I became a vegetarian nearly 13 years ago for ethical and environmental reasons, and I do my best to keep animal welfare and the environment foremost in my mind in all purchasing choices for my home. This includes the pet food, treats, and treatments I buy for my seven cats.
While cats are carnivores, there is no reason that what they eat and use can’t be mindful of the planet and other animals at the same time.
Here are five of my favorite organic or natural items for cats. I’ll note upfront that I was not paid nor asked to promote any brands or companies; my cats and I just happen to like these items.
I have been feeding my cats a strictly organic diet for more than a decade, and this is our favorite. The ingredient list contains nothing I do not recognize and is full of foods that I would eat myself (minus the meat, of course).
On the rare occasions I run out, my cats are NOT happy. They adore this food and never seem to get sick of it. Their fur coats are gloriously glossy, their eyes are clear, and their bowel movements (maybe TMI, but it is important to their health!) are always firm.
This food isn’t cheap (averaging $45 for a 14.5-pound bag), but I recommend it to anyone who can afford it.
My cats LOVE to eat catnip — and roll in it, lick it, have it stuffed into their favorite toys, and anything else they can do with catnip. Because of this, I like to be sure that their catnip is USDA-certified organic.
Other than my own homegrown catnip, which I prepare in the summer, this one just happens to be my favorite, although there are many organic brands out there, and many are wonderful.
Less desirable brands can be downright chunky, with stems and full of what can only be called “catnip dust.” West Paw promises: "No stems. No fillers. Always Premium." Its nip is more like a fine tea — all leaves.
3. Organic cat grass
While cats are pretty much meat-only eaters, they do occasionally enjoy chomping on some grass. Any of you with outdoor cats can attest to this, and we indoor cat owners know our cats will chomp our houseplants if you let them!
Allowing your cats to eat whatever plants they find, especially indoor cats, can be deadly. Enter cat grass! I have been growing it from seed for years for my fur babies! They love it and will beg quite loudly when I am trimming off some shoots for them to enjoy.
Cat grass is super easy to grow year-round. You can grow it outside in the summer and inside the rest of the year. I like that this treat is organic and has a single, vegan ingredient. I have tried many brands of seeds as well as the bulk bins at my local plant nursery. All work the same, and it is really just personal preference.
If you have never grown it before, I would recommend buying just a packet so you can make sure your cat likes it before investing in a large bulk bag. You can even find grow kits where the dirt, seeds, and container are all included. If you think you don’t have a green thumb (but trust me, this stuff grows itself), you can buy tubs of pre-grown cat grass, but be aware that many of them are NOT organic.
Bonus for humans: Cat grass is actually just a form of wheatgrass/oats, so if you want to clip some of your growth into your own smoothie, you can!
The sole ingredient of these treats is certified organic chicken breast. Need I say more? We mainly give the fur babies these treats on special occasions like their birthdays or holidays that we celebrate. I also admit that I use them to bribe them into their cat room when we need to mop the rest of the house! Have you ever seen seven cats walk single file down a hallway? These treats will make that happen!
Because this product is so pure, it’s very rich. Just a few crumbles from one piece is all my cats want to eat at a time, but they enjoy it immensely. Tip: Try soaking a piece in water before giving it to them.
My kitty, Mei-Ling, has eye cancer. Because of this, her eyes drain all the time, and that affects her sinuses as well. I have looked and looked for an organic eye wipe for her with no luck so far (leave a comment if you know of a brand, please!). But while these all-natural eye wipes are not organic, they are pet-safe and they contain far fewer ingredients than their conventional counterparts.
Mei-ling tolerates me using them fairly well (as you know, no cat really likes to have her face wiped). They have no discernible odor and keep the fur around her muzzle nice and clean. If you have a cat with leaky eyes, I highly suggest these wipes.
I hope my list has opened your eyes to some brands you may not have tried and some issues that you may not have considered. I would love to hear what you think about my suggestions, as well as hear what brands you love yourself. Talk to me in the comments!
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