Berlin. A clear majority of Germans are in favor of better climate and environmental protection in pet ownership and an associated change in awareness towards greater sustainability. Specifically, with regard to the approximately 16.7 million cats and thus the most popular pet of the Germans, around 60 percent would like to see a change from climate-damaging mineral litter to sustainable, vegetable litter products. This is the result of a representative survey conducted by the market research institute GfK on behalf of the initiative Cats for Future (CFF)*.
The respondents are in favor of using the more effective, compostable and recyclable vegetable litter, which can save each household 33 kilograms of C02 and 200 kilograms of waste per year, with consideration for the climate and the environment. The need for urgent action is seen particularly in the 18 to 29 age group (62.8 percent) and among 30 to 39 year-olds (62.7 percent). Only 16.3 percent, on the other hand, believe that such a change and the associated rethinking are not necessary.
GfK also received a clear vote when asked what consumers expect from politicians and local authorities in this area. 57.2 percent of respondents (61 percent of 30-39 year-olds) expressed the clear wish that those with political responsibility and representatives in the municipalities should inform the population more intensively about the environmental problem of mineral cat litter, demonstrate the positive effects of plant-based products and support the sustainable change or switch.
Michael Behnke, spokesman for the Europe-wide initiative Cats for Future, which campaigns for more sustainability in pet ownership, says: "The survey shows very impressively that the majority of people would like to see a switch to the more effective, sustainable plant litter. At the same time, there is still a great need for information here among cat owners, and there is a lack of education about the extent of mineral waste mountains and the opportunities to save C02 with plant-based products. The fact that so many people want more information and support is a mandate to politicians and local authorities. It would be a first, important step to inform people and thus give them the chance to do something very concrete for the environment and climate."
Among other things, the survey refers to a study from Switzerland. While mineral litter is processed and transported in an energy-intensive way, the processing of predominantly regional, plant-based products causes only 82 percent of the emissions. Moreover, sustainable litter is much more effective. A household can save 33 kilograms of C02 per cat per year by using vegetable litter. In total, a saving of 551,000 tons of C02 is possible through the switch. In addition, compostable litter can reduce the waste of a cat household by up to 200 kilograms.
*On behalf of the Cats for Future (CFF) initiative, people aged 18-74 representing the German-speaking population were surveyed using GfK eBUS 2008. The survey was conducted between January 5 and 15, 2023.