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Welcoming a new cat or kitten? Here is what you need to buy

White cat with accessories

Starter kit to welcome your future cat or kitten!

© kholywood - Shutterstock

If you wish to adopt a cat, you should know that you will need to equip yourself with various accessories for its well-being, comfort, balance, health and to satisfy its needs, including the most basic ones.

By Dr. Katy Ellison MA VetMB MRCVS

Updated on the

A cute kitten is hard to resist! With their mischievous nature, these adorable fluffballs are bundles of fun. If you have the time to commit, you may decide that a kitten is the perfect addition to your household.

Welcoming a new cat or kitten into your home is an exciting time. It may take a little while for your four-legged friend to settle into their new surroundings, but you can help them by making sure that you have everything they need. Plan in advance so that your kittie’s first day is as calm and stress-free as possible.

What do you need to welcome a cat: New kitten or cat essentials checklist

To help plan for your new arrival, we have put together a checklist of kitten accessories for your shopping list:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Cat or kitten food
  • Cat bed
  • Litter tray
  • Cat litter
  • Cat carrier
  • Toys
  • Grooming brush
  • Scratching post

Many cute cat accessories will be OK for your new addition but remember to check the labelling to make sure that the product is kitten safe!

Make sure that your house is ready for your kitten too! Do you need to add any cat home accessories to your shopping list? You may need to think about:

Get the basic kitten supplies 

You’re all ready to visit the pet store and want to get the best cat accessories for your feline. Let’s look at your kitten’s shopping list in a bit more detail:

Food and water bowls

You will need a food bowl and a water bowl suitable for kittens. It is important that the bowls are easy to clean so stainless steel or ceramic bowls may be a better choice than plastic. Buy a standard cat-sized bowl and it will last until your kittie is an adult, or buy a cute kitten-sized bowl, the choice is yours!

Kitten food

To avoid upset tummies in the first few days it is best to feed your fluffball the same food as they were used to at the breeders. Kitten foods should be higher in protein than adult foods and highly digestible to support growth and development.

Kitten bed

A cosy bed that your kitten can snuggle into will help them settle on their first night. It may be better to get a small bed to make your kitten feel secure.

Litter tray and cat litter

Choose non-clumping cat litter for your kitten. Inquisitive kittens may eat cat litter and the clumping varieties can cause a gut blockage.

Cat carrier

You will need a secure carrier to bring your kitten home in and for vet visits. A small carrier may be more suitable but remember your kitten will soon outgrow it!

Kitten toys

After the initial settling in period, your kitten will start to show their playful side and a few kitten-safe toys will help to keep them entertained. Playing with your kitten will also help to grow and strengthen the bond that you share.

Grooming brush for your kitten

A soft brush for their fluffy kitten fur should be on your list, especially if your feline is of the long-haired variety. Starting a grooming routine early in life is a good idea so your kitten soon learns to enjoy being brushed.

Scratching post for your kitten

Your kitten may not use a scratching post to start with but encouraging them to use it at a young age, may have long term benefits for your furniture! Those kitten nails are like needles!

Get the basic cat supplies

Adopting an adult cat may be the right choice for you. Older cats tend to have a calmer temperament than kittens and are often less of a handful. There is a large choice of cat accessories for adult cats, so where should you begin?

Food and water bowls

Adult cats prefer their food and water bowls separate, so single bowls rather than the double variety may be preferred. 

Cat food

Moving home is stressful for anyone and cats are no different. They may have a delicate digestion in the early days with you so just as with younger felines, try and keep their diet the same as in their previous home. Ask your veterinary surgeon if you need advice about the best diet for your adult cat.

Cat bed

A bed for your cat is largely a matter of personal preference, both yours and your cat’s! They are notoriously fussy creatures so why not try a radiator bed for the ultimate in warmth? Or how about memory foam for a bit of luxury?

Litter tray and cat litter

Set up your cat’s toilet area well away from their food bowl. Make sure the litter is deep enough so that they can dig - adult cats will need a litter tray with high sides if you want to avoid cat litter all over the floor!

Cat carrier

Make sure you buy a secure cat carrier of adequate size for your new feline friend – an essential for their journey home.

Cat toys

The age of your cat will determine your choice of feline entertainment. Younger cats will be more playful and may enjoy anything from chasing ping pong balls to laser lights and automatic mice. 

Grooming brush for your cat

Cats are often very thorough groomers and short haired felines may do a pretty good job of looking after their coat themselves. However, a regular groom will help to keep the coat in top condition and can be a good opportunity to give your cat a check over. Grooming is a must for long-haired cats to avoid matted fur.

Scratching post for your cat

A scratching post is a great investment and will help save your sofa from unwanted feline attention. The taller cat tree scratching posts can be a popular choice with cats because they love to have a high vantage point from which to view their surroundings.

So your shopping is complete, now all that remains is to welcome your new feline into your home and let the fun begin!

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