Adopting a new cat is an admittedly exciting time and will be a decision you won’t soon forget. However, choosing to add an adorable feline friend to your family is the easy part. Knowing what they need and supplying those needs is a whole nother story.
It can be a bit overwhelming - you want your kitty happy and living her best life but are unsure of the tools needed to accomplish that. Not to fret, the following guide will help you pick the somewhat lesser-known things that your little furball will need.
You will, of course, need the following basic necessities:
- food/water bowls
That’s just a fraction of what you will need, however. There are other things that can make kitty’s life so much better, and yours a bit easier!
10. Kitty Safe Nail Clippers:
Although cats are pretty self-sufficient and use scratching objects to keep their nails in check, a decent pair of cat safe nail clippers are a necessity. If kitty is not amenable to your mani-pedi, you might need to bring him to a veterinarian or groomers to have the nails trimmed under sedation. Nail covers are also a safe option, although they are sometimes difficult to apply. Regardless of the route that you choose, please do not declaw your cat. It is unnecessary surgery and surgery always comes with risks, not to mention, their nails are one of the only defense mechanisms that they have to protect themselves if they happen to get outside.
First things first, you need to have a tag made with identifiable information including your name, address, and phone number, as well as kitty’s personal data. This should be attached to a collar (preferably a break-away one to avoid accidental strangulation). A microchip is also one of the best ways to ensure that if your cat is ever lost, he will be safely returned to you. The microchip is implanted under the skin, typically at the nape of the neck (and no, it doesn’t hurt - cats are such rock stars!), and the chip will contain all of the owners’ necessary details and contact info. If ever separated from you a veterinarian can use a special tool to scan for and read the chip, greatly increasing your chances of getting your kitty back.
8. Shedding Tool:
Cats shed, it is a fact of life and depending on the breed it can quickly turn into a hairy situation. Having a de-shedding tool is imperative. When a cat’s fur is not groomed regularly it can cause matting which can lead to skin issues. Thanks to the dander that gets left behind on shed fur, it can also trigger allergies. For everyone’s health and happiness, keep kitty well-groomed and clear of shed fur in their coat.
7. Jungle Gym:
A kitty jungle gym, or cat condo, such as the Kitty City Claw Mega Cat Condo, is a great way to keep your cat entertained while also providing exercise. To prevent accidental injury, be sure to choose one that is appropriate for your cat’s specific size and activity levels. If there are multiple cats in the household, the jungle gym or cat condo should be large enough to accommodate all of the furballs. This is to prevent territorial fighting.
6. Cat Tree:
A quality cat tree is also nice to have. It will offer an alternative to climbing furniture, countertops, and shelving. Cats like to climb and will do so regardless of whether you want them to or not. This one is probably one of the neatest there is as it looks exactly like a real tree for realistic play. Again, keep in mind the size and energy levels of your cat, and depending on those factors, be sure to anchor the cat tree appropriately.
5. Monthly Flea Control:
Fleas are not only an annoyance, both to us and the animal, but they can also cause some serious health issues if the infestation becomes severe enough. Flea bite anemia, skin infections, parasites, and mange, just to name a few. Monthly flea control is incredibly important for the health and well-being of your pet.
4. A Harness:
Hear me out. While you might picture a dog when thinking about taking your pet for a walk, cats enjoy exploring the great outdoors as well. And, because completely outdoor cats are at a higher risk for illness and/or injury, walking your kitty on a harness and leash is a terrific alternative. Also, most harnesses have the ability to be clipped to the car seats (although you might need to purchase additional equipment) for safe driving times without being cooped up in a cat carrier.
3. High-End Cat Food:
A well-balanced diet is an essential part of any healthy life and your kitty is no exception. A high-quality diet ensures that he gets all of the nutrients he needs to be his best kitty self. Cats are not natural water drinkers so it is recommended that they are fed either a wet food diet or a blend of both wet and dry cat food. This is especially important for male cats as they are known to develop severe, sometimes life-threatening, urinary issues when fed a strictly dry diet.
2. An Automatic Kitty Litter Box:
Yes, that nice cheap litter box looks like it will work, however, an automatic one will be one purchase that you will not regret buying. Cats can be quite picky when it comes to their bathroom habits. A self-cleaning, automatic litter box does all of the dirty work for you. Very much worth the added expense.
1. Good Toys:
Cats will literally play with anything that they can get their little paws on. So, you might be tempted to give them any old thing and let them have at it. However, a bored cat can turn into a mischievous one fairly quickly. A decent assortment of cat puzzle games, like the Cat Amazing Toy, can keep kitty entertained while also allowing them to use their hunting instincts.
Many people talk about the undeniable bond one makes with a canine companion, but, the unique one between felines and their owners is oftentimes overlooked. Dog’s might very well be man’s best friend but cats are truly their humans closest confidant. Whether this is your first pet cat or your 20th, you either already know, or you’ll soon realize, that once you go cat, you rarely go back.