What to Buy for Your New Cat

You finally decided to take the plunge and get a new furry friend. Before you bring Fluffy home, you’ll want to pick up some items to make the transition smoother. Here’s a list of things you should buy for your new cat before bringing it home.

What Should I Buy for My New Cat?

Pet cats are dependent on humans to satisfy even their basic needs. You’ll want to have these things before picking up your new cat and bringing it home.

  • Cat Carrier
  • Food
  • Food Dish
  • Water Dish or Fountain
  • Litter Box
  • Litter
  • Grooming Tools
  • Scratching Post or Cat Tree
  • Toys
  • Cat Bed
  • Pet Insurance
Grey tabby kitten lying on back

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Need some direction on how to help the cat settle in, Pet Finder has a great article on tips for the first 30 days. On to the list.

Related Article: 7 Tips to Keep Your House Clean With Cats

Cat Carrier

You’ll need a cat carrier to get Fluffy home. It isn’t safe for either of you to have a cat roaming around the car while you’re driving.

There’s a lot of debate between hard or soft-sided carriers, but I’m going to say it depends. If your cat pees in the carrier or tends to scratch and claw in an attempt to get out, I recommend a hard sided carrier. Otherwise, a soft-sided carrier like this one might be more comfortable for the cat.

I have two cats, so I bought a double cat soft-sided carrier. There is a removable divider that keeps them separate if needed, but the double carrier makes it a lot easier to get both cats back and forth to the vet.

Food

Your new cat is going to need some food.

Try to find out what food your cat is currently eating and feed it the same food during the rehoming process. Once your cat has settled in, you can switch foods based on its dietary needs.

When switching cat foods, make sure you gradually mix it with the current food until your cat has adjusted to the new food. Switching foods cold turkey can shock a cats stomach and cause some sensitivities.

Food Dish

The next thing to buy for your new cat will be a food dish.

As with the carrier, there is some debate of which material is best for a cat dish. Plastic is said to hold on to odors which can annoy your cat. Ceramic is breakable. Stainless is said to be the easiest and cleanest.

I prefer ceramic dishes. They are sturdier, heavier and harder for my cats to push around. They’re also completely dishwasher safe.

Water Dish or Fountain

Fluffy needs water too. You can use a ceramic dish, or you can try a water fountain.

I have both a ceramic water dish and a water fountain. I’ve noticed that both of my cats tend to drink a lot more water from the fountain as opposed to the ceramic dish.

 

Litter Box

If your cat’s eating and drinking, then it’s pooping and peeing too. You’ll need a litter box placed in an area your cat feels safe.

When you first get your cat, a plain plastic basin will do for a litter box, but when you get tired of scooping, I highly recommend you switch to this automatic litter box.

It eliminates the need for any scooping, helps control odors, and it helps to keep your house a little cleaner.

If you have a dog, make sure he can’t get to the kitty litter. This little door latch will do the trick.

Litter-Robot

Litter

Once you get your litter box, you’ll need some litter.

There are several different types of litter available. Here’s an article from Healthy Pets about the different types of litter.

Beware that some types of litter don’t work well with certain automatic litter boxes.

I’ve tried several different types of litter and found that a clumping clay type litter works best for my cats and with my litter box.

Grooming Tools

Cats are known for being fairly independent pets, but they still need grooming assistance from their human parents.

Toothbrush

Oral care is important for the health of your cat, so you should get a cat toothbrush and toothpaste.

Check out this article on Cat Dental Cleaning from Banfield for more information.

Full disclosure, my cats won’t let me touch their teeth. I put oral additives in their water dish and feed them ‘dental’ cat treats, then I let the vet take care of the rest.

Brush or Comb

Regardless if your cat is long or short haired, you’re going to need some good hair removal tools.

Long-haired cats require a bit more brushing. You might need a couple of different brushes to deal with the different issues associated with your cat’s hair.

I swear by the Furminator deshedding tools. They remove more hair from my cats than any other brush or tool I’ve tried.

I also use a dematting comb for the fur that has formed mats. It gets underneath the mats and breaks them up without just yanking them out.

Nail Clippers

Cats need their nails trimmed often. Pick up a good pair of clippers or a nail grinder.

If you can’t get your cat to cooperate or sit still long enough, have your vet do the nail care.

Scratching Post or Cat Tree

Another thing to buy for your cat is a cat tree and possible a scratching post. I have both cat trees and scratching posts.

Cats are going to scratch and climb, it’s just what they do. If you don’t provide them with a means to do this, they will find one on their own. That usually ends up meaning they’re scratching on your favorite piece of furniture and climbing on your countertops.

Scratching Post

Any time I find one of my cats scratching on a piece of furniture, I get a scratching post to put in front of that spot.  It has worked like a charm!

Cat Tree

I’ve purchased so many cat trees over the years that I’ve lost count. I’ve found some really good ones and some really crappy ones.

One of my cats is a rambunctious 25 pound Maine Coon named Maverick. He’s hard on cat trees, but I finally found this one that has stood up to his abuse. Four years later the sisal rope is frayed and coming off in one spot, but the rest of the cat tree is in great shape.

Toys

Your cat will need something for entertainment.

There are so many cat toys on the market, you’ll need to buy a few and try them out to see what your cat likes.

My little, female tortoiseshell Charlie will chase the laser light for hours. She’ll actually sit in front of you and stare you down until you play laser light with her. She also likes to chase the balls with bells in them and bat around the balls hanging from the cat tree.

My massive Maine Coon Maverick will rarely chase the laser light, but he loves to toss around the mice toys, and he’s obsessed with my black hair ties. He plays fetch with them. He will drop the hair tie in front of you and bring it back when you throw it. That cat hunts the house for those hair ties. He will pull them out of my hair and dig them out of drawers.

Cat Bed

Some people, myself included, buy their cats several cat beds.

For me, it ends up being wasted money. No matter how many cat beds I have lying around my house, my cats prefer to sleep on one of their cat trees, one of our laps, or curled up on a throw blanket.

Pet Insurance

Don’t forget the pet insurance.

Should Fluffy get sick or hurt, you don’t want to find yourself in a sticky financial situation in order to get the care needed.

Pet insurance can cover or significantly reduce major medical costs for your feline friend should any arise.

Make sure to compare pet insurance options to see which works best for your situation.

Conclusion: Things to Buy for a Cat

Cats are wonderful, loving companion, now that you’ve purchased all of the essentials on the list, you’re ready. Go get your new cat and start building that cuddly, lifelong relationship.