Those little paws, pointy ears and super soft fur can make almost anyone melt into a big love puddle. We completely understand why you’ve decided to welcome a brand new kitten into your home. Congratulations! Cats are wonderfully curious creatures and raising one is world full of rewards. If you’re a brand new cat owner, you’re probably wondering what you need to purchase other than dry and wet food. No worries, we are here to help you with a list of the essentials.
Take a look at our new kitten essentials checklist below!
#1 Litter Box (Use the n+1 rule)
At the very top of the list is of course the litter box. But just a heads up, not all litter boxes are created equal! Keep it simple folks. Those high-tech, self cleaning litter boxes can be scary for your brand-new kitten. There are plenty of aesthetically pleasing options and it’s a matter of finding the right size for your fur baby. There should be enough space for your cat to circle and dig around. Some like having a covered box while others like an uncovered box, so don’t get discouraged if your kitkat it not feeling your first choice.
Pro tip: Use the n+1 rule. Not sure what we mean? It means for every cat you have, purchase one extra litter box. So if you have 2 cats, then 2+1 =3 litter boxes.
Cats sleep a lot. Like a lot, a lot and while they will find pretty much anywhere to sleep it’s really nice to have a designated bed of their own. As with the litter boxes, cats can be particularly picky with their beds. It’s all about location and smell. Keep their bed out of the way from foot traffic but in an area where they can keep an eye out on things. Then put some cat nip or one of your old t-shirts in and around the bed so your kitten knows to rub his or her scent on it and make it their own.
#3 Cat Tree & Scratching Post
These are the bigger items of this essentials list and come in all shapes, sizes and designs. One thing you should keep in mind is that cats need to scratch and it’s either a post or your furniture. If you have the space and the finances, consider multiple scratching surfaces.
#6 Fun Toys!
Cat toys are so pretty and cute and you’ll want to buy a whole shopping cart full of them. Kittens looooove feather teasers, pom poms, catnip mice and toys that jingle or crinkle. If you’re like us, go crazy. You and your cat can never have too many.
A carrier is the easiest and safest way to travel with your kitten to and from the vet, the airport, holiday stays, etc. And they are plenty worth the investment. Look for a soft-sided carrier that has a sturdy bottom and mesh sides allowing your cat to breathe. There should be enough room for your little one to stand and circle around comfortably. Some even have expandable sides so your pet has room to roam a little further if you’re waiting at the airport.
Pro tip: If you will be (or think you will be) traveling via plane with your cat in the future, find a carrier that is airline approved. Then you don’t have to spend the extra money on two carriers.
#8 Quality Cat Treats
Treat choice will always be dependent on your cat’s dietary needs but one thing is for sure, they will appreciate some variety. From Feline Greenies to hairball care and tasty, grain-free chicken treats, the range is endless. Below are few of our favorite choices. Kibble toppers and bone broth are also very good choices; your kitten will gobble his or her meal up.
#9 Food and Water Bowls
Elevated bowls with a slight tilt will help your cat enjoy eating his or her food at more comfortable position. They won’t have to bend down as far to reach a flat bowl on the floor which means they’ll be able to lick the bowl easier. Less of a mess. Plus, the bowls are just really cool to look at. Like little works of art.
#10 Brush and/or Flea Comb
Yes, cats do actually need baths and they also need to be brushed. How often you brush your cat’s fur depends on the length of his or her coat. Some longer haired cats require daily brushing to keep their fur tangle free. You’ll discover over time what the proper maintenance time is for your specific breed of kitten, just keep a good eye out for matting.
Regular brushing will also reduce the hairballs and shedding which is beneficial when you wear a lot of black.. ahem, New York. K-9 brushes are usually to rough for cats so look for a brush that is specifically made for cats. A good slicker brush is generally all you need but you may want to pair it up with a two-side brush that comes with large bristles on one side and fine pins on the other. There are also mitt brushes which is perfect for those that want to multitask brushing and petting at the same time.
#11 Toothbrush and toothpaste
Like you and me, cats also need their teeth brushed often as to not let plaque build up. When you begin to start brushing your kitten’s teeth, remain patient and gentle as they warm up to this weird contraption. Small circles at a 45 degree angle is usually the best approach. Warm water also makes it a bit more comfortable for your kitty.
#12 Collar and ID Tag
Cat collars and tags are so tiny and adorable. There are so many fun choices and a great way to make sure your kitten can easily be identified and returned back to you in case they get lost. Their collar should fit snuggly around their neck and rule of thumb is you should be able to fit 2 fingers underneath of it. As a secondary precaution, we also suggest getting your cat microchipped. But in the meantime, have fun with the designs and choose something wild and stylish. We’re sure your choice will be absolutely purr-fect.
#13 Pet Insurance
With the rising costs of better vet care, pet owners are often left with costly bills for unexpected medical expenses. The average cost of an unexpected vet bill is between $800-$1,500. If unable to afford an expensive treatment or procedure, pet owners may find themselves making medical decisions based on finances rather than their pet’s wellbeing.
PET INSURANCE helps mitigate out-of-pocket expenses for an unexpected vet bill so you can focus on your pet’s ongoing health. Not only is it super affordable but you can customize plans around your monthly budget. Plus, pet owners can get up to 90% reimbursed on those unexpected medical bills. That’s a big relief.
Check out ODIE PET INSURANCE to get an instant quote!
Do you have a pet cat? Here is a simple guide to know how often you should bring your cat to the vet.