8 Essential Cat Accessories a New Pet Parent Must Have

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Congratulations on becoming a new cat parent! But before bringing your feline home, you need to get some essentials to make the transition smooth for you and your new family member.

Prior to heading to your preferred pet shop, it would be best to choose your new cat first. Some cat accessories you need to buy (like collars and harnesses) will highly depend on the size and age of the cat you want to bring home.

Furthermore, you need to know the kind of food your feline was eating at the foster home or shelter so you can give her the same kind, in the beginning, to ease the transition and prevent stomach upset and other related illnesses. Once your pet has settled into her new home, you can then talk to your vet about switching her diet, if needed.

Once you have chosen your pet, here are the eight cat essentials you need to get to ensure her good health and happiness.

1. Crate or carrier

Since you need to bring home your cat, a cat crate or carrier is the first pet item you will need. Ideally, choose one that is sturdy and safe with lots of ventilation. It should also be easy for you to get your feline in and out of. A plastic carrier with a lockable door should be enough and also offers the right amount of convenience.

Don’t forget to take some items with her scents on them, such as her favorite toy or towel. A familiar scent will help her adjust faster to your home. You should also play with the cat days before bringing her home so she can become used to your smell.

2. Food

As mentioned earlier, give your cat the same kind of food she received from her previous home for a while. This will make her feel comfortable as she adjusts to a lot of things during her first couple of weeks at her new home.

If it’s time to change her diet, you will have several types of food to select from. A vet can help narrow down your options. But generally, you need to feed your cat depending on her age, behavior, and nutritional needs. Today, some of the most vet-recommended cat food brands are Acana, Applaws, Royal Canin, Taste of the Wild, and Hill’s Science Plan. Each brand offers dry and wet cat foods that are both nutritious for your feline.

3. Food and water bowls

Food and water bowls must be available upon your cat’s arrival. The bottoms of the bowls must be heavy enough to prevent tipping. Also, keep them clean at all times and make sure to place them far away from your pet’s litter box because cats don’t want to eat and relieve themselves in the same place.

4. Litter box

Small pet supply shops offer different types of litter boxes.

The simplest option is the plain plastic box with litter inside, but this requires considerable upkeep.

A litter box with a hood is also a good option. It has a tall cover to give your feline some privacy while hiding most of the mess inside the litter boxes and preventing the litter from being tossed to the edge of the box or onto your carpet flooring. However, your cat might be scared of the hood and refuse to use the enclosed litter box.

The best option, perhaps, is a self-cleaning litter box, despite its high price. It has a tool that rakes the litter immediately after your cat uses it. However, some cats can get frightened by this mechanism.

Choosing the right litter box is vital when introducing your cat to your home. Make sure it has a feature that attracts your feline towards it, trains her to use it, and controls odor.  

5. Bed

Though cats can happily sleep anywhere, giving her a bed will make her feel more comfortable and secure. Choose a bed that is soft and warm. Also, the cover must be washable, and the fabric should be able to trap dander. Whatever bed you choose to get her, it must be big enough so that she can lay down, relax, and have extra space to stretch, but small enough to make her feel safe.

6. ID tag and collar

Make sure your cat wears her ID tag at all times. The tag must have her name, your name, telephone number, and address. The collar, on the other hand, must have an automatic release that disengages should your cat get stuck on something. Choose a collar that perfectly fits on your cat’s neck so it won’t irritate her or affect her swallowing and breathing. Generally, allow enough space for your two fingers to fit between your cat’s neck and the collar.

7. Scratching posts

Cats love to scratch, so make sure to give her a scratching post with a sturdy base to prevent it from tipping over. Most importantly, it must be as tall as your cat to ensure that she gets a good stretch while scratching. A scratching post that can be transformed into different shapes or a post with a catnip rattle ball are some great options.

8. Toys

Cats also love to play, so you must give them different safe toys. Catnip-filled mice and balls are great options because cats enjoy pouncing. Ideally, don’t give small parts that can easily be torn apart like pom-poms, feathers, and bells to prevent choking and other accidents. Most importantly, examine all toys before giving them to your cat to ensure that they are safe.

A home with all these essentials and the items the cat is familiar with can all help your newly adopted pet adjust faster. Eventually, you can have a purring, satisfied, and happy best friend to love and play with.

AUTHOR BIO

Sam Saleki is the owner of Paws & Claws, a trusted family-run online pet store in Mirdif, Dubai. A lifelong animal lover, Sam founded the business in 2006 to fill the need for a pet shop offering good-quality dog food, pet accessories and pet grooming products in the area. Sam is an animal welfare advocate and is currently working on an online animal homing platform that helps facilitate the fast rescue and adoption of animals in need.