19 April 2016

Cat Waste Part 1

I have 2 cats. They are sweet and snuggly when they want to be. They warm my feet up on chilly winter nights and sometimes even try to eat my phone. They are silly and have their own personalities, just like people. But, man...are they a wasteful bunch.

They can't help it though. I made all of their choices in their lives. So, it's up to me to find something that works for all of us better. The Earth, me, our budget, oh and the kitties.

So, I'm conducting an experiment. I'm making the kitties go zero waste too.

They make a cat food bag every 2 months, 1 large pail of clay cat litter, the dirty cat litter all in a plastic grocery baggie (which have been outlawed from the house), plastic kitty caps, and little bits of carpet from their 2 (yes 2) cat towers. I'm sure that I missed something, but that's still a lot of waste for two little kitties to be producing.

So, I started with the easy stuff. I'm using the kitty caps only when I need to and mostly as a training device for one of my stubborn kitties. I've found that she is learning to only scratch her towers and less on my couch and carpet. When these are gone...oh well. No more caps and I hope we won't need them anymore. It's a little plastic cap that goes over the nail and is secured with glue, much like human women put on their nails by choice. They don't come off until the claws grow out enough to push them off. It lasts about 4 months on my girl. I think I have enough to last the rest of the year if I left them on her consistently.

The cat towers can probably be replaced. They love scratching on those. I think I could take off some of the carpet or just wrap it with some rope to make it last longer. I'd really hate to have to throw it away.

I mentioned the plastic bags are gone. So, I've been putting the clumped dirty litter back into an empty pail for now. It's not quite at the 1/4 mark, but I need to develop a plan for this soon.
I'm looking into burying it in the back part of my property. Basically where nothing is growing... I look at it as a science experiment.  It's definitely going to be interesting.

I don't have much of the clay litter left, so while I'm interested to see how it composts in the ground, I don't have high hopes for this to work very well. I did find a clay clumping litter made by purina that comes in a compostable cardboard container instead of plastic. So that was a step in the right direction at least. But, I think with a little bit more effort I can create a cat waste composting area with different litter. I've seen some people doing this, but not too many. I think I should document my efforts.

I made my first reusable bag from an old dog food bag. It is made from duraflex and it's incredibly strong. I only carry one big bag and it gets the job done. I thought I would make more of these so I started saving them. Now I have about 20 bags hanging out waiting to be turned into more bags. I don't need that many bags. So, I'm trying to find better food for them while looking for a way to keep extra bags out of the landfill.
Most zero waster know about the website terracycle, but not many of them can get into the free shipping status. I joined for 'open farm' dog and cat food bags. I found a supplier a few towns over. I am heading that direction to go see a friend of mine next weekend so I think I will pick up a bag and see what the kitties (and the pups) think of it. I might even be able to talk to the store owner about putting in a bin in the store to send more peoples bags than just mine to be recycled.
The food is ethically sourced and transparent about where all the ingredients come from.
I'm not sure about the price yet though.

All of these things can be kept out of the landfills if we make just a little bit of effort. In finding zero waste products I've found that a lot of them are better quality or better for my pets (or me) and my budget.

Pups...you're next!!

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