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What should I buy before getting the kitty?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
So I am getting a cat for Christmas (read post below). I am spending the next few months researching what I need, who to call, where to look and what to look for. I am definately adopting an adult (young adult) cat and was wondering what I should have already purchased before we bring the future kitty home?

For example, should I already have litter box ready or wait and see what they use at the rescue/foster/adoption place(I had read I should mix whatever they use there with the actual litter I am going to use and wean them off the old stuff)? What are the basics I should have set up before we bring the cat home?
post #2 of 29
Might be a good idea to see what kind of litter they are using, but I would just get a scoopable kind.

You'll need litter pan, litter,

TWO bowls (one for food/one for water) and make them separate - not the ones attached to each other. Go with ceramic or stainless steel bowls - not plastic ones (plastic tends to cause feline acne). Two separate bowls are a lot easier to clean and fill too

Carrier - go for a medium size - fits most cats/kittens

Cat bed and/or Cat tree house - not the cheapy little scratching posts. Get something decent and long-lasting.

Food - wet or dry go with better quality; Iams, Science Diet, Nutro Max, Chicken Soup, etc. Stay away from Purina and Meow Mix and any generic "store" brands.

Comb and/or brush for grooming. Nail clippers for nails.
post #3 of 29
I havent heard of that litter mixing idea, but doesnt sound like a bad idea.
My kitty was fine with the litter straight away and was different than the rescue place.

I remember getting ready for my kitty last year!
I had the litter box and litter of course, along with a litter mat to catch the loose stuff of their feet (in theory).
A bag of dry food,wet food and cat dishes.
A brush and treats.
A collar and tag, to be engraved later. (she is indoor only, this was a safeguard 'just in case' option)
Several toys placed strategically for her to discover.
A window perch with a snuggle cat blanket (actually a baby blanket, but the fleece was well received). Or have a condo ready, or whatever cat furniture you were thinking of acquiring. I knew she'd be indoor only and that all cats enjoy the window...so I made sure it was ready and she was introduced immediately.

It is good to have a plan of where you will be placing the cat dishes and litter box. I also planned which room to contain her in - since many cats need to be introduced slowly. Just imagine you are scooped up to be driven off by a stranger to an unknown home - how stressful! For that reason, I wanted "a plan" so I'd be ready for all possibilities. Unfortunately though, I didnt think she'd run from me terried and squeeze in behind the stove. It took us an hour to get her out - the stove and fridge are jammed tight together between two walls. I had to move the fridge then the stove - and in my galley kitchen there is literally zero room to move when that stuff is pulled out. I got chicken wire later to block the small space between the stove and the wall that she squeezed thru. So, I suggest you look for all sorts of places she could squeeze herself into that aren't good and block them accordingly.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
I never thought about what I would do if the future kitty tried to hide, thanks for the heads up! I have a built-in stove, but there is a space between the washer/dryer and the wall-I guess that is room #1 to be closed off!

I have a one bedroom apt and I thought I would close off the bedroom and bathroom to begin with, so only the common areas (where the future kitty's litter box, food, bed, etc will be) will be open for exploring.We have french doors in the living room that look out on our balcony and canal and golf course right next door, so I am going to set up the kitty hotel/bed stuff there (all kinds of jumping fish, ibis and cranes, and golfers to entertain).

The litter box is going to be going in the selfdom if ever used formal dining area. I was thinking seriously about builing a carpeted cover for the litter box so it would sort of hide it and it would be another surface for future kitty to sit/lay/etc on top. I was thinking of just making a four sided box to go around the litter box (with an opening cut out in the front) and a carpeted top that just fits on top (that I can remove to clean out the box). Does that sound like a good idea?

Keep the advice coming, I am a future new cat owner and I am very excited!
post #5 of 29
whats wrong with purina just curious? i feed kirra the kitten mix
post #6 of 29
The carpet-covered litterbox idea sounds interesting, but bear in mind that some cats don't like covered litterboxes (and other cats don't like open ones ... ). My parents have a small litterbox in their very fancy formal dining room; it looks a bit out of place, but they have an 18-year-old cat who sometimes forgets where she is (or where the litterboxes are) and so there are multiple litterboxes on every level of their house. You'll also find that no matter how enticing you make your cat's bed, your cat will find someplace else to sleep (your bed, a pile of folded laundry, on top of the TV set, on your keyboard as you're trying to type ...). It's part of their charm.

I would recommend having more than one water dish, and placing them in different rooms in the house. Some cats like it if you move the water dishes around (a lot of cats don't drink enough water; if you move the dishes around, it's like their "exploring" their territory and finding a new watering hole), while other cats prefer to have as few changes in their territory as possible. If you can find one you like, a cat water fountain is a good idea, as many cats prefer to drink from running water; many of us end up leaving a faucet on in the bathroom or kitchen to give our cats running water.

