Cat Supplies, what's best for you and your cat?
Cat supplies are important when we first get that new cat or kitten, and you will want to make sure you have the basic supplies that your cat will need. If you already have a feline companion, this article may help you find some new kinds of supplies or new ideas for making some things for your cat. The terrific thing about most cat supplies is that they are all relatively inexpensive and some can even be homemade.
Of course it's easier when you already have one feline, at least as far as knowing what cat supplies to use. Socializing a new cat into the home with cats already present is another subject which we will explore a bit later, but for now, let's review the cat supplies and products needed for a healthy and happy feline.
Of course, there are tons of things that you can buy for your cat. Some, such as
, which are pretty much essential, and others, such as
which, while nice, are optional. First, let's look at the basics.
Food. There are many cat foods available. I will explore that further in my Cat Food section but for now just remember that it is important to provide your cat with a good quality food, and monitor his intake. Beware giving him human food, some of which may be toxic to him, and all of which can make him obese. Fat cats may be considered cute by some but they are usually not healthy.
Learn more about Cat Food
Water is a no brainer. Everyone needs water to live, and your cat with his very sensitive sense of smell needs to have the freshest water you can provide so please make sure he has clean, fresh water at all times.
Food and Water Dishes
Bowls should be easy to clean and made so that they will not tip over. The important thing here is to make sure that the containers are always kept as clean as anything you would want to eat or drink out of. If you tend to be away often or want to make sure your cat has a constant supply of dry food and water you can use a cat feeder and waterer.
Gravity feeders for kibble are very inexpensive, and although electric models that dispense only a certain amount at a time are available and very nice, especially for cats on a diet. But if portion control is not an issue, the regular gravity feeder should be fine.
Electric Cat Waterers (fountains) are very popular right now. Cats love active water and will tend to drink more from containers that provide some motion to the water. Drinking proper amounts of water is one good way to help avoid urinary issues, so the cat fountains currently available are just wonderful, and the filter feature helps ensure that the water stays clean and free of contaminants. The machine will still need to be cleaned frequently to avoid bacteria build up on surfaces that come into contact with water.
Of all the cat supplies we buy, Cat beds and blankets are some of the most widely available and popular. Most cats like to have a bed of their own, but don’t be disappointed if he ignores his new bed in favor of yours, at least for a while. There are several kinds of cat beds that you can choose from. There are heated beds, blanket types, beds that will fit into your cat’s carrier and more.
Learn more about Cat Beds
Cat litter is a fairly easy decision. Simply pick one that appeals to you, and is proven safe for kitty. Litter boxes, by the way do not have to be expensive pet store items found exclusively in the cat supplies section of your local pet store - large flat plastic storage boxes bought at the local super center work just fine, and cost lots less.
Learn more about Cat Litter
Learn about Cat Litter Box Training
Climbing and Scratching
Climbing and scratching are among the most primal of cat behaviors. Cat Trees, scratching posts and other accessories that allow them to climb, scratch, hunt and perch high up in the room are all fantastic gifts for your cat. Cat condos are also great fun and help your cat to feel secure, and provide a hiding place which is very important for cats' sense of security.
Of course, climbing and scratching are important, but there are many different kinds of
available, and among them you will find an abundance of various carpet, rope or otherwise covered
Cat Scratching Posts
, any of which will help keep your kitty happily shredding his furniture instead of yours. It isn't terribly important which one yo choose, so long as you do make sure and provide this very important part of your standard cat supplies.
Now before you abandon all hope of ever having a pulled together look in your home, or despair of getting anything for your cat that isn't made primarily of purple fun fur, check out something grand I discovered recently! It is a line of very stylish, last-a-lifetime-quality furniture made for the comfort of your cat, and designed with human sensibilities in mind. I've actually dedicated a whole page to this line of products that has rightfully been dubbed
Cat Furniture Even Humans Will Love
. Check it out, I know you'll be as impressed as I was!
Cats will play with anything that catches their attention. If it moves, flies, rolls, rustles, crinkles or sways, chances are your cat will want to investigate and play with it. Kittens and cats are naturally curious and need lots of toys that are safe, fun and interesting. Choose toys that, if not homemade, are made specifically for cats.
It’s important even when shopping among “cat toys”, that you choose items that won’t splinter, shred, or that can be swallowed. A plastic jingly ball, a catnip stuffed toy or a plain old paper grocery bag are perfect cat toys.
