Bringing home a new cat is a special moment that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. But among all of the excitement, it’s easy to forget a few things. Whether you are welcoming home an adult cat or a kitten, there are a few essentials you need to make sure your cat is healthy and happy in their new home. Follow along as we dive into all the supplies you’ll need on your new cat checklist, along with a few tips to help you both start your new journey together.
Litter Box and Accessories
When bringing home a new cat, it’s important to make sure that you have their litter box set up and ready for them to use. When choosing a litter box, deciding whether or not to go with a hooded or open box can be difficult because some cats are not big fans of having an enclosed litter box. However, if you purchase an enclosed litter box and realize your cat is not a fan, you can easily remove the hood until you find a replacement. If you’re welcoming a new kitty into a home that already has a cat, you still need to get a second litter box, and ideally, a third so that each cat can comfortably have their own space to do their business.
Picking out where to put your cat’s litter box is just as important as providing the box itself. It’s best if you put them in areas that are easily accessible yet private so your cat feels comfortable using their box. Luckily, choosing a litter box is usually the hardest step when setting up their bathroom. After selecting the litter box, you’ll also need litter, a litter scoop, and a litter mat to complete the cat bathroom basics checklist.
Cat Toys and Catnip
Playing with your new kitty not only helps strengthen your bond but also helps keep their mind stimulated and engaged while burning off excess energy. Since you may not know what kind of toys your new kitty prefers yet, it’s a good idea to provide them with multiple options to choose from. Types of toys to have on hand when you bring them home include a wand toy, an interactive toy, a ball toy, a crinkle toy, and a catnip toy.
While this may seem like a lot, providing them with multiple options can help you hone in on your cat’s interests early to help avoid wasting money on toys they may not like in the future. Luckily, Jeffers Pet offers a ton of affordable cat toys and catnip, including Mylar Crackle Balls, Jeffers Jingle Balls, the Feather Wand Cat Toy, the SPOT Pet Laser Classic Pointer, and Pawbreakers!. You can get all these basics for less than $20.
Cat Food and Treats
When adopting a new cat, it’s important to ask the shelter or previous owners what kind of food they have been eating. It’s best to continue them on food they are used to when acclimating into their new home to help avoid upset tummies or unnecessary stress. If you are unsure and have not yet been to the vet for a recommendation, choose dry food and/or wet food that meets the nutritional needs for their age as well as any other specific needs your cat may have.
It’s also essential to make sure that you stock up on cat treats to help reward and bond with your new family member. If you are unsure if your cat has any dietary restrictions, natural treats are an excellent option. Plus, dental treats for cats like Greenies are inexpensive and a great addition to their dental care wellness plan.
And, of course, don’t forget the food and water bowls! When deciding what food and water bowls to get for your new pet, there are plenty of options, including automatic feeders and waterers, stainless steel bowls, and decorative bowls such as the Bella Designer Cat Bowls.
Cat Beds, Furniture, and Scratchers
An important part of cat ownership is ensuring that you provide your cat with their own space within your home. Welcoming your cat home with their own furniture, including a bed and scratcher, helps make them feel like they have a place to call their own. However, it’s also important to do the best with what you have and within your budget. Remember, you can always add more later.
Scratchers are an important new cat must-have that help support your cat’s natural instincts. Plus, giving them a place dedicated to scratching can help reduce potential destructive scratching behaviors. If you’re looking for an affordable cat furniture option to start out with, the Sunny Seat is budget-friendly and will give them a place to call their favorite sun spot. There are also many different options for cat beds to choose from. Whether you are looking for an affordable cat bed like the Mysterious Purr Pad and Mysterious Kuddle Kup or a hooded bed, like the Cat Cave, your kitty will appreciate having a place to cuddle up in their new home.
Taking the time to groom your cat is essential to help keep them happy and healthy. When choosing a brush, make sure you get a brush that works well for their coat type. For example, if you have a long-haired cat, stocking up on a dematting comb is a must-have to safely and gently remove tangles from their fur. It’s also important to stock up on any initial bathing supplies you may need, such as shampoos, waterless shampoo, and pet wipes. If you have adopted a kitten and plan on giving them baths, introducing them to water early on can help get them more comfortable with water and help them relax more over time.
When stocking up on essential grooming supplies, don’t forget nail clippers and cat dental care supplies! To learn more about the importance of cat dental care, check out Jeffers Pet’s blog, Cat Dental Care: When Toothbrushes Aren’t Enough.
For more information on bathing, brushing, and clipping your cat’s nails, dive into Jeffers Pet’s blog, 6-Point Cat Wellness Plan.
Cat Travel Supplies & ID Tags
One of the necessities on a new cat checklist is to make sure you have a cat carrier or crate for traveling. When picking out a carrier, it’s important to make sure your cat will have enough room to move their body around comfortably. It’s a good idea to go ahead and purchase a cat carrier before you pick up your new kitty. This way, you can ensure they are securely restrained and safe while traveling home. Between vet visits and car rides, a cat carrier is definitely a must-have investment for new pet parents.
Also, don’t forget to get your cat an ID tag! Not only does it commemorate your new cat’s name, but it helps better ensure your cat’s safety in case you two are ever separated. You’ll also need a cat collar to hold and display your cat’s new ID tag. Microchipping your cat is also something you should consider when you bring them home. When used together, microchips and IDs help lost cats return to their families safely.
If you plan on traveling with your cat and are looking for more information on how to prepare, check out the blog, 8 Tips for Safely Traveling With Pets.
Stain and Odor Removers
Accidents are a part of pet parenthood, and it’s important to be prepared when they happen. Keeping a good stain and odor control solution on hand will help clean up messy accidents. Specifically formulated for cats, the Cat Urine & Odor Destroyer works on any water-safe surface to target and remove stains and odors. Another great option is Nature’s Miracle Advanced Severe Stain & Odor Remover, which cleans deeply to remove all traces of messes your kitty may leave behind.
Another odor control product that is great to have on hand is a litter additive like the Odor-No-More Litter Additive. This eliminates litter boxes odors rather than masking them, making the chore of removing litter box odors easier. If litter box smells and other odors concern you, Pet Odor Exterminator carries a line of great-smelling candles and sprays to help keep your house smelling fresh and clean. Check out Jeffers Pet’s full selection of cat cleaning and odor control for more options.
Flea and Tick Preventatives
Even if you adopt your cat during the winter months, it’s important to start them on a flea and tick preventative as soon as possible to avoid potential flea infestations. There are plenty of flea and tick control options to choose from depending on your preferences and needs. Whether you are looking for a topical treatment like Cheristin and Advantage II or a collar like the Adams Plus Cat Flea & Tick Collar, the earlier you start a flea and tick treatment, the easier preventing fleas and ticks from aggravating your pet will be.
Find A Vet
Even if your cat is up-to-date on their vaccinations and yearly exams, it’s important to establish a veterinarian. Establishing a veterinarian when you welcome your kitty into their new home is essential in case of emergencies and for future checkups. It’s also a good idea to set aside funds in case of an emergency. Just like us, sickness or accidents can happen to cats at any time, and it’s very important to have funds set aside in case of an unplanned vet visit.
Welcoming a new cat into your family can feel overwhelming and challenging, but it is just as exciting and rewarding. Between the random zoomies, goofy faces, and cuddles that’ll glue you to the couch for hours, the bond you form and the love you share makes up for any challenges you may face.
Need help choosing a name for your feline friend? Check out Jeffers Pet’s blog, How To Choose The Perfect Pet Name For Your New Pet.
Thank you for choosing to open your home to a cat in need!