Cats are like babies: before they arrive, you have to prepare everything at home to give your new housemate a good start. After all, the velvet paw wants to find everything it needs in everyday life in its new territory – if an important part is missing, a hectic procurement will only bring unrest in the acclimatization phase. Read here what basic cat equipment should be available when the velvet paw arrives.
What cat equipment do I need for nutrition?
Cats have a sensitive stomach. You should therefore use the food that the cat is used to from the breeder or from the animal shelter for the first time in the new home. In this exciting time, in addition to the stress of acclimatization, there are no stomach upsets. Later you can gradually get the velvet paw used to other brands of food. Be prepared, however, that cats can be very picky about giving up something familiar.
In addition to the food, you need the right dishes in the form of food bowls. If you offer wet and dry food, you need one for each type of food. There is also a third bowl for water. This number is multiplied if there is more than one cat in the house. Each animal needs its own “service”. Bowls made of stainless steel or ceramic have proven their worth: they are easy to clean and hygienic. Plastic bowls are less suitable as a permanent solution, as plastic tends to absorb food odors and possibly trigger contact allergies, even when cleaned very carefully. The bowl should be adapted to the shape of the cat’s face. Animals with a shorter snout prefer shallow bowls. Rule of thumb: The bowl must not be too small so that the whiskers touch the edge.
The bowls should have a non-slip rubber foot or stand on an appropriate base. This prevents slipping and spills are easy to clean up. Take this opportunity to place food and water bowls in different rooms if possible. In this way the water is not contaminated by small pieces of food; moreover, most cats prefer not to quench their thirst right next to the feeding station.
What initial equipment for the cat do I need for cleanliness and care?
Of course, the velvet paw also needs at least one litter box. There are litter boxes in different designs and price ranges, in different formats, with and without a lid and door. You have to try out which variant is the most pleasant for the house tiger over time; to start with, you should choose a model that resembles the litter box from the cat’s previous home, and most importantly, is large enough for the animal. When using the litter box, it is also important to use the cat litter you are familiar with first: an unfamiliar consistency or a strange smell can irritate the already insecure cat so much that it avoids the litter box even though it is already housebroken. Changing the litter can always take place later.
In addition to the litter box, you need a litter scoop. As far as personal hygiene is concerned, it’s easy for you with cats: the animals are very clean and attach great importance to personal hygiene. However, if you have long-haired breeds or are changing their coat, you should help your cat with grooming and use a brush and comb. Many cats enjoy brushing for wellness. Just in case, you should have a claw clipper at hand: If the cat tends to grow claws excessively without wearing them down sufficiently, the claws should be clipped before the animal becomes painfully caught. However, you must not injure the blood vessels; if you are unsure, it is better to take the cat to the vet.
Comfort and play: what features of cat furniture are important?
Your velvet paw sleeps through a large part of the day. The cat bed should therefore be given special attention. Cats often prefer sleeping places in which they can withdraw completely – so-called cat caves – or which at least have a slightly raised edge. This lateral support accommodates the cat’s posture when sleeping and dozing and gives it a sense of security. There are no limits to the imagination and the choice of material for cat beds, baskets, caves, and cat sofas. But pay attention to hygiene: the cat’s sleeping place must be easy to clean, textile components should be washable.
The scratching post is also important for the cat household: This is a mixture of the comfort zone, pedicure aid, and playground and should be set up as centrally as possible in the apartment so that the cat can see its entire territory from there. Various lying areas or caves serve as a lookout. The scratching surface on which the velvet paw can sharpen its claws is also important. Don’t underestimate the importance of these scratching opportunities – your furniture will thank you.
If possible, there should be other scratching boards in the apartment next to the scratching post. There are also scratching posts in different variants and price ranges. Last but not least, the cat needs toys. The classics are balls, small stuffed animals suitable for cats, and cat rods, which are sticks with plush or feather play bait at the end. But the most important thing for the cat is the person who plays with it.