You’re preparing to bring your furry bundle of joy home but you’re not sure where to start. With the conflicting information online and the overwhelming number of supplies available for purchase, you have many decisions to make between now and your kitten’s first day at their new home.
Before bringing your new kitty home, you need to purchase several necessities.
While there are plenty of exciting toys and accessories you’ll want to buy as soon as you decide to adopt a kitten, there are essentials which should be bought before anything else. Food bowls, carrier, and cat litter may not be exciting purchases but these items will be necessary and can directly affect the health of your kitten.
While most kittens’ essentials are substituable with cat products, check every label before purchase to ensure it is safe for kittens. There are age recommendations for the health-related products, as well as cat food.
1. Cat carrier
The first thing you need is a cat carrier; you will need this to take in your new friend home. It should be safe and solid with plenty of ventilation and easy access for you to get your kitty in and out.
What is the best type of cat carrier to buy?
Knowing the exact type of cat carrier to buy can be difficult, especially as there are numerous, different types on the market. Whatever you choose, the ideal cat carrier should be firm, lightweight, secure and easy to clean.
Things to consider when buying a carrier include:
Size – the carrier needs to be large enough for your cat to lay down comfortably and adjust their position but snug enough to ensure they don’t fall about inside
Opening – cat carriers with a top opening are usually easier to use as you can lower in your cat from above. However, front-loading carriers that have the option to remove the entire top section are generally easier to use to train your cat to like the cat carrier
Ventilation – choose a carrier that has openings on at least two sides. This will prevent your cat from overheating or suffocating inside the carrier.
2. Choosing the Best Litter Box for Your Cat or Kitten
Cats are selective when it comes to many things—their litter box is no exception.
Comfort is key when getting your cat accustomed to their litter box. They need enough space to step inside, turn around, scratch, and squat without bumping into the sides. Most litter boxes are made of plastic since it doesn’t absorb unpleasant cat waste odours. When picking a spot for your cat’s litter box, find a place where they have privacy. Lively areas of your home will make your cat less inclined to use their litter box. If you decide to replace your cat’s litter box with a new one, place it in the same location. Cats are creatures of habit and moving their box could confuse or upset them. If you must find a new spot, make sure they have easy access.
Best litter box for odour control – covered boxes
Covered litter boxes do a great job keeping litter and unpleasant odours under control. They also offer your cat the most privacy. You may nevertheless notice that cleaning it requires more effort, as you would have to remove and then put back the cover.
Open litter boxes take up less space and are easy to clean. The open design allows cats to see their surroundings so they can decide when it’s safe to do their business. But before making your decision, know that due to the open design, the odours may be more noticeable. Such litter boxes might also be problematic for curious dogs or children since there’s no barrier.
Finding a permanent litter solution is a big task but by knowing the important factors to consider, you’re on the right track. We prefer Ever Clean Clumping Cat Litter.
3. Food & Water Bowls
Stainless steel and ceramic with a lead-free glaze are the two best materials for kitten food and can be put in a dishwasher. Plastic bowls can be found for fairly cheap price but can lead to feline chin acne due to an allergic reaction to the material.
A clean and inviting water bowl is essential, and we like the Filtered Water Bowl for Cats. It filters contents more than 100 times an hour through a charcoal filter that helps remove impurities.
Bowls should be cleaned daily and placed far from the litter box, as cats don’t like to eat and use their litter in the same area.
4. Cat bed
Many cats will happily fall asleep anywhere, but a cat bed will be their favourite napping spot. The bed should be warm and soft, and it should be located in a place that makes your kitty feel comfortable and safe.
The soft round cushion plush bed is a very cost- effective choice. You might also want to get a window mount cat bed that attaches to the window so your cat can watch the outside world while relaxing.
Make sure whichever bed you choose is large enough for your cat to lay down in and have some room to stretch but cosy enough to help it feel secure.
5. Nail Trimmers
Keeping your kitten’s claws in check will help deter scratching up carpet and furniture. It will also prevent your kitten from accidentally scratching you during playtime.
While your kitten’s claws will be tiny until it grows older, it’s best to get it used to claw trimming from an early age. It’s best if you learn how to do this from home as it can be more stressful to transport your kitten to the vet for craws clipping.
6. Cat Tree & Cat Scratching Post
Cats scratch in order to mark their territory. It leaves a visual signal to other cats, as well as scent from glands in their paws. Scratching may also help them look after their claws, since it can remove old claw sheaths. Cats also stretch out their claws and front legs when they scratch.
Cats like to scratch repeatedly in the same place, and if the place they choose is your furniture, it might not leave you pleased.
If you fail to provide an acceptable area to scratch, then your carpets, furniture and wallpaper may get damaged. Once a cat finds an attractive area to scratch they will always return to it! Scratching posts come in all shapes and sizes and are an essential addition to your home. They often include upright wooden posts covered with thick sisal twine or carpet, but also platforms, beds, hiding boxes and dangling toys for the more energetic individuals. Scratching posts can be free-standing or designed to be attached to a wall or floor.
Before you choose one for your cat you may want to consider following criteria:
- Ensure the post is rigid; cats need resistance when they scratch to do the best job.
- Make sure it’s tall enough for your cat to scratch when they are fully stretched. If you buy one for your kitten you will need to replace it when the kitten grows up.
- Make sure you offer opportunities for your cat to scratch both horizontal and vertical surfaces. If your choice is a tall modular scratching post with various platforms and bed attachments it must be stable. There is nothing worse than a tall scratching post that falls over when your cat jumps on it at full speed.
If you purchase a tall scratching unit that, once assembled, seems unstable, you may improve it if you attach it to the wall.
There are a number of ways to ensure your cat makes use of any available scratching post. It would be most attractive if you place it near a window or a radiator in a room that your cat particularly favours, especially if it is one of the larger designs that incorporate platforms and beds in the structure.
Cats like to stretch and scratch when they first wake up so it’s always beneficial to have an acceptable scratching area near your cat’s bed. Do not try to teach your cat to scratch by grasping its paws and showing it what to do or pay particular attention to the scratching post when it first arrives as this may well dissuade your cat from going anywhere near it!
If your cat doesn’t show any interest in the post then try sprinkling a little dry catnip plant over the base, or play a game with your cat with a fishing rod toy around the post or panel to encourage a connection between claws and the scratching surface, this often promotes scratching. You could even try placing a small handful of dry food on one of the platforms, if it is a tall modular post, to encourage your cat to jump up and explore.