The Ultimate New Cat Shopping List

The Ultimate New Cat Shopping List

Holiday shopping for a new cat.Holiday shopping for a new cat.
Holiday shopping for a new cat.Holiday shopping for a new cat.

Did you recently bring home a new kitten or adopt a cat? Congratulations! Get ready for the wonderful times ahead.

Raising a cat takes a lot of responsibility. You’ll need to give your cat plenty of love, take them to the vet to make sure they’re healthy and up to date on vaccinations, litter train, and make sure they’re not overfed.

Most of these responsibilities are going to require a trip to the pet store. To help you out, we’ve compiled the ultimate shopping list, so that your new kitten has everything they’ll need to make the transition to living in your home.

Selecting Food for Your New Cat

Selecting wet food vs. dry food is a long held debate among cat owners. There are pros and cons to each, and there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Different cats should have different foods and you should always consult your vet about which type of food is best for your pet. Sometimes, the answer is to try a bit of both and see how your new cat enjoys and reacts to each.

Here’s a breakdown of common pros and cons:

Pros of Dry Food:

  • Convenient: Dry cat food doesn’t spoil at the rate that wet food does, make it more cost effective for cat owners.
  • Economical: The long shelf live of dry food also allows for it to be sold at a cheaper rate per serving than wet food. Prices may fluctuate a bit based on ingredients. Typically, the more carbohydrates mixed into the food, the cheaper it will be.
  • Storage Friendly: Storing dry cat food is far easier than storing wet canned food, which needs to be refrigerated quickly after it’s opened. Dry food can be sealed in a plastic container and, as long as the lid is sealed tight, you’ll never have to worry about food getting wet or spoiling.

Cons of Dry Food:

  • Empty Calories: Dry food contains a large amount of carbohydrates that lead to a high energy density, which ultimately means higher calorie. This might be an issue for your cat if they don’t get enough activity.
  • Difficult for Older Cats: Sense of smell can waver as cats get older. Dry food is not as pungent, therefore, it’s far less appetizing for cats with a poor sense of smell.

Pros of Wet Food:

  • Hydrating: Some cats fail to drink the appropriate amount of water each day. Your new cat may have this issue if they’re taking awhile to adjust to living in a new environment. Wet food will help hydrate your new pet.
  • Taste: You know why cats go crazy when you open up a can of tuna? It’s the smell. Wet cat food possess a stronger scent than dry cat food. Because of this, cats will usually prefer the taste.

Cons of Wet Food:

  • Expensive: There are a lot of attractive pros when it comes to feeding your cat wet food. They do come at cost, however. The high cost is related to the high protein content of wet food, as well as the aluminum packaging. There are brands of wet food that come in sealed plastic packaging, which helps mitigate the cost.
  • Convenience: Once you open a can of wet food, the quality starts to decline as time passes. You’ll want to immediately place the wet food into a sealed container and into the refrigerator after open it. The speed in which it spoils leaves cat owners with fewer feeding options than dry food.

The Litter Box

There are lots of types of litter to choose from, as well as sizes of litter boxes. One of the easier types of litter is clumping litter. It makes it much easy for your new cat to cover up their remains, and is far easier for you to scoop out during cleaning. There are some litters that are scented to mitigate the smell. If this is your first cat, that might be a nice option, since you’re not yet used to cat smell in your home.

As for the litter box, the rule of thumb is to have one extra litter box per cat. So if the new cat is your only one, set up two boxes. If you have two cats already and this one is your third, four boxes.

Also, make sure you buy a roomy litter box, especially if you have a kitten that is still growing.


Your cat will need to be stimulated and active to be healthy. One of the best ways to do that is by providing your pet with toys that will keep them moving and grooving. Kittens are easy to coax into movement, since they’re little furry balls of energy. But older cats may need to assistance to get active.

Some cats love a fake mouse, others love chasing balls with bells inside of them, and some like elaborate toys that are battery powered and change direction. You’ll know what types of toys your cat likes through trial and error. If you buy something that your new cat doesn’t enjoy, many pet stores will let you return the toy and exchange it for something different. If you’re looking for some DIY options, try any type of box. Cats love to hop in and out of boxes.


Shampoo is a must if you have a kitten. It can take some kittens a while to learn the fine art of cleaning themselves, so they may not make the best first impression. It will work wonders if you give your kitten a quick wash with a cat shampoo when they come home. They’re small enough that you can do this right in the kitchen sink. Your kitten might not like water, so start slow. If they really hate it, try wetting a cloth and cleaning them that way. In time, your kitten will start to smell better as they learn to groom properly.

Learn More with PetPlace

You have a lot of exciting times ahead of you as a new cat owner. You’ll be ready to go once you get food, litter, litter boxes, toys, and shampoo. It’s also very important that you take your cat to the vet — regardless of their age. A vet can check your new cat’s vitals and organs to make sure everything is in working order. They will also provide you with your pet’s age and weight, which you’ll want to know as your cat ages to detect obesity. You’ll also get a tentative schedule for vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and other medical procedures and precautions.

Pet insurance can be a safety net for you and your pet,
helping your pet care budget go further.

Get a free quote from PetPartners today.

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PetPartners, Inc. is an indirect corporate affiliate of PetPlace may be compensated when you click on or make a purchase using the links in this article.

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