Cats vs Zero Waste

Many concerned zero-wasters and cat owners wonder how those two can be combined, mainly when it comes to food and hygiene.
As for me, there are two basic answers: BARF and environmentally friendly kitty litter.

My cat, Art.

BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) means a diet which is the closest to natural for animals. We have to bear in mind that cats are carnivores and in natural surroundings they do not eat grains, sweets and the like. Nor do they eat dry, crispy cat food.
Although approaches how BARF should look like vary worldwide, I adopted the one endorsed by Polish BARF Foundation and include the following in Art's diet:
  • raw meat (both with and witout bones, minced and cut into chunks)
  • giblets
  • supplements (e.g. taurine, egg yolk, fish oils, haemoglobin)
  • water

And let the fun begin! /Photo by
The diet brings many great advantages, such as:
  • shinier fur
  • healthier skin
  • cleaner teeth
  • higher energy levels
What is more, BARF is all about animals' individuality. The BARF menu creation should be preceded by veterinary examination and should be adjusted to cats' health, weight, and other needs. I use a special, hi-tech calculator to balance out the purrfect diet. Not to mention that it is also a cheaper option compared to regular cat food!
If you're interested in BARF, you can also consider whole prey and franken prey feeding. Check it out :) (it's not for the fainthearted, though).
If you're not into BARF, I would recommend canned wet food rich in meat (absolutely no grains, pretty please!) and, optionally, raw fat meat from time to time.

Environmetally friendly kitty litter is currently all the rage. Wooden or corn. Biodegradable and toilet friendly. I opted for wooden and put all of the waste in the bin (usually using toilet paper or leaflets that I find in my post inbox). It was heartbreaking for me to learn that cats' stool should not be composted or disposed of in the toilet because of parasites causing toxoplasmosis which can get  into the ecosystem and harm both other animals and humans.
As for now, there is no other zero waste method that I am aware of as I ruled out teaching cats to use the toilet (here is why).

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