Green Little Cat

Cat Food

Green Eggs and Cat Food

Here’s a guest post from cat lover, Becky, who wrote a pawsome summary on greening your cat’s dining habits.

If you’re one of the many Americans trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about the environmental impact of the food on your plate. But have you considered the carbon footprint of the food you feed your cat? In the struggle to create a sustainable future, every little bit counts. Here’s some things to consider when you’re creating a more eco-friendly diet for your cat.

Different Species, Same Questions

All of the questions that you ask about the food you eat are good questions to ask about your cat’s food too. Does the meat come from animals raised on an organic farm? Were they treated with artificial growth hormones and antibiotics? Did their diet include healthy wild grasses or large amounts of highly processed grains?

You also want to consider how local the food you feed your cat is. Even meat from an ethical organic farm can have a large ecological footprint if it has been shipped across the country. There’s also the issue of containers. Does the food come in a can made from recycled metal? Is there an excess of unnecessary plastic packaging?

DIY If You Can

The most eco-friendly way to meet your cat’s food needs is to make the food yourself. That way you can have total control of the ingredients and make sure that you’re using only local, organic, ethically raised meat. You can also tailor the food in unique ways if your cat has any allergies or other special dietary needs. Making the food yourself also eliminates the need for any packaging, and will be a manageable expense whether you use cash or credit card.

Baby Steps

For many of us,making our own cat food is out of reach because we have limited time and/or money. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry. There’s still a lot you can do to reduce the waste and energy consumption associated with your cat’s food.

First, see if you can find some locally produced organic cat food. If money is a concern, check out the websites of some local pet stores and use your credit cards comparison shop. You might be surprised at the deals that are available.

Regardless of the brand you buy, be sure to recycle the metal containers. If you purchase food in bags, try to buy a larger bag next time. This can dramatically reduce the amount of packaging that ends up going to the landfill. When you go to the store to buy more cat food, pick up more than you normally do. By taking trips to the pet store less often, you’ll save both time and gas.

Chances are good that some of these ideas will fit into your budget and lifestyle. If you’re like most cat owners, part of the reason you wanted an animal companion in the first place is because you love the natural world.

Changing your cat’s diet to a more eco-friendly one will help make
sure your pet is helping the rest of the world at the same time.

Bella Gives Two Paws Up to Orijen

BellaRecently, Bella, a blue silver classic tabby, and reader of Green Little Cat, wrote in to tell us about her latest culinary discovery, Orijen.  Fresh, local, never-frozen, free-run poultry, free-range meat, wild-caught fish, and sustainably farmed, fished or ranched, Orijen’s ingredients read like a menu at a trendy Californian restaurant.  But, these are actually the ingredients that go into their cat and dog foods.

Bella sniffed her nose up at other natural cat foods, but she loves Orijen. Bella’s owner spent many hours testing and researching cat food in order to give Bella the best cat food she could find. I can certainly relate. Those of you who read my Natural Cat Food Throwdown know that I investigated the eco-friendliness of several natural cat foods when I was looking for a high protein diet to help Furball manage his struvite crystals. Before Furball’s bladder issues, I had also reviewed several brands of organic cat food too. Despite all this research, I was surprised that I had never learned of Orijen before.

Orijen is made by Champion Pet Foods, a Canadian-based company located in Alberta. Their philosophy on pet food is to create fresh, biologically appropriate food. By biologically appropriate, they try to mirror the natural diet that dogs and cats would consume in their natural environment and for which they evolved. Basically, this is a high-protein diet with 80{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} protein and 20{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} fruits and/or vegetables. No grains are included in any of their foods. They also process their pet foods themselves in a state-of-the-art food processing facility in Alberta.

As with anything that is brought to my attention, I do like to do a little due diligence. In this blood pressure case, I used my favourite search phrase for digging up dirt on pet food companies. Here it is. Simply enter the name of the food or the company in your search query and add the word, “recall” after it. In this case, I did a search for Orijen recall.

There was one major incident in 2008 where a number of cats in Australia suffered paralysis and/or death and it was linked to eating Orijen cat food. No dogs were affected. Apparently the problem was not the contents of the food, but the irradiation process used to treat the food for export to Australia. As a result, Australia banned the irradiation of cat food. It makes you wonder when many foods for humans are also irradiated.

I also found a dog forum where owners were concerned about finding salmon bone fragments in the dog food. Champion discovered that the problem was with one of their suppliers and had halted shipment on the food, but a few batches still got out. They also responded to the post on the dog forum and depending on your perspective, this was either a heinous disrespect of dog lovers everywhere or a sound, balanced and appropriate response. Honestly, I felt the latter, but I don’t have a dog, so I can’t really say how I would feel if I saw my dog eating food with bone fragments.

