Getting a cat can be intimidating.
Before you dive into the world of feline ownership, there are some necessities you must obtain. I will teach you which products to buy the first time around so you don't waste time and money dealing with problems that arise with crappy cat supplies. On that note, let's get started...
1. Litter Box
The holy grail of cat products. It's all about keeping your living area clean and smelling good.
You must buy a closed top litter box. The igloo types (a.k.a., shitgloo) and the new snazzy roll-to-scoop boxes are the best bang for your buck.
Booda Dome Cleanstep Cat Box
Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box
BONUS: for those of you who don't have a nook, garage, or alcove to place an unsightly litter box, I recommend what Yasi got:
People will tell you different things. You can go the natural route (which is better for the environment) or just get a brand that works (essentially eliminating odor and allowing for easy scoopage)
My brand of choice is
Fresh Step Premium
3. Nail Care
I tried clipping Mr. Steven's nails with regular nail cutters and using Pedipaws. It was easier to you regular nail cutters.
The best thing for a cats nails and stress level is getting them a scratch post. You can get cheap scratch boxes and towers but I recommend the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post.
It's super tall and will last forever. This is extremely important for them to be able to stretch out and scratch hard. To train them to do it, just use a string or feather type of toy at the top of the post and then feed them immediately after any type of scratching. Do it for a week and they will do it for life.
4. Food & Water
Having a cat is easier than having a dog. But just like dogs, cats will eat forever. Portion control is key (unless you like your cats fat).
If you are often on the road (or sometimes don't wake up at home) and automatic feeder is a must. This one is reasonably priced and customizable to your schedule and cat size:
Petmate Le Bistro Portion-Control Automatic Pet Feeder
Here's a cheap water fountain that gets the job done. You will need to clean it once in awhile:
Bergan Petite Feeder and Waterer
5. Fur and Fleas
Longer haired cats will shed fur around the house. To prevent this, you can use the ultimate in cat grooming, the FURminator:
To remove fur from your furniture and clothes, this is a cheap tool that works amazingly well:
Evercare Magik Brush
Fleas are the worst thing ever.
- They have 3 different life cycles (egg, larvae, flea) and each cycle is killed differently
- 95% of fleas do not live on the host
- without feeding off the host(s), a flea cannot live
Save yrslf the trouble and just pick up Advantage. It's easy to apply and is the only thing that truly works. We tried sprays, cheap imitations, vacuuming regularly, washing everything—the only thing that truly works is Frontline or Advantage.
You can help avoid fur and flea issues if you shave your cat. It costs about $50 and any vet will do it. Here are some more reasons why you should shave your cat:
- it looks badass
- it feels more agile and renewed
- it stays cooler
- no more dingleberries
- they like the sensation of being petted more and chilling out in the sun:
The Mr. Cat Stevens post shave
I hope you enjoyed this Starter Guide to Cat Ownership. The truth is, in the end the cat winds up owning you.