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Cat Essentials For First Time Owners

Published by Emily on August 14, 2018

Cat Essentials For First Time Owners

What to buy for Cats?

If you’re getting your first cat, you might be wondering what you’ll need to look after your new feline friend. As your new cat gets older and more adapted, you’ll most likely buy them more and more toys, but when they’re just getting used to their new home all you need are the basic essentials.


Cats are well-known for loving a good snooze, so they deserve a good bed to enjoy their cat naps in. While cats usually sleep anywhere and everywhere, they like to curl up in a little ball, so something like a donut-shaped bed is ideal for cats. Even if it’s just a big pillow, it’s important that it’s soft and warm for the utmost kitty comfort.

Food and Water Bowls

For your cat’s meals, they need the right bowl to enjoy them. Ideally you should have one bowl for water and one for their food. Stainless steel bowls are the most suitable type, as they’re easier to clean and most feature rubber rings on the base to stop them sliding on smooth floors. Glass and ceramic bowls are also ideal, but plastic feeding bowls are harder to clean and unpleasant smells can often linger, which isn’t nice for your cat. A shallow bowl is better for cats to be able to reach inside to the food, especially if they’re still only a small kitten.

Litter Trays

Fortunately, cats tend to do their business in the same spot, which saves you time when clearing up after your cat. Your cat will need a litter tray, which can either be a simple tray or a more fancy box with a lid and door to minimise smells - this all depends on your budget. Experiment with different brands of litter too; your cat may be hesitant to use the tray with certain brands.

Scratching Posts

A must-have for any cat owner, a scratching post encourages your cat to use their claws on something over than your furniture! Cats love to and need to scratch regularly, which is why a scratching post is a good idea. When buying a post for your cat, make sure it is sturdy and durable, as your cat will mostly likely be using it a lot. Posts with rubber bases are ideal for keeping it upright whilst your cat is scratching and playing with it. The post should additionally be tall - around 25 to 30 inches - which should be at least as tall as your cat when standing on its hind legs.


Cats’ fur differs depending on their breed so you may need slightly different combs and brushes when you’re grooming your cat. The basic brushes you will need include metal-toothed comb (careful not to get one with sharp teeth), a bristle brush, and a flea comb. If you have a longhaired cat, you may also need:

  • A wire brush (you can buy a wire/bristle combo brush if you wish)
  • A metal-toothed comb with alternating long and short teeth
  • A slicker brush

A deshedder tool might also belong on your list. Deshedders remove loose hairs before your cat’s coat becomes matted, and will make grooming considerably easier.


Cats and kittens in particular are often very playful, and will greatly appreciate a toy or two. Playtime encourages cats to exercise their natural hunting instincts and keep active and healthy, especially toys shaped like mice or ones on a string. When choosing your cat’s toys, make sure that they are safe and big enough for your cat to play with; anything smaller than a ping-pong ball poses a choking hazard.

Collar and Carrier

Although you most likely won’t be taking your cat on a walk, a collar is ideal for identifying them if they wander off or get lost. As cats have a tendency to prowl through bushes and undergrowth, a collar with a quick-release clasp is recommended for preventing your cat from getting snagged on branches and becoming trapped. An identity tag should also feature so that your cat can be returned home safely.

When taking your cat to the vets or going out in a car, you should always use a carrier. Cats can become agitated when being transported, plus it can be dangerous to place them loose in a vehicle, so a carrier can also save you from being severely scratched whilst in the car! Choose a cat carrier is sturdy and spacious with lots of ventilation for them to breathe.