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The Ultimate Guide: What to get your new cat or kitten

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The Ultimate Guide: What to get your new cat or kitten

Brielle Merchant

newkittybyron.png

Did you get a new kitty or are you looking to improve what your current cat has?

It's so exciting to bring home a new friend! Cats can be really loving, loyal, & intelligent pets. They are also easy to care for because they are independent in many ways.

I hope you enjoy your kitten or cat, & find these tips useful!

Here are some items you'll need:

Litterbox

I truly love the OmegaPaw Self-Cleaning litter box. It's a little bit more costly than a traditional litterbox, but it allows you to clean the litterbox without scooping. Yes, NO scooping!!! Basically, you tilt all the litter onto one side of the box and it filters out the mess. The filtered out portion, the mess, is then in a scooper that you can pull out.

Pros: no scooping, lid included, lots of space, slightly elevated so less mess when cat kicks litter

Cons: it's large & takes up some space, a bit more costly, can be hard to travel with

Don't want the fancy, no scooping OmegaPaw Self-Cleaning litter box? Alright. I still have a suggestion!

Choose a somewhat large litterbox that has the following:

a) Is a color that will match the room or a color you like.

b) Is slightly elevated because your cat will kick out litter & this will help avoid that a bit.

c) Allows a lid to attach to it. Buy the matching lid. This will also help the contain litter as your cat kicks it around inside the litterbox.

Litter

There are fancy versions of litter, but I haven't tried them. I've tried a variety of brand name litter options & super cheap ones from Walmart.

Tidy Cats liter works great for me because it has an easy to carry and pour container. Also, it includes scents by Glade so that smells aren't an issue!

I'd also suggest going to Pet Smart and purchasing their store brand litter. It comes this way or that way. If you keep your original container and bring it back, you get a discount on the litter.

Cons: it's large & takes up some space, a bit more costly, can be hard to travel with

Don't want the fancy, no scooping litterbox? Alright. I still have a suggestion!

Choose a somewhat large litterbox that has the following:

a) Is a color that will match the room or a color you like.

b) Is slightly elevated because your cat will kick out litter & this will help avoid that a bit.

c) Allows a lid to attach to it. Buy the matching lid. This will also help the contain litter as your cat kicks it around inside the litterbox.

Bed

Any soft bed with a nice color will work. I really like this cat bed. It's soft, super cute, and will match with most things. I also really like cat beds that enclose around the cat like this one here.  Cats love to feel secure and warm by staying in close spaces.

You should also get a blanket to go on top of the bed. A really nice blanket like this one will have you wanting to use it too!

Crate

You'll want a hard crate that you can place in a car. Try to find one that is airline approved. I've flown with cats, but I've always used a soft airline approved crate because the cat stayed with me during the entire flight. Hard crates are boarded sort of like checked bags are. You never know if this may be your only option depending on the airline.

Traveling carrier

A traveling carrier is one that is TSA approved for flights. Usually, they are totes or soft crates. I recommend getting something that fits your lifestyle & existing luggage. Soft crates are nice because they close fully & offer your pet a bit of space. They are also very similar to the hard crates in their shape. This could be good or bad depending on how your cat feels about their crate. Totes work better for dogs. Cats are permitted in them & I've done it while traveling on foot (never a plane or anything), but my cat did one day jump free from the tote. It was traumatic & it took forever to resolve the situation. All pets are different, so maybe it would work for yours, but I wouldn't gamble.

Food

Blue Buffalo! It's healthy & your pet will absolutely enjoy it! Other "wellness" or healthy brands have had ingredients that were great, yet I've found cats tend to not eat those brands. This typically means the food is not delicious to them.

There is Blue Buffalo for your kitten and Blue Buffalo for your adult cat.

