No this isn’t the Twilight Zone. And you’re not getting a Weekend Review from me over here this week. You will have to read my family friendly one over at www.iamnotthebabysitter.com on Saturday. I am in bed resting with some serious IBS #IHateMyColon shit (literally) and don’t have it in me to write another blog post.
Some friends of ours are getting their very first cat and asked me for a list of items they would need. (since I have 8 cats) I want to include pictures, so I figured the easiest way would be to make a post. So don’t worry that I’ve fallen off the edge here and am posting non S&G type material. I can call cats “pussies” if that makes it better. If you already have cats, aren’t planning to get one, never plan to get one… just ignore this post.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Food, water and poo.
All of my cats are on varying formulas of Royal Canin food. Outdoor cat gets “Adult Fit”, Allergy cat gets “Rabbit & Pea” formula that requires a prescription. One of my favorite versions for Adult cats is the Special 33 version. For whatever reason, it helps with digestion and their poo doesn’t stink so badly. But for the first year, your kitten should be on kitten food, and this is a good one. If you breeder has the cat on a different kind of food, get a small bag of what they use, and every day change the ratio from mostly older food until you get to mostly new food, then to all new food. This can be done over a week’s span and will help prevent the kitten from getting diarrhea from switching foods so quickly. No one likes diarrhea. (well I haven’t asked everyone. I’m just assuming) Don’t get the cheap food at the grocery store. It will make a big difference in the health and lifespan of your cat if you feed them cheap food vs. quality food.
Food Bowl – I recommend Stainless Steel. Some cats can have reactions to the materials that make up other bowls. I’m not talking out of my @ss, I have a cat that developed red bumps all over his chin and my vet said, “He’s having a reaction to the material in his food bowl. Change to stainless steel.” And guess what? His reaction cleared up.
This is the Drinkwell 360 fountain. They have a more expensive stainless steel version as well. There are several types of fountains and perhaps I like this better because I have so many cats, so they can drink at the same time. The older cats usually die of kidney related ailments, so the more your cat likes to drink, the longer life expectancy they will have. And cats LOVE to drink from moving water. Any fountain that provides moving water should be fine. Just remember to clean it, put in new filters, etc.
I prefer the Petmate Booda Dome Litter Box. Color’s not important unless you’re a purple freak like me.
There is the one with the steps, that are supposed to clean the litter off the feet better. It is slightly bigger if you have a bigger cat.
And this is your standard type.
Do I currently use these? I do have a purple one in the room that’s prepped for a new kitty before they are introduced to the rest of the cat family. Do I use this for the rest of my cats? HELL NO. Did you hear I have 8 cats? (well 7 inside) If I were to do the formula for litterboxes per cat, I’d have about 21 litter boxes in my house. So no, I have 3 giant ones, plus the one booda one for the newbie.
Litter Mat – Place it under the litterbox, with the majority of it sticking out where they exit. Doesn’t matter what brand. Ones that you can clean are easiest.
Litter – this is a very healthy, non-clay, clumping litter that has little dust. It goes by it’s name. They also have scented variety or multi-cat variety. -Since grocery stores and target, etc. can no longer give you plastic bags to place your things in, in Los Angeles, (some save the environment kind of crap or something) I buy a box of those generic “thank you” plastic bags with handles that you often get from Chinese Restaurant take-out places (though not in Los Angeles), and we put our daily scoop of clumped pea and poo in those bags. Knot them up and put them in the trash. If you live in an area where you get those plastic bags from the grocery store, save them and reuse them as litter bags. Then we change the entire little (if husband and kids are willing, cause I’M NOT DOING IT!) once a week.
This is a very good pooper/pee clump scooper. Because let’s face it, some poo remnants will stick on the scooper and you don’t want to see it. So you put it back like this and you can pretend it never happened.
Clean-up – During your once a week dumping out of the litter, spray and wipe down the empty litter box with something like this. It makes a HUGE difference if you skip this step. This brand also makes a version for stains (like hairballs, urine (hopefully not) and diarrhea (also hopefully not)
Cat beds You may very well expect your cat to sleep with one of your household in their bed, but they should still have their own bed in the living room or whatever place they enjoy being.
Cat Trees You do NOT, I repeat NOT need to get your cute little pussy a cat tree like this monstrous device of fun. Many cats enjoy being up high and it’s helpful for their stress level if you have kids, for them to have a high place they can escape to when they need it. It doesn’t not need to be a cat tree. It can be your furniture. (ask my kitties how much they enjoy being on top of our 8 foot pantry) Ok, they can’t speak English, never mind. Cats are creative. Use your furniture and place it together to make a space for them to get up. Maybe even put their cat bed at the top.
You can even get something inexpensive like this, which is a combo cat bed/cat tree.
Scratching posts- There are the most ridiculous kinds and shapes of scratching pads & posts, but I find most success with the plain, cheap cardboard ones. They are around $5 each, so you can put one in multiple rooms. They come with a little baggie of catnip that you sprinkle over it, to entice the cat.
Toys For cats you need interactive toys and non-interactive toys. Wands are a great way to interact with your kitty, and also gives the kitty a good workout, especially right before bedtime. This particular wand is my favorite because while kitties like the ones with feathers, you will end up with bits of feather all over your floor.
This is both an interactive toy or a toy the cat can play with on their own. There is one ball on each level which can be batted around and around. You can be on the other side, batting the balls back to your cat, or they can just bat them until they come around again on their own.
Toys your can can play independently with- KICKAROOS!!! I get almost excited at these as my cats do. They have so much fun wrestling, biting and kicking them with their back legs. Sometimes a cat won’t want to share a kickaroo with it’s buddy, so we have several in the house.
These balls with bells are fun for cats. They love the bell sound.
These are fun. They flip all around and go every which way. Some cats love them. Some say, “Meh”.
These are super soft, squishy foam balls that my cats go crazy for. They inevitably get trapped under some large piece of furniture and it’s either ask two big men to help me move the furniture, or just buy some more. I buy more.
And Sparkle balls!!! Some cats just aren’t into other toys and will go bananas over a sparkle ball. Don’t know until you try it.
Hopefully I didn’t leave anything out. I got the basics in there and of course there are SO many toys, that I’m no longer allowed in Pet Stores unattended. (true story) “You just spent $200 when we only need one bag of food??” *shrugs*
So there you go. I’m available to answer more questions you may have like, how can you have 7 inside cats that all get along and never fight, living in a cohesive little cat pack?
Or, my cat has this issue, should I take them to the vet? (I’ll save you the question… the answer is always yes)
And that, my gingersnaps is my advice on what to get/know when you are getting a new cat.