How to Get Your New Cat All Set For Life · The Wildest

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The Ultimate Shopping List For Your New Cat

Here are all the new cat essentials you need, recommended by real pet parents

by Jeremy Gundel and Helin Jung and Avery Felman
31 October 2023
Woman holding her black and white cat.
Alba Vitta / Stocksy

Congrats: you are a cat parent now. New life level unlocked. What does this mean for your life? Well, you will never be able to sit on your couch again without having to check first that it’s not already been claimed as a napping spot. Another tip: if you don’t know where your cat is, it’s best to look up (top of the fridge, maybe) or down (they love to find the smallest nook behind the couch).

And sure, cats are more self-sufficient than dogs – sorry, dogs – but they still need a lot of gear to get acclimated (and so they don’t poo under your bed or scratch up your curtains). You probably know you need cat food and a litter box. If you’re bringing home an adult cat, try to stick with food and litter brands they’re already familiar with, at least for the first few weeks, to make them feel comfortable.

Remember, your kitten or cat will be different from every other cat you have met, so take the time to observe how they react to their new digs and adjust accordingly. That said, there are some must-have cat items that experienced pet parents swear by, from toys to grooming tools, and we’ve rounded them up for you. First things first: how are you going to bring your new cat home?

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

Best cat carrier

Best cat scratching posts and trees

Best cat litter boxes

Best cat feeders and supplements

Best cat toys

cat interactive puzzle in green and red

According to certified cat behaviourist Ingrid Johnson, your cat is constantly strategising and – go figure – could be bored. “It’s hard to take the hunt out of them,” she says. “It’s an innate need.” Don’t feel bad – you’re about to splurge on a bunch of interactive cat toys and engaging cat food puzzles that even the softest-skilled kitty can master. If your cat is no stranger to mind puzzles, this Nina Ottosson puzzle may be the perfect toy to challenge their skills. With 16 hidden compartments that allow your cat to access the treats within the toy, there’s no shortage of ways to keep your cat engaged and concentrated. –Katherine Tolford

Best Cat Grooming and Cleaning Products

oxyfresh premium dental kit

Veterinarian Dr Lori M Teller says: “Cats are very prone to gingivitis and periodontitis, which can be caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar.” That’s why it’s important to brush our pets’ teeth daily.

For a natural option that gets the job done, go with this human-grade dental kit by Oxyfresh. Backed by vets and hundreds of five-star reviews, it is as comprehensive as the brand’s climate responsibility and sustainability plan. Plus, it’s flavour and scent-free, so even the pickiest of pups will approve – that is, if they even notice that you’ve sneaked a few drops of the water additive into their bowl. —RC

jeremy gundel

Jeremy Gundel

Jeremy Gundel is a writer and comedian from New York City. He’s a veteran performer at the Magnet Theater, been a featured contributor for CollegeHumor, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and performed stand-up in bars, basements, and basements of bars. He lives with his wife and two freeloading cats. 

writer helin jung and cat

Helin Jung

Helin Jung is a writer in Los Angeles.

Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is a writer and producer. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her reading, practicing her Greek on Duolingo, and delving into the Sex and the City discourse. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their cat, Chicken, who rules with an iron fist.

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