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What Do I Need When Adopting A Cat?

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

Adopting a cat is so exciting! For any new cat owner, the list of supplies one needs when adopting a new cat or kitten can be long. How will you know what your cat will like or dislike? Food, litter, toys, bed, scratching post, nail clippers, grooming brush… there's a lot to think about!

Just shopping for a scratching post, for example, means confronting dozens of sizes, shapes, and materials.

It can be a challenge to decide what your new cat will want to play with, sleep in, scratch, and so forth. So if you’ve recently adopted a new kitten or you're thinking about adopting, here are just a few things we recommend you have to make your cat feel at home.

Food and Water Bowls

The essentials. You will want a dedicated space for your cat to feel safe eating and drinking. Cats are very clean conscious animals, so you will want a water and feeding system that is easy for you to refill, change out, or clean when needed. If you notice your cat loves running water from the faucet, you may consider purchasing a water fountain! There are many options on Amazon and you can even do good when buying from them by signing up for Amazon Smile with HSNT!


One of the most popular feline toys is the teaser sticks with string. There are many varieties of these sticks and you may need to try a couple of them to see what they like best! Some have noisemakers, others have feathers. This toy is highly recommended for all cats to play with their prey drive. This toy will help you form a bond with your kitty as well as allow them to exercise!

There are multiple other toy options to choose from. You may have to purchase a variety before finding their favorites! Some toys include or have the option to add Cat Nip. This will be a favorite with your kitty!

Scratching Posts and Boards

In order to save your beloved curtains and furniture we highly encourage getting these immediately. A cat tower can double as a perch and a scratching post. Cats like to feel safe and warm and may enjoy perching inside the house like perches offered by some cat towers.

Encouraging the use of a scratching post can help your cat their much needed energy release on the post instead of your furniture.

Cat Litter

Choosing the right cat litter can be daunting. There are so many options and varieties. A few things to consider are your own preferences. Some litter comes scented, some absorb, others may produce no dust, and there are even brands that can even be flushed down the toilet. The most important aspect to consider first is the safety of your pets. Be sure to read labels and do research on litters to find out if any contain dangerous toxins. Once you can rule those out, you may make a more informed decision on the type of litter to buy.

Litter Box

Litter boxes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and functions. Be sure you choose a box based on their size. If your cat can barely fit, they won't feel very comfortable using the restroom. A simple open air box is the easiest and least costly solution but can sometimes be the messiest.

You should find out pretty quickly how clean or messy your cat will be when using the litter box. If your cat simply "goes" and gently covers up their droppings, great! If they decide to have a party and kick up the litter and dust everywhere like a kid in a sandbox, you may want to consider some options that are enclosed, in a furniture stand, or have a top opening. There are litter robots, self cleaning boxes, and boxes with different methods of cleaning. You may have to try a few before deciding on yours and your cat's favorite.

Litter Scooper

Don't forget this essential when litter shopping! We highly recommend a very solid handled metal scooper for best scooping results!

Collar & ID tag

Even if you plan to have your cat indoors 24/7, an escape can happen and you want the best chance of your cat being found. Having your kitty wear a collar and tag will set them apart from neighborhood and feral cats who are not looking to be found. Adding a collar and ID with your phone number tells their founder that they are loved and may be lost.


A carrier is a must have! Though you may not expect to take your new feline on many road trips, a carrier is so important for vet visits or an emergency. They keep your cat safe from escaping when on the go!

Fortunately, nearly all major pet supply companies offer an incredible return policy on used items. If Felix doesn't like that new toy or litter you tried out, go back and exchange for a new one!

Ready to adopt a cat or kitten? Visit our cat adoptions page to view all of the available felines at our locations!

Pets and People, Saving Each Other

HSNT’s mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured, neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.

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