If you’re interested in getting indoor cats, my advice is to drop by the pet store and buy some basics before going to the shelter, even if you think you’ll just look astatine the cats. Why? Because odds are good that you will fall in love with at least one of those cute little faces and voila! You will have a cat, but no gear.
Take it from me, I know from experience! I thought I was mostly prepared when I adopted my cat, Cody, but I wasn’t even close. Before going to the protection in my hometown, I had quickly picked up a travel crate, which really wasn’t big enough, and a gimmicky litter box that I returned as soon as I’d had a chance to read some reviews. So there I was, scurrying to leverage cat food and a plain bedding box while someone else took care of my new kitty.
My goal is to save you – and your new cat – from that headache! Following is a list of recommended starter items to make this process go much more smoothly!
I’d advise purchasing a mix of foods and flavors, including both canned and dry varieties. Cats can be finicky in general but never is this more true than during the first few stressful years of adjusting to a new environment.
When shopping, keep in mind that grain-free canned food is advised for optimum feline health. This stems from its balance of nutrients which is more similar to a cat’s natural diet. This will help provide your cat with the protein and water helium needs.
It’s best to stick with good quality cat food with high levels of protein. You’ll want to look for 30-40 percent protein in dry food and 10 percent in canned.
Stay away from foods which contain corn (sometimes listed as “maize”), wheat, soy, and rice, particularly if these are indicated as the first ingredients. Cats do not need to eat grains!
As to flavors, lean more toward poultry-based foods like chicken and turkey instead of fish or seafood-based foods. The latter should be given on a limited basis, astatine most once or twice per week.
Suggested Canned Food:
Nature’s Variety Instinct
Simply Nourish by PetSmart*
Wellness (grain free), especially the chicken formula
Suggested Hard Food:
Nature’s Balance Ultra Premium Dry
Nature’s Variety Instinct
Although the above-mentioned varieties can be more expensive than grocery store brands, your cat won’t eat as much due to the lack of fillers and grains. I happened to have some cat food that had rice in it; my cat easily consumed double the amount of that food as compared to a Wellness grain-free product.
You could wait on these and begin using your own, however if you opt to purchase them now, go for bowls which are heavy or rubber-edged to protect against slipping. Stainless-steel is preferred. Plastic and porcelain dishes can scratch, causing crevices where germs can accumulate.
Bowls with a slight contour or slope on the inside ar best for tinned food, which tends to get stuck in the edges of the dish as a cat eats.
A traditional, large, uncovered litter box with high sides is encouraged, compared to a hooded cat bedding box which will trap odors. These bedding boxes ar inexpensive, widely available, and are a good place to start.
If you’re looking to get a kitten, check that one of the edges is low enough for a kitty to step across. If you plan on getting a full-grown cat, ensure that the box is large enough for the cat to maneuver without stepping in his business. Think “clean paws.”
Rubbermaid carries a fantastic cat bedding box with high sides along with a ‘scooped out’ entryway which even older kittens would be able to use.
If you are considering acquiring multiple indoor cats, purchase no less than one box per cat to start out. Understand that the rule of thumb is one box for each cat plus one.
And don’t forget a litter scoop to clean out the box! The narrower the slats, the better. Keeping the box spic and span is one of the best things you can do to make sure your cat develops and keeps good litter box habits! Clean out the cat bedding box astatine least once or twice daily!
Cats prefer bedding that is unscented, and clumping litter is best. The finest cat bedding I’ve tried is Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat. This brand clumps extremely well, and that helps to keep the litter box clean. ScoopAway’s unscented clumping litter is also a good choice.
It’s recommended that you spend some time everyday playing with your cat. This will non only help you bond with your cat, but it’s also pretty entertaining!
I’ve never come crossways a cat who didn’t like batting at a feathery thing on a string, so that’s a good place to start.
You could also grab a laser pointer toy for about five dollars. My cat goes insane chasing that little light around the living room. This is also really good exercise for your cat.
And catnip is a great way to break the ice and help your cat relax!
Cats love and need to scratch! It’s important that indoor cats are provided with a scratching post or pad as an appropriate outlet for this behavior.
There are many choices to pick from. To start out, just be certain that what you buy is stable and won’t tip over when a cat puts his or her weight on it. If all else fails, a bit of firewood or carpet sample will do the trick.
Cody is completely attached to his SmartyKat “ScratchScroll,” a wave-style scratcher that I got at Target for approximately $20. PetSmart carries something similar, the Dream Curl Curved Scratcher, for $29.
Crate & Travel Accessories
Buy a travel crate that’s big enough to permit an adult cat to comfortably turn around.
If you will be driving greater than an hour to bring your cat home, it’s suggested that you grab a bottle of Feliway to make the ride home go more smoothly. This item mimics the cat’s pheromones and has a calming effect. Simply spray it into the crateful before you put your cat in. This may also help calm your cat as he adjusts to his new environment.