enjoy over 50 toys that can be made in minutes from items that would have been thrown out or tossed in the recycling bin. As the author of this book, I’ve heard from so many friends who have delighted in how much their friends enjoyed receiving this book as a gift. Make Your Own Cat Toys >>

    2. Cheery Deer Cat Toy

    gift idea for catsHere’s a friendly little reindeer cat toy that is sure to delight and inspire cats to prance with joy. Made by West Paw Design, this adorable kitty toy is filled with USDA certified premium organic catnip.

    And if that’s not enough to get your cat in a festive mood, there’s also a bell inside to ring in the holiday cheer. Note: West Paw creates limited runs of holiday products so they’re only available while supplies last. Cheery Deer Cat Toy >>

    3. Ho Ho Hairball

    gift for catIf your cat’s been good this year, maybe Santa will bring a Ho Ho Hair Ball. This cat toy is a purrfect stocking stuffer that will entertain the most finicky of felines for hours.

    Filled with USDA certified premium organic catnip and a cheery bell, this merry holiday cat toy will prove to be the best gift ever. Ho Ho Hairball >>

    4. Amazing Treat Machine Rollers

    gifts for cat loversAmazing Treat Machine Rollers are interactive toys which stimulate your cat’s primal hunting instincts. It’s made from cardboard that contains 30% post-consumer recycled content and once your cat has completely destroyed the roller, you can simply toss it in the recycling bin.

    The treat rollers are quite fun to assemble, making them an ideal present for cats and also a great gift for cat lovers. Once you put a small treat or catnip satchel inside, you’ll have even more fun watching your cat try to get it out. Amazing Treat Machine Rollers >>

    5. YEOWWW! Catnip Banana Toy

    gifts for catsThis bigger than life banana is a tropical haven for cats.  It’s filled with fragrant organic catnip that cats go simply bananas for.  At our home, I tied the banana to a sturdy rope to play tug-of-war with my cat.  Furball loves wrestling with this. YEOWWW! Catnip Banana Toy >>

     Organic Catnip Cigars

    YEOWWW! also makes catnip cigar toys.  Each cigar is 7 inches long and it’s stuffed full of organic catnip. No fillers, no cotton fibers – just 100% YEOWWW! brand super-potent organic catnip.

    Pick up a trio in blue, pink and brown. It won’t matter if it’s a boy, a girl or even a kitten because these cigars are smokin’ hot. Organic Catnip Cigars >>

    6. Happy Baby Carrots

    Purrfect Play’s organic cat toys will inspire cats everywhere to be asking for veggies. Each Happy Baby Carrot is just over 3 inches long, and stuffed full of a 1/4 cup of certified organic catnip.  How do they get so much catnip in there?!!!

    Available in a bunch of three carrots, these cat toys are lovingly handcrafted in the USA from dye free organic fleece and topped with organic cotton “leaves.” Happy Baby Carrots >>

    Gifts for Cat Lovers: Natural Cat Treats

    7. TunaTreats Gourmet Dried Bonito Flakes

    If you’re looking for a natural treat for fish-loving felines, here’s a savory treat that will be a favorite not just for the holidays, but all year long.  These premium grade bonito flakes contain no additives, preservative or by-products. They’re a high-protein cat treat made from 100% skipjack tuna. TunaTreats Gourmet Bonito Flakes>>

    8. Zuke’s Natural Purrz Cat Treats

    Even the most discerning cats won’t be able to resist the delectable taste of Natural Purrz cat treats. These moist and meaty morsels of premium salmon and chicken are free of artificial flavors and harsh preservatives and packed with essential vitamins and minerals to help cats stay healthy and happy.

    Zukes is so sure that your cat will love their treats that each bag comes with a money-back guarantee. Zuke’s Natural Purrz Cat Treats >>

    9. Whole Life Organics Chicken Breast

    Here’s a delectable gift for cats who love chicken. Whole Life gently steams USDA certified organic chicken breasts, then slices them up and freeze-dries them to perfection.

    This process removes moisture while concentrating flavor, aroma and nutrition to create a soft, but crisp treat that can be broken into bite size pieces or crumbled over your cat’s food bowl for an extra special holiday dinner. Whole Life Organics Chicken Breast >>

    10. Sojos Organic Catnip

    gifts for catsRather than simply handing over a bag of organic catnip, here’s a stylish way to give premium certified organic catnip as a gift to cat lovers.  Sojo’s beautiful tin makes a great gift and contains hand-harvested catnip grown in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.  Think of it as the caviar of catnips. Sojos Organic Catnip >>

    11. Pet Greens Garden Wheat Grass Self-Grow Kit

    gifts for catsHere’s an all-in-one green gift that’s literally green. The Pet Greens Garden Wheat Grass Self-Grow Kit is a self-contained pouch of easy to grow wheat grass.  Just open up the package, add water and 100% certified organic wheat seed will be sprouting up tender green grass for your kitty to nibble on. Wheat Grass Kit >>

    Gifts for Cat Lovers: Home

    12. Catty Stacks

    gift for catsHere’s a stylish alternative to stacking your living room with ugly cardboard boxes. Catty Stacks are modular building blocks that you can join together to create your own custom kitty climbing gym.

