If you’ve just adopted your very first cat, you may be a little overwhelmed at all of the new products available for them. There are a few key items you’ll need to get started and to give your cat a lifestyle you can eventually expand upon. Here are a few recommendations for getting your cat off to a great start.
Obviously, the most important thing you can provide your cat is a healthy diet. The diet of our cats have changed as we domesticated them. While they were once content with chasing mice in granaries, they now require something with a little more substance. Choosing the best quality diet can go a long way towards reducing future health problems.
Cat require different bowls than dogs because they are more prone to “whisker stress”. While feeders are helpful, you will also need a set of ceramic or stainless steel bowls that are flatter than other designs. For this reason, we like the Dr. Catsby bowls.
Try to stay with a stainless steel bowl or ceramic bowl – both of these types are easily washed and won’t cause feline acne that is often prevalent with plastic bowls. Ultimately, the type of bowl will depend on your cat’s personal preferences, your own unique style, and the type of food you’re serving.
WATER BOWL OR FOUNTAIN
Cats don’t naturally drink a lot of water as they obtain most water from their food in the wild. However, we have changed their diets over the years and cats who don’t drink enough water can be prone to many health problems, including urinary tract infections and dehydration. Since cats are naturally attracted to running water, and tend to enjoy playing in and around these types of fountains, one of the best things you can do is invest in a water fountain for your cats.
There are many different types of litter boxes to choose from – but the type you select will ultimately depend on your cat. Some prefer boxes with covers that offer extra privacy, while others prefer boxes that have high sides. Technology has advanced to allow self-cleaning boxes, which can go a long way towards keeping your home odor-free. Not all cats enjoy this type of box, so use with caution.
No matter which type of box you select, remember to the golden litterbox rule:
1 box per cat + 1 box.
That means if you have 1 cat, you need two litter boxes. If you have 3 cats, you should have four litter boxes available in the home.
There are thousands of different types of litter available. Choose a litter that benefits your cat most. This may be an eco-friendly litter (such as pine, cedar, clay or even tea leaves), a clumping litter (clay or wood), or even “crystal” litters (such as a silica gel) that tend to last longer and reduce waste. Whichever type you choose, your cat will require some “learning” time and you may find that you need to change the litter type if your new feline friend doesn’t enjoy using it.
All cats need a carrier. Whether you use it to transport your new cat to the veterinarian for a checkup or use in an emergency situation, you should have a reliable form of transport. Choose a sturdy plastic carrier, a soft sided carrier, or select a more relaxing carrier like the Sleepypod. In any case, you should leave your carriers out where your cat can access them at all times – this will help reduce stress when you need to travel.
It’s hard to choose just one toy from the vast selection of toys available to cat owners! Every cat has a different style of play and while some prefer quiet feather toys, other prefer the crackling noise of a mylar toy or ball with a bell. Catnip toys are usually a big hit – but only if your cat is one of the 50% of the cat population that responds to the feline-friendly herb!
Start with a sample pack that contains a variety of inexpensive toys to see what your new cat likes – that helps you base your future purchases on the more advanced toys that will last longer.
When will you be getting your new cat or kitten? Let us know by posting a comment below.