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Getting Ready for a New Cat (or Kitten)

Lots of cute cats and kittens need homes!
Michael Maturzak
Are you ready for a new feline friend? It's a good idea to plan ahead!

More cats are surrendered to animal shelters in Spring than during any other time of the year. So June is Adopt a Cat Month.  If you are planning to adopt a cat or a kitten, there are some basic items you will need. 

     Start with a litter box – one large enough for the kitten or cat to go inside and do its business.  Also buy cat litter and a strainer scoop to keep it clean.

     Next – find food and water bowls that do not tip over easily.  They should be easy to clean, but some cats are sensitive to plastic – plus some plastic can retain odor from the food – so choose a ceramic bowl or metal bowl, like a stainless one.  Then wash it frequently to keep it clean.  And make sure your new kitty always has access to clean water.

     Kitten or cat food is next on the list.  Choose a good quality food suitable for your pet – such as a kitten formula for a youngster, or cat food for an adult animal.  Your veterinarian can recommend a food that is suitable for your new friend.

     A scratching post is a good idea, because it provides a way for your cat or kitten to exercise.  It should be sturdy, and tall enough for your furry friend to stretch out without tipping over. Encourage it to use the post and not the furniture.  But please, do not have your feline buddy de-clawed.  Instead, clip its claws - your vet can show you how.

     And while you are talking to your veterinarian, make an appointment to have your pet spayed or neutered.

     Other items for your new friend will include a bed, which could be a cardboard box with a cushion in it (and maybe an old towel or sweatshirt, to make it soft and cushy) - and a few toys.  A pet carrier is also a good idea, especially when you go to see the vet.

     Being prepared for your new cat or kitten will help to make those first few days and weeks less stressful and more enjoyable for both you and your new feline friend, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.