Category Archives: Green Home

Love This! The Purrfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Cat

cat cardboard scratcher, heart bed, valentine's gift for cat
How purrfect that I saw this cute eco-friendly lounge and cat scratcher on Valentine’s Day! When your kitty steps inside, her heart will be filled with love. This heart-shaped bed is made from corrugated cardboard and non-toxic glue—plus it’s also recyclable. With its thick 1” walls, your kitty can snuggle up inside, and the 1.5” base makes a great scratching surface for her to stretch her claws.
cat cardboard scratcher, heart bed, valentine's gift for cat
Available in two fashionable styles, box color and leopard print, this scratcher can blend in tastefully with your home or make a statement. Whichever style you choose, at 14” x 12” x 3.5”, it’s super easy to find a cozy corner to place the lounge.
valentine's day gift for cat, recyclable cardboard cat scratcher lounge
While the physical bed itself allergy isn’t huge, it is BIG on heart, and quite durable. There’s even a picture of a person standing on the sides of this heart-shaped cat scratcher, so you can be sure that this bed can handle a cat. As one wise reviewer pointed out, cats love to fit themselves into tiny spaces. Your cat will be purring with love when you give her the purrfect Valentine’s Day gift. And that’s at the heart of Valentine’s Day—sharing love :). So even if you take a pass on this scratcher, give your cat some extra pats today, and tell her you love her!

5 Luxurious Eco-friendly Gifts for Your Cat

If you’ve been on the lookout for an extra special gift for your cat, here are five fabulous finds for your feline. They’re eco-friendly, decadent, and the purrfect way to show your appreciation for your kitty’s loyal and loving companionship.

1. The Ripple Rug – Thermal Cat Activity Play Mat

The Ripple Rug is a giant hide-and-seek playground, scratch mat, and cozy cat cave. This fun and interactive “rug” has an assortment of flaps and slits that can be adjusted to create an endless assortment of tunnels, caves, and peekaboo holes for your cat’s head or paws. You customize the mat by simply lifting and releasing to create random shapes and configuration. This has got to be one of the coolest and most innovative ideas for cats.
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Besides the great play value—and snuggle value after playtime, the Ripple Rug is also eco-friendly. It’s made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The non-slip rubber bottom is insulated to help keep the mat in place, and eliminate static electricity. The rug is lightweight and folds up easily for storage. While it’s not cheap, it’s not as expensive as you might think. You can check out the latest pricing for the Ripple Rug on Amazon.

2. Catnip Star

cat-gift-organic-catnip-toy2

For a little bit of festive luxury that won’t break the bank, the West Paw Catnip Star is a pawsome green cat toy. The star is green on one side (white on the other), and it’s also green on the inside because it’s filled with USDA-approved 100% organic catnip. Plus, it’s made in America, in Bozeman, Montana to be precise, by West Paw Design, a leader in the Sustainable Pet Coalition. This super-soft plush cat toy will surprise and delight your kitty and it’s available for under $10 at West Paw’s online shop.

3. ComfyCat Cave

The ComfyCat Cave is a cozy cat bed sustainably handcrafted in Nepal from 100% New Zealand merino wool that is responsibly sourced. This bed is super cute and can be popped open to create a warm and cozy cave for your kitty, or it can be pressed down for a more traditional cat bed.

catgeeks-cat-bed-review
When I first saw it, I have to admit I was a bit shocked at the price, but since my cat, Furball, has been a loyal and loving companion for over 15 years, I figured after 15 years, he totally deserved something nice to sleep in. The poor guy has been sleeping in assorted corners on the floor since we moved to a new home.

My biggest concern about the bed was whether it would be itchy, and whether my cat would actually go inside. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded. The merino wool is super soft and not the least bit itchy, and the opening was big enough for my 15-pound cat to easily step inside. As soon as I set down the bed, Furball immediately went inside to check it out. However, he prefers the bed in its “flattened” state and now, his favorite spot to sleep. I won’t lie, this bed is pricey, but seeing Furball enjoy his new bed so much has been worth every penny. Check out Amazon to see the variety of cat cave beds.

