7 Essential Supplies to Get Before You Adopt a Cat

Beautiful Cat Breeds

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Fumipets

7 Essential Supplies to Get Before You Adopt a Cat


Adopting a cat is an exciting journey, but it comes with responsibilities. To ensure a smooth transition for your new feline friend, it’s essential to have the right supplies in place.

From providing comfort to catering to their needs, here’s a summary of the essential supplies you should gather before bringing your cat home.


That’s great that you’ve chosen to expand your family by getting a cat. Perhaps this isn’t the first time; perhaps it is. In any case, there are a few things you’ll need to clear off your cat’s necessities checklist before you can start teaching it Instagram-worthy tricks or scales and arpeggios.

In order to gain expert guidance on what equipment is really necessary when bringing home a new feline family member, we chatted with Brett Kruger, the feline team manager at the Indianapolis-area Indyhumane shelter. Below are those seven necessities.

1. Cat Carrier

Hard-Sided Cat Carriers

After adopting a cat, you’ll need one to bring it home, and Kruger suggests a top-loading carrier. With this kind of carrier, you can pick up your cat and drop them inside by opening the carrier’s canopy. That is simpler than attempting to force them through a door and into the carrier. Some cats won’t want to do it, and when you attempt to slip them in, they’ll fight you. 

There is a simple solution if you already own a carrier with a conventional door that swings out. Put the carrier on its end so the door faces the ceiling when you’re ready to load your cat, advises Kruger. 

2. Litter Boxes

Dog-Proof Litter Boxes

There is no getting around the fact that your new cat will need a bathroom. Your house and the amount of cats you have will determine how many litter boxes you need to offer, according to Kruger. 

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She thinks you’ll need one more litter box in addition to one for each cat. For instance, two cats need three litter boxes. Additionally, you’ll need at least one on each floor of your house, and they should be spaced apart rather than next to one another. 

Regarding the actual boxes, you can buy a conventional litter tray just about anywhere pet supplies are sold. However, Kruger advises getting a sizable plastic tub and making a hole for the cat’s entrance. Even when your cat scatters litter while burying her excrement, these containers are deep enough to contain the litter. According to Kruger, the tote’s lid should remain off since cats want to be able to observe anybody approaching them while they do their business. 

Whatever their design, the litter boxes should be at least 1.5 times longer than your cat to allow them to spin around. 

The ideal litter to use, according to Kruger, is small-particle, unscented litter since cats’ natural forebears choose sandy areas to relieve themselves. While a fragrant brand might be alluring, some cats may find it overwhelming, according to her. 

3. Water and Food Bowls

Best Raised Cat Bowls

According to Kruger, some cats prefer not to have their food and water in close proximity to one another. The kind of bowls is up to the owner’s and cat’s discretion, but if the owner is willing to spend a little more and put in a little additional work, she suggests a water fountain dish. 

In the wild, cats are aware that drinking from rushing water is often safer, and a fountain resembles a stream or river. Kruger claims that cats also exhibit such prejudice. Many of them favor flowing water. 

4. Cat Trees, Scratchers, Toys

Cat Trees for Large Cats

Cats like relaxing at a high, secure location as they observe the world below. cat trees are here. Owners should choose one that is tall and strong, according to Kruger. If not, the cat will look for another place to perch and climb up high. like the ones in your kitchen! 

Scratching is another innate behavior that cats have. You should provide a suitable area for your new pet to do that. similar to a cat scratcher. According to Kruger, cats like towering objects—those that are three feet or taller—because they enjoy stretching out and digging their claws deep. “It’s kind of like kitty yoga,” she claims. 

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You should put the tree and scratcher in locations your cat frequents so he will utilize them, advises Kruger. They won’t be utilized if you put them in a room that neither you nor your cat often enters, and your cat may start clawing other things instead, like the sofa.

