[First published on: 26 Apr 2017, last updated on 6 Jun 2019]
Bringing a new feline friend home? It is definitely going to be a rollercoaster ride of fun, yet challenging times ahead! But before you welcome your cat or kitten to its new family, you’ll need to ensure that you have all the right supplies handy. Here is the Nekojam pet store’s list of 10 essential things you will need in those first weeks at home with kitty. So add these to your checklist and you’ll be good to go!
Choice of Cat Food
Selecting the right food for your cat can be an uphill task. After all, there are so many kinds to choose from; from dry cat food to freeze-dried dinners. It is recommended that you ask your cat’s rescuer or breeder what kitty has currently been eating, so as to avoid any digestive upset or food strikes in the initial few days at home. If you have a kitten, it’s also good to consider feeding them a variety of foods and textures while they are young. This will prevent your cat from getting picky as it grows older, as cats are very habitual creatures and tend to reject foods that they’ve never had before, as they age.
Your cat may not eat for a day or two if it is nervous about being in a new environment – Do not fret! You can ease this transition by providing cat food that looks and smells appealing, and is easy to eat. One such food to consider is the PURE freeze dried cat food – It can be rehydrated by mixing it with warm water to the consistency your cat enjoys, and can be easily lapped up! In the initial days of your cat coming home, you may also want to consider some probiotics to safeguard against any unpleasant bouts of tummy upset. One of our popular probiotic supplements for cats is the LactoGold Probiotic Powder. This has been proven to support healthy digestive system and safeguard the vision of your kitten when he/she grows older.
Feeding and Water Bowls
Giving your cat a bowl is important because it not only gets them acquainted to home, but also gives them the opportunity to learn that the bowl is where their food will come from, which can prevent problems such as counter surfing or stealing foods at the table.
For food bowl, try to get one that is sturdy and wide, but not too deep. Ceramic or stainless steel is preferable as these materials do not degrade nor harbour bacteria easily. Select a bowl that does not obstruct your cat’s whiskers. It is important for the whiskers not to be in contact with anything because, this will cause the cat to feel a sense of discomfort, as they are very sensitive organs of the cat’s body.
Cats have low thirst drives. For this reason, you may notice your cat preferring not to frequent the water bowl. However, it’s important to encourage hydration in your cat, especially if you intend to feed it a dry food diet. If your budget allows for it, we recommend feeding canned cat foods, or those that allow you to add water content.
If your cat does not enjoy stagnant water in a bowl, you may want to consider a water fountain. This will provide a clean source of water for your cat. Not only does the water taste better, they normally come with filters that keep the water fresh, catching dust or dirt that may fall into the bowl. Fountains also normally hold larger capacities of water so you’ll save time on washing and refilling it frequently.
Identification and Collar
Many cat owners shy away from placing a collar on their cat because most aren’t used to wearing them. However, a collar with an identification tag, is the fastest ticket back home if your cat happens to wander out of the house and isn’t able to find its way back home.
Most cat collars feature breakaway buckles. We recommend having two collars – One featuring a breakaway buckle, and another without it. Breakaway collars should be worn around the home, so that if they do get caught in something, your cat won’t risk getting strangled or choked while you are away. A non-breakaway collar can be worn under supervision while your cat is outdoors. The aim of a collar, is ultimately to provide identification in the event that your cat is lost. Because of this, a breakaway collar defeats the purpose as it could easily come off or get lost while your cat is out of home.
Choose a collar that is soft and comfortable. You should get your cat accustomed to it by putting it on for a few minutes or so on a daily basis, and rewarding your cat each time the collar is placed on, up until it wants it taken off. Repeat this process multiple times, slowly extending the duration that your cat wears its collar. You should also ensure your cat’s collar isn’t too tight or loose by applying the two finger rule – This means that you should be able to slip two fingers under the collar while it is being worn.
If you’re adopting a cat, chances are you will probably be bringing it to the vet in the months to come. If you’re required to pick kitty up, having one of these will also be essential in ensuring you are able to transport it home safely. Crate training is important; not only will it serve as a safe, temporary hiding place for your cat in its new home but it also helps with getting your cat used to comfortably staying inside which is beneficial for times when you need them contained or brought outside of the house.
Litter Box and Cat Litter
Choosing a litter box and cat litter is normally an easy task. Most cats are easygoing and won’t fuss over the cat litter they’re provided with. However, they do have a preference for fine material, as it feels more natural on their paws. Litter boxes are normally hooded or open-top designs. While hooded designs contain odour better, we recommend selecting open top litter bins. Not only do these allow good ventilation, since your litter bin should be placed somewhere with good aeration, it also makes for a more comfortable toilet experience for your cat.
Could you imagine yourself having to visit the bathroom in a dark, dingy spot in the home that smells musty and feels cramped? Sure doesn’t sound like fun to us and yeah, your cat wouldn’t like that either! You can read more about the Top 5 Best Cat Litters in Singapore if you’re having trouble deciding.
It’s good to keep some tasty treats handy, especially when it comes to keeping your cat distracted, or even for training purposes! If you don’t already know, you should never punish your cat for unwanted behavior… Because that’s not how cats roll. What you should do, on the other hand, is reward it with treats for doing something good!
Do make sure that you do not overfeed your cat, easy as it may be. To avoid obesity, you should always opt for healthy snack options like freeze-dried chicken, and remember to reduce meal portions in accordance with how much you’ve fed your cat in treats. If you’re training your cat, canned food on a spoon will also do well as an easy treat.
Cats are naturally instinctive and love a good game of hunt. As a result, most cats love pouncing, ambushing and thrashing with their toys. Due to their inquisitive behavior, having a basket of toys for your cat is beneficial and necessary to prevent them from destructive behaviour caused by boredom in the home.
Catnips, toy with feathers or crunchy fillings are rather popular among cats. As scratching is generally a very normal behavior, a scratching post would come in handy as well to prevent any future problems of coming home to a torn up couch. If you’re not sure what brand to start with, consider the KONG Company! They’ve the largest range of cat toys ever and they come in all textures, shapes and forms for different cat preferences. The best part is that most of their cat toys contain catnip for added fun!
Grooming is an important part of cat ownership. Cats continue to shed daily, and because they groom themselves so often, many of them end up ingesting their own fur. For most cats, regular brushing is necessary to prevent hairball formation. Cats with longer coats or undercoats may require more intensive grooming sessions, or even a trip to the groomers. Nail clipping is also recommended on a fortnightly basis. It is also a good idea to bathe your cat once a month, but not more frequently than that, as cats are inherently quite clean creatures.
You should invest in a good brush for daily grooming. A slicker brush that has fine teeth will do an acceptable job at removing loose fur, or a ZoomGroom may be more comfortable with rubber bristles that feel gentle to the touch. Nail clippers also come in different shapes and sizes. Choose one that grips well in your hand for a swift and simple job. Shampoos come in a variety of formulas, all promising to do things from detangling to whitening. Pick a formula that isn’t overly harsh, and at the same time, not too overpowering in terms of scent.
KONG – Cat ZoomGroom
We hope this list helps you prepare for the arrival of your feline friend. There may be more to get, but there’s no need to worry. It’s best to purchase your necessities as and when you’ll need them, as opposed to buying everything all at once. It’ll help you transition into your new role as a cat owner easier, and soothe your nerves when you’re able to learn a step at a time. Good luck, pet parents!
This essential checklist for cats is proudly brought to you by Roots Technologies, the distributor of KONG Durable Pet Toys, The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Pet Food and Roots Herbal Pet Shampoos.
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