4. Catty Stacks

It’s hard to beat the humble cardboard box when it comes to “recycle and reuse,” and nothing attracts a cat faster than an empty box. Catty Stacks are a way to up level the box, both literally and figuratively. These modular boxes can be stacked and joined together in multiple ways to create a kitty condo or impressive cat playground. Made from sturdy recycled cardboard, Catty Stacks are strong enough to support cats weighing up to 20lbs.

Catty Stacks review

If you’ve been looking for a fun and attractive alternative to cardboard boxes, Catty Stacks look great in any home, and they come in an array of colors derived from vegetable-based inks. They’re super easy to assemble and set up, and 100% recyclable too. To learn more about the story behind this product, check out this interview with Frank Callari, the inventor of Catty Stacks.

And if you want to get your paws on a set of these brilliant building blocks, you’ll find Catty Stacks online at Amazon.com. While it’s rather ironic that they’ll be delivered in a cardboard box, this will be one of those times where your cat will love what’s inside the box even more than the packaging it comes in.

5. Ultimate Cat Scratcher and Lounge

What makes PetFusion’s Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge so much better than other scratchers? Size, good looks, durability, and eco-friendliness. But with over 4,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, don’t just take our word for it.

petfusion-ultimate-scratcher

The first thing you’ll notice about the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is how big it is. At 34″ long, 10.5″ inches wide, and 10.5 inches high, there’s plenty of room for your cat to comfortably lounge and stretch out. And if you’ve got more than one cat, Petfusion offers a jumbo-sized cat scratcher and lounge.

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With a cat scratcher this big, it’s not easy to hide it from sight. Luckily, you don’t have to because it’s so attractive, you’ll want people to see it. Its designed so that you can also mount it to the wall and you can trust it will hold up well because it’s made from a recycled corrugated cardboard that is denser and more durable than lower priced corrugated cardboard cat scratchers.

The scratcher’s symmetrical design doubles its use because when one side wears out, you can simply flip the lounge over for a new scratching surface. The Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is assembled with non-toxic cornstarch glue, comes with premium USA organic catnip, and is also the winner of the 2015 Eco-Excellence Award. If you’re looking to splurge on your BFF (best feline friend), this might be the ultimate gift for your cat to lounge, scratch, nap, and play. You’ll find the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge on Amazon.

How to Cool Your Home Naturally and Save Energy

cat-thermometer
Photo of Songbird Essentials Climbing Cat Window Thermometer

If you’re a cat and it’s 90 degrees outside, you’d visit the hottest room in your home, and pick a cozy spot in a blazing sunbeam to stretch out and snooze. You certainly wouldn’t want your human to turn on the air conditioner because you LOVE the heat.

On the other hand, if you’re a human, you’d probably find the hot weather stifling and stuffy. You’d look for the coolest room in the home, and bask in the refreshing breeze of the fan or air conditioner running at full blast. But during the hottest days of the year, home cooling is one of the largest uses of electricity in your home.

Approximately two thirds of American homes have air conditioners, and collectively these cooling units use close to 5% of all the electricity produced in the U.S. This adds up to 100 million tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year or an average of two tons per home. In addition to the environmental cost, air conditioners cost homeowners over $11 billion each year to run them.
(Source: Energy Saver, U.S. Department of Energy)

Here’s what it costs each month to run your air conditioner:

  • Central Air Conditioner (3500 W) – $245 per month
  • Large Window Unit (1440 W) – $100 per month
  • Medium Window Unit (900 W) – $62 per month
  • Small Window Unit (500 W) – $35 per month

Estimates are based on a rate of $0.14/kWh, with the unit running 16 hours/day. (Source: comfort-pro.com)

As you can see, it can be quite pricey to cool your home especially if you live in a hot climate. Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower your costs, save electricity, and naturally keep your home cooler.

1. Time the opening and closing of blinds and curtains

In the morning, keep all east-facing windows covered. Once the sun has moved higher in the sky, these windows can be uncovered.

