Things You Will Need
Cat Litter Box
Litter walk-off pad
Cat food and water bowls
Sisal scratching post
Cat CollarID Tag
Step 1One 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 2There 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 3Cats 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 4Make 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 & WarningsIf 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.