New Cat Checklist
So you’re planning on adopting a cat or kitten. CONGRATULATIONS! Before you bring your new family member home, there are few things to keep in mind: 1) new kitty will need a separate space all her own for the first few weeks to allow a smooth transition, especially if you have other animals in the house 2) if you don’t already, you’ll need a veterinarian and 3) you’ll need some supplies. Below are a few items to make sure you have prior to bringing your new friend home.
● Carrier: Anytime your cat has to leave the house, for a vet appointment, or other reasons, she should be secured in a carrier. By securing your cat in a carrier you are ensuring she is not able to run from you if they are frightened. This will help to keep them safe and calmer.
● Break-Away or Safety Collar With ID Tags: Please consider putting a safety collar and ID tag with your information on your cat. If the cat gets out, this collar will signal that the cat is an indoor pet who does not belong outside. If someone finds her, then they will be able to get in contact with you. This should help to ensure that your cat is not dropped off at a shelter. In addition, it’s highly recommended that you microchip your cat; collars can fall off.
● Food and Water Bowls: Stainless steel or ceramic bowls can help to reduce cat acne (black itchy scabs) found on a cat’s chin. These should be cleaned often to prevent bacteria build up.
● High Quality Food (appropriate for the cat’s age): Your local pet store can help you to decide which food is best for your cat and your budget. You may choose to portion out your cat’s food or allow them to free feed; just make sure your cat is not overeating and gaining too much weight. You should have water available at all times. Consider buying a water fountain; cats prefer to drink from running water.
● Litter Box, Litter, and Scoop: There are a wide variety of litter boxes and different types of litter available. Pick one that fits your household, and if you have more than one cat, you should be adding extra litter boxes. Scooping the litter box each day helps to keep the litter clean and will encourage your cat to continue to use the litter box. Many cats will not use a dirty litter box. Litter boxes should also receive a deep cleaning now and then.
● Scratching Posts: By providing your cat with a scratching post(s) this will encourage her to scratch on the designated post, rather than on carpet or furniture. There are several varieties of scratching posts available, you may need to try out a few different styles before finding one that your cat prefers.
● Grooming Essentials: Nail clippers and brushes are essential for any cat parent. Your veterinarian can teach you how to trim your cat’s nails and can work with you on recommending the best brush type for your cat’s coat. Keeping your cat’s nails short can make scratching less damaging. And although your cat does a good job of grooming on her own, brushing your cat can help to remove tangles and debris from her fur and prevent hairballs.
● Bedding: Making a bed(s) available for your cat can give her a safe space to nap. She will likely chose to sleep elsewhere, but it is a good idea to give her a few options.
● Toys: Cats can be very playful by nature. Providing them with a wide variety of toys provides them with exercise and entertainment. Playtime should be made an integral part of your cat’s routine to help manage weight and keep her active and healthy.