In the late afternoon and early evening, close the blinds and draw the curtains for all west-facing windows. Depending on the time of year and how the sun shines in your home, you may need to do this for south-facing windows, too.

If you have slat blinds, angle the slats upwards to cut down on the amount of direct sunlight entering the room. And if you’re thinking of installing blinds, consider cat-friendly options that are also better for the planet:

  • Roller blinds made from eco-friendly materials
  • Slat blinds with cloth tape manufactured using greener processes
  • Honeycomb style blinds made with OEKO-TEX-passing fabrics; honeycomb blinds also help to insulate windows, saving you energy in both the summer and winter

For all blinds, keep string cords away from your cat. You can use a nail in the wall to hang a cord out of reach. For roller blinds, anchor the chain at the bottom so that it doesn’t look like a cat toy and is also safer for small children. And if your kitty absolutely must have a sunbeam to bask in, open the window covering just enough to let in some sun, but keep the majority of the window covered to maximize the cooling effect.

2. Take advantage of nature’s air conditioner

Open your windows at night and close them during the day to let cooler air in at night and keep warmer air out during the daytime. If you can, create a cross breeze to cool down your home faster.

This works particularly well in western states such as Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona where the nights are often much cooler than the days.

3. Program your thermostat–with a twist

Set your thermostat at the highest temperature that you can tolerate for the hottest time of the day. When it’s sweltering outside, that’s when your air conditioner is working the hardest to cool your home. It’s running more often.

And because the cold air blasts on longer, this makes you feel cooler so you can turn up the temperature and still feel comfortable. It’s like at wintertime when the heater turns on and you feel warmer because of the heat coming from the vents.

And while you’re adjusting the thermostat, why not consider setting it two or three degrees higher overall? Your cat will love basking in the heat. Just be sure to keep her water bowl topped up during the hot summer days.

When you cut back on running the air conditioner, you reduce carbon emissions and save big on energy costs. Imagine all the cat treats you can buy with the money you save!

The Best Recycled Cardboard Cat Scratcher and Lounge

Here’s an eco-friendly long-lasting cat scratcher that’s big enough for your cat, and it looks good too! In the past, most corrugated cardboard scratchers were either flimsy, too small, ugly, not made from recycled cardboard, or all of the above. Well, those days are over now because PetFusion has completely revamped the humble cardboard cat scratcher.

PetFusion Recycled Cardboard Cat Scratcher Review

The first thing you’ll notice about the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is its size. It’s a gargantuan 34″ long, 10.5″ inches wide, and 10.5 inches high. Even the biggest kitties can comfortably recline on its surface. The scratcher is also a hefty 7.5 lbs helping it to stay put when your cat leaps on. And if you’ve got more than one cat, Petfusion offers a jumbo sized cat scratcher and lounge for multiple cat households.

When cat furniture is this big, you can’t discreetly hide it in a corner. The good news is that you don’t have to. This is one good looking cat scratcher that you want people to see. You can even mount it to the wall by following the simple instructions and using inexpensive brackets.

best recycled cat scratcherThe modern design, balanced proportions, and walnut brown color of the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge blends in harmoniously with almost any decor. If anything, it might make your furnishings seem shabby in comparison! But as cat people, we all know that kitty comes first :).

PetFusion uses a premium cardboard that is denser and more durable than lower priced corrugated cardboard cat scratchers. In addition, the symmetrical design doubles the life of the scratcher—when one side gets worn down, all you need to do is flip it over for a fresh surface. Some people even suggest cutting the scratcher in half when both sides wear out so that you can make two new scratchers. Your cat may have nine lives, but this scratcher has at least two or three!

The Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is made of recycled corrugated cardboard and non-toxic corn starch glue. It also comes with premium USA organic catnip. With over four thousand 5-star Amazon reviews, it’s no surprise that this cat scratcher won the 2015 Eco-Excellence Award.

While the Petfusion cat scratcher does cost more than other scratchers, it’s better made, lasts longer, looks better, and it’s also made from recycled cardboard. You’ll find the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge on Amazon.com.