There are a lot of great cat toys out there. Da Bird and the cat dancer are particular favourites, but generally speaking you want to look for a "fishing pole" type of toy that you and your cat play with together. (Never leave fishing pole-type toys out where your cat can play by herself, because she could get tangled in the line.) Small fuzzy mice, bouncing balls, wadded up bits of tissue paper, cardboard boxes, plastic and paper bags ... cats can be really easy to keep amused! You really don't have to spend a fortune on cat toys (although a lot of us do! ); cats will always find something to play with, whether you want them to or not (ask me about my cat Oz and my clean panties ). And catnip can go a long way to making an old, boring toy seem interesting again (even if just for a little while).
post #7 of 29
Great advice so far!

One other thing you might want to start doing is finding a vet that you like. Go to their office and see how the staff interacts with both animals and their owners. See if the place looks clean, etc. You'll want to make an appointment as soon as possible after you bring your kitty home. That way the kitty can get a check-up and you'll have a vet before problems arise.

Congratulations on your decision to adopt an adult cat. Adults have a much harder time finding homes than kittens, but they make great pets, and will bond to you just as much. I got Prego when he was estimated to be almost 3 1/2.
post #8 of 29
Purina is a cheaper food - more filler stuff and not as high quality as some of the other brands. Its adequate but not great.
post #9 of 29
oh, well is it ok if she has that and her wet food? she loves the purina, she gets wet food twice a day, loaded with protien in it
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
What is in catnip? Why is it so appealing to cats and is it something they eat or just something they are attracted to? I have had dogs, horses and a few wandering geese, but never a cat and so I have NO experience with cats at all.

I have also read that feeding a higher quality of natural catfood (like Science Diet or an organic cat food) can decrease litter box odor.

Since I only have a one bedroom, I don't have much choice as to where the litter box goes. Also, how bog of a litter box should I get? If I am getting an adult short haired cat of normal size that is.

Thanks so much for all the great advice!!!
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissintheSouth View Post
I have also read that feeding a higher quality of natural catfood (like Science Diet or an organic cat food) can decrease litter box odor.

Since I only have a one bedroom, I don't have much choice as to where the litter box goes. Also, how bog of a litter box should I get? If I am getting an adult short haired cat of normal size that is.

Thanks so much for all the great advice!!!
I live in three rooms....and premium cat food: the proof is in the poo!!
I feed Royal Canin indoor and her poo is practically non-smelling, unless you are five inches from it.

I think cats are individual. Smidge is a huge flinger, so I had no choice but to get a gigantic box when she was just 5 lbs. She fits in it better now at 10lbs but her flinging doesnt go so far anymore.

Do you have a storage closest or furnace room? I put Smidge's litter box in a closet and leave the door ajar. It has worked great for me in a small place. I dont have to see it or smell it and Smidge has privacy.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissintheSouth View Post
What is in catnip? Why is it so appealing to cats and is it something they eat or just something they are attracted to? I have had dogs, horses and a few wandering geese, but never a cat and so I have NO experience with cats at all.
Catnip is a plant, a member of the mint family. I have heard of people making a sort of tea out of it. For humans, it's supposed to be relaxing.

For kitties, when they smell it, they will get real hyper and playful. Some cats don't respond to catnip well. Mine don't really respond; they just eat it. There's no harm in them eating it. You can rub their toys in catnip or rub some on the scratching post to attract them.
post #13 of 29
Science Diet, Nutro, and Iams are not good dry foods...they are actually on the borderline of poor. Honestly, I am NOT trying to be rude at all, but have you read the ingredients list of these? Vets are hardly educated much about pet nutrition, so you can't really take their word alone for it...you have to look at the ingredients yourselves and make the judgement (along with some research of what to look out for).

If you want a high-quality pet food, look into Innova or Felidae, aka Canidae, to name a few that stick out in my mind (NO fillers, high-quality ingredients). Pretty much the whole Natura line is high-quality (I'm not trying to sell these, look at the ingredients list yourself compared to other popular brands). They aren't sold at large chains such as Petco or PetSmart though, they are only sold at independent pet stores and both of their website have store locators. If all you have are Petco's, Petsmart's etc in your area then look into Eagle Pack or Blue Buffalo.
post #14 of 29
I like CAlifornia Natural dry food, and they also make a 'wet'. It's far superior to Iams, which Gizmo originally ate. She's been silky coated and happy ever since transferring to Nature's Logic Rabbit Dinner, but that was only because of her allergies. Otherwise I'd have kept her on the California Natural.