Try a number of different toys, including balls, teasers, catnip toys, and other household objects (such as a box, twine, and ribbons). The most crucial thing, however, is that you interact with your cat. Set aside a few minutes each day for play. This socializes and strengthens the link between you and your cats.

A wand (or fishing pole) toy is a smart purchase, according to Kruger. Catching the item at the end of the line is enjoyable and will prevent your cat or kitten from mistaking your hand for a toy. 

“It’s a great way, especially with younger cats, to burn off their energy,” explains Kruger. 

Finding the ideal cat toys, she continues, largely involves “feeling your cat out.” Like prey to his wild ancestors, he may favor toys that are much smaller than himself. Perhaps shy cats prefer ribbons. 

5. Cat Beds

Self-Warming Cat Beds

Kruger like to suggest enclosed cat beds when it comes to choose the best sleeping area for your feline since cats want to be surrounded while they sleep. They are also useful hiding places. She claims that “sometimes they look like a little fleece cube.”

Cats could have some quirks when it comes to their bedding and might prefer a beautiful cardboard box to a plush, fluffy bed. Observe your cat’s behavior to determine which bed he would like. A spherical bed, for instance, would work if your cat like to snuggle up when sleeping. If your cat enjoys stretching out, a mat could be the ideal alternative. 

Find your cat’s favorite napping spot when it comes to location. Although it might be the ideal location for the new bed, there is no assurance he will use it.    

6. Collars

Cat Collars for Cats That Hate Collars

The non-profit group American Humane, which is dedicated to safeguarding the safety and well-being of animals, advises that your cat should be wearing a collar even if he spends the most of his time inside. If your cat does manage to escape or go outdoors, you are protected with a collar, coordinating ID tags, and microchip. This will prevent a passing stranger from mistaking him for a lost animal.

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The greatest collar for your cat is one that will unlatch if enough power is applied, or a breakaway collar. In this manner, your cat won’t get trapped if its collar gets caught in a fence or shrub.

7. Food

Best Cat Foods for Constipation

Choosing a diet appropriate for the period of life your cat is in is advised by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). For instance, a kitten requires different nutrition than an adult cat does.

Before making a purchase, make sure to do your research on the options available. To find out more, go to the websites of the food manufacturers. Consult your veterinarian about feeding choices, just as you would with anything else affecting your cat.  

According to Kruger, new owners should find out what sort of food the cat has been consuming from the animal’s rescue or shelter. While canned food is a way for cats to get more water, dry food may be simpler to feed cats. If you have the time, it could be a good idea to alternate between dry and canned meals for a day or a week. 

The fact that cats are eating at all, she asserts, is what matters most. It’s okay if he just like one particular sort of cuisine. Avoid battling it.  

Don’t get fixated on the idea that “This is the best food for my cat,” advises Kruger. The greatest sort of food is one that your cat will consume and is nourishing for its age.

Q&A: Essential Supplies for Adopting a Cat


What are the basic supplies I need for my new cat?

Before adopting, ensure you have a litter box, litter, food and water bowls, high-quality cat food, and a comfortable bed for your cat to relax in.

What type of litter box should I get?

Choose a litter box that’s appropriate for your cat’s size and consider an enclosed option for added privacy. Make sure it’s easy to clean and maintain.

How do I choose the right cat food?

Opt for high-quality, balanced cat food that meets your cat’s specific nutritional needs. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations based on your cat’s age, breed, and health.

What type of scratching posts are best?

Cats have a natural instinct to scratch. Provide both vertical and horizontal scratching posts made from materials like sisal or cardboard. This helps keep their claws healthy and prevents furniture damage.

What grooming supplies should I have?

Basic grooming supplies include a cat brush or comb, nail clippers, and dental care products. Regular grooming helps keep your cat’s coat healthy and minimizes shedding.

Do I need toys for my cat?

Yes, toys are essential for your cat’s mental and physical stimulation. Include interactive toys, feather wands, and puzzle feeders to keep your cat engaged and entertained.




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