Essential supplies to have when adopting a cat
Adopting a cat into one’s home can be an exciting, mutually rewarding experience. Before you adopt, along with lots of love, there are some essential supplies you will need to have before bringing kitty home.
* Cats prefer wide shallow bowls
*Never use plastic. Ceramic, stainless steel, and glass are better choices
*Ceramic and glass allows gentle warming of wet food in the microwave to release aromas
* Rubber bottom dishes don’t slip. Kitties do better being fed on an elevated surface if there is a dog in the house. If she eats on the counter or on a little table she won’t be able to push the dish off.
*Don’t buy large dishes, kitties prefer fresh food
*Make sure the dishes are dish washer safe
2. Litter box
*Whether for a kitten or a full grown cat, always buy a larger litter box.
*Hooded, self cleaning, or regular open litter pan, which to choose?
This depends on where it will be kept. If there are “tootsie roll” seeking dogs in the house, consider the hooded style.
*Keep the litter box clean. A dirty litter box is not only unsanitary, but most kitties will look for a cleaner place in the house to do their business rather than use a dirty litter box. Scoop at least once a day.
*Place in a quiet area away from where she eats. Most cats will not eat where they eliminate
*Cats don’t care if it’s scented, the scent is for us
*The clumping litter is a bit more expensive, but it is easy to scoop and most can be flushed
*Regular litter is very inexpensive. Use a litter box liner to make clean-up even easier http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3121635
3. Litter scooper
*Very inexpensive and essential to scoop the litter box contents
*Buy the best your budget allows. Cheaper foods contain fillers like grains that cats don’t need, and puts on extra weight
*Pick a food that is age and health appropriate. Buy kitten food for kittens, and adult and senior food when appropriate
*Dry or wet? Dry is great for teeth, but most kitties prefer wet. Free feed the dry and offer the wet as a supplement for evening dining
*Until you discover which food your kitty prefers, try having chicken, beef, and fish based on hand
5. Scratching Post
This is put on the list of essentials for very good reason. Many cats are given up for adoption because they have destroyed furniture. Scratching appears to be a random destructive behavior but it isn’t. Scratching gets rid of the outer layer of their claws. Cats are territorial and it’s pure instinct to mark their territory. Kitties need to engage in this action to exercise their upper body muscles. So what do you do?
* Buy a scratching post. They come in different styles including the stand-up posts, the box type with a scratching surface, and the ones you hang on the door
*Carpet remnants are cheap. Rub with a little cat-nip and your cat will be in kitty heaven
*If you have a piece of split wood for your fire place, bring it in for kitty. Trees are the surface they would naturally use. Again, a little cat-nip rubbed on it is all it takes to direct her there
6. Brush and nail clippers
Brushing kitty helps keep the incidence of hair balls down. To learn what a hairball is go here: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?d=1
*Provides bonding time as most kitties love it
*Keeps your home clean of shed hair
*Regular nail clipping isn’t a necessity, but it helps to keep the tips less pointy
7. Travel carrier
*Essential for trips to the vet, and bringing kitty home
*Hard sided is best
Most kitties will want to sleep with you, but they also like a nice bed to lounge in during the day
*Cats like the beds with the high sides to snuggle into
*Hooded beds allow kitty to feel safe, warm and free from drafts
Cats find the simplest things to play with. A bottle cap, balled up piece of paper, even a cricket makes for lots of fun. If you do buy toys buy interactive ones such as:
*Little furry mice
*Balls with a bell inside
*Cat nip balls
10. Break away Collar and ID tag
*Cats do get out; wearing an ID provides an excellent chance of getting kitty back quickly.
Before bringing your new cat home, make sure your home is cat proofed. This includes removing poisonous houseplantshttp://www.cfa.org/articles/plants.html and pick up rubber bands, strings, and pennies off the floor. There should be no breakable objects placed at the edge of tables or counters where an exploring kitty can knock them off.