Some of the items a cat owners needs are readily apparent: cat food, a litter box, and a cat, for starters! Others only become apparent as necessities after trial and error. As a new cat owner, learn from the experience of others. Read on to discover details about the most common cat items, and learn about others that will make your life as a new cat owner a lot easier. Having all the right items in place before bringing your cat home will help her feel welcomed and comfortable from the minute she sets paw in the door.
1. Food-Related Items
First item of business is a place to put the food. Metal or ceramic containers for food and water are best. Some cats may develop a chin rash related to a plastic food dish. A good option for busy cat owners would be automatic food and water servers, which keep your cat’s meals fresh even when you’re out and about.
For food itself, don’t buy too much before you bring your cat home. Keep your cat’s nutritional needs in mind, as kittens need extra nutrients for growth and overweight cats may need a restricted diet. With this in mind, purchase several brands and flavors of food in both canned and dry varieties for your cat to try. Once you figure out your cat’s favorites, keep those in stock.
2. Litter Box
The use of a litter box is one of the many benefits of being a cat owner. Most popular nowadays is the clumping clay type of litter, because it clumps around urine, making the litter box easy to clean. However, clumping clay can be harmful if ingested, so it should not be used with kittens and may not always be appropriate for adult cats. Plant-based litter is an alternative option.
As for the litter box itself, many shapes and sizes are available. Start simply with a plastic box that fits your cat—adult cats need a sizeable one with high sides, since they tend to throw the litter around a bit. Kittens, on the other hand, need one that is low enough that they can climb in.
3. Grooming Tools
Properly groomed cats are healthier and happier. Grooming can also be an opportunity for you and your cat to bond. Grooming a cat’s hair helps prevent hairballs and keeps your house cleaner, which any allergic visitors would greatly appreciate. To groom hair, purchase a rubber-backed pin brush and a fine-tooth comb.
Clipping your cat’s nails also helps prevent overgrown toenails and excessive scratching. For your cat’s comfort and ease of use, purchase a nail clipper specifically designed for cats.
4. Cat Toys
Cats and cat owners love to play. One of the simplest and favorite cat toys is the “dangling lure” variety. Before purchasing, be certain that all parts are sturdily connected and won’t be a choking hazard for your cat.
Other than the dangling lure, more expensive and creative toys are constantly being invented. Your only limits are space and budget!
5. Cat Carrier
Although a cardboard carrier from the pet store or shelter offers a short-term solution, you will be carrying your cat for many years to come. Even if your cat will live indoors, you will still need to take him out occasionally for vet appointments or possibly for boarding if you take a long trip. For long-term use, purchase a sturdy plastic carrier with a door that latches. Put a favorite blanket in the carrier and your cat will feel comfortable and secure in his travels.
6. Scratching Post
This is an item that new cat owners may not think of, but veteran cat lovers swear by! Cats will scratch—it’s in their nature. Providing your cat with a scratching post can help save your furniture and drapes and keep your cat happy. Like toys, scratching posts are available in a wide variety of shapes, styles, and prices. Many purchased at a store also have catnip scent to attract your cat’s attention. Choose a scratching post based on your home, your cat’s temperament, and your aesthetic preferences.
Now that you have armed yourself with the six basic cat items, you can bring your cat into a comfortable and welcoming home. And when new cat arrives you will need a cool name for it. Fortunately there are good cat names portals such as Cat Names Unique, where you can browse 1000’s of unique and original cute cat and kitten names.