If you are a new cat owner, you may not be familiar with the items you need to purchase for your new feline friend. Although cats are usually much lower maintenance pets, you do need to make sure that you have the right food and other supplies to ensure that you and your family live happily together.
The shopping list below includes both what to purchase and tips for getting the best use out of each item. You can find these items at local stores or online. If you plan to shop online, remember two things:
Here are the items you will need (and tips for success)
Cats love to eat! But it’s important to get them the right food and amounts. We suggest you choose canned food, free of ingredients like “meal” and “meat byproduct”. Avoid corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients. Dry food has been associated with dehydration and urinary tract issues.
Continue the food they are already eating for 8 days, to reduce their stress in moving to a new home. Transition to a new food over 8 to 10 days later. Start a little of the new food over the 8 days, increasing the new and reducing the prior food. Cat’s digestive tracts are very sensitive, so if you just change foods, they will likely develop diarrhea.
We recommend wet food given twice a day for adult cats. Kittens should be fed 3 to 5 times a day depending on their age. Consult with the foster parent to continue the same specific food for a seamless transition in your home. Kittens should remain on kitten food up to the age of one.
The litter we recommend is World’s Best Litter (our favorite is the lavender). It is all-natural, no chemicals, no additives, and no silicon dust (which is linked to the occurrence of cancer).
Litter Box and Scooper
Solutions abound, and they vary in cost and effectiveness. You can buy a $5 Sterilite clear storage container (at any big box store, such as Walmart SuperCenter), cut a circular hole in the lid at one end, and place it with 4 inches of litter in a closet. Works great for a multiple cat home, because there is much less litter scattered. You can also look at expensive litter boxes like Litter Robot, which people love.
You will need a couple of different posts of different styles throughout the home. Get both vertical and horizontal posts and made of different materials (cardboard, coir or sisal rope). Tall cat trees next to a window provide hours of pleasurable nature viewing. Cats love documentaries!
They can be bought at a pet store or online from Chewy or Amazon. We use toe clippers and turn them vertically. Always put the cat on a stable surface with a towel underneath them or in your lap. Push the claws out separately and be in strong light to be sure you can see where you are clipping. Never on the flesh/pulp of the nail, only cutting on the outer nail.
We suggest trimming nails every 10 days to two weeks depending on how fast they grow. If you train your kittens to have their nails trimmed as they grow up, they won’t mind the experience. You can give them a treat after to reinforce the positive experience. If it’s a struggle, enlist help to gently but firmly hold the cat in place. Try doing it when the cat is sleepy and only do a few nails at a time. Then try again later.
This is for the scratching post and toys. They love it, and we love watching them love it. You can find dried catnip as well as catnip sprays.
It should be large enough to grow into and easily washable.
Lint Roller and Refills
Because now you have a cat and they shed. The good news is you still love them.
This is important, especially if your cat has medium to long hair. It should be brushed no less than once a week, preferably two to three times a week. Mats on a cat are extremely painful as they stretch the skin and this will cause an infection from tears and they will not be able to move their bodies freely. If your cat develops a mat, please call us for safe ways to remove them.
To check for fleas and to keep their fur from getting matted.
Buy or make your own. Please never leave out a string toy or elastic toy available for a cat unattended by a human, as the string could get it stuck around its neck and choke. They could also eat the string, which can have deadly consequences. Keep in mind each cat, like a child, is going to have its own tastes in toys.
For trips to the vet, or trips anywhere and for emergencies when you need to contain your cat, such as a tornado or fire. We like the top-down and front entrance. Large enough for the cat to stand up and turn around comfortably. Label it with your name and phone number.
Flea and worm treatments
Advantage-Multi (topical) covers – Fleas, Hear Worm, Ear mites, Hooks, Round and Tapeworms. Revolution Plus does the same plus ticks. Profender (topical) covers worms. Panacur (liquid oral) is a wide spectrum treatment of worms and parasites, like Giardia. If you have questions, consult your veterinarian.