Awesome DIY Cat Projects

A reader brought this awesome infographic to my attention the other day. It features some cool DIY projects for your cat, including a cat climber, cat scratcher, and cat puzzle, that you can make by recycling old cardboard boxes. Many of the other projects can use up scraps of wood or those odds and ends that you keep, but never know what to do with—turn them into a window perch or food stand.

Now that your curiosity is piqued, check out this infographic for some fun upcycle ideas for your favourite feline friends!

Build your cat a better life
Build your cat a better life by PowerTool World.

Green Living: Ways Anyone Can Conserve Water

For cat lovers looking for a way to lower their impact on the environment, water conservation is a great place to start. And while cats are already great at water conservation because they don’t drink a lot of water and they never shower (thanks to their self-cleaning habits), YOU can also make a positive impact for the environment.

Meow! I save water by not showering.
Meow! I save water by not showering.

When you conserve water, not only are you acting in an environmentally-friendly manner, but you can also help reduce water pollution in local watersheds, lakes and rivers, and also lower your water bill. Simply reducing the amount of water you use in a day provides a wide array of benefits, including reducing soil saturation and even prolonging the life of septic systems.

Here’s a handy water conservation calculator that will help determine just how much water you use in a single day, and help you find ways to conserve. In addition, the following tips will show you just how easy it is to implement water conservation steps into your daily life.

Tips for Conserving Water Inside the Home

  • Regularly check pipes, faucets and toilets for leaks, and fix any leaks that you find.
  • Install low flow faucet aerators on every sink and water saving shower heads in every shower.
  • Fill plastic bottles with pebbles or sand and place them in your toilet tank.
  • If you’re upgrading your toilet, choose a model that is low flush.
  • Never use your toilet as a way to dispose of debris besides bodily waste. It is not a wastebasket or an ashtray. Contact imagineear.com/pharmacy/ your local municipality for their guidelines on flushable cat litter and cat waste.
  • Check for leaks by reading your water meter and then, for two hours, don’t use any water. After the two hour period, check the water meter again. If the meter has raised, you have a leak somewhere.
  • Reduce the amount of time you are in the shower.
  • Install inexpensive pipe insulation around your water pipes.
  • Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t run washing machines or dishwashers unless you have a full load.
  • Reduce the amount of times you use your kitchen garbage disposal since it takes a lot of water for it to run properly.

Tips for Conserving Water in the Yard and Garden

  • Plant laws, trees, flowers, shrubs and other plants that are drought-resistant and won’t require consistent watering.
  • Add mulch around the plants and trees to help hold in moisture, reduce weed growth and protect the roots.
  • Set your water sprinklers so that the water lands on your garden or lawn and is not wasted on sidewalks, gutters or driveways.
  • Use a broom instead of a water hose to clean walkways and driveways.
  • When you do have to water your lawn, do so deeply so the water soaks into the ground. A light watering will evaporate and promote a shallow root system in your lawn.

If you’re already doing all of these things, give yourself two paws up fur being green! And if you’re looking for more ways to conserve water, check out this article on 10 Ways to Save Water When You’re Already Hard Core About Reducing Your Water Consumption.

The Cat’s Meow in Organic Cotton Fabric for Crafty Cat Lovers

When you’ve got a crafty project in mind, use cat print fabric made from organic cotton to wow and delight. Here’s a selection of whimsical, fun and cheeky designs to create pillows, pajamas, cat toys and more—whatever your imagination pounces upon.

1. Meow Haven by Monaluna

organic cotton cat print fabric  monaluna

This cute kitty design printed with low impact dyes on 100% certified organic cotton. Buy it by the half or full yard. Order it by the half yard on Amazon.com

2. Black Cats Organic Cotton Knit Fabric

organic cotton knit fabric with cats
This organic cotton interlock knit fabric is purrfect for anything you want to craft that needs a little bit of give or stretch. It’s a super soft knit fabric with a fresh and modern design.

