Cat Essentials: Complete Cat Adoption Checklist

Bringing a new cat home is exciting, yet for your cat it can be a very daunting and often scary experience.

To help your cat settle as quickly as possible make sure you have all the necessary supplies setup and ready to go as soon as your cat arrives, this will help them settle in and feel at ease more quickly.

Below is a checklist of all the cat essentials you should buy before you bring your new cat home:

Cat Essentials (links to amazon):
None Essentials/ Nice To Have (links to amazon):

Cat Essentials Checklist:

If you’re getting a cat, these are things you should definitely think about getting. Some of these may not be 100% essential for example a cat flap is unnecessary if your cat is going to be an indoor cat.

1. Cat Litter Box

Without a cat litter tray your house will quickly begin to stink as your cat will find somewhere else convenient for themselves to use as a toilet (often a pile of your freshly laundered clothes!). A good quality litter tray should be one of the first things you buy.

Most cats which have been weaned will instinctively know how to use them, small kittens may struggle if they have been taken away from their mother too soon and haven’t had the chance to learn from her. If this is the case gently place your kitten in the litter when you suspect they may need to go or immediately after they have gone and they will soon get the idea.

2. Cat Litter

Of course a litter box needs cat litter otherwise it is not much use, make sure you get a good quality brand that is suitable for your cat, for example, if you have a kitten it is advisable not to get clumping litter as this can cause problems if ingested – something which curious kittens may try.

3. Cat Food

Good food makes moving somewhere new a whole lot nicer, the same is true for cats.

If you know what type of cat food they were eating in their shelter or previous home then try and get some of the same food to help them settle in, if you can’t get hold of that food then get two or three different types of food so that they have options and can choose something they like most.

4. Cat Scratching Post

If you’ve owned a cat before you will be well aware that a scratching post is absolutely essential. The absence of a scratching post means your cats will soon destroy your prized leather armchair so ensure that you get a scratching post (or several) and place them near items of furniture which your cat may otherwise be tempted to scratch.

5. Cat Bed

While many cats often completely ignore their cat bed in favour of a cardboard box a bed should be included on your cat adoption checklist, a new cat will be nervous and will be seeking out somewhere enclosed where they can hide and feel secure and safe while they adjust to their new surroundings, a comfortable enclosed cat bed is ideal…though feel free to leave a cardboard box out too so they can make their own decision!

cat comfortably snoozing under a duvet

6. Bowls

Yep, you will need two of these, one for their water and one for their food

7. Collar & Tag

A good collar with a tag (featuring your cats name and address) can make your life a lot easier, particularly if your cat decides to sneak out to a neighbours house, your neighbour will simply read the tag and bring your cat back…instead of potentially adopting your cat or keeping it for a bit then taking it to a rescue centre to be scanned leaving you worried for days!

8. A Microchip

Getting your cat microchipped is one of the first things you should do with your cat (if it hasn’t already been chipped) when a lost cat is found and taken to the vet or rescue centre a scan is one of the first things they will do to work out where the cat comes from. If you’re going to be letting your cat outside then a microchip is essential…even if you plan on keeping your cat indoors you should still get one as at some point you cat may manage to sneak out.

9. Microchip Cat Flap

If you plan on letting your cat go outside then getting a microchip cat flap will make your life a lot easier, you won’t have to be constantly opening and closing doors or windows and with most modern microchip cat flaps you can not only prevent any cat other than your own coming in but you can set curfew times too, so for example if your cat decides it wants to go out after 10pm it cant.

sureflap cat flap

Nice To Have Cat Products:

Okay so none of the products below are essential by any means but if you have the spare budget they are nice to have. They will help improve your cat’s life while products such as the cat camera and trackers will give you peace of mind when either you or your cat are out and about.

1. Cat Water Fountain

A cat water fountain takes your cat’s basic water bowl to a whole new and very exciting level.  Cats prefer running water because it is less likely to be stagnant, this is why they are drawn to drink from taps or toilets! A cat water fountain uses a pump to keep your cat’s water flowing, they also filter the water so that food and hair don’t build up making the water unappetising. If your cat is a fussy drinker then these are a great addition to your household.

tabby cat drinking from a pipe

2. Cat Tracker

Letting your cat go outside for the first time can be scary…especially for you! You don’t know where your cat it, whats it’s up to or when it will come back. With a cat tracker you can see exactly where your cat is at any given time, you can follow their daily movements, track calorie expenditure and set virtual fences (so you get an alarm if your cat strays too far). All of this information can be seen in real-time on an app on your phone giving you complete peace of mind!

3. Cat Exercise Wheel

If you are keeping your cat indoors an exercise wheel is a great way of allowing your cat to get some exercise within the confines of your house. An exercise wheel is effectively a giant hamster wheel designed for cats. All it requires is a bit of training with the help of some catnip or a laser pointer and many cats take to it like a duck to water!

cat sitting on the one fast cat wheel

4. Cat Brush

Owning a cat means you’ll need to hoover…a lot more.

Investing in a good quality cat brush can help minimise the amount of hoovering required, particularly during the summer months when they shed a lot of hair. As a bonus, many cats absolutely love being brushed (once they get used to it) so you can keep your cat happy, bond with them and help keep your home a bit cleaner at the same time!

5. Cat Camera

A cat camera sounds like a bizarre and unnecessary concept but once you’ve tried it you won’t go back. Some of the best models allow you not only to see what your cat is up to but they can also see you and you can talk to them through an app on your phone. Some even let you play with them using a built-in laser pointer and feed them snacks! All in all a great way to keep you eye on your cat and help them settle in.

cat in front of a camera

6. Catnip

Ah, the ultimate cat high – catnip!

Most cats (though not all) go absolutely mad for it, get a few exciting catnip toys to keep your new cat really happy in their new home!

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