1. Bowls – Ceramic or stainless steel.  Do NOT buy plastic bowls as they can harbor bacteria.  Before I knew this and used plastic bowls, one of my cats got acne!

$SAVINGS TIP$ — Pet stores are usually way overpriced when it comes to pet bowls.  If you have any thrift shops near you see if you can find any nice ceramic or stainless steel bowls, about one cup size, in good condition.  Instead of paying $7-$9 for a ceramic bowl liked I used to,  I got an great assortment of bowls for 50 to 99 cents each!

Cats only need two bowls.  It’s a good idea to have some extra cat bowls on hand so you can have some in use while you wash the others.

  1. Toys – Every cat or kitten needs toys. Here are some toy ideas to keep your kitty happily occupied.

Boxes – Take a large box and seal 3 sides.  Cut an entryway on one side.  Line it with a soft blanket or towel.  Put a few small toys like catnip mice or balls inside.

Empty Thread Spools – These make great toys for your cat to bat around the house.

Rolled-up Sock –It’s an old sock to you but a great toy for your kitty!  Sprinkle some catnip on the sock before rolling it up and watch the fun begin.

Aluminum or Paper Balls – Take some clean unused aluminum foil or scrap paper and roll it into balls for kitty to swat around the house.

CAUTION:    NEVER let your cat play with plastic bags.  Cats suffocate from plastic bags every year.

A string is fine for kitty to play with as long as he/she is NEVER left unsupervised.  If kitty swallows string it can tangle in the intestines and kill him, so put all string away when playtime is over.

  1. Nail Clippers – A simple inexpensive pet nail clipper works fine. It has a slight concave shape at the bottom of the blade.  Just gently press your cat’s paw on the underside in the center and the nails should extend.  Clip off the white part of the nail.  NEVER clip the pink part which has a vein.  If you are a newbie and are nervous about the process, visit your vet and have a vet technician demonstrate the technique for you.  There are also videos on YouTube regarding this subject.
  1. CARRIERS – It’s an absolute must to have a good carrier so your kitty will be safe traveling by any means, not to mention you don’t want to experience the horror of losing your cat.

There are many different types of carriers.

  • CARDBOARD – this should only be used if you have no other option, such as when adopting your pet and you haven’t purchased a good carrier yet. Use it once and throw it away.
  • CRATE – wire crates are NOT recommended. The cat is exposed on all sides which only adds to his fear because he can’t hide.
  • SOFT-SIDED – I’ll admit I’ve used and still own a soft-sided carrier for my small cats. I have spinal problems and find it easier for me to carry it from underneath rather than use the straps.  I only use it for a quick trip to the vet and put a seatbelt securely around it when driving.  However, I do not recommend them for extended trips (my vet is just a few blocks away.)
  • PLASTIC CARRIER – This is the best type of carrier. A quality carrier will last a lifetime, is sturdy, easy to clean, and lets your cat feel secure.  When you go to purchase a plastic carrier, please make sure the door to the carrier is easy to open and lock.  Be very careful in your choice.  Years ago I bought what appeared to be a good quality carrier and my cat escaped from it because the door came off.   Thankfully I was able to grab my precious kitty.  Personally, I like carriers that also have a door on the roof.


Now that you know which carrier to purchase, you also need to know how to get your cat used to it.  Not an easy task!  Here’s some information that should help.

Your normally calm cat can go crazy when you try to put him in the carrier.  The good news is with a little practice it will be much easier.  The first thing to do for a cat who has no crating experience is to take the carrier and remove the door if possible.  If not, prop the door open.  Put the carrier on the floor.  If your house is a cat-only house, put treats all around the carrier in a 3-foot circle, plus some inside the carrier.  When all treats are gone, repeat the process, but this time put the treats 2 feet around the carrier and some inside the carrier.  Repeat until there’s no circle and all treats are inside the carrier.  When your cat goes into the carrier to eat the treats, that’s progress!  For the next day or two put some treats at the rear of the carrier.

Next choose a word you will use that your cat can identify as carrier.  Bed, condo, anything.  Show your cat his favorite treat to get his attention.  Show him the treat and keep it near his nose so he can smell it.  In a joyful voice use the word you’ve chosen and guide your cat to the carrier.  When he’s near the carrier, say about a foot, reward him with the treat.  Lavish him with praise.  Move him a few feet from his carrier and repeat the process.  When he’s okay with coming that close to his carrier, place a treat on the doorway ledge.  Lavish more praise and petting on your cat.  After that, toss a treat inside and let your cat go get it.

NEXT – Put the door back on the carrier.  Repeat the previous exercise so he doesn’t get spooked.  If he gets spooked, re-teach to the carrier on command.  Things should go more smoothly this time around.  Don’t worry if he notices the door, don’t fret.  It may take another day or two but this method works.

Once your cat goes into the carrier, quietly close the door and lock it, all the while speaking softly and cheerfully, praising your cat.  Throw some treats in the carrier, and then in a few minutes open the carrier door and let him come out if he wants.  From then on your cat should go into the carrier without a problem.