First Time Cat Owner Checklist

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There is nothing like the thrill of knowing that you will soon be a kitty parent! And whether you are getting your new feline buddy from a breeder or a cat shelter, the excitement will be the same!

I’m sure you are looking forward to spending lots and lots of time quality time and play with your kitty and wish to get her off a good start.

Whether it is your first ever feline or your sixth, here are some of the things that you will need!

1. Cat Carrier

You simply can’t leave a breeder or a shelter with a cat or kitten unless you have a good cat carrier. Safety should always be first and cats can only be transferred safely with a secured cat carrier.

2. Litterbox And Scoop

This is probably the most important thing in your feline’s life.

Most cats are not that fussy about their litterbox, however, some will definitely become a headache, so you will need to get the right box.

It is best that you have 2 litterboxes, particularly if you have a large home. Make sure that the litterbox is also large, even if you are adopting a kitten. IT will not take him long to outgrow small litterbox.

Also, make sure that you get some scoop. Surely, you do not want to just grab kitty litters when cleaning, don’t you?

3. Cat Litter

A good litterbox is not enough. You also need the right type of litter too and there are so many options out there!

Ask the shelter or breeder what brand of litter they use and get the same for your kitty. You can always transition her to your preferred brand later.

4. Cat Food Dishes

When choosing a food dish, go with metal or ceramics. Plastic dishes may look pretty, however, they can harbor bacteria and cause your kitty to get sick or acne.

Other than the material, you can choose whatever design preference you want as long as it is a designated pet dish, easy for your cat to eat from, non-toxic and easy to clean.

If you work and leave your cat home frequently, then consider buying an automatic feeder in order to maintain her feeding routine.

Water may be offered in a bowl or you can just invest in a water fountain that encourages your feline to drink more.

5. Cat Food

Now that you have some bowls and dishes, where’s the food at?

Homemade, freeze-dried raw, canned or dry— the possibilities are endless. As with litter, ask your breeder or the shelter what they feed their cats and buy the same brand.

You just can switch over to a different brand once she has settled.

Also, consider getting her a treat. Choose healthy treats and feed her sparingly. Although, you might need to try and test which treats your feline buddy prefers, it is the kind of test that most kitties would love!

6. Scratching Post

Cats are notorious for scratching things.

And unless you want that “thing” to be your sofa or tables, you need to offer her a scratching post— and preferably more than one.

Buy sturdy and large scratching post that will not wobble when your kitty leans against to scratch and stretch. Otherwise, he will just turn on something more stable— like that comfy couch out there.

7. Cat Toys

Play is important. It provides exercise for both body and mind as well as stimulating your feline’s hunting skills. Without stimulations, your kitty could get stressed, bored and sick.

In general, there are 2 types of toys you can get. The first one is for interactive playtime, where you get to play with your kitty. Choices include fishing rod toys and laser pointers.

The second type is anything that your kitty can play with like balls.

8. Cat Furniture

These can offer your feline great opportunity to stretch and exercise. Tall cat trees, also known as towers and cat condos, take the role of trees outside.

They get to practice their climbing skills and just love getting in higher places.

Next, even though your kitty will probably spend lying around on your sofa, you should get a dedicated kitty bed. Cats love beds with high sides to have a private and comfy nap.  

9. Cat-Proofing Materials

Cats are highly inquisitive creatures. This is particularly true if you are bringing home a kitten. So, let your feline buddy explore safely by ensuring that your house is cat-proofed.

Make sure that any toxic material is safely stored away. Get electric cords out of her way and secure the trash can or you will be seeing garbage on your floor.

Stash away craft materials and ensure that your kitty is never left unsupervised around strings, yarns and more.

Seal windows and any other potential exits. If you want your cat to have some access to some fresh air, consider creating a firmly secured enclosure that is attached to your house.

10. Grooming Tools

Cats are commonly known for their self-licking self-grooming behavior. And a domestic short hair kitty should be just fine without grooming assistance.

However, regular grooming can actually help reduce the amount of car hair around your house as well as offering a quality time to bond with your feline.

A good quality pet comb or brush is good to have around and a requirement for longhaired felines. The type of brush will depend on your kitty’s coat, so ask around grooming stores or online forums if you are not so sure what’s best for your kitty.

Nail trimmers are also necessary for claw care. It is crucial to get your kitten used to have her claws trimmed at such a young age. And if trimming her claws is not enough, then try using claw covers.

11. ID Tag, Collar, and Harness

Have your feline wear an ID tag and a collar. In addition, consider microchipping your feline buddy. A collar should clearly mark your kitty as a lost pet should she ever get the chance to wander around and an ID tag should help her finder bring her back to you.

Opt for safety collars that are specifically made for cats. Such collars will allow kitties to wriggle out of them, in case they get snagged in tree branches or other obstacles

Some feline owners also train their kitties to walk on a leash and harness in order to take them out for a walk. This is a good choice for some cats, just make sure that you are attaching the leas to harness and not on her collar.

12. Dental Care Items

Bushing your kitty’s teeth can be a problem. It is best to train your cat to get used of teeth brushing from a young age. Young or old, getting your feline buddy used to regular brushing needs to be a gentle and gradual process, so you need to be patient.

Use brushes and toothpaste that are formulated and designed for cats.

13. Catnip

Lastly, you will need catnips! Lots of catnips!

Catnip is the common name for the plant Nepeta Cataria that contains a compound known as nepetalactone which is virtually irresistible to cats.

Not all kitties respond to catnip, however, you will know as soon as you sprinkle some on your floor.

Your kitty will rub herself in catnip, roll on the ground and just try to get into it! And if you got a catnip addict, then you need to make sure that you keep the container out of reach. You can even get catnip-laced toys to attract your feline to the scratching post.

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