Every year, nature being what it is, shelters are often overwhelmed with kittens looking for homes, which is why June is Adopt-A-Cat Month! Check out the American Humane Association's checklist of whether a cat is right for you and be sure to consult with shelter staff if you are a good personality fit for the cat in question. Then, it's time to get ready! We've picked out some of our favourite toys, treats and essentials for your new home.
First things first – you need a litter box and litter. There is a dizzying array of litters available, but for best chances of success, ask what kitty is using right now and pick up a bag of that (cats hate the unfamiliar, especially when it comes to the box). If you've got a blank slate, we like Fresh Step and Swheat Scoop. (This may seem obvious, but make sure kitty can actually get into the litter box. One Modern Cat staffer adopted a kitten and had to build said kitten a ramp into the box.) Then, be sure you have two wide rimmed bowls for water and food – make sure they are BPA-free and easy to clean!
Then, be sure to pick up a scratcher (you can check out Catpods or SmartyKat for some ideas). The kind of scratcher you want depends on the kitty. Be sure to pick up some grooming tools (grooming brush, nail clippers, dental hygiene supplies) and think about how much time you're going to have to devote to this. Many people enjoy the Furminator; remember that many cats dislike grooming and think about how to make it a lower stress experience for them. You'll also need a cat carrier (you can try Sleepypod or Bergan for some options) and a toy or two (to start, try a fishing pole type toy, like Nekoflies, and a stuffed mouse or ball).
If you don't have one already, you're going to need the services of an experienced vet who specialises in companion animals. Also, we think you'd need a subscription to Modern Cat magazine (but we're biased!). It seems like a lot of stuff to buy, but remember to start small and see what your cat likes. Above all, you're going to need lots of love and care for the new family member who is coming home to you. He or she is going to look to you for love and support for the better part of two decades, which means that your commitment to your cat doesn't come from your wallet, but from your heart.