Con-cat-ulations. You took the plunge and got yourself a cat.
Whether you’re new to the pet ownership game or have dabbled in the garden pet variety dogs or hamsters, sharing your space with a furry feline is a unique experience, only reserved for the privileged few.
Jackson Galaxy, AKA The Cat Daddy, is a cat behaviorist that helps to educate cat owners on his Animal Planet show, “My Cat From Hell,” and in his book, “Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life With Your Cat.” He emphasizes that it’s important to set up a “base camp” for your cat.
“Cats are intensely territorial so if you just plop them in a space that has no association whatsoever, there might be some discomfort,” Galaxy said in his guide to base camping YouTube video. “The concept of a base camp is setting up a space for your cat filled with items that they can soak with their scent and help create a sense of ownership.”
These scent-soaked “signposts” can range from beds, blankets, soft toys, and food bowls to even litter boxes.
Below, let this definitive guide of cat products ― some of which are items Galaxy has previously recommended and others I actually use for my own cat ― help you become the best parent you can be to your brand new hissing/purring/ cuddly/judgmental/elusive and fabulous cat.
A litter-trapping mat and covered litter box so your cat can do their business in private
A cat’s natural instincts are to always be on guard, so using the loo can be a really vulnerable time for them. The Catit hooded litter box is made from BPA-free plastic and not only offers your cat that sense of protection, but the integrated carbon filters at the top can trap odor and the overlapping mechanism helps keep messes in. There’s also an easy access maintenance door for scooping and adding more litter.
Get the Catit jumbo hooded litter box from Chewy for $49.99.
One thing you’re going to need to get used to when having a cat is the strong likelihood of litter getting tracked around by those cute little paws. The Polarduck washable litter-trapping mat is soft and safe on paws and uses a double honeycomb layer design to catch litter and other bathroom messes. It’s a breeze to clean, too: Just pour out the trapped litter or vacuum the rug in between.
Get the Polarduck cat litter mat from Amazon for $13.99.
Raised tilted cat dishes to protect their neck
Traditional flat bowls can actually put a strain on your cat’s cervical bone and also tend to create excess food spillage, especially for breeds with shorter snouts. These raised and tilted ceramic bowls are ergonomically designed to help your beloved pal reach their food properly, and may even help prevent post-meal vomiting. Plus the ceramic is bacteria-resistant and dishwasher and microwave safe.
Get it from Amazon for $22.79.
A TSA-approved sherpa-lined carrier to travel with your adventure cat
For those inevitable trips to the vet or the possibility of a plane ride, this Original Sherpa soft-walled carrier is something you want to have on deck. Original Sherpa participates in the Guaranteed On Board program so you can be confident knowing your carrier meets airline regulations. Plus, plenty of ventilation, locking zippers, top and side access and a convenient rear pocket ensure that your cat is traveling first class, even if you’re not.
Get it from Petco for $39.99.
A 72-inch tree for your cat to climb and look down on you
The wild and much more ferocious ancestors of your agile domesticated feline loved to climb in trees, where being high-up offered a sense of protection from ground-bound predators. This could be why cats love the elevation of cat towers, like this literal condo of a cat tree from Chewy. Columns wrapped in rope, perfect for climbing and scratching, can help promote your cat’s natural hunting instincts while plenty of perches offer lounging and resting space. Plus, two covered cubby holes offer protection for those times when your cat is feeling a little insecure (or is just sick of looking at you).
Get it from Chewy for $77.05.
A regular delivery of cat litter that monitors your cat’s health
Cats are notorious for hiding their illnesses, and having a color-changing litter that can actually help to detect things like urinary tract infections and certain types of kidney diseases is a real relief. Plus, with the monthly subscription, you get an automatic delivery so you don’t even have to think about needing to pick up 40-pound boxes of dusty, heavily scented litter from the store.
Get it from PrettyLitter for $22 (per month).
A filtered drinking fountain that your cat will actually want to drink from
Urinary tract disorders and other kidney-related issues
are very common in cats, and making sure they stay extra hydrated can be a good way to prevent that. Stagnant water was often something to be avoided for cats in the wild, so this faucet-like BPA-free fountain with a constantly flowing stream of water is an attractive source of hydration for them. Plus, the water is run through a replaceable charcoal filter so you can be sure your sure your cat is drinking nothing but pristine H20.
Get it from Chewy for $27.16
Grooming kits to keep your cat’s nails trimmed and their fur silky smooth
Have everything you need to reduce shedding, prevent mats and keep claws comfortably clipped with this set of grooming tools from Catit. The storage canister doubles as a temporary trash can and it comes in options for long and short-haired breeds.
Get it from Amazon for $39.99.
A gentle warming cat bed with partial shelter
Cats love to curl up in warmth, whether its basking in the sun or right in front of the heater. This micro-fleece warming bed with partial shelter can help keep your cat feeling safe and cozy and is especially useful if you’ve adopted an older cat with sore joints or a kitten that wants its mother’s warmth. The integrated heater provides an even, mild warmth, similar to a heating pad, and the removable cover is machine washable.
Get it from Hammacher Schlemmer for $69.95+.
A portable cleaner for your furniture, floors and carpets
Cat hair, hairballs, vomit and other messes are all part of the territory when it comes to owning a cat, but that doesn’t mean your furniture and carpets have to bear the evidence. This portable spot and stain cleaner uses superior suction, scrubbing action and a professional cleaning solution to clean up messes wherever they may be.
Get it from Amazon for $173.24.
An adjustable cat scratcher to keep your cat from destroying your carpet and furniture
Cats have retractable nails and thanks to instinct, they constantly feel the urge to sharpen them as a way to prepare for hunting or escaping predators — even if that means ripping your new ottoman to shreds in the process. This adjustable cat scratcher can lie on the carpet or stand against your cat’s favorite nail-sharpening spot, without looking out of place. Pro tip: Dust this with a little bit of catnip and your cat won’t dare bat an eye at your nice new sofa.
Get it from Amazon for $69.99.
A window-mounted cat lounger so your cat can look out and judge the world
Providing your cat a lounging space where they can bird watch or smugly look out on the world can be a great way to help them destress. This window-mounted lounger securely attaches with a suction cup system and is made with an attractive scratching surface that’s also replaceable
once your cat has clawed it to smithereens.
Get it from Chewy for $36.25.
A calming pheromone spray to stop your cat from scratching your furniture
This is a great drug-free, natural way to create a calming environment for your cat, and it was a personal lifesaver for my rescue cat to get more acclimated with his surroundings. When used on carpets or furniture, the natural pheromones in this spray can stop your cat from scratching spritzed areas while also promoting feelings of happiness for your cat. Pro-tip: Spritz a little of this in their cat carrier prior to travel and help them feel a little more comfortable with being taken out of their environment.
Get it from Petco for $14.99.
Cat toys in colors that your cat can actually see
Premium goofy grass and refillable mice to get your cat feeling fine
Treats for your cat that helps give them purrr-ly whites
Help reduce tartar buildup and bad breath with these crunchy and nutritionally balanced snacks made from natural ingredients. Free from artificial flavors and at just two calories per treat, you can feel good about indulging your furry friend.
Get it from Chewy for $8.48.