    Made in America from industrial-strength cardboard, Catty Stacks are recycled, recyclable, and durable, able to support cats up to 20 pounds in weight. Start with one and add as many as you’d like. Catty Stacks >>

    13. Cat Silhouette Bamboo Cutting Board

    gifts for cat loversHere’s a fun and fanciful cutting board made out of eco-friendly bamboo.  Shaped like a cat silhouette, this thin and lightweight board is a perfect gift for cat lovers for holiday entertaining.  It’s one of eight pet-shaped cutting boards from APetProject, so if you’re shopping for gifts for cat lovers and dog lovers, this will make the cut too. Cat Silhouette Bamboo Cutting Board >>

    14. Joe Jacket Pet Couture Coffee Cup Sleeve

    Looking for a gift for cat lovers on the go?  Look no further than the Joe Jacket Pet Couture collection of beverage insulators.  Featuring cute and whimsical feline and
    paw print designs, these neoprene insulators keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Because Joe Jackets are reusable, they help save our landfills from billions of pounds of trash from traditional throwaway paper cup sleeves. Joe Jacket Coffee Cup Sleeve >>

    15. Rechargeable Black Cat Flashlight

    gifts for cat loversWatch someone’s eyes light up when you give them this adorable black cat rechargeable LED flashlight.  With this gift, you won’t have to run out and buy extra batteries because it all you need to do is squeeze the hand crank to generate light. The cat’s eyes consist of two LED lights, which are the perfect combination of energy efficiency and ultra bright light. Rechargeable Black Cat Flashlight >>

    After checking out our top 15 green gifts for cat lovers, we hope you’ll find some pawsome inspiration to delight the cats and cat lovers in your life. Now, what’s on your wishlist?

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    Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter Review and How to Get a Box for Free

    Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter ReviewIf you’ve been thinking of trying Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter, here’s a review of the litter as well as instructions on how to get a box for free.

    In June of this year, Feline Pine launched a new and improved clumping formula. They’ve been actively promoting the new product and even sent a comp box for us to try at the Green Little Cat household. Since Furball was already using Feline Pine’s pellet cat litter, we took them up on the offer as I’m always on the prowl for the ultimate eco-friendly cat litter.

    Overall, I’d give it an 8/10 for an eco-friendly litter and here are the pros and cons for my review.

    Pros

    • It’s much better than most natural cat litters in terms of odor control.
    • My cat is finally burying his poop. Furball seems to be really enjoying the texture.
    • Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter seems to last forever. The crumbly texture easily passes through the scoop so that I don’t toss out new litter when cleaning the box.

    Cons

    • With regards to the clumping factor, I’d give it a 6/10. The litter sticks together like tempura batter to fish. Pee makes it come together, but it doesn’t hold tightly. A slight shake of the scoop causes the clump to break up.
    • It’s a bit pricey, but it seems to last a really long time.
    • The pellet version of Feline Pine does a better job of odor control.

    How to Get Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter for Free

    Visit their website for a rebate form. It’s good for any purchase of the 9 lb or 14 lb box (up to $14.99 value) from December 15, 2011 until December 31, 2012. To claim your rebate on Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter, you do need to get the form and have it in the mail by January 15, 2013.

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    5 Tips to Successfully Toilet Train Your Cat

    Cat toilet training and toilet training your catIf you’ve ever wanted to banish litter forever, then you’ll be interested in 5 tips on how to toilet train your cat. Potty training your cat can not only save you hundreds of dollars a year, it can also divert a ton (as in 2,000 pounds) of litter from ending up in landfill sites. If your cat uses even just 100 pounds of litter a year, over the course of 20 years, that is literally a TON of litter.

    I attempted to toilet train my cat a few years ago, but unfortunately had to abandon my attempts prematurely. As a result, it’s always felt like unfinished business to me. Recently, I got the chance to uncover the folly of my ways when I wrote an article for Catster.com on how to toilet train your cat.

    I was originally using the CitiKitty cat toilet training system. Through some serendipitous circumstances, Rebecca Rescate, the inventor and founder of CitiKitty, sent me an email, offering me a CitiKitty to review on my blog. It just so happened that I was talking with my husband only a week earlier about whether we should try potty training our cat. When I got the email from Rebecca, I took it as a sign that I should go full steam ahead and try to train my cat to use the toilet.

