When bringing a feline friend home from a shelter or other housing, it is super important to have a bunch of items at the ready. If you’ve never owned or cared for a cat before, it can be intimidating to try and figure out what the true essentials are when it comes to preparing your home for a cat. Not to fear- first-time owners only need a handful of essentials to welcome their cat pal home. Read on for must-have items for your first cat.
Needed Cat Supplies for First-Time Owners
First and foremost, how will you transport your cat home from the shelter or pet store? You definitely don’t want a feline with claws running around all over your car’s interior and scrambling outside the instant the door opens, do you?
To make sure your cat gets home comfortably and safely, you need a cat carrier or crate. These you can find at any pet supply store, and they’re usually pretty cheap. You can line the crate with a little blanket to make it more cozy, if you’d like. Be aware that your new friend may be really frightened at first, going to a new place, so a water-resistant mat might also come in handy if your cat has an accident on the ride home.
To further calm your new friend, you can also pop a little cat toy in the crate, something for them to play with on the drive home. Most cats can’t stand driving in the car, so distractions are always nice. This can introduce them to the smell of their new home, as well, if you’ve taken the toys out and left them in your house’s air for a bit.
The instant your cat comes into their new forever home, you’ll want to show them where the litter box is. A litter box is a must-have for any new cat owner, unless you want your cat making messes all over the carpet! Cats prefer roomy litter boxes and unscented litter. You can buy a litter box from any pet store if you’d like, or you can also use a shallow storage container. Make sure to pad the bottom of the box with cat litter- you’ll want to buy litter in big bulk boxes, so you’ll be set for a while. Plus, it’s cheaper in bulk!
Besides a litter box and scoop to clean out the box after your cat goes, you’ll want to invest in a good cat brush. Cats love love love to be brushed, and it keeps their fur and skin healthy and bright. Brushing helps with skin circulation too, so you really can’t go wrong in buying a nice one for your new friend.
Brushing alone doesn’t keep your cat clean, though. Buy a good cat shampoo or pet cleaner to wash their fur if it ever gets matted or messy. Sometimes washing your cat right when they get home is a good idea, so they can be fresh and clean in their new space. Cats hate baths, we know, but they’ll be happier after with clean and nice-smelling fur.
A simple food and water bowl are a must for any first-time cat owner. You can find these, naturally, at any pet supply store. Certain size bowls are made for cats, so search out those, but cats will and can eat out of virtually any bowl.
A food bowl wouldn’t be complete without, of course, food! Stock up in bulk on dry or wet cat food, whichever you’ve decided to feed your pet. Dry food tends to come in large bags, while wet food comes in boxes of small cans. You can always buy small amounts of both to test which your cat prefers, and then stick with that, but many cat owners feed their felines mainly dry food. It’s less mess and some find it better for the health of the cat, with wet food as a nice treat every now and then.
Cats are known for their lounging. They’ll lounge on the floor, in the windowsill, on the couch, your bed- anywhere they can. If you want to limit the spread of cat hair around your house or apartment, a cat bed is a great investment for you as a first-time owner. They aren’t super expensive and can be found at any pet supply store. Having a dedicated lounge spot will make your cat feel even more at home.
And in terms of feeling at home- you must remember that cats love to scratch. They will scratch up any post or cushion in your house if they don’t have a designated place to scratch away. A simple scratching post will do. Cats need to scratch to keep their claws in line, and they also do it to manage stress and other feelings.
All in all, being a first-time cat owner is not as hard as it may seem! Stock up on the items above and you’ll be all set to welcome your new pal home. They will appreciate your preparation.
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