What Do You Need to Take Care of a Cat?
Thinking of taking home a feline friend? Cats are great. They are independent, witty, funny, and loving. They’re also an excellent companion for those who don’t have a lot of space or don’t have the stamina to go for an early morning run every day.
That’s not to say that you can’t train your cat to go out with you either, because you certainly can. However, as with any pet, taking care of a cat takes responsibility. Your feline friend would need time, care, and attention, aside from food, drinks, and occasional trips to the vet.
Basic Cat Needs and Supplies For First-Time Pet Owners
Getting ready for the new addition to your family? Here are all the necessary things you’ll need to get before taking home your first cat.
Don’t just get any cat food; get one that suits your cat’s age and needs. You might want to do a little bit of research to determine which brands don’t use excessive coloring and preservatives that can be harmful to your cat’s health. We also suggest a healthy balance between wet and dry selections.
Food and Drink Bowls
There are different choices available. There are convenient dispensers that can store a lot of food and clean water at a time, which you can then simply refill as needed. This is great for owners who are not always at home.
Then, there are also ergonomically designed bowls angled a certain way to prevent neck pain. At the very least, you should get containers that wouldn’t tip over easily. We also prefer getting separate bowls over joined ones to prevent water from getting on the food.
There are a lot of different kinds of litter boxes out there. You can also look into DIY options. Some owners prefer covered litter boxes, but we recommend open ones for two reasons. First, it’s easier for new kittens to spot it during litter training. Second, you won’t have to worry about poor ventilation. After all, litter dust can be harmful to your cat’s health.
Speaking of litter dust, not all cat litter is the same. There are safer options that don’t produce much dust. You can check out the litter guide over at Smartly Cat for more information.
Finally, your cat would also need a place to sleep, preferably a warm and comfortable bed. An old blanket would also make it cozier.
Optional Cat Gear to Get
The supplies we mentioned should be enough to make your cat’s stay comfortable. However, there are other items you should also consider to make caring for a cat more effortless and convenient.
There are times when you might need to contain your cat or isolate them from other pets (for instance, while they are healing from an injury). Having a cat cage will surely come in handy during those times.
You can also use a cage to bring your cat to the vet. However, a cat carrier will be less bulky and prove more convenient.
As mentioned, cats can be trained to walk with you, as well. You will need a safe harness for that. Cat necks are too delicate for the collars and leashes used on dogs.
Cats trim their claws naturally through scratching (whether or not you trim them down yourself). This act is in their nature. Having a scratch post is great to designate a special spot to let him do his business (unless you want your feline friend to do it on your furniture or curtains).
Toys and Treats
Constant scratching and damaging of property are also a sign that your cat is bored. Toys and treats are nice things to have to make your bonding sessions more fun and fulfilling.
Finally, it never hurts to get your cat insured. It can potentially save you money in the long run and let you enjoy perks (like free vaccines), depending on your plan.
These are not the only things you can get for your cat, too. There are other cat products out there, such as grooming gear, accessories, clothes, and furniture.
The Joys of Caring For a Cat
Yes, caring for a cat takes a lot of resources and responsibility. There are essentials you would need to prepare before bringing one home, as well as other optional things that can make your experience more convenient and enjoyable.
All these efforts and expenses are going to be worth it in the end, thanks to the unconditional love that you’ll get from your feline friend in return. Harvard Health even highlights the health benefits of caring for a cat, including a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease and mental health issues. It is indeed a life-changing experience.