    I didn’t realize I was being overly ambitious. At the time, I was also looking after a new baby and was so sleep deprived and overwhelmed that I really didn’t have the time or energy to do the training properly. Poor Furball was subjected to my cat potty training experiment without having the full support of me, his cat mommy. At the first sign of a setback, instead of going back and patiently reinforcing the training, I called it quits.

    Hey, if you had a baby crawling around on the carpet, the last thing you’d want to see on the floor is a little brown present from your cat.

    Looking back, I really feel that I could have successfully toilet trained my cat if I had simply chosen a different time to do it so that I could do it properly. This was really why I decided to write the article for Catster.

    I decided to go back to where it all began and contact the experts at CitiKitty when I began writing the article. Combined with observations from where I went wrong, I wrote up a simple guide with 5 tips on how to successfully potty train your cat.

    I also added some details on toxoplasmosis, an infection that cats can get from the parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. I live in California and it’s a major concern here because when infected cat feces is flushed down the toilet, it ends up in the oceans. It’s been having a really negative impact on the sea otter population. There’s a whole bunch of things that can put a cat at risk of contracting this parasite, but the main ones are exposure to infected raw meat/milk/rodents or infected feces and soil. Knowing the complete history of my cat, I knew he didn’t have T. gondii and was so confident in this that I even scooped the litter box when I was pregnant.

    I’m not saying that I recommend this for others, but it was appropriate in my circumstances. And if you’re thinking of toilet training your cat and you live in a coastal region, it’s the responsible thing to do to educate yourself on toxoplasmosis too.

    So, if you’re thinking of going green and saying sayonara to cat litter, and you’re ready to save hundreds of dollars on litter AND you want bragging rights on how smart your cat is, or at the very least, a real conversation starter, then please visit Catster to read the full article: How to Toilet Train Your Cat.

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    5 Eco-Friendly Tips for Playing With Cats

    Playing With CatsHere are five simple tips for playing with cats that will make your kitty’s playtime eco-friendly and lots of fun.

    1. Channel Your Inner Cat

    Let’s face the truth.   When choosing cat toys, you tend to buy the ones that appeal to you.  The toys are bright, colorful and awfully darned cute.  Don’t think this applies to you?  Well, here’s the litmus test.  Ask yourself when was the last time you sniffed a catnip toy and pontificated on its herbaceous bouquet?

    Instead of choosing toys that appeal to you as a human being, think like a cat.   Your cat already gives you lots of clues on what she enjoys playing with.  Cats let you know in an instant whether a toy is a hit or a miss.

    Take an inventory of the toys that your cat loves to play with and notice what characteristics they have in common.  And, do this from a cat’s perspective.  Maybe your cat’s favorite toys all make a rattling sound or are stuffed with catnip. The next time you’re looking for new toys to play with your cat, choose ones that have similar characteristics.

    You’ll help save the planet by choosing toys that your cat will actually play with instead of ones that she’ll never use.  Buying fewer toys is not only greener, it’s also great for your wallet.

    2. Buy Locally Made Cat Toys

    Transportation emissions are a significant source of greenhouse gases.  When a cat toy is made on the other side of the world, it needs to travel a very long distance in order to arrive at your local pet store. Reduce your carbon footprint by buying toys made closer to home.

    Ask your favorite retailer to carry locally made pet products.  And if you need more inspiration for playing with cats, search online for cat toys made by local businesses and craftspeople. An added bonus will be that you’ll be helping to support the local economy.

    3. Examine Cat Toys for Quality and Durability

    Before buying a bag of cheap mice for a few dollars, stop and consider how long these cat toys will last.  Are they the kind of toy that your cat will chew up within seconds?  Will your cat tear through it in a matter of minutes?

    While quality cat toys might cost a bit more initially, you’ll end up saving money in the long run because they’ll last longer.  Check fabrics for durability and tug at attachments to see if they’ll stay attached when playing with your cat.

    4. Upcycle When Playing With Cats

    Your recycling bin is a delightful source of inspiration.  When playing with your cat, you don’t need to be fancy. Something that you might consider to be garbage is probably the cat’s meow to your kitty.  Get creative and turn that trash into an eco-friendly cat toy.

    Scrap paper crumples nicely into paw-sized balls to chase.  Toilet paper rolls can easily be morphed into a multitude of cat toys and plastic rings on a string are cat heaven. For even more homemade cat toys, check out the eco-friendly book, Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time.

    5. Go Organic

    A 2008 study by the Environmental Working Group found that pets had much higher concentrations of chemicals in their bodies than humans do.  Given that cats spend a lot of time licking and gnawing on their toys, it makes sense to reduce your cat’s exposure to potentially hazardous toxins.

    Choose organic cat toys made from organic fibres and filled with organic catnip.  Organic products are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides. Your cat and the planet will both benefit.

    Going green when playing with your cat is easy and fun to do.  Your cat and the planet will appreciate your efforts.

    What are your favorite green ideas for playing with cats?  Share them below.

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