Kitten season is upon us and this time of year many of us cat moms are getting ready to add a new addition to the family. Whether this is your first feline or you are adding to your clan, it’s important to have everything you need, the more prepared you are the more time you will have to spend bonding with your kitten.
Tip: Most pet stores will offer a bundle discount for new cat owners for buying multiple items on this list together. Make sure to ask the sales associate before buying!
It may be challenging to bring home your new furry friend without one of these. It is important when choosing a carrier to take into account a few things like; Is it the best size for the cat? Is it crash safety tested? Airline approved? With lots of different types of carriers on the market, there is sure to be one that fits you and your cats needs. Check out this cool one by Catit
It is important to know what type of food your cat was being fed before you brought him/her home. Switching a cats food too quickly may lead to digestive upset. Speak with your vet and local pet specialty store to find a high quality diet that fit your new cats needs.
Food & Water Bowls
When choosing food dishes, wider, shallow bowls are preferred, so that your cats whiskers don’t get pushed around when they reach into the bowl, which can cause a lot of discomfort. Opt for ceramic or stainless steel dishes; plastic is very porous and can allow for bad bacteria growth which is known to cause feline acne and other problems. A water fountain also may encourage your cat to drink more water. Jeff and Oswald have these Messy Cat bowls!
A good rule of thumb for litter boxes is 1 per cat plus 1 (if you have two cats you should have 3 litter boxes). If you are bringing home a young kitten, it is best to get a low sided, open litter box that is easily climbable to prevent accidents. if the location of the litter box is not very secluded it may make your cat more comfortable to have a partially enclosed litter box for privacy.
Choosing the right cat litter can be a task with so many options out there. From clay, to corn, to silica, the options are infinite! While clumping may be the more convenient route, non-clumping can be beneficial for kittens, and long-haired cats. Just like food, it’s important to know what type of litter your cat was using beforehand. Some cats are not comfortable switching litter types which may be limiting, if you choose to try a new brand, make sure to slowly transition the litters to prevent any outside the box accidents.
Your cats skin and coat will appreciate you greatly if you ensure you are purchasing the proper grooming tools for your cats specific coat type, for example if your cat has a short coat, a rake or a slicker type brush would work well to remove loose undercoat without damaging the healthy fur. If you have a medium-longhaired cat a pin brush and a comb will help you detangle and keep you cat matte-free! You may also want to pick up some waterless shampoo, and don't forget the nail trimmers!
Over 85% of cats over the age of six are affected by periodontal disease. It's important to start an oral health routine with your cat no matter what his/her age. The most effective method will always be a toothbrush and cat specific toothpaste, but not every cat is comfortable with that. There are plenty of all natural, less invasive methods including food and water enzymes additives that help loosen and break down plaque and tartar. We use this great one from Tropiclean
Scratching is a normal and healthy behaviour for cats, so it is important to start your cat off on the right foot (or claw) by getting him/her something to condition their nails on. Corrugated cardboard offers an eco friendly and budget friendly alternative to the classic carpeted post. Check out these modern, stylish prism scratchers by Be One Breed
It is best to start off with a variety of toys for your cat. Make sure to included interactive toys like wands, to promote bonding between you and your feline friend. Independent play toys such as springs, kickers etc. are also beneficial to decrease boredom.
Identification is very important. I highly recommend getting your cat microchipped as well as having a visual form of identification like an engravable tag with the pets name, a phone number (or multiple) and an address. Most pet specialty stores will have tags and engraving machines right in store!
Now that you have a list of everything you need, screenshot this list and head to your neighbourhood pet specialty store!
Do you have stories about when you first brought your cat home? Tell us in the comments!