Cats are like babies: before they arrive, you have to prepare everything at home to give the new housemate a good start. After all, the cat wants to find everything it needs for everyday life in its new territory – if an important item is missing, a hectic re-procurement will only bring unrest into the settling-in phase. Read here what basic cat equipment should be available when the cat arrives.

Below we have compiled a checklist for the initial equipment:

The following items belong on the shopping list for pet supplies:

– Cat transport box for safe relocation

– Feeding bowls and water bowls

– Cat toilets

– Cat tree

– Cat sleeping place – cave, basket or cat bed

– Food (complete food and treats)

– Cat litter

– Cat grass

Also important are hygiene articles and care utensils such as

– Flea and tick repellent

– Coat brush and comb

– Cat litter scoop

and small items like

– Toys

– Extra pillows and blankets

What cat equipment do I need around food?

Cats have sensitive stomachs. You should definitely use the food that the cat is used to from the birth home or from the animal shelter. This will help prevent stomach upsets in addition to the stress of settling in. Later on, you can gradually get your cat used to other brands of food. However, be prepared for the fact that cats can be very fussy when it comes to giving up something they are used to.

In addition to food, you will need the appropriate dishes in the form of food bowls. If you offer wet and dry food, you will need one for each type of food. Add to this a third bowl for water. This number multiplies if there is more than one cat in the house. Each animal needs its own bowls. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are easy to clean and hygienic. Plastic bowls are less suitable as a permanent solution, because even with the most careful cleaning, plastic tends to take on food odours and possibly cause contact allergies. The bowl should be adapted to the shape of the cat’s face. Animals with shorter muzzles prefer shallow bowls. Rule of thumb: The bowl should not be too small so that the whiskers touch the rim.

The bowls should have a non-slip rubber foot or stand on an appropriate base. This prevents slipping and spills are easy to clean up. Take this opportunity to place the food and water bowls in different rooms if possible. This way, the water will not be contaminated by food crumbs; moreover, most cats prefer not to quench their thirst right next to the food bowl.

What initial equipment for the cat do I need for cleanliness and care?

Of course, the cat also needs at least one litter tray. Litter trays are available in various designs and price ranges, in different formats, with and without lids and doors. You will have to try out which version is the most comfortable for your cat over time; to start with, you should choose a model that resembles the toilet from the cat’s previous home and, above all, is large enough for the animal. It is also important with the litter tray to use the familiar cat litter at first: An unfamiliar consistency or smell can irritate an already insecure cat so much that it avoids the litter tray even though it is already house-trained. The litter can always be changed later.

In addition to the litter tray, you will need a litter scoop. As far as personal hygiene is concerned, you have it quite easy with cats: The animals are very clean and attach great importance to personal hygiene. However, for long-haired breeds or during the coat change, you should help your cat with grooming and reach for a brush and comb. Many cats enjoy brushing. You should have a claw clipper handy just in case: If the cat tends to grow long claws without wearing them down sufficiently, the claws should be clipped before the animal gets painfully caught with them. However, under no circumstances should you injure the blood vessels in the process; if you are unsure, it is better to take the cat to the vet.

Comfort and play: What cat furniture is important?

Your cat sleeps away a large part of the day. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the cat bed. Cats often prefer sleeping areas into which they can withdraw completely that have a slightly raised edge. This lateral support accommodates the cat’s posture when sleeping and dozing and gives it a sense of security. There are no limits to the imagination and choice of materials for cat beds, baskets, caves and cat sofas. But pay attention to hygiene: the cat sleeping area must be easy to clean, textile components should be washable.

The cat tree is also important for the cat household: it is a mixture of comfort zone, pedicure aid and playground and should be placed as centrally as possible in the flat so that the cat can see its entire territory from there. Various lying areas or caves serve as lookouts. Another important feature is the scratching area where the cat can sharpen its claws. Do not underestimate the importance of these scratching areas – your furniture will thank you.

If possible, there should be other scratching boards in the home besides the scratching post. Scratching posts also come in different varieties and price ranges. Last but not least, the cat needs toys. Classics are balls, small stuffed animals suitable for cats and cat fishing rods with a play bait made of plush or feathers at the end. The most important thing for the cat, however, is the person who plays with it.

If a new pet has joined your family you need to be perfectly equipped from the start to ensure they can settle in to their new life easily.

Maxi Zoo are on hand with our new pet starter kits for every kind of pet.  You can find out more information about them here. Our store staff are available to give customised advice so you choose the perfect product for your new arrival, and you can get 10% off* your starter kit when you visit your local Maxi Zoo store, find yours here.