Are Hemp Cat Collars Eco-Friendly? The Interesting Answer!
For many pet owners, choosing which products to buy for their animals is about more than the purchase price. Younger pet owners, in particular, look for brands that reflect their values, such as sustainability. Pet accessories aren’t always made from the most sustainable materials, but you might be interested to learn that you can get a hemp cat collar.
Hemp can be an eco-friendly material for cat collars. Keep reading to find out how and some red flags to look out for when choosing a cat collar made from this material. We’ll also briefly discuss why it’s a good idea for your cat to wear a collar in the first place and which safety features your choice should include.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is a plant of the Cannabis species, but it contains only trace amounts of THC, which is the compound in marijuana that gets people “high.” It has been used to create fabric throughout history. Samples of hemp cloth found in China date back to the 5th century B.C.
Industrial hemp is grown in about 30 countries worldwide. Besides fabric, hemp can be used to make paint, ink, plastic, fuel, building products, and other items.
Is Hemp Eco-Friendly?
Hemp, primarily organically grown hemp, is one of the most eco-friendly materials used to make fabric (and cat collars). Because it’s technically a weed, the hemp plant is hardy, fast-growing, and requires little water to thrive. It also doesn’t need pesticides or fertilizers to grow. Hemp can be cultivated in many climates and doesn’t need much space.
Hemp plants produce more usable material per acre than cotton or flax. It is a renewable material that restores the soil as it grows, minimizes soil erosion, and may even help remove pollutants from the ground. Because it doesn’t drain the soil of nutrients, hemp can be planted over and over on the same land.
Almost all parts of the hemp plant are useful, making it one of the least wasteful materials. However, some of the ways that hemp is processed are less eco-friendly, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Now the Bad News…
Turning the hemp plant into fiber to make cat collars and other items is a lot of work, much of which must be done by hand. Depending on where the hemp is grown and processed, unfair or dangerous labor conditions may be an issue. When shopping for hemp cat collars, look for a company that uses Fair Trade-certified hemp.
Some methods used to separate hemp fiber to make fabric are not environmentally friendly. One uses toxic chemicals, while the other results in excessive water usage. Purchasing a collar made with organic hemp is the safest option if you want to ensure you’re making an eco-friendly purchase.
Where to Buy a Hemp Cat Collar
Hemp cat collars are available from specialty pet retailers and brands, both online and in stores. Some collars may also include other materials, so read the product description carefully before you buy.
To ensure your cat’s safety, look for a hemp cat collar with a breakaway function. This feature is especially vital if your cat goes outside unsupervised. A breakaway cat collar reduces the risk of your cat getting dangerously snared while exploring the outdoors.
Why Should My Cat Wear a Collar?
It’s a good idea for all cats, even indoor ones, to wear collars so you have somewhere to put your contact information. Cats are master escape artists, and wearing a collar with an ID tag or plate helps ensure your kitty makes it back home if they get lost. Most cats in shelters are picked up as strays, and sadly, very few are reunited with their owners.
If your cat goes outside, it’s also ideal for them to wear a collar with a bell. Outdoor cats kill billions (yes, billions) of birds and wildlife each year in the United States. Bells on cat collars help warn these prey animals that a feline predator is on the way.
If made from organic, fair-trade sources, hemp cat collars can be a sustainable, eco-friendly option for the earth-conscious pet owner. Because hemp is closely related to marijuana, growing it is not without controversy or legal issues in many countries, which can make it hard and expensive to find. Hemp cat collars may not be as widely sold as those made from more traditional materials, like polyester, but you can still get them. Make sure you choose a hemp cat collar with the safety features we discussed. Because collars and tags can still get lost or broken, consider microchipping your cat as a more permanent means of identification.
Featured Image Credit: Wasuta23, Shutterstock