|When you bring a new kitten home for the first time, or if you own an adult cat there are certain items of equipment that you should have.|
Water & Food Bowls
Traditional metal or ceramic bowls are preferable over plastic bowls to be used for giving your cat food and water. Plastic bowls can be easily chewed but metal and ceramic bowls are more sturdy and some are available with non-slip rubber bases.
Automatic feeders and water fountains are excellent if you are going to be away from your pet for a number of hours.The fountains deliver a fresh supply of water for your cat and the automatic feeders can be set to dispense food at specific times. However, these are not meant to be a substitute for human care.
Pet stores and our online store feature a wide range of collars suitable for your cat and they are available in a wide variety of colours, patterns and materials to suit your personal preference.
Safety collars are usually a good choice as they include a piece of elastic that enables your cat to free itself if it becomes caught. An ID tag should be fitted to your cat's collar with your details on so you can be contacted if your cat is involved in an accident or is lost. Another good idea is to fit a bell to the collar as this will hinder your cat when they are hunting and it will prevent "little presents" being brought home for you.
When fitting a collar you need to ensure you don't fasten it too tightly and if you put a collar on your kitten, remember to loosen it as it grows.
A range of cat beds and cat furniture are available to suit both the needs of your cat and your home.
Cat beds should have a soft, padded lining and allow enough space for your cat to comfortably lie down. Loungers, window seats and platforms placed in areas your cat likes to sit and nap are also great for keeping your cat content.
Litter Trays/Boxes & Accessories
Cats that are left in the house for long periods of time will require a litter box. There are many litter trays and boxes on the market today that will fit in with your home and lifestyle and therefore suit your needs.
They range from a basic litter tray that contains litter to covered litter boxes and fully electronic, self-cleaning cat boxes. You can even purchase self-washing self-flushing boxes or kits to toilet train your cat!
In the litter tray/box you will need a good depth of cat litter. Clumping litter is favoured by most cats and you will need to make sure you regularly clean the cat box and keep it topped up with litter.
Accessories for your cat's litter box are available to help you clean it and to help keep your home tidy. Litter scoops, track mats and litter box liners are a few examples.
When you get a new kitten, they are usually trained to use a litter box as they copy their mother but if you need to train them or you are having problems, follow the tips on Cat Training & Exercise.
Toys & Scratching Post
Toys are a good way to make sure your cat gets the exercise he needs. Cat balls, charmers, caves and scratchers are a good way to keep your cat both occupied and exercised.
To help protect your furniture you should provide your cat with a scratching post or an item of cat furniture that includes a scratching area. A scratch post or area should be sturdy and covered in rough material. To keep your cat interested in it you may need to sprinkle catnip on it every few weeks.
Short haired cats only require weekly grooming, but long haired cats should be groomed every day.
A variety of grooming brushes and implements are available to suit a variety of coat lengths. Extra grooming during times when your cat is shedding his coat, helps to reduce the amount of hair that is shed around your home.
Your cat's claws may need occasional trimming and this should be done with a pet nail clipper. These as well as a variety of grooming equipment can be purchased from our online store or a pet shop.
Travel Equipment & Accessories
There are many occasions when you may need to take your cat out in the car and there are many items available to ensure both he and you have a safe, comfortable journey.
A travel box or carrier is the most suitable way to transport your cat. They should be large enough for your cat to stand, lie and turn around in, but not so big they can be tossed around inside when travelling. A cardboard carrier is unsuitable for transporting cats as they can easily claw their way out.
Cat doors or flaps are small doors that can be fitted into external doors, internal doors, windows and walls and these allow your cat to enter and leave the house or move between rooms of its own accord and they prevent your cat scratching to be let in or out of your house.
There are many types of cat door available on the market today with many different features. Some have a four way locking system that you can set to allow the cat to leave the house and come in, leave the house only, enter the house only or it can be fully locked. Others are available that operate magnetically or electronically that only allow entry to the cat wearing the correct collar and also on the market are cat doors that operate by sensing the microchip in your cat's neck. These prevent other cats in your neighbourhood from coming into your home.
When selecting a cat door you will need to ensure it is the correct size. It only needs to be a little larger than your cat's body, but it is better to buy one that is a little on the big side if you are unsure, as a one that it too small will discourage your cat from using it.
When you have a cat door fitted you will have to train your cat to use it. See Cat Training & Exercise for directions.