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What to Buy for Your New Cat or Kitten

By Edited Jun 11, 2014 2 7
Bringing a new cat or kitten into your family can be an exciting time. The most important thing you can do is to make sure your cat receives proper medical care including vaccinations and spaying or neutering (once the cat is six months of age or older). Other than that, there are a few necessities you will want to buy for your feline friend before he or she comes home.

Things You Will Need

Cat Litter Box

Cat Litter

Litter Scoop

Litter walk-off pad

Cat food

Cat food and water bowls

Sisal scratching post

Catnip

Cat Toys

Cat Collar

ID Tag

Step 1

One of the great things about cats is that they are usually very easily housebroken. To ensure your cat uses its litter box every time, there are a few things you can do. The best cat litter box you can buy will have a pan on the bottom with a cover on top. There will be an odor filter at the top of the cover. Some models actually have a flap door which also cuts back on odors, but may require some additional coaching before your cat will use it. Put about 2-3 inches of fresh cat litter into the pan. Every day, use your cat litter scoop to remove solid waste and clumped litter - discard in the trash (you can reuse a plastic grocery bag to put waste in before you throw it outside in the garbage). Every few days, change out the litter completely to keep the litter box fresh, and so your cat won't be hesitant to use it. No one wants to go in a smelly bathroom! You can also consider a walk off pad to place in front of the litter box opening. This will keep the litter that sticks to your cat's paws from being tracked all over the house.

Step 2

There are hundreds of varieties of cat food you can buy for your cat. If your cat does not have dietary restrictions, I recommend a good dry food that has few fillers and is appropriate for your cat's age and size. Avoid foods that are loaded with corn filler. You may think better cat food is too expensive, but you will use less of it (since the cat won't be loading up on fillers) and your cat's waste will be reduced since she will be using more of what she eats. Make sure you have plenty of fresh, clean water for your cat. Tap water is fine. Make sure you rinse out the water bowl between fills and wash it a few times a week to ensure it remains free of debris and saliva build up.

Step 3

Cats like to sharpen their claws on everything! Your best bet is to give them something specific to scratch so they'll keep their claws off your furniture and curtains! A sisal scratching post is a great tool for training your cat to keep from scratching your furniture. To get the cat to use the post right away, take a small amount of catnip, place it in your palm, and rub it up and down the sides of the sisal post. This will attract your cat to the post and teach it that the post is a great place to be! A sisal scratching post will keep your cat's nails from growing too long (though you may need to trim them or have them trimmed periodically). In addition, you will want to purchase some interesting cat toys for your cat to play with. Find a toy that dangles and you'll have hours of entertainment as you play with your precocious feline friend!

Step 4

Make sure you get an appropriately sized collar for your cat or kitten. If you have a kitten, check often to make sure he isn't outgrowing his collar and loosen it as needed or replace it with a larger collar if necessary. Have an ID tag printed with your cat's name, your address and your phone number. This way, if your cat gets lost, the person who finds him will be able to return him to you safe and sound. Some veterinarians also ofter micro-chipping, which is another good way to safeguard your cat in case he gets lost or runs away.
When you prepare in advance for a new pet, it makes their transition into your home a smooth and easy process. Make sure you have all of the items listed above for your new cat or kitten to welcome them into your home!

Tips & Warnings

If you have any questions or concerns about what to buy your cat or what foods are appropriate, ask your veterinarian or check with your local pet store.
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Comments

Mar 5, 2010 10:02pm
adacosta
A more accurate picure: Cats can be spayed or neutered at 8 weeks of age, generally speaking, litter boxes only need to be replenished every 1-2 weeks, and DON'T buy a collar for your cat, it's dangerous and could choke them if they get caught on something. A much safer solution is to take photos of your pet, and microchip it.
Mar 15, 2010 5:53am
miragerainy
Preparing in advance for your kitty's arrival is a great way of ensuring that everything goes smoothly! Thanks for the info!
May 7, 2010 11:00pm
deeljea
Thanks a lot, we are preparing for our first kitten.
May 26, 2010 2:59pm
brittanyc
I second the microchipping idea - our latest kitty came from the animal shelter already chipped, and it provides us the peace of mind that she can be located if she gets outside, plus not having to worry about her collar choking her, ever.
May 30, 2010 4:04pm
Diablo2
Still trying to decide whether to go for a dog or a cat :p
Aug 18, 2010 2:16am
egmartinez
I've got to agree on not having to change out the litter completely if you're using clumping litter. But for clay - it just gets too gross too fast. Breakaway collars are safe, however microchipping is a good idea. Thanks for suggesting it!
Nov 23, 2011 8:44am
KrisSigeti
My kitten loves his dangling toy (my older cat could care less). And the kitten just started using the scratching post on his own, especially in the morning after he gets up!
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