Anytime you choose to get a new pet, you need to make sure that you have everything you will need to take care of that pet with. Cats need certain things so before you get your cat or kitten, you might want to make sure they have everything they need before they come to your home.
Below is a list of the different materials you will need in order to make a home for your cat. The list will be followed in more detail as to what you need to consider with each item.
Litter box materials
Although these seem like simple items, if you have never owned a cat there are certain things to consider before you go out and buy the most expensive of everything.
Your Cat Must Eat and Drink
The food and water bowl does not have to cost you a fortune. You do not have to go out and buy one with your pets name on it unless you want to. Mainly they just need to be easy to clean and heavy so they won't tip over easily. Because it is possible that your cat might be allergic to plastic, it might be a good precautionary note to opt for the stainless steel bowls. You also need to make sure that your cat has food and water in their bowls as well.
Litter Box and the Materials That Go In Them to Clean Up Messes
Unless you plan on teaching your cat how to use the toilet like in a popular movie, you will need to purchase a litter box and everything that goes in it. This involves the litter box, the scoop, and the litter. If you have a kitten it is important that the litter box is not so big that they cannot get into it, but on the other hand you need to get a litter box that is big enough for a full grown cat.
What many cat owners may not know is that the litter boxes that have hoods or covers may actually trap foul smelling odors and make your can unwilling to further use the litter box, so it may be a good idea to avoid these altogether.
Another helpful tip is to keep some sort of garbage container next to the litter box so that it will make it easier to scoop the box on a regular basis, just make sure that the container you choose will keep the odor inside the container and out of your room. The
last item is of course to find litter that works best for you and your cat. There are many varieties that have odor control and clump better, what you choose is up to your own preferences.
You Have a Bed, Your Cat Needs One Too
Your pet needs a place in which they can lay down, sleep, and take a nap. A cat bed will also help keep your cat from taking its naps on your bed or couch. This doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune or have it monogrammed, but it does mean that you need to look for something comfortable. A good choice is a bed that your cat will be able to snuggle in. You can choose from nesting beds, mats, or perches.
Your choice will depend on your cat's sleeping habits and what will fit best in your home. Also, don't be irritated if your cat doesn't take to its new sleeping domain right away, it might take time or your cat might not adapt to it at all. A good tip is to find a bed that is washable so that any messes are easy to clean. It's also a good idea to put the bed wherever your cat likes to sleep or in a quiet area.
Scratch a Post or Scratch Your Couch, It's Up to You
Cats need to stretch and exercise their arms and legs, just like humans do. Unfortunately they choose to do this by scratching things since no one has invented a gym for cats. In order to avoid having them scratch up all of your furniture, it might be a good idea to invest in a cat scratching post, and the sooner the better. A scratching post will help your cat realize that they have their own piece of furniture to claw up and to leave yours alone.
When buying a scratching post for your cat, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that the scratching post is actually tall enough for your cat to be able to get the full effect. This is so they can completely stretch their body out and still have room to spare. Next make sure that it won't fall over as soon as it has something leaning against it or your cat will be tipping it over all of the time.
If your cat already has a few bad habits such as scratching furniture and such, you might need to train your cat to use the post instead. This might take a little time and patience, but if you make sure your cat is playing with it whenever you are around, they will begin to get the idea, and it also helps if it is in an accessible area to your cat.
Getting Your Cat from One Place to Another
Since you may have realized that trying to transport your cat or anyone else's for that matter is no easy task, it is smart to invest in a cat carrier. A cat carrier is great for a cat or a kitten. It will enable you to transport your cat from point A to point B with little to no damage or injury. Plus you will not have to worry about your cat plunking around in your car or attaching itself to you with its claws while you are driving.
A cat carrier is the best choice all around and will help your cat feel secure as well. Since there are a variety of different cat carriers to choose from, again it will depend largely on your preference and how much you want to spend. It's a good idea to make sure that the carrier is big enough to fit your cat and allow them to move around while in it.
Keeping Your Cat Entertained
Fortunately you don't have to spend a fortune on toys for your feline friend. This is largely due to the fact that they will play with whatever it is you have handy. Whether it is a string, a leaf, wrapping paper, or a ball, they will be completely content swatting it, biting it, and tearing it apart. Of course, many of these items that you have lying around your house are not the safest for kittens and cats, nor do you want them thinking that it's ok to chew on whatever they want, this is why it's important that they have some of their own toys.
You can choose to go through your house and find toys that will be safe for your cat or to go to the store and purchase a few cat designated toys. Some toys that are safe to give your cat that you find around the house are:
Small balls that bounce, but they can't chew apart and aren't so small that they will get caught in their throat.
Sewing supplies such as a empty wooden thread spool
Balled up paper
Boxes and gift bags filled with tissue paper
Items around the house that you should not give your cat or kitten for health and safety reasons:
Balls of string, yarn, or spools with thread on them
Anything with wire in it
Anything aluminum or cellophane
Nothing that is sharp or pointy
Nothing that can break and hurt your cat
Nothing that they can chew off and get stuck in their throat
You can find many fun and colorful cat toys at your local supermarket or pet store. The key is to use your judgment before you buy any of them. Carefully look them over and make sure they won't become hazardous to your cat as he plays with them. It's smart and cost effective to start out with a few toys so that you can see what your cat chooses to play with and what they do not. Also it's important to note that some cat toys should only be used when you are there playing with your cat or kitten.
A Collar, Leash, and Harness for Your Cat
A collar is a very important thing if you have a cat who enjoys both the indoors as well as the outdoors. An important thing to keep in mind when buying a collar for your cat is that if they are quite active and curious, you will need to find a collar that can break away. Although a breakaway collar seems kind of strange, it is really in the best interest for your cat and their safety.
If you cat is outdoors or even inside and their collar gets caught on something you do not want them to choke, that is why it's important to look for a breakaway collar. You should have your kitten or cat begins wearing their collar as soon as possible so that they become accustomed to it.
Also make sure that your cat has some sort of identification on their collar if they get lost or find themselves out of your house. You can also choose to purchase a leash and a harness if you wish to take your cat or kitten out for a walk. If you have the opportunity to train them how to walk with a leash when they are young they will adapt to it much better.
Not all cats like the leash around their neck which is why it might be necessary to purchase a harness which will be more comfortable for the cat and give you more control as well.
What You Will Need to Groom Your Cat
Grooming is a big part of having a cat, especially if you have a long haired cat so you will need to have the proper grooming tools, even if you have a short haired cat. Mainly you will just need to have a flea comb and a brush, but the tools that you will need depend largely on what type of fur your cat has. Grooming is important in order to prevent hairballs and it will also help to cut down on how much cat hair will be on your furniture.