Welcoming a new pet into your home is an exciting time! And cats especially make great pets and companions.
But while cats are notoriously self-efficient when it comes to attention and care (at least some of them are), there are certain must-haves you should gather before bringing your new kitty home.
Here is a list of the essentials for all new cat owners:
1. I.D. Tags
Even indoor cats should have tags in case they get out. This tag should include your name and contact information.
When choosing a collar to place the tag on, be sure it has an automatic release that will release if your cat gets stuck while outdoors.
To make sure the collar fits, allow enough room for two of your fingers to fit between your cat’s neck and the collar.
2. Litter Box
Of course, you’re going to want to provide kitty a place in which they can do their business. While you don’t need a fancy litter box, consider getting one with high sides so your new cat can’t shovel litter onto the floor.
As far as cat litter goes, you have many options! Look for brands that clump to make it easier to scoop.
You even opt for more environmentally products made from recycled paper.
3. Scratching Post
Kittens are notorious scratchers but adult cats need to sharpen their claws as well. This innate desire to scratch can lead to damaged walls, furniture, and carpets.
Not only does scratching allow your new kitty to maintain their pedicures but it also helps them stretch their muscles, mark their territory, and relieve stress!
Provide your new cat with a scratching post so they can act out their instinctual behaviors while sparing your home from damage.
Cats love to play, especially kittens! The more you play with them, the more energy they will expel and the more likely they will sleep throughout the night.
Plus, play helps you develop a strong bond with your cat.
Cats will play with anything from the traditional ball of yarn to pipe cleaners and empty bags. However, to best prepare for your new kitty, consider grabbing these toys:
- Feather wand. These are plastic sticks with strings and feathers attached – kind of like a fishing rod for cats! All you have to do is sit back and wiggle the feathers and your cat will quickly exhaust themselves (and have fun!).
- Peek-a-boo toy box. Cats are natural predators and you can really tap into this instinct by providing your new cat with a peek-a-boo toy box that allows them to “hunt” and capture their favorite toys by fishing them out of the box.
- Chew toys. Dogs aren’t the only pets that love to chew! Cats maintain their dental health by chewing. Look for chew toys designed for cats to help them keep their teeth clean (and spare your furniture).
5. Food and Dishes
When choosing food for your new cat, look for grain-free options. Cats are natural carnivores and aren’t accustomed to having grains in their diet. Most commercial cat foods contain grains as fillers which can add extra unnecessary calories and cause inflammation.
You’re going to need dishes as well and these don’t have to be fancy. However, consider the following to provide the best eating experience for your new cat:
- Water fountains: Most cats prefer drinking moving water so consider getting your kitty a fountain to provide fresh water throughout the day.
- Metal bowls: Your cat’s food dish should be easy to clean and metal dishes are less likely to absorb harmful bacteria.
- Slow-eat bowl: Some cats eat too fast and end up coughing up their meal later on. Slow-eat bowls are designed in a way that forces your cat to eat their dry food more slowly.
- Lick mats: When you’re feeding your new cat moist cat food, use a lick mat to prevent the same issues that can arise from eating too fast.
6. Cat Bed or Blanket
Buying a cat bed for your new pet can be a gamble, consider that cats will sleep just about anywhere. However, when bringing a new cat home, you’ll want to give them a comfortable space where they can feel secure.
Depending on where you’re getting your new kitty from, you can send along a bed or blanket before they come home. This way, your cat will arrive with an item that has their familiar scent on it.
Plus, they’ll have a chance to get used to your scent as well.
Enjoy Your New Pet!
Cats have a way of worming themselves into your heart and providing companionship like no other.
Be sure you are prepared to welcome your new kitty into your home by picking up the must-haves mentioned above.