Cats are fastidious pets that cherish cleanliness nearly as much as their owners. But your cat’s sense of “clean” may not match yours when they're shedding generous fur or “urking” hairballs onto the carpet. Cats sometimes get peeved about their litter box and decide to mark their territory with claws or (gasp!) urine. Cats also seem eager and willing to stain the carpet when their breakfast comes back up.
Keeping your house "green" and smelling clean can be a challenge even when your cat remains faithful to their litter box. Your cats, though, are highly sensitive to harsh chemicals found in everyday cleaning products. So is the earth. Cats can become poisoned by licking their feet after walking across the mopped floor. Just because it's labeled "natural" doesn't always mean it's safe, either--after all, poison mushrooms are natural.
Be sure you "clean green" with earth-friendly products clearly labeled as safe for use around cats. Even dog-safe products could put cats at risk, so only trust products that are labeled specifically for cats. Refer to these 5 green cleaning tips:
Wash food bowls
Choose ceramic or glass bowls, which are greener than plastic. Plastic bowls also hold odors more readily which can be off-putting to cats. Plastic bowls sometimes can cause feline acne on the cat’s chin. Dishwasher safe bowls work well. You also can hand-wash with earth-friendly cleansers.
Try a biodegradable litter pan
Most conventional litter boxes made from plastic need a good weekly scrubbing, even when owners scoop religiously. Disposable litter pans make things easier, but a better green alternative is biodegradable disposable cat litter pans. Some of these products can be composted, and already contain activated charcoal for odor control. If you want a convenient option that is still environmentally conscious, consider biodegradable litter pans.
A cat’s bed soon acquires their personal smell. Unless the bed gets dingy, from a hairball mishap, for instance, avoid washing the bed, which removes this scent, because that can upset your cat and they will stop using the bed. Instead, remove excess collected fur with a pet hair collector product. Rather than throwing cat fur away, recycle by giving back to the earth and the birds will love to use shed fur as nest lining.
Spotlight to wash walls
Cats may mark territory with sprayed urine, but once it dries you have trouble finding the stain to clean it. Urine glows under a black light, though. Turn off the lights and shine the black light on suspected walls, carpet or other locations to find urine and then clean with am earth-friendly odor neutralizer. Unless the stain is removed, the smell tempts the cat to return to the scene and potty on top of the spot.
Green vacuums collect debris in a canister that can be recycled in the garden, instead of bags that get thrown out and collect in landfills. Carpet stains that soak into carpets are difficult to eliminate, though, especially from urine, feces or vomit. These need an earth-friendly stain remover that incorporates a green odor neutralizer. You’ll need to follow product directions, and sometimes soak the stain thoroughly so the product reaches deep into the carpet padding. Other products work as powders and can be vacuumed up along with the stain. Don’t be fooled by perfumed cleaners made from chemicals that can damage the earth. They smell good to you but won’t fool your cat.
Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.