All in all, I would have to say that I agree with Orijen’s philosophy on pet food and applaud it for its dedication to local ingredients, sustainable harvesting, human-grade foods and free range meats. Thanks for the tip Bella!

Free Samples of Wysong Epigen Starch-Free Cat Food

EpigenJust got wind of a free sample offer from Wysong for their newest cat food, Epigen. I’m not sure how long the samples will be offered, but if you’re looking for a high protein, starch-free kibble for your cat, it might be worthwhile to give this a try.

Epigen gets some green points since it’s made in the USA from USDA and FDA approved domestic sources. It also contains 60+{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} meat and organs with over 60{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} protein, plus probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, phytonutrients, nutraceuticals, natural form antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

This is probably rather facetious of me, but I don’t get the name. Sounds too close to “EpiPen”, which is used for allergic reactions. In medical terminology, “epi” means “on top of”. Maybe they meant that this food is on the cutting edge of a new generation of cat food. Being facetious again, the marketing-unfriendly name and the lack of cartoony packaging suggest that Wysong is still a ma/pop company that hasn’t sold out to a major conglomerate. More green points. The website is not slickety-slick either. I particularly like the categories: dog, cat, ferret, horse, and human. 🙂

If anyone tries the sample, please send me an email (address in footer) and let me know how your cat likes it.

The only problem is if I have a really bad panic attack Buy Valium takes about 20 minutes to kick in and in those instances it’s not quick enough.

Click here for the Wysong Epigen sample offer.

I Forgot to Write About This: Procter & Gamble Purchasing Natura Pet Products

After spending weeks investigating low-grain natural cat food in the Natural Cat Food Throwdown, I was rather dismayed to learn that the winning company, Natura Pet Products, is being SOLD to Procter & Gamble.

I got the press release hot off the press, but completely forgot to blog about it since I went on vacation for a few weeks. This is rather unfortunate since Natura was one of the largest natural pet food suppliers that was really walking the walk when it came to being eco-friendly.

EVO, a low-carb natural cat food, was one of the winners of my Natural Cat Food Throwdown. I contacted a number of natural cat food alcoholism companies and asked about their green policies. I got answers as dismal as, “Yes, we’re eco-frendly because our cans are recyclable.” to some fantastic answers from Don Scott, the president of Natura Pet Products. Natura was introducing hybrid cars for its sales team and building an eco-friendly new office.

Now that P&G is taking over, I wonder what will happen to these green initiatives. Unfortunately, I have a good idea what will happen.

Anyway, in light of this news, I’m revoking the championship title from EVO, which leaves Tiki Cat as the most eco-friendly natural cat food company in the Natural Cat Food Throwdown.

Rah Rah Raw! – Learn About Raw Food Diets for Cats

Despite the title of this post, I’m actually neutral about raw meat anti anxiety diets for cats as I haven’t actually tried it. About the time I heard about a convenient way to feed Furball raw food (see post on The Honest Kitchen), it was no longer an option since I had a baby. It’s pretty disturbing when your child reaches under the TV stand and triumphantly raises his hand up in the air with a piece of cat litter held perfectly between his forefinger and thumb. I certainly don’t want to see him picking up raw cat food too.

Nevertheless, I’ve heard from people who swear by raw meat diets for their cats, citing that it’s much more natural and it helped their cats overcome a slew of health problems.

If you are interested in learning more, The Conscious Cat is hosting a free teleseminar on feline nutrition. Margaret Gates, the Executive Director of the Feline Nutrition Education Society, will talk about the Benefits of a Raw Diet for Cats and answer questions about feline nutrition in general and raw feeding in particular.

Time and Date: Thursday, July 22, at 8pm Eastern Daylight Time

The seminar is free, but long distance phone charges may apply. To participate in the conference, dial 1-712-432-3100. When prompted, enter conference code 674470.

So, Did the Cats Like the Dehydrated Raw Cat Food?

In February, I hosted a giveaway for Prowl natural dehydrated raw cat food.  Prowl is a natural grain-free cat food that’s high in protein and contains only 9 ingredients plus added vitamins and minerals. Thanks to the Honest Kitchen, makers of Prowl, several lucky readers won a sample of Prowl cat food.

I asked some of the winners for feedback to find out what their cats though of the food.  Here’s what they had to say:

Here’s Niji from Florida

ProwlWinnerNiji’s owner reported, “After coming home that night, I saw that she had left some food but had eaten most of it. She used to be a strictly dry kibble only girl, so with a little transition she’d more than likely do fine.”

