What does my new cat need?

Welcoming a new cat to the house can be an exciting experience. It can also feel slightly scary – maybe you even feel unprepared. Have you got everything you need? Will your cat be comfortable in your new house?
Cute tabby kitten sitting on cat tree
Cute tabby kitten sitting on cat tree
Cute tabby kitten sitting on cat tree

Do not worry – we have got you covered. In this article, we list the main things for cats you will need to have before you welcome them home.

– Crate

It is always important to begin with this essential piece of cat equipment. A crate is very useful for taking your cat to and from places – and chances are you will be bringing them back from the breeders’ house or rescue centre in a crate!

A crate is essentially a space in which you can place your cat so that you can take them on journey. There are different kinds of crates: some are made out of fabric and others out of hard materials like plastic. These crates come with safety belts, to ensure your cat is safe on any journey you take her on. They can also be used as a safe space in the home.

Always choose a crate by asking: ‘what does my cat need?’ Remember to account for your cat’s size, their strength and their behavioural habits.

– Bed

Choosing a cat bed is important, as your cat will likely spend a lot of time on it. There are several different kinds of cat beds available on the market, from beds suspended from windows, beds shaped like pods, beds shaped like chaise lounges and even beds shaped like castles.

Do not worry if you don’t get the choice right the first time: picking the perfect bed may take getting to know your cat a bit and finding out what they love. Simply invest in a new bed if the old one is not a fit.

woman touching ginger cat on nose affectionately

– Litter box

Cats are mostly indoor animals and require a litter box for them to defecate in. This is one of the most crucial things for cats; you should take your time choosing what kind of filling you want in the litter box, what size works best for your house and your cat and where you want to position it in the house. Remember that the type of litter box you choose will determine how easy it is to clean.

– Food

Choosing the right kind of food for your cat is, of course, crucial. It is important to have this item on your checklist of new cat equipment before your cat comes home; you do not want the first mealtime to arrive and have nothing to serve them!

There are many types of cat food available. Try and choose a brand known for its nutritional value, such as a complete and balanced food from Purina. Different cats have different nutritional needs, so keeping your breed of cat in mind is very important. Do not worry if your cat does not take to the food you have chosen; you can always change the brand under supervision from your vet.

– Scratching posts

Although it is not strictly necessary that you have this sitting at home before your cat arrives, don’t underestimate how important a scratching post is on the checklist of important things for cats. Cats need to scratch: it is their way of keeping their claws trim. They also tend to rise up on their forelegs when scratching a post and thus exercise their whole body. Plus, if you do not bring this item home sooner or later, it is likely your cat will mistake your furniture for a scratching post instead!

There are several types of scratching posts available today. A simple one would be a pole covered in rough material that your cat can scratch. The more elaborate ones have levels on them for your cat to climb. Buy one depending on your needs and how much space there is in the house.

– Identification

Identification is an important answer to the question ‘what do cats need?’ Since outdoor cats are free roamers, it is likely they will stray from the house to explore the neighbourhood. If this happens, your cat should be identifiable by any stranger (so that they do not think your cat is a stray and try and adopt them!).

Most owners give their cats an identification collar with their details on it and a number you can call if the cat is found. Choosing the right size of collar matters, as you do not want it to be too tight around their necks but you also do not want it too loose, so that your cat gets a leg stuck in it when scratching. Most owners also provide their cats with a microchip; these chips can be scanned to reveal the same details as on an identification collar.

– Food and water bowls

Of course, you do not want to forget buying the equipment to put food and water in for your cat. Choose a bowl that is the right size for the portions you need to feed your cat. You can also get more elaborate versions of a water bowl, such as a water fountain. A water fountain circulates the water in the bowl so that it is always aerated and fresh for your kitten throughout the day.

– Toys

No list of things for cats would be complete without adding. You do not have to buy too many toys, but make sure you have approximately three simple toys that you can rotate and use to play with your kitten or cat. Playing is a good way for your cat to develop their motor skills and cognitive abilities, as well as a good way to train them, so do not ignore this item on the list!

Hopefully you should now feel prepared to welcome your cat or kitten home. Simply make sure you have the items on this list and you are all set.