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Cat Supplies List

So, you’re adopting a new pet? Congratulations! You’re doing a great thing by giving a homeless cat or kitten a new home. Next step is shopping for all the items you’ll need to keep kitty and you happy…

Whether you’re a brand new cat owner or just need a few reminders about what cats need, we’re here to help! Keep reading to see our supply recommendations to get you and your new feline friend started off on the right paw!

The List

Click on any list item below to see our recommendations!

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Click HERE to view a printable shopping list

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A Carrier for Transporting your Pet: We recommend you purchase a plastic medium sized carrier (one per cat in the house). While small  carriers are cute and appear to be great for kittens, kittens grow up and within a few short months, your tiny furball will no longer fit in a small sized carrier!   22” in length is the smallest size we recommend purchasing.  You will find this size (or bigger) should work for the lifetime of your cat.   A larger carrier also makes it easier to get a stubborn feline to enter without encouragement.  Carriers with a front door and a top door are ideal for every vet visit.  


We do NOT recommend soft-sided carriers. While they appear more fashionable, fiddling to close zippers and velcro while trying to keep a nervous cat inside can be challenging. Not to mention, the soft material tends to collapse on a cat and without a solid foundation for your cat's feet - you could trigger the instinctual panick exhibited by some cats when lifted off the ground.  Last but not least, soft sided carriers are nearly impossible to sanitize. Here are just a few examples of carriers we’d recommend. Keep in mind - you want to purchase a size that allows an adult cat to stand up and freely turn around.  


Food and Water Bowls: Ceramic or metal bowls are best! Plastic tends to trap bacteria, and even with frequent washing, can cause chin acne.  It is also critical you provide your cat with fresh clean water daily.  Cats tend to drink less since they are designed to get the majority of their moisture from their food.  If you’d rather not empty, wash and refill a water bowl daily, we recommend investing in a good quality water fountain! You will still need to clean the fountain and replace the filter, but much less frequently. Water fountains can also help encourage cats to drink more water (or less fun - splash and play) which is important for their overall kidney health.

litter box

Food: You’ll want to start by keeping your new cat on the same food they were eating in rescue while they adjust to your home.   Any type of stress (a new environment or food change) can cause an upset stomache resulting in unwanted “messes”.  Ask what your kitty has been eating and how much and stock up on their current food before your new pet comes home! Read more about cat diets here.

A Good-Sized Litter Box: We recommend at least one box per cat. Be sure the box is big enough for your cat to stand up and turn around. High-sided boxes are a great choice for bigger cats or those who tends to "aim high"! There are tons of options out there and each has its own benefits. Here are some of our favorites


Alternatively, if you’re a little crafty and want to save some $$ - you can make the perfect litter box out of a large storage bin.  See instructions on how to make  here.


Litter Scoop: For daily scooping of the litter box. Doesn't need to be anything fancy, but you may find metal scoops are toughest to keep clean!

Cat Litter: In general, you’ll always want to start with good clumping litter. There  is no right or wrong choice brand wise, it all depends upon what you and your cat like.  If you shop around, you will find you and your cat will prefer certain brands over another. Non-clumping (also known as clay or natural/paper pellet) litter is less expensive; however, it needs to be replaced more frequently as it cannot be scooped. Read the label on your litter to find out if it is indeed clumping litter.

Don't forget to ask the rescue if your new cat has a preference on litter! Most cats are not too picky, but some may only want to use a specific brand or type.  Our best advice?  Stay away from the cheapest (dusty, doesn't clump as well, strong smell).  Economical does not always make for the smartest choice.  

cat trees

A Cat Tree and/or Scratching Post:  Purchasing both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces is a very good idea. Make sure your vertical scratching surfaces are tall enough to allow your cat to fully stand and stretch their body to it's full length while scratching. We also recommend offering surfaces with different types of material - sisal rope, cardboard, carpet, soft textures and rough textures. Having a variety of choices and materials for your cat will not only help keep them entertained, but prevent them from using your favorite furniture as a scratching post.  Here are some of our favorite items:


Toys!: Catnip, stuffed mice, puffy balls, and wand toys are all great options to help you bond with your new pet! Be sure to hide wand toys when you are not home to avoid your new pet from getting entangled while you are away.  Some kitties also feel the need to eat their favorite toys - so until you know your cat's behaviors and sure to put away any string type toys when not in use to avoid a potential emergency clinic visit.  


A Pet Bed: More likely than not, your new cat will end up sleeping wherever they so choose, BUT it's always a good idea to have a designated bed or two for them as well. Every cat seems to have their own personal preferences on types of beds, so it doesn’t hurt to try a few different options. We recommend avoiding spending too much money on a kitty bed, as we have found time and time again, you’ll easily spend top dollar for the “perfect” cat bed only for you cat to sleep on the floor next to it or the box it came in.

Nail Clippers: We recommend avoid using human nail clippers or the guillotine style nail trimmers.   We find that these often end up crushing the nail instead of cutting it.  This will cause pain and can make nail trimming much more challenging for the sensitive cat. Here are some of the trimmers we recommend!

These Long Handles are nice for keeping a cat’s mouth away from your hand while trimming.

These Short Handles are better for more control.

Pet Brush or Comb: While optional for shorter haired cats, brushing your cat can help reduce shedding, improve coat quality and allow better bonding time. If you have a longer haired, cat you’ll need a brush and a comb to help detangle any matts or knots that may develop.  This is one area not to scrimp if your cat has fine long hair that tends to tangle.  

nail clippers

Paper towels and non-toxic cleaners in case of accidents: The far less glorious part of pet ownership is all the little messes that come up. We can almost guarantee that at

some point in your pets’ life,  they create some sort of undesirable mess on your carpet, floor, bed, counter or any other inconvenient place. Think of this as an initiation into a very elite club of pet nannies.  Having a variety of pet cleaners on hand will make taking care of these messes that much easier.  Be sure to spot test your cleaner in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won't further stain or simply spread the mess around. Here are some of our tried and true cleaners and products we keep on hand:

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