I'd get a good book on how to raise a cat such as THE CAT OWNER'S MANUAL by Dr. Bruce Fogle. There's nothing like a simple, well written book to set your mind at ease about small health and temperamental issues. It also shows you how to 'pill' the cat.
There are other good books out there too-but I'd certainly start reading up on cats and know what you might expect from them. It is good that you have time.
post #15 of 29
California Natural is good food, it's part of the Natura line too
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagels'Mommy View Post
Science Diet, Nutro, and Iams are not good dry foods...they are actually on the borderline of poor. Honestly, I am NOT trying to be rude at all, but have you read the ingredients list of these? Vets are hardly educated much about pet nutrition, so you can't really take their word alone for it...you have to look at the ingredients yourselves and make the judgement (along with some research of what to look out for).
I agree I was going ot say that too, but I do not agree about Nutro. What do you not approve of in that food? Maybe I am just not aware of something... I love to hear thoughts on it. I know this isn't a food discussion thread but I am curious as to what you found not good in Nutro.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
I agree I was going ot say that too, but I do not agree about Nutro. What do you not approve of in that food? Maybe I am just not aware of something... I love to hear thoughts on it. I know this isn't a food discussion thread but I am curious as to what you found not good in Nutro.
Nutro Max Cat Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor (ingredients in order)

1. Chicken Meal


2. Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten meal is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.

Corn gluten meal is a low ash source of protein. Cats vs Dogs: While not the best quality source of protein, the use of corn gluten in small amounts offer preventive health benefits for cats.

But it's the second ingredient!

3. Whole Wheat Flour

Wheat flour consists principally of the soft, finely ground and bolted meal obtained from milling wheat (containing essentially the starch and gluten of the endosperm) together with fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, and the offal from the tail of the mill.

Whenever flour is part of an ingredient's name, the grain has been processed and some (or all) of the nutritional value has been lost. Frequently these flour ingredients are simply the leftover dust from processing human food ingredients.

4. Ground White Rice


5. Poultry Fat

Poultry fat is obtained from the tissues of poultry in the commercial process of rendering or extracting.

Poultry fat is a byproduct of meat processing. The origin of the contributing animals is never known; the source can be any fowl (turkey, chicken, geese, buzzard, etc.) and the resulting oil is very low in linoleic acid -- an essential fatty acid that is important for skin and coat health.


That's just the first five ingredients.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
I live in three rooms....and premium cat food: the proof is in the poo!! I feed Royal Canin indoor and her poo is practically non-smelling, unless you are five inches from it.
I agree completely !! I switched abi recently from Nutro to wellness and primal raw. NO smell in thelitter box and less excrement too to scoop up. It's amazing.
post #19 of 29
Don't forget to buy toys. A ping pong ball is great if you don't have wooden floors and downstairs neighbours.

I'd get one of those 'mouse racers' where the cat chases a toy around a ring (don't know the commercial name);

some little furry mice toys;
and at least one interactive toy. The best commercial one I found was the Cat Charmer. Some people like the Cat Dancer. Gizmo would not look at it.
But the toy should be on a long string that you can use to lure the cat into chasing the 'prey'. Da Bird is also good.

The Cats Upstairs love laser toys, but be sure to reward the cat with a treat after they fail to catch the bright spot of light, so they won't feel cheated.
Gizmo also adores playing with empty toilet paper rolls, and these are easy to come by.

Be sure to kitten-proof your house! There is a tragic story elsewhere on the forum about a kitten that accidentally hanged itself on the blinds cord. Be safe and your kitty will be, too.!
post #20 of 29
An earlier post mentions using plastic bags for cat toys. Never use these-the cat may suffocate. Paper bags without handles are fine for hiding.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am overwhelmed with all the information, which is exactly what I wanted!

Can I find the Natura line of cat foods at a large pet supply store (like Petsmart or Petco) or can I order it online? I don't think there are any independant places around us. Are there any good natural cat foods that I can either get at Petco/Petsmart or order online that aren't too extremely expensive? I definately want to get a good quality food to help with the odor and overall health of future kitty.

I have found a good vet, with the recommendation of some work collegues, so that (being my priority) is all set.

