Know What You Feed Your Cat

What can you feed your cat to lessen your cat food's impact on the environment?

By Kristin Grant

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Natural Cat- Organic Cat Food- June 2012

Choosing the right cat food usually boils down to two variables: flavor and form. Does your cat go crazy for red meat and turn up her nose at dry cat food? Then a canned beef or venison cat food fits the bill. Although type and texture matter, purchasing cat food based on those variables alone overlooks other factors, and while these factors won't directly affect your cat's feeding experience, they may affect something more significant: the environment.

One obvious way you can lessen your cat's carbon pawprint is to feed organic cat food, which is produced without adding pesticides or chemical fertilizers to the ecosystem. But there are other ways producers can lessen the environmental impact of their products in the packaging, production and distribution of their cat food.  

Going Solar
Using a renewable energy source to produce cat food significantly decreases damage to the environment by reducing byproducts and saving nonrenewable energy sources such as oil, natural gas and coal. For example, cooking cat food with natural gas emits carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, both harmful when inhaled. Also, more than half the electricity used in the United States generated by burning coal, which pollutes the air with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide.

Pet food manufacturers are increasingly seeking out renewable energy sources. For instance, in 2009 Cardinal Pet Care opened a 100- percent solar-powered manufacturing and distribution center in Azusa, Calif. Pet food manufacturer Nestle Purina recently installed solar panels at one of its plants in Denver.

For pet-food producers, solar energy can serve as a clean, environmentally friendly energy source. Other sources of renewable energy include wind, geothermal and hydroelectric.

Cat food and other pet food companies can also help the environment by using organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging.

**Get the June 2011 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**

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