COVID-19 has Americans spending more time at home than ever before. As a result, many people are fostering and adopting pets. If you are thinking of getting a furry friend to keep you company during this time, you obviously aren't alone! Before you run off to the nearest pet shop or shelter, however, there are […]
Essential Items To Buy When Bringing A New Cat As A Pet
Are you craving some good company? In today's era, everyone is juggling between professional commitments and personal chores. At times, this routine gets a bit overwhelming due to which people seek support from a companion. Unfortunately, hanging out with friends every day seems impossible. So, how about you get yourself a feline friend?
Having a pet by your side can unwind and relax your brain. After all, there is nothing better than coming back home to the purring sound of cats.
Why a cat? Cats are independent. They don't need that much attention, but it doesn't mean you can leave them alone all the time. They eagerly await your return home and shower you with affection as these are most loving and caring feline friends.
Although cats are low maintenance pets, you have to treat them like your babies. You might be ready for snuggles from the moment the cat arrives, but is that enough? Preparing for a new house member's arrival is equally crucial, assuring their adjustment is as seamless as possible. Continue reading to find out the cat essentials that should be on your shopping list before buying or adopting a new feline friend.
While it is a no-brainer that you need pet food and litter box, first-time cat owners don't understand the importance of scratching posts, toys, etc. It reduces the transition stress, providing your new pet an enriching environment. If it's your first time, here we are bringing a list of essential items to buy when bringing a new cat as a pet.
1. Natural Litter
Cats are particular about their hygiene, which means you have to get a suitable litter box. In addition to this, you have to get litter for your cat to cover their feces. There are various kinds of litter – clumping clay, crystal litter, or natural litter. Clumping clay contains harmful ingredients like sodium bentonite that cause skin irritation. Likewise, they stir up dust, which is not healthy to breathe for you and your cat.
Some cats inhale enough dust that can cause lung issues. Hence, look for a no dust cat litter to keep your little companion away from health risks. It forms hard clumps that make cleaning easy and also offers the best value for money.
2. Litter Box
If you adopt a grown-up cat, look for a sizable box with high sides as they tend to throw litter around. On the other hand, kittens need a box low enough for them to enter readily. You will find many elegant boxes, but it is wise to start with a basic plastic litter box. Otherwise, if you have a budget, get a self-cleaning litter box. It has a mechanism that rakes the dirty litter and replaces it with a new one after your cat uses the box.
Despite the choice of your litter box, you have to place it in a quiet spot to give your cat some privacy. Moreover, consider getting a mat under the box to avoid litter from spreading across the floor. If you don't want to spend much, get linoleum samples and throw them when they get too grimy.
3. Woolen Bed
Unless you are ready to share the bed with your feline friend, get them one. Like humans, cats need loads of rest, and kittens even need more. Unfortunately, disrupted or the lack of sleep can damage your cat's well-being. Thus, pets need their personal space where they can have a mid-day nap and feel cozy. The bed has to be comfortable and washable with enough space for an adult cat to curl up. Are you aware of the cat-wool attraction?
Cats love the aroma and flavor of wool fibers because it reminds them of their moms. Therefore, consider pampering your cat with a woolen bed. Wool fiber keeps the bed warm even if the temperature drops. It also traps moisture and starts producing heat – perfect for chilly and champ nights. You can add a couple of furry pillows and a blanket to the bed to make it more pleasant and cozy.
4. Collar Id & Tag
Even if your cat stays all the time indoors, you still have to get a collar with an ID tag. It is imperative to give your kitty a proper identification because you never know when he/she tries to escape. The identifier should have your name, address, and contact number on it. Instead of getting ordinary tags, get a collar with automatic release. It will immediately disengage if your cat gets stuck on something – for instance, a tree branch or fence.
Most importantly, ensure the collar is not irritating your cat's neck nor affecting his/her breathing and swallowing. As a general rule, allow enough space for two fingers between the collar and neck. Alongside this, you can install permanent microchips in the collar ID to keep track of your cat's whereabouts.
5. Cat Food
As a cat owner, you are responsible for all nutritional needs and diet of your little friend. If you are going for pet food shopping, the countless brands and types of pet food can make you feel lost. If possible, get in contact with the previous cat owner or pet store. Inquire about what kind of food they were feeding their cat and stick to the same diet. Your little friend is already adjusting to the new place, so don't make him/her change the diet to avoid allergic food health problems.
Moreover, what you feed your cat also depends on his age. Kittens need more fats and proteins than grown cats, which means you have to look for a 'complete and balanced nutrition' label on food boxes. Likewise, there are organic foods, specifically for kittens. It comes with 'high-digestible and designed for kittens' labels. Even though kittens who are eight weeks old can handle dry food, canned food helps with development.
In comparison, adult cats thrive on dry food of premium brands. You can also give them canned food for breakfast to bring variations in the meal. Remember, human food is not healthy, even if your cat insists on eating with you. Feel free to give a bite of your pizza slice, but not as a replacement for its meal.
6. Loads Of Toys
Cats love to play with their owners, but can you entertain her 24/7? If not, get some toys for your feline friend. It keeps the cats busy and happy because they love playing with toys. Firstly, get them woolen balls in different colors.
If you want to ensure an interactive play, get a pet stage tower with balls or a fling string. It encourages physical activity, helping your cat stay fit. Likewise, you can get your hands-on kitty houses, climbing posts, or surprise them with some soft toys. Besides, you have to ensure toys are sturdy enough that kittens don't tear the features.
