NEW YORK – Are you a cat or a dog person? According to a recent survey, your answer could also tell you how likely you are to recycle.
Of 2,000 cat and dog owners in the United States, 69 percent believe they have more sustainable lifestyles compared to the average American. This includes 74 percent of dog owners and 66 percent of cat owners.
Although dog owners feel they are living greener lives, the researchers also asked about the steps they are taking to reduce their overall impact on the environment. More than half (51%) of all cat owners say they recycle frequently or more frequently. By comparison, only 44 percent of dog owners said the same thing about their own recycling habits.
In households where cats and dogs live together, their people find it particularly difficult to sort the garbage. In fact, according to the survey, only 37 percent of these respondents recycle more.
The survey carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Ökocat also shows that a whopping 94 percent of those questioned try to live more sustainably than a year ago. Almost one in five (19%) even stated that they had radically changed themselves and their sustainability habits in the past year. For 42 percent of pet owners, this means that they are looking for greener food and products for their furry friends.
One in three states that they make even better use of their pet’s fur or hair. like leaving it outside so birds can use it as nesting material, or composting it with their food waste. Speaking of waste: 46 percent of pet owners have switched to more biodegradable poop bags, natural cat litter or other more sustainable waste disposal methods.
“A lot of people don’t know that clay and crystal litter break down from the earth and don’t decompose,” says Dr. Ruth MacPete, DVM, in a statement. “That’s why it’s important to look for options that are made from natural materials like wood fiber and that are compostable and biodegradable.”
Do pet owners with busy households care more about the environment?
Caring for more than one species could make recycling difficult, but it also appears to result in more mindful pet parents. Only 33 percent of respondents who have both cats and dogs said they had never considered their pet’s impact on the environment. For comparison: 44 percent of dog owners and 51 percent of cat owners have made the same confession.
In fact, 51 percent of those who have households with mixed pets say they have also considered the potential environmental impact of human children. Only 47 percent of dog owners and 37 percent of cat owners say the same thing.
Indoor living is sometimes better for pets
Seventy-one percent of dog owners report spending more time outdoors because of their pet. Another 66 percent say that spending time outdoors with their pooch has made them more environmentally conscious. Now only 11 percent of cat lovers allow their cats to roam freely indoors and outdoors. Almost one in four (24%) does not let them outside at all.
“It can be tempting to leave your cat outside so you don’t have to have a litter box, but it is actually much safer and healthier for cats to stay indoors,” adds Dr. MacPete added. “In addition, you can monitor your cat’s excretions to monitor their overall health and identify any disease early on.”
Of course, a certain playing time outside is out of the question. In fact, 63 percent of cat owners already allow kittens to have monitored or safe access to nature. Although 66 percent of respondents are actively concerned about their pet’s health, they say their concern for the planet tends to win out.