Many of us will be looking after a new pet this year. It’s a wonderful gift to have been given, with a lot of responsibility, and you’ll want that your new companion feels like they have a new forever home where they feel comfortable, welcome and safe. It can be a little daunting trying to think about all the pet supplies and every little thing that a new cat could possibly need, but don’t worry. There are some essentials that you’ll have to have, but part of the journey will be discovering what your cat likes and dislikes, and going from there. Let’s run through the list of must-haves.
Make Sure They Have A Comfy Bed
Now, we’re sure that this was on the top of your shopping list already, as everyone knows that there’s nothing cats like better than curling up for a lovely long nap somewhere warm and cosy. However, it’s not just about getting forty winks. Cats are immensely territorial creatures and when they move into your new home, it’s going to be very important to make them feel like they have a space that they can call their own. Think carefully about where you put their bed because that’s going to be their area, and it won’t be fair to them if you keep moving it around. If you’ve got a laundry room, for example, that’s the perfect combination of accessible and private, where they can retreat to if they need to feel safe but won’t feel like you’re shutting them away.
Give Them A Litter Box That’s Somewhere Private
Rather like their human owners, cats aren’t particularly fond of being on display when they’re doing their business, and they certainly would prefer to be comfortable while they’re doing so. Staying on top of keeping their litter tray clean and tidy is going to be one of your most important duties as an owner, so make sure you’ve got plenty of kitty litter in stock at any given time. Think about where you can put their litter tray where they won’t feel like they’re being observed or hassled in a high foot traffic area (ideally not in the kitchen, for example). As your new cat gets more used to you, this may start to be less of an issue but it’s certainly something to account for in these early stages. With the litter box itself, it’s worth investing in one with high sides as they’ll be kicking up a little storm covering their business when they’re done!
Be Prepared For The Fact That Your Cat Is Going To Scratch
Oh yes, your cat will scratch. You can explain to them that the sofa or your nice armchair is not somewhere that they should be digging their claws into, but the fact of the matter is: your cat wants to scratch, and they’re going to do it. With that in mind, a scratching post is a necessary purchase if you want to preserve your soft furnishings as much as possible. One of the main reasons why cats scratch so much is that it helps them to stretch, so make sure you buy a post that’s tall enough for them to fully stretch those long legs and get to work. Allowing your cat to scratch is doubly important as it allows them to keep their claws in check, and if they aren’t getting worn down, they can become painful to walk on. Keep your pet happy and give them a post where they can really go to town.
Treat Them To Some Nice Toys
Ah, the toys! No loving pet owner can resist the urge to spring for some exciting toys for their pet, but it’s worth noting that cats can be extremely picky. If you flood them with gifts early on, there’s a good chance that they’ll decide that they’d rather play with the wiring behind the TV instead. Take the time to do some research into common favourites, and then see how your cat gets on with them. Once you’ve got a sense of the kind of toys and games they enjoy, then you can go from there. Online pet shop Time for Paws has a wide range of toys and accessories, not to mention pet food and litter trays, for cats and many other animals, that you can look at. They have all the big brands, and they have an excellent Trustpilot rating.
Make Sure You Have The Right Food
Depending on the age of your cat, they may have different dietary requirements. If you’re adopting a cat who has been living at a shelter, then talk to the staff there to find out what they’ve been eating and stock up on that to help make the transition into your home as smooth as possible. If your cat is older, then you might be looking at a special diet, so make sure you talk to your vet to get advice on what to buy. Similarly, a kitten will have different requirements. It is also important to talk to your vet about what kind of portions your cat should be eating and how many times a day they should be doing so. While some cats can be trusted to graze when they’re hungry, it’s not a given so try and get a routine going.
Ensure That They Have Clean Water And Food Bowls
It’s really important that you make sure to clean your cat’s food and water bowls after every meal. While cats are pretty fastidious when it comes to cleanliness, any bacteria in their mouth will inevitably get into their bowls when they’re eating. Similarly, keep an eye on any food that has been left, as you’ll want to make sure to get rid of it before it picks up any nasty foreign bodies. Your cat will probably prefer a metal or ceramic bowl to eat and drink out of, as plastic tends to absorb the odor of what’s going in it after a while and felines have a very sensitive sense of smell.
Now, some cats can be a bit fussy when it comes to their water, so if you notice that they’re reluctant to drink from the bowl but can’t resist the tap, you might want to think about investing in a running water drinking bowl.