Even if this is not your first cat, be sure you are prepared before you adopt! Here is a checklist to make sure you have everything on hand.
- Food and water bowls. Be sure they are either ceramic or metal. Plastic bowls are more difficult to clean properly and can cause allergic reactions in some cats.
- Cat nail trimmers. Do NOT use human nail trimmers to trim cat nails.
- An adequate scratching post/tree. Any post should be at least 3 feet tall. Coverings of sisal fiber rope are much better than carpeting and will encourage more positive scratching behaviors. Tall cat trees and posts can be found on eBay for very reasonable prices.
- Litter boxes should be large and deep. We often recommend buying large Rubbermaid storage containers (tops off of course) as litter boxes. Even if you have 1 cat, you should have 2 boxes. If you add another cat to the household, you should add another box. No litter box liners ever!
- Litter should be some kind of UNSCENTED clumping litter. Good brands include Everclean and Scoop Away. There are some natural cat litters that people like as well such as World’s Best Cat Litter. These should be introduced slowly.
- Food choices. Please see our Diet & Nutrition page.
- Toys. Some of the best cat toys don’t cost anything. An empty paper bag can be hours of fun, as can a plastic ring from a bottle of milk. Aluminum foil balls are always a big treat, as are scrunched up pieces of paper. The best toys from pet supplies stores are fishing pole toys with feathers on the end, laser pointers and fuzzy balls.
- Cat beds. That would be your bed of course. You can buy a bed and your cat may sleep on it. Or not.
- Grooming tools. We recommend a greyhound comb for most medium and long-haired cats. You can find these on the internet at most pet supply stores or grooming supply businesses. Short haired cats can benefit from any type of comb that will lift out dead hair.