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How to get ready for a new cat / kitten

Updated on September 8, 2012
My kitty Koloa
My kitty Koloa

I just got my kitty Koloa from the animal shelter! There she is, looking cute, just like her owner. :)

Which reminds me...

There are a few things to make sure you have before you pick up your new cat or kitten:


Before you get a cat, make sure that you have a good vet to go to. Use family and friend recommendations... those are usually the best. In my case, my mother works at a vet, so that made the decision easy.

Feeding dish and water bowl

Plastic or aluminum are best. If you already have pets, it's ok to share the water bowl, but not feeding dishes. And make sure that they have a non-tip design because cats love to use their paw to scoop food out onto the floor; this usually can cause a mess with the wrong dish.

Name tag and collar

Even though it's best to keep cats indoors at all times, it's still safer to get a collar (try to get a stretchy one so if it gets caught on something, the cat can escape safely). And have fun with the tag... you can get lots of colors and shapes! These can be made at pet stores, like PetSmart, or some shelters.

Cat carrier

Plastic ones are good; cardboard is less good (some shelters will provide these to you when you adopt a kitty). There are some made with cloth and cushions on the inside. Just make sure they're nice and sturdy.

Places to sleep

Cats like to sleep in corners. These are good places to put cat beds or boxes. You don't need super-expensive beds because cats just might snub them anyway and go for your bed instead. This usually happens with our cats.

Scratching post

Koloa was declawed by her previous owners (which is BAD to do... it hurts them!), so I didn't really need this. But getting one of these will save your furniture! If not, there are specialty scratching items and furniture covers to get instead.

Litter box

Obviously a must, it's good to get as big of one as possible.Get one with higher sides for older cats and fill it up with 3-4 inches of litter. If you have a kitten, use a small aluminum or plastic pan and put it in a bigger box once they get older to train them to use it more. Put the box/pan in a place where there is less traffic in the house, away from food and water.

Cat door

We have an apartment, so we didn't need a cat door. If you get one, keep it locked the first few days until the cat has adapted to the home.


You should get interactive ones, ones that move on their own like wind-up toys. Also get ones that they have to move themselves to play with. My personal favorites are the long sticks with feathers and bells on the end. :)


Make sure that everyone in the home expects a kitty. Old cats might hiss at the new cat and dogs might be mad at you the owner. Kids might want to play right away, but make sure the kitty has plenty of time to adjust to the new home. Koloa ran under the bed right away, but in about half an hour she was stuffing her face with cat food. Like pet like owner.


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    • SheaBurgeson profile image

      SheaBurgeson 5 years ago

      Great information for people who plan on getting a first cat or who want to add another cat to the family!

    • Paulart profile image

      Paulart 6 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      Very nice information is given on this hub. I like it.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

      Nat Amaral, sometimes you can kind of compromise or negotiate with landlords. I would imagine that pet insurance can help. Also, some landlords will be more lenient if you put down a pet deposit.

    • Nat Amaral profile image

      Nat Amaral 6 years ago from BC Canada

      A great hub. I would get another cat if my landlady would allow it. Would pet insurance be helpful? I'm often told that it would be. Oh, and your cat is just adorable.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      I think I'm going to pass this superb hub around to a few of my friends who are wanting to get kittens in their homes. Thanks for a great read, glassvisage!

      And by the way, Koloa looks super cute.


    • profile image

      Tarah_ 7 years ago

      Great hub. I have a friend who has a scratching post for her cats and they just love it. It's a great way for the cats to get away from dogs if they need to.

    • Mih36 profile image

      Mih36 7 years ago from New York

      Thanks for the great cat tips. I have just got myself 2 female sister kittens. The picture you see is KiKi and she has a sister KoKo =) They run like crazy all over. \

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you Enelle!

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Great hub! I have posted a link to your hub on my cat blog 'A Cat's Tail' on :)

    • profile image

      buttcrackincorperated 8 years ago

      yeahh. im getting a 6month old kitten this week sometime. and that's good 2 me. but my other cat is like 14 or 15 and doesn't like the fact that hey r coming! lol.

    • profile image

      Adam 8 years ago

      After I got my new kitten I gave the Emery Cat a try after reading a review on

      I'm very happy I did - especially after considering declawing!

    • bassfishingguide profile image

      bassfishingguide 8 years ago from Somewhere in the US

      Great article glassvisage,

      If you get your cat or kitten from a shelter most likely he/she would be fixed; however, if you get the cat somewhere else, please make sure to spay or neuter the is why:

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks everyone! I agree that it can be hard to get a new cat with a lot of other pets around, especially if they're older.

      Getting a cat or a kitten depends on what you prefer: if you'd prefer to raise a cat from its youth, be sure you can handle its antics!

    • profile image

      Jenelle 8 years ago

      me too! And ummm is it best to get a cat or a kitten??????

    • Patricia Bedard profile image

      Patricia Bedard 9 years ago from Venice Beach

      I hace been thinking of getting a new cat, but it will probably be little hard on her since I have 3 dogs and another cat.