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 a few supplies prior to his arrival.
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, crates, and cat litter may not be exciting purchases but these items will be necessary and can directly relate to the health of your kitten.
While most kitten essentials are interchangeable with cat products, check every label before purchase to ensure it is safe for use on kittens. There are age recommendations on products like cat food, topical products, and health-related products.
1. Cat carrier
The first thing you need is a cat carrier; you will need this to take your new friend home in. It should be safe and sturdy 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 what 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 strong, 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 odors.
When picking a spot for your cat’s litter box, find a place where they have privacy. High traffic areas of your home will make your cat less inclined to use their box. Any time you 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 odor control—covered boxes
Covered litter boxes do a great job keeping litter and unpleasant odors under control. You may notice that you have more cleaning to do and that’s because covers or hoods concentrate odors within. To get around this, look for a covered litter box that has built-in ventilation.
Aside from being the best litter box for odor control, covered boxes lend more privacy. Most cats will enjoy the seclusion that a covered box provides.
Open litter pans take up less space and are easy to clean. The open design allows cats to see other so they can determine when it’s safe to handle their business. But before making your decision, know that odors may be more noticeable because of the open top. Curious dogs or children are other areas of concern since there’s no barrier to keep them out.
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 water dishes. Plastic bowls can be found for fairly cheap but can lead to feline chin acne due to an allergic reaction to the material.
A clean and inviting water dish 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 relieve themselves in the same location.
4. Cat bed
Many cats will happily fall asleep anywhere, but a cat bed will be a favorite 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 economical choice. Or you might want a window mount cat bed that attaches to the window so your cat can watch the world outside 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 small enough to help him feel secure.
5. Nail Trimmers
Keeping your kitten’s nails in check will help deter scratching up carpet and furniture. It will also keep your kitten from accidentally scratching you during playtime.
While your kitten’s claws will be tiny until she grows older, it’s best to get her adjusted to nail 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 kitty to the vet for nail clippings.
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 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, that’s not so good for the furniture.
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 together with platforms, beds, hiding boxes and dangling toys for the more energetic individuals. Scratching posts can be free-standing or designed to fix to a wall or floor.
Before you choose one for your cat you may want to consider these 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 at full stretch. If you buy one for your kitten you will need to change it when it grows up.
Make sure you offer opportunities for your cat to scratch both horizontal and vertical surfaces.
If it 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 launches itself at full speed.
If you purchase a tall scratching unit that, once assembled, seems unstable, you may get a more rigid unit if you attach it via a bracket 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 radiator in a room your cat particularly favours, particularly 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 encourage 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.