Now I just have to keep myself from adopting future kitty now....must be patient and not give in to the childish impulse to go get future kitty this weekend!
post #22 of 29
For online cat food, try www.petfooddirect.com. Prices are reasonable, and they have all the good brands, along with ingredient lists. I get Eagle Pack from them.
post #23 of 29
You can't find Natura or Felidae at Petco's, Petsmart's, etc, unfortuneately. Some Petco's carry Eagle Pack, and I believe that Petco and Petsmart both carry Bue Buffalo (not all of them do though). Eagle Pack is my preferance of the two, but I'd reach for Bue Buffalo wayyyy before resulting to Nutro and wayy wayy WAY before reaching for something like Science Diet or Iams. And I wouldn't even consider reaching for Purina LOL

As far as I've heard petfooddirect is a good place to order pet food from, over on a dog forum I'm on a couple people order from them and they've had good results. I'd go with that option if possible.
post #24 of 29
Dear Miss:

THANK YOU FOR RESCUING AN ADULT CAT!!! You'll never regret it, and the unconditional love and loyalty you'll receive will make a true believer out of you! (PSSSST! Two is better than one; they keep one another company when you're gone, and give twice the love!) I don't know about that litter suggestion, though that is the rule with food -- what they have been eating should be mixed with whatever new food you buy, gradually reducing the old food over the period of a week until it has been completely replaced by the new varieties you have chosen. I strongly recommend only feeding a premium food such as Nutro Max Cat or Complete Care, for example; supermarket and bargain brand foods contain inferior ingredients which are not good for cats and may ultimately end up costing more in terms of health issues! and premium food is high quality without fillers, so you end up having to feed less than you would with a bargain type. Petco, PetsMart, and many other "pet" supply stores carry premium foods.
You may also want to get a nice, soft cat bed, a permanent scratching post tall enough so your cat(s) can stretch full length to exercise their claws (and claws are like our fingernails, necessary and normal for a cat to have! Declawing removes not only the claw, but is like removing a person's finger up to the first joint. It is NOT normal or good. Cats need their claws!), some corrugated cardboard, catnip-laced scratching pads, some safe toys, and some interactive toys such as Cat Dancer, Da Bird, or Feline Flyer, that you play with with your cat(s). Food and water dishes, preferably stainless steel, maybe a washable plastic placemat for underneath these, and litter tray are must-have basics, as well. GOOD LUCK, and HAPPY ADOPTION!
post #25 of 29
Gizmo, although declawed in front, adores her wall mounted scratching post. It's made of sisal and can be adjusted to the height of the cat. I recommend this in addition to the cardboard, angled models, and one really good 'kitty palace' or perch. Gizmo's pictured here inside hers; it has three cups, and she likes to sit in the topmost one!

Petfooddirect.com is the best place to buy quality cat food; I get most of my stuff from there and they are reliable and good value for money.

good luck with your new furry friend!
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissintheSouth View Post
So I am getting a cat for Christmas (read post below). I am spending the next few months researching what I need, who to call, where to look and what to look for. I am definately adopting an adult (young adult) cat and was wondering what I should have already purchased before we bring the future kitty home?

For example, should I already have litter box ready or wait and see what they use at the rescue/foster/adoption place(I had read I should mix whatever they use there with the actual litter I am going to use and wean them off the old stuff)? What are the basics I should have set up before we bring the cat home?
I cannot add to what has already been said except for just a small complaint. I bought Persi the most lavish comfortable bed the store had prior to bringing him home. He has yet to ever be seen sleeping in it as he much prefers our bed, empty boxes, open drawers, and of course the bathroom sink.
post #27 of 29
Yes, it's true...

In bed with us is where cats belong!!! But it's nice to have one or more nice "cat beds" around the place, just in case...
post #28 of 29
I don't know if I mentioned a perch or not, but Gizmo's shown here sleeping happily in her 'kitty palace'--three variously-sized perches at different heights with semicircular backs that keep the cat from falling off. There are two sisal-covered scratching posts and a toy mouse attached to one side; Gizmo can hide at the base behind the three pillars. She adores this toy. Most cats like to be 'tall' and a perch like this will repay its admittedly high cost by keeping the cats off your good furniture.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissintheSouth View Post
So I am getting a cat for Christmas (read post below). I am spending the next few months researching what I need, who to call, where to look and what to look for. I am definately adopting an adult (young adult) cat and was wondering what I should have already purchased before we bring the future kitty home?

For example, should I already have litter box ready or wait and see what they use at the rescue/foster/adoption place(I had read I should mix whatever they use there with the actual litter I am going to use and wean them off the old stuff)? What are the basics I should have set up before we bring the cat home?

I would get a large COVERED litter box, whatever litter you feel is best (I suggest Tiday Cats Clumping litter) food dishes, food, treats, cat nip, a bed, toys, and a brush/grooming tool, and a scratching post.

Sounds like a lot, but it's all the basics you'll need. I elevate my cats food so it's easier on him to eat so that he doesn't have to bend down his whole life because that could lead to injury in his older years.

GOOD LUCK!
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