You can get it made to order on the Sewn Natural Etsy shop

3. Here Kitty Kitty Organic Tossed Cats With Twine Grey Fabric

grey cloth with cats for crafts organic cotton

Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish for Clothworks is the creator of this GOTS certified organic cotton print. It’s available in a variety of colours, including white, black grey, pink and gold.

gold cloth fabric for crafts organic cats

Check out the different colors of Here Kitty Kitty Organic Tossed Cats Fabric.

4. Cats – Handmade Organic Cotton Fabric

caat print organic cotton fabric
This handmade organic cotton poplin is GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard). The cotton is lightweight and soft to the touch and it won’t shrink in the wash.

You’ll find it online at the .

5. Happy Drawing Too Organic Cats Fabric

cloud 9 organic cotton cat pring fabric sewing
The Happy Drawing collection by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 gets its inspiration from drawings in Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals. Sold by the yard and cut to order, you’ll find it on Amazon. Click here for details: Happy Drawing Too Organic Cats Grey Fabric

6. Cats on Daisy – Lillestoff

organic cat print sateen cotton
This organic fabric is a blend of 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane, making it a wonderfully soft jersey knit that is 100% GOTS-certified. Get it at the FunnyFabrix Etsy shop.

7. Spring Cats Organic Cotton Jersey

organic cotton cats
This fun and fanciful fabric is made from organic cotton and elastane. It’s also GOTS-certified, making it a great choice for creating dresses, tees and onesies for little kids who love cats. Find this and other cheery designs at the OttobreDesign Etsy shop

100% Organic Natural Cat Urine Odor Control and Stain Remover

Got a cat urine stain or odor problem and are looking for a way to get it out of your carpet or sofa? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to get the cat vomit out of your carpet? Here’s a natural and 100% organic pet stain and odor remover.

pet urine remover, cat urine stain, remove cat urine smell

I love how much the green industry has grown since I first started this blog. It’s been just over five years, but the growth in eco-friendly pet products has been astounding during this period of time. Back in the day, there were only a couple of eco-friendly options for getting the smell of cat urine out of the carpet.

I’ve been lucky in that Furball is very consistent in using his litter box, but there have been times where the little dingleberry has followed him out of the box into the living room. I think he just gets too excited to run off somewhere so he’s not fully done his business.

As well, he’s a high strung cat so when he gets stressed, he has a tendency to barf up hairballs and sometimes food onto the carpet. He can be surrounded by an ocean of hardwood flooring, but much prefers to run onto the rug or the light beige carpeted steps of the stairs to upchuck his stuff. That’s when I am so thankful for natural enzyme pet odor and stain removers.

As I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting products for healthy, natural and sustainable living, I was quite intrigued to come across the Jackie Doodles Odor and Stain Eliminator.

This is a 100% USDA certified organic natural cleaner for urine and vomit stains on your carpet or upholstery. It’s good for both dog and cat urine, and it’s also earth-friendly and safe for your pets and kids.

Jackie Doodles Odor and Stain Eliminator is an enzyme-based cleaner, like Nature’s Miracle, only this one is certified organic. The way enzymes work is that they digest organic matter to neutralize stains and odors. It’s important when using enzyme-based cleaners to not use any other traditional cleaners on the area. That’s because they kill the enzymes and prevent them from doing their clean-up job.

Basically, you wipe up the mess (e.g. cat urine or vomit), blot it as dry as you can with a paper towel and then go to town, spraying on the enzyme cleaner. Oh, you may want to test it on a small patch first in an indiscreet area if you’ve never used it before on the material. I haven’t had any issues with discoloration and enzyme-based cleaners, but you might want to check to be on the safe side.

Follow the directions and wait for the allotted time to let the enzymes do their work, digesting all of the remaining organic matter in your carpet or couch. Give it a wipe and that’s it. You may have to reapply it for a stubborn stain. Enzyme-based cleaners tend to work best for newer stains and pee accidents, although they are still effective for old ones as long as you haven’t used a chemical-based cleaner on the area. If you have, try cleaning away the cleaner with water (test if water stains in an indiscreet patch first), and then try the enzyme cleaner.

