selective focus photography of brown tabby kitten on cat tree, bringing home a new cat

Bringing Home a New Cat? Here’s Everything You Need! [2024]

Have you just adopted a cat and aren’t sure how to prepare? Bringing a cat home for the first time can be exciting yet overwhelming.

What supplies do you really need? How do you kitten-proof your home? This article will walk you through a new cat owner’s complete checklist, so you can welcome your feline with open arms. 

Must-Have Cat Supplies

cat on bed in grayscale photography, bringing home a new cat
Some cat essentials include a cat carrier, ceramic cat bowls, and scratching posts.

When bringing home a new cat, having the right gear on hand will help your kitty feel comfortable immediately.

Here are some cat care essentials you’ll want to have before your new family member arrives:

Setting Up Your Cat’s Domain

  • Litter boxes. Each cat should have at least one litter box, plus one extra. Get boxes with low sides for kittens and elderly cats.
  • Litter. Stock up on cat litter. Clumping unscented litter is ideal for easy cleaning.  
  • Food and water bowls. Ceramic and stainless steel bowls are best. Buy one for wet food and one for dry food. You can read more on which cat bowl is better here.
  • Scratching posts. Floor-to-ceiling posts and horizontal scratch pads will save your furniture. Uncover the tricks for training your cat to use a scratching post.
  • Cat bed. For under $ 20, you can buy a few cozy cat beds for your cat to lounge around the house.
  • Cat carrier. You’ll need one to transport your cat safely. Hard plastic works well. You can find cat carriers at the nearest pet shop for under $25.

Entertaining Your New Cat

  • Interactive cat toys. Try teaser wands, feather toys, treat balls, and laser pointers to keep your cat stimulated.
  • Treats. Use some healthy kitty treats for positive reinforcement and snack time.
  • Cat condo/tree. Multi-level cat trees with perches and hidden holes make great play spaces.  

Keeping Your Cat Happy + Healthy

  • Collar + ID tag. A breakaway collar and ID tag will help bring your cat home if they get lost.  
  • Brush. Long-haired cats need frequent brushing to prevent hairballs and matting.
  • Nail clippers. Cats need their claws trimmed every 2-3 weeks. Buy clippers made just for cats.
  • Flea and tick treatment. Talk to your vet about the best preventatives for your area. Stay informed on how to prevent fleas and ticks for cats.
  • Cat-safe plants. Either remove toxic plants or place them out of reach of curious cats.

As long as you check off everything on this new cat supply list, you’ll be off to a great start with your new family member!

Bringing Home a New Cat: Checklist

Brown Tabby Cat Lying on a Cat Tree
Providing designated places for your cat is essential for their well-being.

Before you bring your cat home, you’ll want to ensure your home is safe, secure, and suited to a cat’s needs.

Follow this cat-proofing checklist:

  • Check for hazards. Look for loose wires, toxic chemicals, and poisonous houseplants and secure them. 
  • Designate cat zones. Decide where your cat will sleep, eat, drink, play, scratch, and eliminate.
  • Set up containment. Cat-proof doors and windows, and consider baby gates to keep your cat away from no-go zones.
  • Make high-up spots. Install shelving, cat trees, and window perches so your cat can climb and survey their domain.
  • Consider peace offerings. Put away precious items you don’t want cat hair on or damaged by curious kitties.
  • Prepare proper ID. Ensure your cat has a collar with identification tags in case they escape. Microchipping is also a good backup.  

Follow these simple tips for preparing your house for a cat, and your new furry roommate will settle right in!  

Top 10 Essentials Every New Cat Owner Needs

brown tabby cat lying on white textile
Cats need to remain stimulated to be happy and healthy.

Are you ready to adopt a cat for the very first time? Are you nervous you might forget something critical? Don’t worry.

Here’s a checklist of the 10 most important supplies beginner cat parents can’t live without:

  1. Sturdy cat carrier
  2. Litter boxes + scoop 
  3. Variety of scratching posts
  4. Ceramic food + water bowls
  5. Nutritious cat food
  6. Interactive toys
  7. Comfy cat beds
  8. Grooming tools
  9. Flea + tick preventatives
  10. Cat-safe plants  

With all the gear above ready at home base before you pick up your cat, you can focus on bonding and not have to scramble to the pet store for missing basics. Just check this short list twice, and you’ll give your new fur baby the purrfect welcome!


Bringing home a new cat friend leaves many first-timers wondering: now what?

But there’s no need to feel unprepared. This article outlines the full scope of supplies and cat-proofing all new cat owners need – from setting up your cat’s corner to stocking entertainment essentials to safety-proofing your home. 

With these comprehensive checklists guiding your pre-cat preparations, you can gear up with total confidence. The above tips will help your new kitty adjust smoothly and settle happily into your heart and home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take a new cat to adjust?

Expect your new cat to become fully acclimated in 1-2 weeks. They may be shy and cautious at first, but with patience and care, they will soon be happily accustomed to their new home.

Where should I set up my new cat’s food, water, litter box, etc?  

Designate a quiet corner of your home for your cat’s essentials. Keep their food/water dishes in one spot and their litter box separately. Be sure everything is easily accessible.

What items do I need to cat-proof before bringing my new cat home?

Double-check for hazards like electric cords and poisonous plants. Secure wobbly objects and valuables prone to batting/scratching. Install baby gates to block off no-go zones. Ensure windows/doors have secure screens.

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