Preparing for a cat can resemble preparing for a baby as there are so many things to think about. How do we make sure they’re kept safe and healthy? What do we need to make sure they’re happy and don’t get bored and lonely? If you’re getting ready to bring home a new cat or kitten, be sure to check off the items on this list.
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#1 – Microchip and/or Collar with ID Tag
Making sure your cat or kitten will have proper identification is important, because without it there’s a chance he’ll never make it home if he gets out of the house. While a collar and ID is the most obvious form of identification, permanent microchips are becoming more popular with good reason.
#2 – Litter Box & Litter
Even if you plan to have an indoor/outdoor cat, a litter box with suitable litter is necessary to make sure your cat has somewhere safe to use the bathroom inside. In fact, it’s recommended to have one litter box per cat plus one extra.
#3 – Food & Water
This seems obvious, but while planning for your new arrival you might forget. More importantly is to decide which kind of food you’d like to feed. If you’re adopting an older cat, try to find out what she’s currently eating so you can transition to your preferred food slowly and avoid gastrointestinal upset.
#4 – Warm Bed
Cats thoroughly enjoy somewhere warm and comfortable to sleep. In fact, cats spend the majority of their day sleeping, so it’s important to make sure they’ve got somewhere nice to enjoy. Even with a lovely bed, however, you might find your new kitty prefers your couch.
#5 – Fun & Safe Toys
There are so many different types of toys to chose from, it’s a good idea to get a little of each until you know what your new cat likes best. Make sure to never leave your cat unsupervised with anything that can break into small pieces or fit in her mouth, as she could choke. Check out some of the safe, fun options in the iHeartCats store. Every purchase provides a toy for a shelter cat in need!
#6 – Scratcher
Cats scratch posts and furniture because they need a way to naturally stretch their bodies and file down their nails. A scratching post should be at least 3 feet high to give your cat enough room to fully stretch his back and legs. Typically, if your cat has somewhere appropriate to file his nails, he won’t need to use your furniture. These scratchers from the iHeartCats store hang from your doorknobs to stay out of the way and give the toy enough height for your cat to stretch out!
#7 – Brush & Nail Clippers
Even short coated cats enjoy a little brushing, so getting a nice brush to help your cat feel well groomed and care for is important. While a scratching post will help file nails, they should be cut with appropriate cat clippers to make sure they don’t get too long and uncomfortable.
#8 – Pet Carrier
A pet carrier is important not only to bring your cat home in the first time, but because you’ll need to use it should you travel anywhere else. Carriers can also be used as dens for new cats that don’t feel comfortable sleeping around their new family.
#9 – A Veterinarian You Trust
Establishing a relationship with a veterinarian you like is important before bringing home a cat. Even if you adopt an older cat, yearly check-ups should be done to ensure he stays happy and healthy for years to come.
#10 – Somewhere to Climb
While not all of us have the room or extra money for a giant cat tree, your new cat will feel more comfortable if she has somewhere high to climb. Cats enjoy climbing to survey their surroundings as it makes them feel safe. Even setting up a place your cat can climb on your own furniture without fear of knocking anything down could benefit her.