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Everything You Need For A Cat

Everything You Need For A Cat: The Must-Have Item Checklist

The Must-Have Checklist!

Are you bringing a new cat into their forever home? Adopting a cat is such a rewarding adventure and we’ve no doubt you’ll love every moment together! But of course, as a new cat parent, you’ll need to ask yourself one important question: what do cats actually need? Well, fear not. From scratching posts to cat carriers, we’ve put together the ultimate cat-care checklist.


Comfortable Cat Bed

First on our list of must-have cat items is a comfortable bed. There are plenty to choose from, but your main considerations should be a bed that is warm, accessible, easy to clean, and that has a lip for them to peer over. Cats usually prefer to sleep in an elevated position too, so ideally choose a bed that you can place off the ground. And on that note, as much as you can spend a fortune on a new cat bed, be prepared for your cat to also find their own places to sleep and rest.


Litter Tray

A litter box is a must for all kitties. It should be 1.5 times the length of your cat to enable them to comfortably move around and should be a placed in a quiet area away from food and water. As with cat beds, there are a wide array of litter trays to choose from, but bear in mind that some cats have an aversion to the covered variety. If you’re adopting a kitten, you should also be prepared to need a larger tray in future as your kitty grows. For multi-cat households the general rule is have as many litter trays as cats plus one extra and in different locations. That way there will always be one available for them to use.


Litter Substrate and Scoop

There’s no point having a litter tray if you haven’t got any litter to go inside it! There are a lot of options including paper, tofu and crystal litters. It’s best to find out what litter your cat has been using prior to their adoption and use this as they get comfortable in their new home, though you can try alternatives over time to see what works for you both. Cats have a delicate sense of smell so they will prefer litter without fragrance.

When it comes to cleaning out their litter tray, another important thing for cats is using a cat-safe, low odour disinfectant. Likewise, you’ll need a scoop for daily removal of any dirty litter.


Water and Food Stations

We can’t put together a cat-care checklist without discussing water and food bowls. These should be placed in locations separate from the litter trays in your house. Some cats prefer a wide bowl filled to the brim with water as this helps to prevent their whiskers from getting wet. Others prefer to have running water such as from a fountain. Wide, flat bowls or plates made from ceramic or tough glass are often the best choice. Try to avoid plastic and stainless steel as these can either hold taste or be reflective.
Another good idea is to consider getting a few puzzle or activity feeders. These provides a more interactive way for your cat to get their food and are great for mental stimulation.



As with your cat litter, you should find out what food your cat is currently eating and continue using it. Once they’re settled in their new home, you can slowly transition them to an alternative.


Scratching Post or Object

Scratching is a natural part of cat behaviour that they’re going to be doing daily. So, to avoid your cat making any unwanted marks on your furniture, it’s best to get a dedicated scratching object. Many cats prefer a vertical rope scratching post but there are plenty of alternative options, and it can be fun to experiment and see which your cat prefers. Some prefer scratching on horizontal surfaces or you could try an angled scratching pad or carpeted blocks. Whatever you offer, make sure it’s tall or long enough for your cat to fully stretch and reach up against.


Cat Tower or Tree

Cat towers and trees can be great things for cats. These provide elevated points for resting and can also be used for scratching, dangling toys, or simply for climbing. There are plenty of options available when it comes to cat towers and cat trees so it shouldn’t be any problem finding a design that fits your home. If you have more than one cat, make sure to provide more than one tower or choose a cat tower with different levels as they may not always be keen on sharing! Most cats feel more comfortable observing their space from an elevated position so consider giving them access to the tops of furniture or shelving or even create an elevated obstacle course they can move around on.


Toys and Games

Another must-have cat item is toys. Playing is an important activity for cats as it provides an outlet for energy and their natural instinct to hunt. And as it happens, finding which toys your cat prefers can also be a lot of fun. Different options can include fishing rod toys, toy mice, or simply playing fetch with a ball.
It’s a good idea to have a few different toys and to bring them out in rotation, as this is another great way of providing mental stimulation. Just make sure that any toys are safe for cats. For instance, toys with feathers or bells that could come loose shouldn’t be left out for any unsupervised play.



The day before your new cat arrives, consider plugging in a FELIWAY diffuser in the area you expect your cat will be spending most of their time. FELIWAY is perfect for providing a calming environment for stressed cats or for introducing a cat to a new space.


Cat Grooming Items

The ultimate cat-care checklist should include a brush or comb, grooming glove, a set of cat-specific nail clippers, and even toothpaste and a toothbrush for cats. After all, while cats do a fabulous job of grooming themselves, there are steps we can take to help further.
Regular grooming helps to remove loose hair and means we can keep ahead of any knots or mats before they start to develop. It’s also an opportunity for cats and humans to spend some bonding time together while we check over our cats’ skin health.
Nail clipping might not be necessary too often, as you may find that your cat’s claws are at a safe length from where they’ve been scratching on their tower or scratching post, but there may be times when it’s helpful to trim them down. And as for brushing a cat’s teeth, this can also be a positive part of a cat’s routine. It’s best to introduce this when a kitten is still young, beginning with a soft finger brush, and make sure to always use cat-specific toothpaste. Whether nail trimming, or teeth brushing, start small and slow with your cat and progress at a pace they are comfortable with, treating along the way. This will teach your cat that it’s rewarding to be part of the care and make it easier for you both.


Cat Carrier

If you’re asking the question “What do cats need?”, we’ve got to mention how to choose a cat carrier. Cat carriers are essential for safe travel and any visits to the vet or cattery. Ideally you should opt for a cat carrier that is sturdy, easy to clean, and has wide access areas for them to get in and out easily. Ensure they feel snug in their carrier by choosing one that is enclosed or place a towel over the carrier when using to help them feel more protected. Allow your cat to be familiar with their carrier, use it as a hidey hole or resting area at home so that it is less scary when they need to be inside for travel.



Cat treats are always handy to have around. Tasty meat pastes can be a great reward for grooming or training sessions. 
Of course, treats should be used in moderation, and you should make sure you take any treats into consideration when assessing your cat’s daily food intake.


Is there anything you think we should add to our list of must-have cat items? Let us know! We always love hearing from you and discussing all things feline. You can also stay up to date with all the latest updates from FELIWAY by signing up to our newsletter.


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