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Did you recently bring home a new kitten or adopt a cat? Congratulation! Cats make excellent pets, and you have plenty of wonderful times ahead of your with your new cat. Raising a cat will require you to take on the responsibility of doing so. You’ll need to give your cat plenty of love, take it to the vet to make she’s she’s healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations, litter train and keep the litter box clean and make sure you’re not overfeeding him.
Some of these responsibilities are going to require you’re making a trip to the pet store. To help you out, we decided to compile this ultimate shopping list so that your new kitten has everything she’ll need to make the transition to living at your home. Let’s get started.
Selecting Cat Food
Selecting wet food vs. dry food is a long held debate amongst cat owners. There’s pro 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. To get you started on the pro’s of con’s of each, here’s a brief look.
Pros of Dry Cat Food:
- Convenient: Dry cat food is unequivocally more convenient on pet owners than wet cat food. Dry cat food doesn’t spoil at the rate that wet food does, which offers cat owners a more flexibility when feeding their cat.
- Economical: The long shelf live of dry food also allows for it to be sold at a cheaper rate per serving than wet food. The price of dry food can fluctuate quite a bit based on the ingredients of the food. Typically, the more carbohydrates mixed into the food the cheaper it will be.
- Storage Friendly: Storing dry cat food is an easier task than storing wet canned food, which needs to be refrigerated quickly after it’s opened.. You can find size-friendly container to dump your large bag of dry cat food into. So long as the lid seals tight, you’ll have no concern with the dry food getting wet and spoiling.
Cons of Dry Pet Food:
- Empty Calories: Dry food contains a heavy amount of carbohydrates that lead to a high energy density. Due to this, each portion of dry cat food that a cat eats will have more calories than a portion of wet food. This might be an issue for your cat if he/she doesn’t get enough activity during the day. With your new kitten, this is less of an issue. Kittens, as you’ll soon see, have an abundance of energy.
- Difficult for Older Cats: The sense of smell can waver as cats get older. Because of this, the dry cat food may not smell, therefore taste, very appetizing for them, which could cause them to not eat enough food. If you brought home an older cat and not a kitten, this is something to consider.
Pro’s For Wet Food:
- Hydrating: Some cats fail to drink the appropriate amount of water during the day. Your new cat may have this issue if they’re taking awhile to adjust to living in a new environment. Wet food will hydrate your new cat.
- Taste: You know why cats go crazy when you open up a can of tuna? It’s the smell. Wet cat food possess a richer scent than dry cat food. Because of this, cats will usually prefer the taste of wet cat food. The sense of smell and taste are closely aligned, especially with cats.
Cons for Wet Food:
- Expensive: There are a lot of attractive pro’s when it comes to feeding your cat wet food. They do come at cost, however. The high cost is part the high protein contents of the wet food and part the aluminum can packaging wet food comes in. There are brands of wet food that come in sealed plastic packaging that can help mitigate the cost that you can find at your local pet store.
- Convenience: Once you open a can of wet food, its short-life clock starts to tick rapidly. You’ll want to immediately place the wet food into a sealed container and into the refrigerator after open it. The speed in which is spoils leaves cat owners with fewer feeding options than dry food.
Cat Litter and Litter Box
There are lots of types of cat litter to choose from as well as sizes of litter boxes. One of the easier types of litters is clumping litter. It makes it much easy for your new cat to cover up her remains, and is easier for you to scoop out when you change her litter. There are some litters that are scented to mitigate the smell, if this is your first cat that might be a nice option as you get used to the smell of cat litter being 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. As for box size, though there’s some really small ones that fit your kitten now, you’ll want to buy a box that he can grow into over time. You’ll be surprised how quickly your kitten grows.
Your new cat will need to be stimulated and active to be healthy. One of the best ways to do that is by providing your new cat with some toys that will get him up and moving. Kittens are easy to coax into movement, as we mentioned earlier they’re little furry balls of energy. But older cats may need to assistance to get active. There will be aisles of toys at your local pet store to choose from. Some cats love a fake mouse, other love chasing balls with bells inside of them, and some like the elaborate toys that are battery powered and change direction. You’ll know what types of toys your cat likes as she tries them out. 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 got a kitten. Your cat will carry the scent from the place they came from. So if he was born on a farm, he’ll smell like a farm. It can take some kittens a while to learn the fine art of cleaning themselves, so they may also smell like they recently went to the bathroom. It will do wonders if you give your kitten a quick wash with a cat shampoo. They’re small enough that you can do this in a kitchen sink. Your kitten might not like water, so start slow. If she really hates having the water pressure on her, try wetting a cloth and cleaner her that way. In time, your kitten will become start smelling better as she learns to groom properly. But in the beginning, you’ll want to bathe her.
Learn More With PetPlace
You have a lot of exciting times ahead of you in either raising your new kitten or getting to know your new cat. You’ll be ready to go once you get food, litter, litter boxes, toys and some shampoo. It’s also very important that you take your cat to the vet — regardless if it’s a young kitten or an older cat. A vet can check your new cat’s vitals and organs to make sure everything is going smoothly. Seeing a vet will allow you to get a baseline for your cat’s age and weight, which you’ll want to know as your cat ages to detect potential obesity. They will also get you all the information you need about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and other medical procedures and precautions that you’ll want to be informed about.