And another winner from New York had this to say, “My boy cat inhaled the Prowl sample but the girl  didn’t seem too interested – she’s pretty picky to begin with and was probably expecting her usual wet food in the morning. My boy cat had left a tiny bit in the bowl so I saved it for later in the day and I did catch the girl cat taking a few bites here and there.”

Winners of Prowl Cat Food Samples and the Pet Food Cookbook

prowlCongratulations to the winners of the Prowl Sample giveaway.  Ten lucky cats each won a sample pack of Prowl dehydrated raw cat food from The Honest Kitchen.

Our winners included cats living in Georgia, Nevada, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

And, a cat mommy from New York is the winner of the new pet food cookbook, Made out of Love, written by Lucy Postins, co-founder of The Honest Kitchen.

The Honest Kitchen uses only human-grade ingredients to make pet food for both cats and dogs.  They’re a family owned company located near Downtown San Diego.  They have a pet-friendly office with up to seven dogs visiting each day. The dogs love going in to the office to do taste tests of course.  And, cats are no strangers to taste tests either.

Harry, the first office feline at The Honest Kitchen, is the chief R&D officer when it comes to cat food.  Harry was rescued by Laurette, the Director of Operations.  She found him during a store visit and had to smuggle him into the hotel and then buy new flights to get home, because the airline she booked didn’t allow pets.  Harry arrived with skin issues, and after having his say in what went into Prowl, is now healthy and happy.  Here’s a picture of Harry.

Harry cat2

A Delicious Recipe for Your CatPLUS You Could Win a Pet Food Cookbook

MadeOutOfLoveHere’s a recipe from the new pet food cookbook from Lucy Postins, co-founder of The Honest Kitchen. Made out of Love includes nourishing recipes for toppings, treats, main dishes, raw, and functional cuisines that you can make at home.  The book includes recipes for cats and dogs.

Win the Cookbook

Enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this new cookbook as well as a sample pack of Prowl, dehydrated raw cat food.  10 lucky readers will win a sample pack of Prowl, and one extra lucky reader will win the cookbook.  See the bottom of this post for details.

Recipe for Feline Valentine Savories

These bite-sized nibbles are irresistible for most cats and a great way to show your kitty a little extra love on Valentine’s Day or any special occasion.


  • 1 cup The Honest Kitchen Prowl dehydrated cat food
  • 1?3 cup warm water
  • 1?2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1?2 cup fresh raw ground turkey
  • 2 free range eggs

What to Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Hydrate the Prowl with the warm water in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly.
  3. Add in all the remaining ingredients one by one and stir to form a thick dough.
  4. Carefully mold the dough into small raspberry-sized balls using your hands.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until slightly crispy on the outside.
  7. Cool thoroughly before serving.
  8. Keep these treats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or keep them in the freezer and just defrost a few at a time.

To enter the giveaway, simply click the link at the bottom of this article and you’ll be redirected to an entry form on my cat toy book website,  I’d really like to hear how your cat likes Prowl and post it on, so please enter only if you don’t mind reporting back on whether your cat liked Prowl and how easy/difficult it was to use.

The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents in the continental U.S. (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).  Please enter a maximum of once per day and the deadline to enter the giveaway is February 28th, 2010.

>> Enter to Win the Cookbook and a Sample Pack of Prowl >>

Nature’s Variety Issues Nationwide Voluntary Recall On Raw Frozen Chicken Diets With A “Best If Used By” Date Of 11/10/10

Just got wind of this recall posted on the FDA site.  I’m not that surprised since this was the company that wouldn’t tell me whether their products were processed by Menu Foods, citing confidentiality.   See “Related Articles” to read what I learned about Nature’s Variety in the Natural Cat Food Throwdown.

Excerpts from the FDA release below:

Nature’s Variety has initiated a voluntary recall of their Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet for dogs and cats with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10 because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella.  The only products affected are limited to chicken medallions, patties, and chubs with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10.

If you are a consumer and have purchased one of the affected products, please return the unopened product to your retailer for a full refund or replacement.  If your package has been opened, please dispose of the raw food in a safe manner by securing it in a covered trash receptacle.  Then, bring your receipt (or the empty package in a sealed bag) to your local retailer for a full refund or replacement.

