Cats are unique animals, and cat ownership can be a wonderful experience when properly prepared. Even though cats are often viewed as aloof, self-sufficient, and more independent than many other pets, there are still essential needs that cats have to maintain a healthy, engaged, and enjoyable life.
Diet, stimulation, exercise, and agreeable sleep, and elimination areas all play an important role in a cat’s life. Cats are hunters at heart, so they need the proper food for carnivores or they are prone to becoming overweight. And a bored cat is a mischievous cat, so it’s important to offer avenues of adventure and exercise for your feline. With cats being quite a bit different than dogs in their sleep and elimination needs, it’s important to offer a relaxing, safe and convenient bed and a litter box for their use.
Below is a list of the 15 Most Essential Supplies for Cat Owners to address a cat’s needs. Whether an older cat or a new kitten, these tips make a great go-by to make sure your cat is getting all the support possible for a long and healthy life.
Food – A well-balanced, high-quality cat food is recommended by veterinarians so cats get all the vitamins and minerals they need. One essential amino acid, taurine, is necessary for maintaining a healthy heart and eyes. Since cats are carnivorous, many cat owners lean toward a meat-based diet to help keep their feline companions as lean as possible without introducing unnecessary fillers. Treats are also fun and useful for training, but should only consist of about 5–10% of a cat’s diet.
Bowls – Good feed and water bowls are important for ease of use and ergonomics, and they should be made of stainless steel, glass, ceramic, or a non-porous resin to avoid any bacteria buildup which can occur with non-food-grade plastic bowls. Richell features a Non-Tip & Skid Cat Dish that has a shallow design and a spill-proof smart edge that doesn’t skid or tip over. If an ergonomically raised bowl is desired, the Raised Cat Bowl is perfect for maintaining a healthy posture while eating or drinking.
Blanket or Towel – Tucking a soft blanket or towel around the inside perimeter of your cat’s bed can be an excellent way to attract and keep your cat’s attention. The sleeping or resting area should be as comfortable as possible so it is searched out as your cat’s “home”. Blankets and towels are easily washed each week and can impart a sense of elegance and comfort to a tired kitty.
Bed – A comfortable bed or hammock in a clean, dry area is important for your cat to properly rest and sleep. Lining the bed with a soft blanket or towel can go a long way in making a happy cat even happier. By washing the bedding often, it will be even more enticing and feel like home. Richell’s Oval Cat Bed may be just the purrfect place for your cat to nap.
Carrier – A cat carrier is an important item to have for safely transporting cats or kittens while traveling or visiting the vet. If a cat is skittish or prone to anxiety or aggression while traveling, a hard carrier may be the best option. Richell’s new Space Capsule Pet Carrier and Bed puts a fun twist on hard pet carriers. If your feline companion is easier going, then a soft carrier may be a good option. It also depends on what is most comfortable for the cat owner as well.
Litter Boxes – Each indoor cat needs a litter box. At least 1.5 litter boxes are recommended for each cat, so if there is one cat in the family, there should be two litter boxes available. If there are two cats, then 3 litter boxes would be the perfect number. They should be placed in an accessible, but quiet area and never moved unless moved slightly each day over a period of time. If the home is a two-story dwelling, there should be a litter box strategically placed on each level. Cats won’t typically use a soiled or smelly litter box, so it’s important to keep it clean and fresh. Richell features all types of litter boxes from a Wide Hooded Cat Litter Box to a Top Entry Cat Litter Box that features a filter lid designed to keep litter in the box once the cat exits.
Hair Brush – Many cats become instantly relaxed when they are brushed. It’s a great way to not only dispose of loose hair so fewer hairballs are developed, but it can also warm them up to an eventual nail trim or other hygiene chores like teeth brushing. By itself, brushing a cat is a great way for a cat parent to bond with their cat since it is a very calming experience for most cats.
Comb – Brushing can get rid of most unwanted hair, but a comb is needed to get things out of the hair such as burrs, seeds, insects, parasites, and tangles. Combs also allow for more skin stimulation which helps with circulation and a cat’s well-being.
Nail Trimmer – Many cats aren’t fans of nail trimming, so a good lead-in to this necessary activity would be a relaxing brushing, massage, or playful activity so a cat’s energy is greatly reduced. Some have experts trim their cat’s nails, but if started early in life and continued regularly, many cat owners find that nail trimming is an easy chore if done often. A good, sharp, and concise nail trimmer is key.
Collar – Each cat should have a collar showing its identification and current rabies vaccination just in case it gets out and is found. Preferably the collar is a “breakaway” variety that does just as its name implies – it breaks apart if a cat gets caught on something it normally wouldn’t be able to get free from. Collars come in many sizes, so just be sure it fits snug enough that only a finger can get between the collar and the cat’s neck.
ID Tag – An ID tag is a necessity for any cat that hopes to be reunited with its owner again. A microchip helps as well, but not everyone has a microchip reader and a pet can often be returned quicker when an ID tag is present.
Walking Harness – Yes, cats can take a walk just like a dog, and many cats that are trained from an early age enjoy walking around in their harness. The key is to train early and often and use the harness regularly. This may be one of the least important essential supplies for a cat, but one that can make for a fun change of pace when toys and climbing posts start getting old.
Cat Tree – Cats love to climb, scratch, and explore. Cat trees fulfill all these desires. Not only can a cat climb and get up high for a better vantage point, but cat trees make for great exercise and a place a cat can call their own.
It is a safe environment where a cat can climb, jump, play, roll around and be king of his jungle. This is one of the “must-have” items for most cat owners. A lot of pent of energy and frustration can be released when a cat tree is made available.
Cat Scratcher – Some cats may not have access to a cat tree to fulfill their scratching desires and cat owners certainly don’t want furniture legs to be their cat’s scratching post. This is when a cat scratcher comes in handy. Cat scratchers are pads specifically designed for cats to scratch to their heart's content and make a great substitute if a cat tree can’t be installed. In some cases, both cat scratchers and cat trees can be utilized to keep cats occupied.
Interactive Toys – There is a multitude of interactive cat toys for our feline companions to enjoy, but some of the most popular are fishing poles or sticks with a toy mouse, feather, or other enticing object attached on one end where it can be moved around erratically to
mimic prey trying to escape. Cats love this. Other interactive toys include a cat exercise wheel,
stuffed mice, floor mobiles that turn in circles with a toy attached, and fish-related toys.
Many cat supplies can be purchased online or at retail shops these days and quite a few will make your cat’s life more healthy, comfortable, fun, and interesting, but the 15 Essential Supplies for Cat Owners listed above are arguably the most essential for a cat to live a relaxed, fulfilling and exciting life.
Richell’s Double Door Pet Carrier is the best solution for taking pets along for a trip! This Pet Carrier includes a clear top door that opens outward for easy loading of your pet. It also includes a removable front door that opens to both right and left sides. CLICK TO ENTER!!!
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