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8 things you’ll need for your new cat

Here are eight items you will want to consider when welcoming a new feline friend into your home.

Microchip

You know what they say about cats and curiosity – this is an easy, relatively pain-free procedure that will help alleviate the stress of a missing pet.

Collar and identity tag

Both indoor and outdoor cats should wear a collar and tag. However, given the feline propensity to crawl into, and jump onto, all manner of places, a “snap on/snap off” collar is the safest bet. This will eliminate the danger of choking.

Water and food bowls

Remember that each pet in your house should have their own food bowl, although some cats do like to share water bowls. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are preferred over plastic, as there are fewer issues with bacteria.

Food

If you’re adopting an older cat, ask their current caretaker what brand of food they prefer, how much food they eat, and how often. Keep everything the same for the first two weeks, and then, if switching to a new brand, transition gradually by adding the new food to the old food to prevent upset stomachs. For kittens, look for high quality, natural food, or ask your local pet store.

Litter  box and litter

Cats like their privacy when using a littler box, so make sure you have a litter box for each cat. Whether you should buy a covered or uncovered box will depend on the preference of your cat. Plan on scooping their box at least once a day, and washing it completely every 5-7 days. As for which litter to buy, go to the nearest, trusted pet store and ask the staff for recommendations.

Scratching post or scratching incline box

All cats scratch to keep their claws and paws in good shape. A scratching post or incline box gives them a safe place to do this, before they turn their attentions to your furniture! For older cats, you can encourage them to use these by putting a little catnip on them. For kittens, you can try dragging a ribbon or string over it to increase its appeal.

Toys

Little balls to bat around, catnip mice, and anything you can use to engage them, like a feather or stuffed toy attached to a long stick, are good places to start.

Pet insurance

Even if you plan on keeping your cat indoors, it’s a good idea to plan for the unexpected. Injuries and illnesses can catch you off-guard, and pet insurance will help ease the stress when you’re already worried about your feline companion.

A few other suggestions include: A brush or special comb, as daily brushing can help reduce hairballs, which is in everyone’s best interest – less mess for you to clean, less discomfort for your cat. A special spray, or plug-in, can help reduce the stress of your cat’s arrival in their new surroundings. And some cats may enjoy a soft bed to snuggle in as they adjust to a new household. The scent mimics the natural feline facial pheromone, which can provide them with comfort, and thus reduce urine spraying and scratching.