Nature’s Variety became aware of a potential problem after receiving a consumer complaint. Subsequent testing indicated that the lot code related to the consumer complaint tested negative for Salmonella.  However, additional subsequent testing found the “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10 to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, or vomiting. Some pets may experience only a decreased appetite, fever, or abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected products and is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Win Dehydrated, Raw, Human-Grade Cat Food and a Pet Food Cookbook!

prowlThere seems to be a growing trend to feed pets raw meat as opposed to processed pellets. I can’t speak to the benefits myself, but have heard from a few readers who swear that their cats’ health improved dramatically on a raw meat diet. Here’s a chance to win dehydrated, raw, human-grade cat food. Bet you never thought you’d see that in a giveaway!

If you’re not chopping raw meat for your cat yourself, the most common option is to buy prepared raw cat food in frozen format. I always thought this was rather inconvenient. How do you chisel off just enough off of a polenta-sized frozen sausage to feed your cat? Don’t you have to thaw it and then leave a batch sitting in your fridge? Also, I wouldn’t want to give my cat icy cold food to eat. If these types of questions have run through your mind about feeding your cat a raw meat diet, then Prowl, a dehydrated raw cat food made by The Honest Kitchen might be just what you’re looking for.

Prowl is a natural grain-free cat food that’s high in protein and contains only 9 ingredients plus added vitamins and minerals. And, you can pronounce all of them! Check out this list, which reads like Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Free-range chicken that’s 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} sustainably-farmed in Petaluma, California, humanely raised and vegetarian fed without the use of animal fat or by-products or antibiotic
  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Organic flaxseed
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Cranberries
  • Rosemary

Prowl might also be just the high protein diet you’re looking for if your cat has struvite crystals. According to Lucy Postins, co-founder of The Honest Kitchen:

“Our foods are generally well suited to pets who are prone to urinary stones and crystals, because after re-hydration, they are high moisture diets and the increased fluid intake is recommended by holistic vets, to help keep the urinary trace ‘flushed out’. It is also possible to add a natural supplement to the food to help combat stones and crystals and help to reduce the risk of further blockages occurring.”

Lucy goes on to say that, “It’s important to know which type of crystals your cat is prone to in order to make a recommendation on the supplement. It’s critical to know this info because the two main types of crystals thrive in opposite pH environment, so using the wrong supplement could actually exacerbate the condition.” She recommended consulting with your veterinarian for this information.

If I didn’t have a small baby who likes to stick stuff in his mouth all the time, I’d give serious consideration to trying Prowl for Furball to help him manage his struvite crystals. I like the idea of how convenient it would be to simply add room temperature water to the food and allow it to hydrate rather than having to thaw frozen bricks of raw cat food in my fridge. I also like that since Prowl is dehydrated, it’s light and easy to transport, making it much greener than frozen raw cat food.

If you’d like to try Prowl, The Honest Kitchen is generously offering sample packs of Prowl for our Dehydrated, Raw, Human-Grade Cat Food Giveaway.  What a mouthful to write. There are 10 sample packs available to win, so 10 lucky winners will each get a sample pack of Prowl.  Those are some pretty good odds.  Plus, one of the 10 winners will also win Lucy’s first cookbook for pets called, Made out of Love: Recipes to prepare for (and sometimes share with) your animal companion.  Made out of Love includes nourishing recipes for toppings, treats, main dishes, raw, and functional cuisines that pet owners can make for their four-legged friends at home.

To enter the giveaway, simply click the link at the bottom of this article and you’ll be redirected to an entry form on my cat toy book website,  Sorry, it’s not on Green Little Cat, but I tried to get it to work with my WordPress set-up and it wouldn’t run.  With the new baby in the house, it will be quite some time before I debug the code.  I’d really like to hear how your cat likes Prowl and post it on, so please enter only if you don’t mind reporting back on whether your cat liked Prowl and how easy/difficult it was to use.


Because I’m really passionate about encouraging other cat lovers to go green for the health of their pets, families and the planet, I’ll triple your entries if you would be so kind as to help spread the word about greener living.  Please do one or more of the following:

  • Join our Facebook fan page
  • Click the “Share” button on the bottom of any Green Little Cat blog article to post it to your favourite social networking site.
  • Click the “ShareThis” link to email an article to a friend.
  • Send a tweet out on twitter and include our website:
  • Tell a friend about Green Little Cat the old-fashioned way.

There will be a checkbox on the entry form asking whether you helped spread the word.  Check it to triple your entries.  Obviously, I can’t verify whether or not you did any of these activities.  It’s based on the honour system and I thank everyone for respecting the spirit of my request.  Some free cat food is definitely not worth compromising your integrity.  Thank you.

The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents in the continental U.S. (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).  Please enter a maximum of once per day and the deadline to enter the giveaway is February 28th, 2010.

>> Enter to Win the Cookbook and a Sample Pack of Prowl >>