Admittedly, these natural cleaners based on enzymes tend to have a bit of a funky smell, sort of like fermenting hops. It’s not as bad as the cat pee or vomit, but it’s not fresh and clean smelling like a chemical cleaner. However, the smell does dissipate in a day or two and it definitely smells better than cat urine!

Out of 55 reviews on Amazon, 82% gave the product a 5-star rating. I think some of the lower ratings were due to the issues I mentioned above about using it on old stains or on stains that had already been treated with harsh chemical cleaners. The chemicals that they use often include polypropylene which is a crude oil derivative and used as a binding agent. It acts like a coating to seal in odors and prevents the enzymes from reaching the offending matter.

So the number one takeaway is to use the enzyme-based pet stain and odor remover first when an accident happens. Don’t use anything else first and you should see much better results. That’s why I like to have a bottle of the stuff on hand because I never know what Furball may surprise me with, but I definitely feel ready when I have an enzyme-based cleaner on hand.

If you’re looking for a 100% organic natural cleaner, you can find Jackie Doodles Odor and Stain Eliminator on Amazon.com.

30 Seconds to Create an Eco-friendly Cat Playground and Breathe New Life into Old Cat Toys

Quite by accident, I discovered an easy way to create an interactive play area for my cat. This playground was so delightful that it inspired my 14-year old cat, Furball to leap and run around like a kitten.

And, I bet you’ve already got what you need to build this kitty playground in your home right now. You’ll need…drum roll please…

  • 10 to 15 books

That’s it. Simply scatter them in a random pile on the floor. You’ll want to make the pile high enough so that your cat thinks it can “hide” behind the pile, aka crouch below so it can’t see above the books.

I discovered this easy way to make a fun game for my cat purely by chance. I was going through my bookshelf and clearing out books that I no longer needed. As I was cleaning, I dumped the books that I was going to donate to the library on the floor. When I started playing with Furball later that day, he ran to hide behind the books and a fast and easy kitty playground was created.

It made his usual game of chasing the Rainbow Cat Charmer absolutely addictive for him. He was having so much fun running and jumping that it reminded me of when he was a crazy kitten and played so much that he once fell down from dizziness because he wouldn’t stop running in circles. It was just like the good old days because Furball went berserk attacking his old toy with renewed vigor.

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So, all you need to do is bust out an old cat toy, preferably something interactive such as a wand toy, Cat Dancer or something that dangles. Get your cat’s attention and then make the toy hide behind the stack of books.

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It’ll give your cat the opportunity to exercise her natural instincts of stalking. The best thing is that once you’re done, clean up is a cinch. Just gather up the books and put them back on your shelf!

If you’re looking for places to donate old books, here are a few suggestions:

  • Some libraries will accept used books.
  • If you have paperbacks, try posting them on PaperBackSwap.com.  It’s like a giant online book swap meet.
  • Gently used books for young children are welcomed by Project Night Night, which gives books, blankets and stuffed animals to homeless children.
  • Women’s shelters that support families are also a good place to donate books for kids of all ages.

If you’re doing some spring cleaning, here are a few more ideas on Where to Recycle Stuff.

100% Recycled Rubber Cat Placemat

Keep your kitty’s eating area clean with this adorable cat face placemat from Oré Originals. Shaped like an oversized cartoon cat head, this cheeky mat is not only fun, it’s also functional and eco-friendly too.

It’s made in the USA from 100% recycled rubber which makes it both durable and practical. The rubber surface holds the mat in place on the floor and also keeps cat bowls and dishes from sliding around. If your cat is like Furball who likes to drag his bowl across the floor, this mat will help ensure the bowls don’t go wandering too far.
recycled rubber cat placemat ore pet
The placemat’s surface is just the right size for cats. It’ll help keep the floor protected from spills, kibble bits and that wet cat food that drops out of your cat’s mouth when she turns suddenly mid-chew because she heard a loud noise.

You can find the Oré Pet Black Cat Face Placemat for about $15 at Amazon.com. And if you’ve got dog, there’s a super cute recycled rubber dog bone shaped placemats too!


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.
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