Before bringing your new kitty home, you need to purchase a few supplies prior to his arrival. Ideally, he should begin exploring and getting used to things as soon as he comes home.
If you can, try to play with your new cat where he's currently living before you bring him home. This helps him become used to your smell in a familiar surrounding.1 Be sure to take a few items with his scent on them home with you, like his favorite towel or toy. Having scents he's familiar with can help him adjust more quickly to your home. Those familiar items, combined with the following must-have supplies, can make your home the "purrfect" fit for your new feline family member.
1. Carrier or Crate
The first thing you need is a cat carrier or crate; you will need this to take your new friend home in. It should be safe and sturdy with plenty of ventilation and easy access for you to get your kitty in and out. We like the Mod Capsule from K&H Pet. It has a rigid exterior and includes a removable mesh door so it can be used as a carrier or sleeper. A cardboard box doesn't allow for enough air access, and a scared cat could probably claw her way through it. A plastic carrier with a locking door on the front should be sturdy enough and also provide the right amount of accessibility.
To help your kitty feel safe in the carrier, use the Comfort Zone Spray & Scratch Control Spray. The calming spray can be used to help soothe and calm your cat for the ride home. About 15 minutes before placing your kitty inside, spray one to two times in each corner and on the floor and ceiling. Wait for it to dry, then cover the bottom with a towel or another piece of soft material.
2. Food and Water Bowls
Your cat should have food and water bowls waiting for him upon his arrival. A clean and inviting water dish is essential, and we like the K&H CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl for Cats. It filters contents up to 130 times an hour through a charcoal filter that helps remove impurities. It's designed for convenient cleaning with an easy-to-clean reservoir and a dishwasher-safe bowl. The bottoms of the bowls should be weighted to avoid tipping. If you've adopted a kitten, consider purchasing smaller, shallower bowls designed specifically for kittens. Bowls should be cleaned daily and placed far from the litter box, as cats don't like to eat and relieve themselves in the same location.
There are several types of food to choose from. If possible, find out what kind of food the breeder, shelter, or pet store was feeding your cat and stick to the same diet for a while. She will be adjusting to so many new things during her first few weeks at home that keeping her diet the same may be a comfort to her. What you feed your new cat also depends on her age: kittens need a special diet, and senior cats may require a diet formulated especially for seniors. You might also want a cat dental kit on hand once your kitty is more used to you.
Many cats will happily fall asleep anywhere, but a cat bed will be a favorite napping spot. The bed should be warm and soft, and it should be located in a place that makes your kitty feel comfortable and safe. The Amazin' Thermo-Kitty Pad is a very economical choice. The fabric traps kitty dander, and the cover is washable. Or you might want a Kitty Sill—EZ Window Mount that attaches to the window so your cat can watch the world outside while relaxing. Another option is the Lazy Cup, which is made of soft microfleece and includes an inner pillow. Make sure whichever bed you choose is large enough for your cat to lay down in and have some room to stretch but small enough to help him feel secure.
5. Litter Box
You have several styles of litter boxes to choose from. A self-cleaning litter box has a mechanism that rakes the dirty litter after your cat has used the box. While some owners appreciate the cleaning help this offers, these boxes are quite expensive, and the mechanism can sometimes frighten cats. A hooded litter box has a tall cover designed to give the cat some privacy while hiding the mess often found in litter boxes. This can also help keep litter from being tossed over the box's edge and onto the floor. However, some cats are afraid of the hood and will not use an enclosed litter box. The third option is a plain plastic box with kitty litter inside. Many cat owners prefer this simpler option, but it does require some upkeep. The right litter can go a long way when introducing a new cat into your home. We like Earth's Finest Natural Cat Litter; it's a natural, ultra-light, and tight-clumping litter that uses renewable, farm-grown ingredients to draw cats to the litter box. It features superior odor control, is dust-free, and helps train cats to use the box.
6. Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser
Moving into a new home with a new family is a very stressful event for most cats. They often need a lot of help adjusting to their new homes. The Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser for Cats & Kittens provides a sense of calm for the cat by releasing an odorless vapor that mimics a cat's calming pheromones. These pheromones help communicate to your cat that the area is safe. Providing your cat with this sense of calm can help prevent stress-related issues such as urine marking on the walls or even destructive scratching, which can be signs that your cat is stressed. If your kitty needs more round-the-clock soothing, try the Comfort Zone Calming Collar.
7. Scratching Posts
Cats need to scratch, and a cat scratching post can help with that urge. Make sure the post has a sturdy base to keep it from tipping over. It should be at least as tall as the cat so she can stand on her hind legs and get a good stretch while she's scratching. The Stretch n' Scratch Cardboard Toy can transform into three shapes, making it adjustable to your cat's specific needs. Or try the Four Paws Super Catnip Carpet and Sisal Scratching Post. This 21-inch-tall scratching post has a catnip rattle ball hanging from the top for extra fun. If you have more than one cat, you should have at least one scratching post per kitty.
Cats love to play; make sure you provide your cat with a variety of safe toys. Pouncing is a favorite activity of cats, so balls and catnip-filled mice are good options. An excellent choice is the EZ Mount Track n' Roll, which mounts to any glass surface and provides hours of interactive fun. It can be placed on glass doors, windows, or even your fridge to entertain your cat. Another option is the Four Paws Super Catnip Crazy Pants. This is a pants-shaped, crawl-thru toy made of crinkle material with two tunnels to explore. To avoid the danger of your cat choking on a toy, do not give him toys with small parts that can be torn off, such as bells, feathers, or pom-poms. Examine each toy to make sure it's safe for your cat before giving it to him.
9. Collar and ID Tag
Your cat should wear a collar with an ID tag at all times. The tag should have your name, address, and telephone number on it. The collar should have an automatic release that will disengage if your cat gets stuck on something, like a tree branch. Make sure the collar fits properly and won't irritate your cat's neck or affect her breathing and swallowing. A general rule is to allow enough room for two fingers to fit between the collar and the neck.
If you're wondering what cats need in a new home, all of these items are essentials and should be included on your cat supplies list. With a well-prepared home, your kitty will adjust faster, and soon you'll have a purring, content best friend to pet and play with and love.
1. Horwitz, Debra and Buzhardt, Lynn. "Bring Home Your New Kitten." VCA Hospitals, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/bringing-home-your-new-kitten.