If you don't want to use Blue Buffalo, make sure you check the ingredients on your pet's food. you want a brand that uses real food. "Chicken Meal" and other substitutes are

Make sure you check the ingredients in your pet's food. You want a brand that uses real food & actual meat. "Corn", "by-product", flour", etc. should not be the first few ingredients. Those ingredients are like filler food instead of actual meat or other sources of protein.  Your pet's food should have the first few ingredients be actual meat & vegetables. See examples below. I used the first four ingredients of popular cat food brands. Determine which ingredients look good & which you shouldn't purchase for your pet. Keep scrolling for the answers!

Examples:

Ingredients #1
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas

Ingredients #2
Corn Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soy Flour

Ingredients #3
Chicken, Chicken meal, Peas, Chickpeas

Ingredients #4
Chicken, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Gluten

Ingredients #5
Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum

Answers

Ingredients #1 are good. Real ingredients are used & the first few are meat. Ingredients #2 aren't good. Corn isn't a great ingredient & you certainly don't want any by-products as the first few ingredients of your pet's food. Ingredients #3 are alright. Real chicken is used, but ingredients #1 are still better since the third ingredient is turkey. Ingredients #4 could be much better. More real meat would be ideal. Ingredients #5 are terrible.

Best ingredients: #1

Food containers

You need 2 bowls or another type of container for food & water. I like these food bowls because they look elegant and are slightly raised from the ground. Also, they aren't attached to each other and can be easily cleaned individually.

I'm not too picky about this, but I'll tell you what your options are!

There are automated water & food bowls. They don't usually require electricity & simply allow the food or water to fall out once there is more room in the bowl. This is great if you are lazy or will be away for travel while your pet is home.

Another option is using something in your home. A regular bowl & plate will work great.

If you want more stylish options, visit the pet section of local pet stores. There aren't too many creative options that I've seen, but some food bowls are decorated in cute ways.

Nail clippers

Meh. Take your cat to the vet or buy some kitty nail clippers. The latter is much more affordable, yet the experience may be not worth it. Some cats don't put up a struggle when you try to groom them, but I've found that most cats do. It can be difficult to hold your cat & clip their nails at the same time. You may want to get the help of another person or make that trip to the vet.

Brush

Initially, I purchased a brush because I was told it would help reduce shedding. I'm not sure that brushing your cat's hair truly helps with shedding or not. I do know that it's good to brush your cat though. I've also found that some cats really enjoy being brushed.

Treats

Who doesn't love a treat? Don't give your cat too many or too often, but they are good to have on hand. I've used treats for fun, but also when trying to teach my pets new tricks.

Usually, I use canned cat food as a treat because those ingredients can be healthy. The only healthy treats I've found are really for dental care, but cats do enjoy them!

Toys

Toys are so important. Toys keep cats entertained & healthy! Find your cats small balls, wands with dangling charms,& other toys that they can chase.

Here are some toys that every cat is sure to love:

Tower of Track Balls

Cats love to play with balls and having 3 levels to choose from just keeps things super interesting for them.

Classic Ball Track with Scratcher

This is the traditional ball on a track that cats love, but it also includes a scratcher in the middle. Scratchers or scratch posts are crucial for cat nail care. If they don't have a scratcher then it's likely that your furniture will be their substitute.

Self Rotating Ball with Light

This is really fun and interactive for cats. It's also great because the cat can play with it without your help. You can also buy a laser, but that would require you to use it with your cat.

Teaser Wand

This requires you to play with your cat, but it excellent fun and exercise for you both. I like to use wands to keep my cat sharp mentally and also physically fit. Place the wand behind different objects to play hide and go with your pet. Be sure to also dangle the wand in the air and drag it along the floor too. All of these movements will force your cat to jump and run.

Balls

You can never have too many balls for your cat. Cats absolutely love tossing around balls. This is an easy way for them to play for hours. I usually place one in my cat's crate too.

A blanket or two

Blankets are great for the cat's bed, carriers, or any other travel totes that the cat would be in. Blankets fill empty space which makes the cat feel more secure & less alone.

Also...

You'll also want to locate your nearest vet. Your cat may need shots now or in the future. You never know when emergencies may occur. Identify at least one reputable vet in your area. Some vets may even specialize in cat care!

I hope this was helpful. Let me know!