7. Grooming Kit
Do you know how to bond with a cat? Grooming sessions are the perfect time for bonding with your cat. You can play dress up games, give them a bubble bath, or clip their nails. Alongside improving their health, regular grooming can enhance the visual appearance. If you have not put together a grooming kit yet, let us help you make one. Here are some of the essential items you need for enjoyable grooming sessions.
- Nail Clipper: Cats are likely to scratch more if their nails are long. It is an excellent idea to get nail clippers. At times, long nails grow in a curved manner, going into the pads and causing pain. Hence, trim their nails once or twice a month.
- Hairbrush: Whether your cat is short-coated or long-coated, brushing is imperative. It removes dirt, lubricants, and dead hair from her coat. Similarly, it removes skin flakes, stimulating blood circulation, and overall skin health.
- Shampoo: Cats don't require regular bathing sessions; instead, only once or twice a week. But when you are bathing them, make sure all essentials are ready. You have to get a cat shampoo with no harsh chemicals or perfumes since their skin fragile.
- Ear Care: You have to monitor your kitty's ears once a week for wax, debris, and infection. It helps the sensitive detectors to stay alert of your every move.
- Toothbrush: Your feline friend needs clean, sharp, and healthy gums. All the damage to the tongue, palate, and gums can create health risks. Thus, follow old-fashioned teeth brushing to prevent such problems.
8. Calming Diffuser
Moving into a new home with a different family is quite distressing for many cats. Some start marking urine on the walls, while others demonstrate destructive scratching on the furniture. So, how can you help them blend in with the environment? Calming diffusers provide a sense of easiness to the cat.
It releases an odorless vapor that imitates the cat's soothing and calming hormones. The smell communicates to your cat that the area is safe, closing doors for all stress-related issues.
9. Food & Water Bowls
Although your new cat can eat in any stainless-steel bowl, it is better to provide her dish. Once you go pet shopping, you will come across several fancy bowls and food plates. Other than plastic bowls, feel free to get any. Plastic dishes can lead to skin rashes for cats, causing acne on their chin. Similarly, the plastic tends to nick and scratch due to which all the tiny cracks give birth to bacterial infections. And some cats are also allergic to plastic.
Therefore, stick to non-tip stainless steel bowls as saliva cannot enter the steel's surface. As a result, they are more sanitary and relatively easier to clean. But if you prefer elegant ceramic dishes, make sure they are glaze-free. Furthermore, you can also get automatic food and water servers, especially if you have long working hours. The automatic water dispenser will provide a constant supply of clean water, while food servers will give proper 3-time meals with sufficient serving.
10. Tasty Dental Treats
Cats love munching all-day long, meaning you have to get snacks along with pet food. They should have a combination of nutrients and vitamins to ensure your cat is not consuming extra calories. Avoid all treats with high amounts of salt and sodium as they can create digestion problems.
Instead, look for snacks that serve a purpose – dental treats. These are small biscuits, solid enough to keep your cat's mouth clean, improving their dental health.
11. Scratching Post
No matter how much you pamper the cat, it is going to scratch. You can either approve this behavior or find ways to save the furniture. If you want to form a healthy relationship with the cat, invest in a scratching post. It can be as modest or as extravagant as you like, and you can also assemble it yourself. Usually, scratch posts contain a rope with a small surface that is higher than the ground level.
Some posts come with catnip scent to attract your kitty and divert it from scratching on your furniture. Cats scratch on these posts to stretch claws and bodies as it releases the happy hormones, keeping your cat healthy. However, if you have a limited budget, grab a cardboard scratch because it offers the best value for money.
12. Cat Carrier
Is there anything missing? Perhaps, a cat carrier. Every pet owner needs a cat carrier to bring home their new friend. Likewise, you will need this carrier when traveling anywhere with your cat because carrying them in arms is not an option. It has to be comfortable, safe, and secure with plenty of ventilation. And most importantly, it should be of the right size. People usually believe the bigger, the better, but this not true.
A king-size carrier can make your cat feel isolated and anxious while throwing her against the carrier walls. Simultaneously, a small carrier won't be comfortable. Therefore, learn about the general cat carrier sizing rules. If possible, take your cat's measurements from the tip of the nose to the tail. It will give you the approximate length of a suitably sized carrier.
Keep Your New Cat Healthy And Safe
Welcoming a cat or kitten is a thrilling experience, more like the beginning of beautiful companionship. However, this comes with a fair share of responsibilities. Alongside adapting to a new transition, you have to keep the cat safe and healthy. Before bringing home, prepare them for the outside world by taking them to a vet. Don't you think every adopted cat should receive veterinary care, that includes?
- Standard health checkup.
- Treatment to guard cat against fleas and worms.
- If your cat is old enough, opt for neutering.
- Vaccination against cat flu and feline enteritis.
In addition to health checkups, you can also consider getting cat insurance to ensure safety. It will protect you from unexpected expenses while covering the veterinary bills.
Bringing a cat home is nothing less than adopting a baby. It means this is not a decision you can make overnight or in a hurry. It requires proper planning and budgeting because raising a pet is not an easy feat. You have to prepare a pet shopping list and grab everything your feline friend will need. From toothbrush, pet food, litter, to a cozy bed – all these things help make your cat feel at home. Once you are mentally ready with all the essentials, get some balloons, and welcome the new house member.