Even though our pets are small creatures, their impact is on them natural environment is not small – it turns out that cats and dogs are responsible for 25-30 percent. the environmental impact of meat consumption in the United States. To better visualize these numbers – would take a country made up of only American cats and dogs fifth in the world in meat consumption – for Russia, Brazil, the United States and China. The meat content in the diet of dogs and cats, at about 33 percent, is much higher than that of the average American—this diet is still exceptional meat, for humans—of which meat makes up about 19 percent.
While meat is an essential part of a cat’s diet, it’s easy to overdo it. According to the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity, about 59 percent of cats in the U.S. overweight or obese†
What comes after dinner isn’t exactly good for the environment either. Pets in the United States alone produce as much feces per year as they do 90 million people† In Britain, cats produce 200,000 tons of feces every year.
The problem is also caused by the packaging in which the food comes. With 20.8 million dogs and cats consuming just one can of non-recyclable plastic packaging per day, only the UK produces 7.6 billion containers.
Finally – most of the clumpy cat litter is made from concrete, a non-recyclable mineral that is mined cut-and-cover methodin which trees and soil are removed to get to the material you are looking for.
All of this is related to the significant impact of pets, including cats, of course, on carbon dioxide emissions. A 2019 study found that the average carbon dioxide emissions from cats are: 0.25 tons annual. This is one third of the annual CO2 emissions from electricity consumed by the average UK household.
In addition, there is another problem – perhaps the most important in the case of cats – and that is their impact on ecosystems. Domestic cats are listed as one of the International Union for Conservation of Nature The 100 Most Invasive Species in the World† In the United States alone, cats are estimated to kill more than a billion birds and more than six billion other small animals each year. In all, these adorable pets have led to the extinction of as many as 33 species. A global study published in March 2020 found that domestic cats kill 4 to 10 times more wildlife per hectare than comparable native predator species.
“So forget this oft-heard argument that domestic cats simply play the same role in the ecosystem that would otherwise be played by natural, native predators,” commented these statistics on the website of Stetson University in Florida, Florida, Arie Trouwborst, associate professor environmental law at Tilburg University.
These animals also spread diseases such as rabies. In 2014, according to the CBS News portal, cats accounted for about 60 percent of pets contracted rabies.
When it comes to the environmental impact of cats due to their great appetite for meat, be clear: a vegetarian diet is not an option for a cat. However, owners can buy from their pets biological food – one that supports biodiversity and reduces environmental pollution because it avoids pesticides – and pays attention to choosing the one in more environmentally friendly packaging.
Of course, it is also crucial to buy your cat the right amount of food and thus avoid it overfeed food waste. You can also purchase compostable cat litter.
However, when it comes to the impact of pets on biodiversity, the domestic cat should not be allowed to leave the house, but if the pet likes to go outside, it should be walk it in a harnessjust like a dog. However, domestic cats (as the name implies) are able to meet all their species needs and spend their lives within four walls.
And most importantly – if we want to have a new pet, let’s get a cat from a shelter, rather than contribute to the expansion of the world’s already large domestic cat population, which – while cute and fluffy – has a huge impact has On natural environment†