At times, people know instinctively if something is good for them, such as adopting a cat. From reducing stress and risk for heart illness to alleviating allergies, caring for a cat offers physical and mental health benefits. In this cat care 101 guide, I discuss some essential things that cat parents should have.
Studies have shown that caring for a cat can keep your blood pressure normal despite you being exposed to daily stress. It is also believed that cats can help distract you from the pressures of today’s fast-changing world as they tend to be great listeners. Speaking to pets has also been linked to reduced prevalence of mental health issues, suicide, and addictive behavior.
Moreover, having a cat in the house helps alleviate allergies. Children who spend time with cats were also less likely to develop common allergies to dust mites and pollens.
Indeed, owning a cat offers several benefits. But before adopting a feline companion, you need to buy these eight essential cat supplies to make her new home move-in ready.
Must Have Supplies and Essentials for Your Cat
1. Crate or carrier
A cat crate or carrier is the first thing you must buy because you will need this when you take your new pet home. So I added this at the top of our cat adoption checklist.
Ideally, it must be sturdy and safe with lots of ventilation and easy access to get your cat in and out. The Midwest travel carrier, for instance, have enough ventilation slots to ensure excellent air circulation and maximum comfort. They come with a handle, which makes carrying your pet more manageable. They are also recommended for travel by car or plane.
The Pet Magasin collapsible cat carrier is also a great option. It has ventilation slits to give the best possible air circulation and a door with a lock system that opens and closes securely. It also has a detachable drinking bowl and a transport handle, making it one of the best cat accessories for travel.
The key to ensuring that your cat feels comfortable and safe in whatever carrier you choose to get is to use a catnip spray. This is a calming spray that will calm and soothe your feline for the ride home. It is also the best tool to make your cat associate travel outdoors with a positive feeling, making it easier to get her into the carrier whenever you need to.
There is plenty of cat food available in the market, from dry and wet to kibble and treats. But to ensure that your cat’s stomach won’t get upset, stick temporarily to the same diet she’s been given on the shelter. She needs to adjust to several things in her new home, and providing her the same nutrition might be a comfort to her.
When it’s time to modify her diet, go for a brand that provides all the essential nutrients she needs, such as Purina, Blue buffalo, Meow mix, Iams, Hill’s science, Dr. Elsey’s, Acana, Applaws, Orijen, and Royal Canin. The key is to find a pet shop that offers high-quality, balanced options that your feline can’t resist.
3. Food and water bowls
Upon her arrival, your cat must have her food and water bowls already waiting at home.
Ideally, choose bowls made of the best quality stainless steel. They are not just dishwasher-safe and easy to clean, but these also ensure rust and bacteria resistance. Moreover, go for bowls with weighted bottoms to prevent tipping.
An automatic feeder is also a great option. Whether you are away for the weekend or working late, it ensures cat meals are served at the correct amount and time.
For a water bowl, the Catit LED flower fountain is a good option because all components are BPA-free. It also features a petal with water pockets that allows your cat to drink even if the fountain is off, and a water level indicator with LED lights to guide her at night. Its Triple Action Filter ensures clean water at all times, and three water flow settings provide options for picky drinkers.
4. Litter box and accessories
Here are crucial things you must know about litter boxes and accessories:
- Litter box – You should provide one litter box for each cat you want to adopt. Some of the best options include a self-cleaning litter box, a hooded litter box, and the plain plastic box with litter inside. But regardless of the type of box you buy, make sure it features odor control and is big enough for your feline friend. Now a days, there is available large litter box for multiple cats. Some cats kick litter everywhere, so you can use the top hooded litter box for messy cats.
- Litter – There are several litter options, including pine pellets, clumping, recycled newspaper, and clay. If you don’t know what to choose, start with the clay litter because most cats are used to it. And once you figure out what brand and type of litter works well for your pet, stick with it. Avoid switching litter types because this can cause your cat to avoid the box.
- Litter bucket and scoop – Find a small bucket that you can use to dispose of the used litter as you scoop.
- Litter mat – Placing a mat under the litter box will help catch litter before it gets scattered around your house.
Though most cats prefer to sleep anywhere, a warm and soft cat bed can be her favorite napping spot. Whether you want to buy a covered bed or a pillow bed for your feline, make sure it is big enough for her to lie down and stretch in, but a perfect size bed will make her feel secure.
6. Trees and scratching posts
Cats prefer going to a high place to settle in and watch anything below them, making a cat tree an essential supply to buy. Find one that is sturdy and tall. Otherwise, your new pet will find high places to climb and sit, such as your kitchen cabinets.
Scratching is another instinctive activity cats enjoy. There is no proper place for your feline to do that other than on a scratcher or scratching post. Buy one that has a sturdy base to prevent it from tipping over.
Like litter boxes, you must provide one scratching post for every cat you want to bring home.
To ensure that the tree and scratching post serve their purpose, install them in a place where your cat frequently hangs out. Otherwise, they will not be used, and your feline will turn to scratch your couch and other furniture.
Keep your cat entertained with a variety of toys. Whether you give her catnip toys, teasers, or balls, make sure to spend time playing with her at least once a day. This will help your feline bond with you.
Another excellent toy you want to buy for your cat is a fishing pole or wand toy. Let her catch the object at the end of the line. This activity is not just fun, but also ensures that your cat won’t think of your hand as a toy.
8. ID tag and collar
Make your cat a member of your family by giving her an ID tag that contains her name and your name, contact number, and address.
As for her collar, choose one with an automatic release that can quickly disengage in case she gets stuck on something, such as a cat tree branch.
Moreover, make sure the collar fits properly and won’t affect her swallowing and breathing or irritate her neck. Generally, allow room for two of your fingers to fit between her neck and the collar.
It is important that you get used to the things a cat needs before taking on this new chapter of your life. Whenever possible, spend time playing with the cat in the animal shelter before bringing her home, as this will help her get used to your smell in a familiar place.
It is also important for you to take her favorite toy or towel because having a familiar scent can help her adjust faster and easier to your house.
These items, along with the above-mentioned cat care supplies, will transform your home into a healthy residence for your feline companion.