To avoid accidents, some cat toys ought to be used only when you are playing with your cat or kitten. Spooky and I are currently doing research and testing on many toys. An ongoing mission, you can view our results and reviews by visiting my page on
. You can also submit your own product reviews from that page. You know what you like, so share it with other cat lovers!
A cat carrier is a must for transporting your cat or kitten. Cat carriers come in many styles and materials such as plastic, fabric and even some that will fit into a stroller! You need to have a carrier for your cat to feel safe and be protected when going away from home. Of all the cat supplies you will want to stock, be sure not to leave this one out. Not only for vet visits and trips, it cold save kitty's life and keep him safe in case of fire, or flood!
It's a good idea to have your contact information attached permanently to the carrier, and to let your cat become used to it before he needs to travel. More on this in my cat carriers section, coming soon.
Whatever you select, make sure it is large enough for your cat to comfortably move around in. It should also be well-ventilated, secure and easy to clean.
For trips when mistakes might occur, try using puppy piddle pads. While not specifically cat supplies, they are soft, sanitary and easy to dispose of if an accident does happen. I have found that on long journeys, (health issues notwithstanding) it is best for you and your at if you provide food and water at night when you stop, and take them away about a half hour before leaving in the morning.
Keep a portable litter pan (with lid) to bring into the hotel with you and he will do his business while you are stopped and likely, not in the carrier, which will help him be comfortable and happier traveling. It's important top offer water at lunchtime when you can stop and make the litter box available to him.
When using the carrier, cover the bottom with an old towel, crate mat or other soft comfy material. Add one of his favorite toys. The familiar scent should comfort your cat as he travels to unfamiliar places. I will write more about taking your cat on trips both near and far in future pages.
Cat Grooming Tools - Keeping Your Feline Elegant and Beautiful
Grooming time is a wonderful opportunity for you to bond with your cat. Everyone loves to look their best and cats even more than most! And cat-ego aside, even short haired cats still need to be brushed on occasion, and longer coated cats absolutely must be groomed regularly.
The type of brush you will need depends on the length and texture of your cat’s coat. You can also choose to use the new tools out that sort of de-thatch your cat’s fur, cleaning out excess hair from the undercoat as well. Check with your local cat supplies outlet or pet store. Grooming your cat not only keeps your cat’s skin healthy and coat shiny; it also helps prevent hairballs and keeps cat hair shedding to a minimum.
Start a grooming routine as early as possible so your cat becomes accustomed to the idea. Provide treats and lots of loving along with the grooming and soon your cat will begin to really look forward to your grooming time together. For more information on this subject see my page on Cat Grooming.
Collar, Leash and Harness
Many people will tell you that a harness or safety collar and leash are not a must for your cat supplies list, but I believe differently. I have found it absolutely a must to have my Spooky in his “Walking Jacket” harness on trips to the vet and across country.
A carrier will get him to the vet, but a harness will help facilitate easy handling and examination of your cat. If you want to let your cat enjoy the great outdoors but still keep him safe, taking him outside on a lead is the easiest, least expensive way, so include harness and lead in your list of cat supplies to have on hand.
Never leave a cat tethered without supervision every minute.
While older cats may adapt well, it’s easiest to train a cat to a harness and leash while he is still a kitten. A harness is preferable to a collar because most cats don't like the feeling of a collar around their necks and if they try can usually back out of it.
Please make sure that whatever you choose to use for a harness is absolutely secure and that your feline cannot weasel out of it. This is one cat supply you do not want to scrimp on. Your cat's safety is at stake and should he become frightened, he may panic and bolt. If he is able to slip his harness, he may well run straight into the arms of trouble such as traffic, dogs or worse.
If you do choose to let your cat roam outdoors, you need to know that the expected lifespan of your cat will be much shorter. If you can keep your cat indoors, he will likely live a much longer and healthier life. If you must let him outside, he should always wear a reflective “safety” collar with an up-to-date identification tag. He should have all his shots up to date and wear tags to prove it.
Make sure he begins wearing a collar as early as possible, so he becomes used to the sensation. A good safety collar should have a breakaway feature, so that he won’t choke if he catches it on a tree limb, fence or other object. Be sure your cat supplies include a pet first aid kit in case of injuries.
Taking care of any living thing is a great responsibility, but taking care of a cat (or three) is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.
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