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Adopting a New Cat Checklist

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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You’ve scoured pet listings, researched local adoption groups, and even debated the benefits of homing an adult cat versus a kitten (or two, or three, or four). Now you’re ready to welcome a pet into your life. You probably know that you’ll need a litter box and pet food. But there are a few additional items every first-time cat owner should have before bringing home their new pet.

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier, the best cat carrier

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

The best cat carrier
The durable and well-ventilated Sherpa Deluxe Carrier comes in three sizes, for pets up to 22 pounds. Its nylon shell is puncture-resistant, and the wide top entry makes getting a cat inside easier.
We recommend
Nature’s Miracle High Sided Litter Box, the best litter box

Nature’s Miracle High Sided Litter Box

The best litter box
The high sides keep litter scatter contained, and the low entry makes the box easy to get into. And it’s big enough for most cats to turn around in.
We recommend
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra, the best cat litter

Dr. Elsey’s Ultra

The best cat litter
This cat litter forms sturdy clumps, has decent odor control and low dust, and is one of the least expensive options available.
We recommend
PetFusion Premium Brushed Stainless Steel Bowl, a dish for food

PetFusion Premium Brushed Stainless Steel Bowl

A dish for food
The stainless steel design inhibits bacteria and oil buildup, which can cause chin acne in cats.
We recommend
AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Bowl, a big water dish

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Bowl

A big water dish
Your cat’s water dish should be big enough to hold a full day’s supply of water so they don’t run out.
We recommend
Catit Flower Fountain, best for cats

Catit Flower Fountain

Best for cats
This fountain is affordable, easy to clean, and well suited to small animals.
We recommend
Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post, the best scratching post

Pioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post

The best scratching post
This scratching post’s durable woven sisal lasts longer than carpet and is better for your pet than rope. This scratcher is also one of the tallest we tested, so your cat can stretch out.
We recommend
New Cat Condos Premier Triple Cat Perch, the best cat tree

New Cat Condos Premier Triple Cat Perch

The best cat tree
This three-level carpeted cat tree is stable, built from high-quality materials, and designed with sisal-rope scratching posts built in.
We recommend
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush, for detangling mats

Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

For detangling mats
The slicker brush gently removes loose dirt and detangles fur without hurting your pet. And the retractable bristles make pulling hairballs from the brush a breeze.
We recommend
Oster ShedMonster De-Shedding Tool, for detangling mats

Oster ShedMonster De-Shedding Tool

For detangling mats
The rake-style comb gently removes loose dirt and detangles fur without hurting your pet.
We recommend
FURminator Undercoat deShedding Tool, a deshedding tool the pros use

FURminator Undercoat deShedding Tool

A deshedding tool the pros use
The stainless steel teeth make quick work of brushing out a cat’s undercoat, and the skin guard ensures the teeth won’t dig into a pet’s skin.
We recommend
Yeowww Catnip, the best catnip

Yeowww Catnip

The best catnip
Consisting of virtually all leaves and packed in a tightly sealed container, this catnip should be more effective than the competition.
We recommend
Litter Genie Plus , a good litter pail

Litter Genie Plus

A good litter pail
The Litter Genie Plus gives you a more convenient place to dump dirty litter so you don’t have to run it out to the trash daily.
We recommend
Method All-Purpose Naturally Derived Surface Cleaner, the best all-purpose cleaner

Method All-Purpose Naturally Derived Surface Cleaner

The best all-purpose cleaner
When cleaning up cat messes, avoid citrus scents, which cats find irritating. The lavender scent of this all-purpose cleaner is easier on feline noses.
We recommend
Bounty Select-A-Size, the best paper towels

Bounty Select-A-Size

The best paper towels
These strong and absorbent paper towels don’t leave lint behind, and they have more tear-off points for less mess.
We recommend
Black+Decker 20V Max Lithium Pivot BDH2000PL, a great all-purpose hand vacuum

Black+Decker 20V Max Lithium Pivot BDH2000PL

A great all-purpose hand vacuum
This handheld vacuum’s distinctive pivoting nozzle and powerful suction make short work of cleaning up litter spills and fur.
We recommend

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