New Cat Checklist

Bringing home a new cat can be both exciting and stressful - some preparation can smooth the transition.

It’s time to bring your new cat home – an occasion that can be filled with excitement and stress. With some advanced preparations and research, you can make the transition for both you and your feline friend smooth.

What you'll need

Before you bring your new cat home, take a look through this list of things you may not have considered:

Food and water bowls:

Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are typically recommended as some cats can have reactions to plastic bowls.


Even if you plan on keeping your cat indoors, an open door and a chirping bird might be too hard for your cat to resist. Take precautions against your cat becoming lost with either a safety collar and ID tag or a microchip (visit the Humane Society's website to get more information on micro-chipping).

Guide Book:

There are hundreds of books on cats. Pick up a comprehensive book about general care issues – feeding, grooming, discipline, playtime, and any potential hazards of which to be aware. No doubt you will have some questions or concerns in those first few days and weeks and a quick reference guide will make yours and your cat’s life easier.

Grooming Tools:

Cats tend to keep themselves neat and tidy, but some may need a little assistance. The length of your cat’s hair will determine the type and style of brush to use. Be sure to brush the hair on your cat’s face avoiding the delicate eye and whisker areas.

Litter Accessories:

A new cat and a new litter box go hand in hand. Do your cat a favor by providing your cat with a clean, comfortable, and quiet place to do his business. As for box options, there are many: the open pan, enclosed, and the newest type on the market – self-cleaning. As for litter types, your choices include, clumping, non-clumping, sand, clay, pellets, etc. You may have to decipher your cat’s personal taste with a little trial and error.


Invest in some type of carrier as soon as possible as you will be transporting your cat to the vet for a wellness checks. There are both hard and soft sided carriers, and each has advantages and disadvantages as well as price variations.

Scratching Post:

One of a cat’s most natural instincts is to scratch. Cats scratch for several reasons; to remove dead nails, to mark their territory, and to simply stretch their bodies. To save your couch, chairs, and new curtains from being shredded, invest in a scratching post or two.

Undoubtedly, your life is about to change with the addition of your new cat. With a few advance preparations, you and your new cat can start your life together on the right foot.