If you’re a first time cat owner you might be wondering what do you need in order to give your very first cat a proper welcome to your home. As soon as you realize what is the perfect cat for you, you will have to start thinking about providing your new family member with a proper environment in which it could thrive.
In this article, we’re guiding you through the essential supplies you will always need to have when owning a cat. Good thing is that most of the things you’ll buy in the beginning are probably going to last for quite a long time.
Let’s run through these items one by one and explain why each of them is important.
1. Food and Water Bowls
Every person that ever wanted to get a cat was surely aware that a cat needs its own bowls to eat from. But let’s skip the obvious, is there something more important you should know when choosing the food bowls?
Absolutely! Opt for metal bowls rather than plastic ones, as they will make washing and cleaning much easier. Also, cats prefer eating from dishes and bowls that are more shallow and wider. Our feline friends don’t like their whiskers touching the edges of the bowl. Therefore, choose the flatter, metal bowls that your cat will love.
2. The Right Food
Cats usually have to be fed once or twice a day. Kittens will require one type of food, while adult cats might need another type. Consult your vet on the best dry or canned food options for your cat.
Food your cat eats should contain all the necessary nutrients needed for their optimal health. Constant supply of fresh water is also crucial as hydration is the key to having a healthy cat.
3. Litter Box and Scooper
No matter if you plan to have an outdoor cat, a litter box is the best way to ensure your cat has a neat, potty habits. Actually, it’s recommended to have at least two litter boxes per cat, but most cat owners say that one is perfectly enough.
When choosing a litter box for your cat, you should take several things into consideration. First of all, depending on your cat’s size and mobility level, you will have to find a smaller or a bigger litter box with respectively lower or higher walls. Cat owners whose cats have bad aim, spray or kick the litter out of the box might find the covered litter box more convenient too.
4. Kitty Litter
Now that you already have a litter box, you will need – litter! There are plenty of litter varieties out there and you will probably find the one that fits you and your cat the best. There are clumping, non-clumping and even biodegradable litters to find.
The clumping ones make scooping much easier which is why most cat owners opt for this kind of litter. When you get a cat, you’ll notice their urine smells quite pungently, so it might also be quite handy to buy a scented litter that will neutralize the cat pee smell.
You will also have to buy a lot of toys for your cat. But there are two types of toys you should provide: the interactive and solo toys. The first ones, as you can guess, are used when you play with your cat. Some cats that have higher energy levels might need more of them and more time playing and exercising in general.
Solo toys, on the other hand, will make your cat busy while alone, and will provide her with some extra fun when you’re not paying attention. Having such a curious nature, cats will easily entertain themselves with solo toys and enjoy their alone time.
Getting the right bedding is essential for your cat to feel warm and safe. Unfortunately, you will only be able to buy the perfect bed and bedding for your cat once you figure out her favorite sleeping position. You might begin by choosing a cushion you would place in the spot your cat is most likely to take naps.
If you notice after some time that your kitty cat is curling up while asleep, you might want to buy her a donut shaped cat bed. On the other hand, your cat might stretch and lounge while sleeping which would probably lead you to buying a rectangular shaped pillow. If your cat rather prefers to sleep on the couch or sofa, a regular cushion might be just perfect.
7. Scratching Post
Each cat has claws and will have a natural urge to scratch on wood, furniture and other objects in order to keep her claws tidy and sharp. This feline habit might be the most annoying one they have, but luckily it could be easily addressed. Introduce scratching posts to your home as early as possible and get your cat used to using them.
Today there are plenty of choices when it comes to scratching posts. However, you will have to change these every now and then as they get ruined sooner or later due to the frequent scratching performed by cats. If you get your cat used to a scratching post, you might end up loving it as much as your pussycat!
8. Climbers and Hideaways
Cats are known as good climbers and they really love climbing up a tall tree and observing the world from a good position. Or they might just need a bit of chill time up there where no one bothers them.
Getting good climbers and hideaways will make your home a great polygon for your cat that will also help her keep her physique fit and active. When it comes to hideaways, every single cat might prefer a regular paper box much more than a fluffy one bought in a pet store. So don’t waste too much money for them. Cats will find the most unusual ways to hide in your home and soon you’ll get used to it.
9. Grooming Kit
Although cats are really clean and groom themselves several times a day, brushing a cat regularly is a must. Get your grooming equipment right and buy nail trimmers meant for cats and good brushes based on your cat’s coat length.
Short-haired cats would ideally be groomed couple of times a week with a rubber brush that will remove the dead hair. Long-haired cats will require daily brushing of minimum 20 minutes in order to prevent matting and tangles. You can use this time to cuddle with your pet and create a bonding experience out of your grooming sessions.
10. Enzymatic Odor Neutralizer
As we have already mentioned before, cats usually have a pungent urine that will leave a bad smell in the house. If a cat is trained to use the litter box, you shouldn’t have any problems with controlling the overall smell of your home. But, some cats, and especially unspayed males can pee around the home in order to mark their territory.
These problems can also occur in little kittens that are still not used to the litter box. However, this inevitably becomes a big problem for cat owners that keep their cats indoors because their whole house starts being smelly. That’s why it is advisable to buy a good Enzymatic Odor Neutralizer that will make the bad smell go away!
When choosing a cat collar you should be aware that a cat’s neck is very fragile. This practically means that a perfect collar should not be tight enough not to pull over the cat’s head easily, but should also not be too loose.
The best selling cat collars are the “stretch” ones with an elastic insert or pop-away collars with a quick release mechanism. These kind of collars are most popular because they enable cats to free themselves fast in case the collars somehow end up entangled. The collars should not affect a cat’s breathing and swallowing in any situation.
12. ID tag & Chip
When you’ve chosen the right collar, you should add a ID tag to it that your cat would wear at all times. Put your name, address and phone number on it to make sure that your cat can be returned to its home in case it gets lost.
Some cats might have the habit of escaping their homes out of their curiosity, but then, they might have difficulties in finding their way back home. That’s why cat owners have to be prepared for their feline nature and prevent losing their cats due to an unnecessary oversight. You might also choose to microchip your cat in order to be extra safe.
13. Cat Carriers
Cat carriers will be necessary not just for your trips with your cat, but they are the only way to safely transport your cat. You will have to bring your cat to the vet, or you might have to leave your cat to your friend temporarily when you’re away.
Do not drive with a cat loose in the car. You never know how a cat could react to the traffic and the car in movement, and plus the risk of escaping would be much higher. So, find a good cat carrier that will be well ventilated and sturdy and maybe add a soft bedding to make transporting more comfortable for your cat.