Reducing kitty’s ecological pawprints

Americans love their feline friends, but what they may not consider is how owning a cat affects the earth. More than 4 billion pounds of kitty litter end up in U.S. landfills each year. This poses several problems: First, since most of that litter is made from clay, it doesn’t break down. Second, its presence in the landfills increases the risk of bacterial contamination of the environment.

Another factor to consider when it comes to cat litter is how it’s manufactured. Clay litter is produced through a strip-mining process that degrades the natural environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that pet owners flush their furry friends’ waste down the toilet, where it will be handled by sewage-treatment plants or septic systems.

So, what’s a cat owner to do?

Well, a company called CitiKitty,, has a product that helps toilet train cats. No kidding. According to founder Rebecca Rescate, any healthy litter-box-trained cat can be taught to use the commode with the CitiKitty toilet-training kit. The product comes with a special seat and instructions, and typically takes about four to six weeks to transition cats to using only the toilet.

The end result reduces the ecological impact of owning a cat, and it saves a lot of dough on the cost of litter.