Green Cat

This is about two aspects of green cat:

  1. A cat that is green (environmentally friendly) and;
  2. A cat with green fur or partially green fur.

Environmentally Friendly Cat

California compost

California compost. Photo by mjmonty.

I would like to write about one aspect of a cat’s environmental friendliness: composting cat litter.

I’ll be honest and say I have read conflicting ideas about this and I have conflicting views. Some environmentalists think composting cat litter is a good idea, but….there are doubts in my mind.

Some people say that composting cat litter makes a lot of sense if you have a garden. This is because you will no longer be using/buying a plastic bag to put the waste litter in and throwing it away with the rubbish (garbage). Plastic bags are not environmentally friendly. However, when you buy cat litter you can use the bag that it came in for used cat litter, at least to a substantial extent. This minimises using plastic bags. As you’re going to have to throw away the original bag anyway there is little advantage to composting litter in respect of increased use of plastic bags.

Another negative to composting cat litter is that you’ll have to use wood cat litter or some other biodegradable material. Clay based litter is not suitable. Wood cat litter is good but it is not clumping. I use it. However, a lot people use clay based clumping litter, which is an obstacle to composting cat litter.

A further negative to composting litter (sorry about these negatives because I like the idea) is that irritating protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. A lot has been written about this parasite – too much, actually – but I struggle to find hard facts about the survivability of the toxoplasmosis oocysts in soil. We know that the oocyst that can be shed in cat’s feces is durable and can survive for about a year in soil, perhaps longer.

The people who advocate using cat litter as compost say that after 18 months of being in a compost bin, cat litter should be totally biodegraded and have a nice fertiliser-like texture. As I can’t find solid and reliable information quickly and easily on the lifespan of the Toxoplasma gondii oocyst in soil I can’t recommend composting cat litter. If I am told by a reliable scientist that the oocyst dies after a maximum of 12 months, I can reliably assume that after 18 months composting the biodegraded litter could be used to fertilise the garden. I am not told that. It is regrettable but we have to be sensible.

If you do want to compost cat litter you can layer it between sawdust, soil, or leaves. Aeration of the compost aids the process. The bacteria in a cat’s feces is a micro-organism that helps break down the cat litter to the texture of earth. The urine is OK too as it contains plant nutrients. Another factor is the general health of your cat. Urine can contain material that might not be healthy even after 18 months – I don’t know. If you don’t know, don’t do it.

Cat With Green Fur

Green Cat

Green Cat. It took me about 20 mins to create this. The original is here and is by Derek Bridges. It is not difficult to create a cat with green fur.

In April 1 2002, Sarah Hartwell published a long page on her well known website, Messybeast.com about the genetics of green cats. To quote..

Green is a relatively new colour in cats…None of these photos are Photoshopped….. (comment from Michael: sorry, that is not true, Sarah)

Sarah Hartwell with a green cat

Sarah Hartwell with a green cat. Copyright Sarah Hartwell. I think my version is more realistic.

She added photographs of green cats that seem to be Photoshopped versions of white cats with low colour saturation. Sarah is very scientifically minded and it all looks real but it ain’t…no, not at all.

Miss Hartwell was probably fed up with people copying (wholesale) large chunks of her website and putting it on their sites. As a form of retaliation she thought she would embarrass these intellectual property right thieves by inventing a new sort of cat. When the copyright thieves stole the information verbatim she knew they would look foolish. It was actually an act of desperation, really, but pretty clever. Ms Hartwell used this ploy in other areas as well (miniature cats). Sometimes it was done so subtly that it was almost impossible to tell if she had invented something or whether it was true. Perhaps she went too far.

In conclusion, there are no green cats and no green cat genetics. There are melanistic cats (black cats that were not mean to be black) and blue tigers (well, there might have been some) and blue Canada lynx (rare) but as I said, green cats….no.

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Comments

Green Cat — 5 Comments

  1. I don’t know much about cat litters. I always thought that cat waste was fairly natural but I really didn’t think about it to be honest. I know cat litter is often not biodegradable. The litter I used is the 100% biodegradable kind which looks completely artificial. It’s called silica or some such and it looks like raw uncut diamonds. Theoretically you could put that in the compost but it would have no real value in terms of the purposes of compost, however it would seem the cat feces would be worse, although biodegradable – in that it spreads disease and so on. I am going to hazard a guess her – I guess almost no animal waste is appropriate for the composter. Only vegetable sourced matter then I guess. I don’t think I would try putting cat poop in the compost anyway. It doesn’t quite feel right to do that.

    The lady with the green cats is not something I have ever heard of before but it sounds very silly if not, as you say, a bit desperate. I’ll have to go see what she is all about. It’s an awful though that somebody would do something like that out of necessity. The one little thing she could do is make the text on her site into images so it can’t be copied but must be typed out. At least that would probably slow a bunch of them down since I’m sure they are lazy if they don’t bother using their own content anyway. There might be other ways too, I’d be interested to see. Perhaps she could copyright the images of text as images and be strict on it but then if the text was copied by typing it out is would no longer be the same ‘image’ and therefore not breaking the copyright. There has to be a solution or at least a few possible things that although don’t solve the issue – they really reduce the problem by making copying much more like hard work. Obviously images of text hast to be thought out, different fonts used or some such to avoid text recognition software. Luckily alot of text recognition software costs money. I did notice the other day though that if you open an image in google docs – a pdf but without selectable text in it, just images of text, google docs will recognize most of it immediately .So there’s you text recognition software I suppose.

    I hope this can solved so people still feel like sharing with the rest of the world on the internet.

    • Thanks for the ideas. I don’t think Sarah bothers anymore. Also in 2002 the internet was a different place. I think people have stopped or slowed down nicking her material.

      Converting text to images would stop copying but it is not good SEO and formatting is tricky as is quality.

      You can stop the copying of text with software and you can track copied text using copyscape and other techniques.

      Lots of people have copied PoC articles too. I sort of gave up trying to stop it because it is like an avalanche of people swarming all over your site.

      I do complain to Google about image copyright violations, though, if they are Helmi Flick’s as I promised her I would protect her copyright.

      Silica cat litter is no good for compost as far as I know (as you say).

      • Yes – she would have to have a fixed frame on her site basically and it might not look super depending on the browser – but just a thought – it’s what I would do in that situation. I’m glad it has slowed down a bit.

  2. “Green is a relatively new colour in cats…None of these photos are Photoshopped….. (comment from Michael: sorry, that is not true, Sarah)”

    Actually it is true. It may seem pedantic, but Photoshop is a trademark, not a verb. The photos are photo-manipulated, but they don’t use Photoshop(TM) so it’s factually accurate to say “not Photoshopped” (as it says at the foot of that web page!).

    The green cat & teacup cat articles, along with all the Messybeast April Fool articles are part of a 15 year annual tradition between myself and a number of breeders, fanciers and geneticists (not an act of desperation).

    • Sarah, I like you and admire you so I don’t want to fight with you. However, “to photoshop” has become a verb in the same way “hoover” has become a verb:

      “I hoovered my carpet”.

      “I photoshopped my photo”

      We all know that. Photoshop was the first photographic editor and the trademark has come to mean much more.

      By the way. I still respect you, like you and am pleased you came by the site to make a quick comment. I still visit your site and I still like it 😉 It is one of the best. We all know that.

      I know I am outspoken. It is just the way I am. It came from being a solicitor for about 14 years. It changed me from being shy to being what I am. That and being almost 65 years of age.

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