So you decided that now is the time to adopt a shelter cat? We commend you on your decision – especially since June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. Unfortunately, far too many cats do not get adopted, and shelters across the country are full. National Adopt a Shelter Cat is an awareness campaign where the public can get educated on adoption and the many benefits that come with it.
However, before you go to the shelter to pick up your furry friend, we just wanted to take a second and talk about a few of the things you will need. The first few days of cat ownership can be difficult for both you and the cat. Oftentimes, cats will need some time to get used to their surroundings. They may find a hiding spot and stay there for a while until they’re ready to come out and introduce themselves formally. By preparing in advance, you can make the transition much easier. But what cat supplies should you buy beforehand? Here are a few musts that your cat will appreciate.
A Litter Box or Two: The rule of thumb is to have a litter box for every cat you own plus an extra one. So, if this is your first cat, you will need two. You will need cat litter too. Clumping litter is preferable as it will neutralize any odors. In addition to that, non-clumping cat litter often contains silica, which is a big no-no for you and your cat.
A Scratching Post: Cats need to scratch. If they don’t have a scratching post, they will use your furniture or carpet. It is much cheaper to just buy a post rather than all new furniture.
A Cat Carrier: You will need a carrier to take your cat to the vet, which is something you should do in the first week you adopt a cat. Also, a cat carrier often serves as a good resting spot for your cat; cats love small spaces.
Cat Toys: Cats are predators, which means they are always on the hunt. Since they are now indoors, they will need something to do. Cat toys satisfy their instinctual hunting drive, and they are also a way for your cat to get some exercise and mental stimulation.
Food: The long-term health of your cat will largely be determined by what you feed him or her. Cats are carnivores, which means they have different dietary needs than humans or even dogs. Your cat, unfortunately, can’t become a vegan. Ask your vet what food he or she would recommend and be sure to keep your cat on a regular feeding schedule. And don’t get scared if your cat doesn’t want to eat for the first day or two. It’s all part of the adjustment period.