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Jill Cordes's Tips for Becoming a Greener Cat Owner

Guest Article for About.com Cats

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Photo of Jill Cordes With her Cat Wayne Sanchez

Photo of Jill Cordes With her Cat Wayne Sanchez

Photo Credit: © Jill Cordes
All of us want to do our best for our planet, including keeping it green. How we raise our own cats can go a long way toward that goal. Jill Cordes, noted TV Host and advocate, shares her tips for Becoming a Greener Cat Owner:

  1. Give Them Shelter - Many adoption shelters are over-crowded. To help ease the problem, adopt a pet from your local shelter, or rescue group like I've always done. You may also save a buck or two if you purchase from a shelter where many of their animals are likely to already be vaccinated, spayed, or neutered.
  2. Protect Your Kitty - To avoid a "special delivery" from your pet and to help animal shelters avoid further over-crowding, get your pet spayed or neutered. This will also help maintain your cat's health by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer.
  3. Tag 'Em - Be sure your cat has a hanging name tag so they can be returned to you if they're ever lost. This way you'll save paper on those "Missing" posters around town.
  4. Keep it Clean - Care for your cat with gentle pet-care and cleaning products instead of those which contain harsh chemicals.
  5. Potty Time - Purchase eco-sensible cat litter with 100 percent natural biodegradable material, such as wheat, ground pine, or corn-based fibers, which are sensible for the environment, provide the same number of usages as regular clumping litter and absorb up to twice as much urine as clumping clay litters.
  6. Food for Thought - "You are what you eat" relates to cats too, so find natural, organic food that is FDA-certified and meets the USDA's standards. Feed your cat food that doesn't contain added pesticides or hormones and is preserved with natural substances.
  7. Quench their Thirst - Eliminate potential disease, insects or dirty pests by changing your cat's water and food bowl regularly. Also make sure to use filtered tap water rather than bottled water, which weighs on your wallet and the environment. Your cat will thank you on those steaming hot summer days.
  8. Play Ball - It's easy for cats to be green if you purchase toys for them made from sustainable fibers or recycled materials, or you could entertain your cat with homemade toys made from recycled materials, like a scratching pole made from old carpeting.
  9. Into the Wilderness - Try to keep your cat inside whenever possible to avoid exposure to potential harm. However, if your cat is craving the great outdoors, supervise them in an enclosed area.
  10. Purr-tanical Gardens - In an enclosed space, plant a small garden in your backyard for your cat, with cat-safe herbs and flowers. Just make sure you supervise your cat to avoid an embarrassing visit to your neighbor's tomato patch.
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