How to Buy Necessary Supplies for Your New Cat

When you are planning on getting a new cat, it is important to prepare for its arrival before you pick it up. You will need items to care for both its physical and mental well being. This means you will need to get supplies for feeding it, entertaining it, and keeping it healthy and safe. Having all the supplies ready will allow you to focus on getting the cat acclimated to its new home, instead of scrambling to get all the things it needs.


EditPurchasing Essential Products

  1. Buy a cat carrier. In order to bring your new cat home you will need to get a cat carrier. Your can get a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier but just make sure that it is big enough for your cat. In order to get the right size, just make sure the cat is able to stand up and turn around in its carrier.[1]
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    • It is also important to make sure that the carrier you choose closes easily and can be latched securely.
    • If you get your cat from a pet store or an animal shelter you may be able to purchase a carrier when you get the cat.
  2. Purchase a collar and tags. It is important for you to put a collar and tags on your cat as soon as you get it. This will assure that if your cat gets lost anyone that finds it will be able to return it to you.[2]
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    • Make sure the collar is the right size for your cat. It should be snug but not so tight that is restricts the cat’s breathing or swallowing.
    • The information on your cat’s tags should include your name, address, and a telephone number.[3]
  3. Get the cat a bed. In order to make your new cat feel at home, give it a soft and welcoming spot of its own. The cat bed you buy could be very simple or it could be relatively fancy, such as a heated cat bed that plugs into an outlet.[4]
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    • Of course, you cannot guarantee that the cat will love the bed that you buy for it right away. In many cases, it will choose a pillow or an area on the carpet over the bed you chose for it. Don’t be dismayed. You may just need to lure the cat towards the bed with a few toys, some cat nip, or by placing the bed in a warm and sunny spot.[5]
  4. Buy a litter box and litter. Even if you plan to allow your cat outside part of the time, you will still need to provide a litter box and litter for it. Find a place to put the litter box where the cat will have easy access to it.[6]
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    • Just as with the cat’s food, it’s best to begin by using the same litter that the cat has already been using. This will reduce the risk of the cat choosing somewhere other than the litter box to go to the bathroom.
    • If your cat is reluctant to use its litter box it could be due to the type of box or the type of litter. Make sure that the cat can get in and out of the litter box easily. You can also try using a different type of litter.
  5. Get food and water containers. Your cat will need to have both a bowl for food and a bowl for water. These containers should be made of stainless steel, ceramic, or glass. These materials are the easiest to clean.[7]
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    • There is no need to get special bowls made for pets. Instead, you can use bowls that you already own. However, know that pet bowls are usually heavier and weighted to the bottom, so that they are less easily tipped over.
  6. Purchase toys and a scratching post. Giving your cat entertainment is an important part of caring for your cat. Give your new cat a variety of toys and scratching posts or pads so that its brain is stimulated throughout the day.
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    • With a new cat it may take a few tries to find a type of toy that the cat likes. Bring home a variety of types of toys so that you can figure out what your new pet enjoys.
    • There is no need to spend a fortune on lots of fancy cat toys. Instead, in addition to traditional toys like cloth mice and bell balls, provide the cat with simple toys like ping-pong balls, cardboard boxes, and balled up pieces of paper. Your cat may just like the cheap toys best.[8]
    • It’s a good idea to put a scratching post in every room the cat hangs out in so that it doesn’t scratch your furniture instead.[9]

EditPicking the Right Food for Your New Cat

  1. Find out what food the cat is currently eating. If possible, you should begin feeding your cat the same brand of food as it has been eating before coming home with you. This will help assure that it does not get an upset stomach from a sudden change to its diet. Ask the shelter, pet store, or person that had the cat before you about what the cat has been eating.[10]
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    • This does not mean that you have to keep feeding the cat this food forever. It just will allow you to gradually switch the cat’s diet over the course of a week or two.
  2. Discuss food options with your veterinarian. If you are unsure what brand and type of food to feed your new cat, talk to your veterinarian for suggestions. Your veterinarian should be able to give you some ideas that will fulfill the nutritional needs of your cat.
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    • A good time to ask about food recommendations is when you bring your cat in for a checkup as soon as you get it.
    • Your veterinarian may suggest a specialty food for your cat’s specific needs. This may include kitten food, senior food, or food for cats that need to lose weight.[11]
  3. Compare prices. Once you pick a brand and type of cat food, compare prices at your local stores and online. The same exact product may be a very different price at different stores.[12]
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    • Remember that if you order cat food online you may need to pay for shipping as well.
    • You can also reduce the cost of cat food by buying in larger quantities. You will get the food cheaper if you buy large packages than you would if you buy small packages.

EditBuying Grooming and Cleaning Supplies

  1. Buy a brush for your cat. Most cats will need to be brushed regularly. You can buy a brush that is wire or you can get a wire and bristle combo. Additionally, you could get a comb that is metal toothed.[13]
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    • A brush will be especially important if you are getting a long-haired cat. If this is the case, you may want to get a de-shedding brush for the cat to minimize the amount of fur that builds up in your home.
  2. Get nail trimmers. Every cat needs its nails trimmed once in awhile, so you should buy some nail trimmers in preparation for bringing a new cat home. Cat nail trimmers come in two types: guillotine type and a scissor type. The guillotine type are generally easier to use than the scissor type.[14]
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    • You can also use human nail clippers to trim your cat’s nails in a pinch.
    • Trimming a cat’s nails is good for the cat but it can also cut down on the damage they can do to your furniture when scratching.
  3. Get cleaning supplies. When you get a new cat there may be accidents in your home, such as the cat vomiting or going to the bathroom where it shouldn’t. Be prepared for this by buying cleaning supplies that are specially made for cleaning up cat bodily fluids.
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    • These products usually contain special enzymes that eat up the acids in cat urine.[15]
    • These products are available at your local pet supply store and at many general big box stores.

EditSources and Citations

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