What Do I Need to Adopt A Cat – Product Breakdown

What do I need to adopt a cat?

If you’re in the process of adopting a cat you’re going to want to know all of the things you might need for your cat before you bring him or her home.  But you might have never had a cat before and you might be asking yourself “What do I need to adopt a cat?” This post is directed toward helping you identify a breakdown of specific products that fall into each category outlined in my Cat Adoption Kit post. If you don’t know what types of stuff you need yet or why you might need it you might want to read that post first.  If you’ve already read it and you’re ready for a breakdown of great products then please continue on below!

Here’s a quick list of all of the things you need, feel free to click the link to get to that exact product on the page:

  1. Litter Box
  2. Cat Litter
  3. Litter Genie
  4. Litter Scoop
  5. Cat Food
  6. Bowls
  7. Cat Carrier
  8. Scratching Equipment
  9. Nail Clippers
  10. Brush

Do note as you move through all of these different products and links that these are based on my own opinion on these products.  They may not be as effective with some cats as they are with others, but in general I’ve recommended what I think will be best with your average cat!  If you have any questions or any comments then please do let me know below!

1. Litter Box

The litter box is a clear essential for any cat. Let’s look at a couple of different options you have available from a litter box perspective:

Budget Mid Range Expensive Top of the Line

Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box

Hagen CatIt Hooded Cat Litter Box

Modkat Litter Box Kit


The Fully Automated Litter Robot

 This is your basic high sided litter box. It will help contain litter a heck of a lot better than a standard low sided one and it is cheap to boot. A great product at a great price. For those looking for a bit more cover up and a fully enclosed space for both odor control and additional litter control this is a great option. It is also a very affordable option. The Modkat litter box is specifically designed to help control litter tracking. I’ll have a comprehensive post on litter tracking control soon. It is a pricy investment, but if litter tracking is an issue for your cat it is certainly worth considering. The Litter Robot is fully automated . It handles itself for an entire week and all you do is change the bag out. It is a wonderful invention and takes the hassle out of owning a cat! If you click the link above you’ll also save $25 dollars off of the price.
















2. Cat Litter

Clumping Non Clumping Crystals

Precious Cats Clumping Litter

Fresh Scent Clay Scented


Just the Crystals

Clumping litter is probably the most standard litter out there. It absorbs moisture to form clumps and makes it easier to scoop, but it can also stick to your cats feet and hair in the process resulting in tracking (dragging litter out of the box into the house). Non Clumping litter is intended to help solve the problem of tracking, but it does tend to make scooping a bit more of a hassle because not everything will ‘stick together’ as you scoop. Crystals are a good alternative to litter, but they function based on absorbing cat urine and you have to just scoop poop off the top. While they are great to avoid tracking my personal experience is they start to smell bad after a week or so and require replacement. It can get expensive to constantly replace crystals.

3. Litter Genie

The One and Only Litter Genie

The Litter Genie
By far the best investment you can make in litter cleanup if you are still scooping manually! This is a life saver in saving you trips back and forth to the garbage can and dropping litter everywhere.

4. Litter Scoop

Budget (Plastic) Mid Range (Metal) My Favorite (Metal)

Petmate Ultimate Litter Scoop

Endurance Stainless Steel Scoop
Duranimals DuraScoop
Plastic scoops work well and get the job done, but over time they will start to crack and break and you’ll have to go get another. The is especially true in a large/deep litter box where the scoop will flex more toward the back. Metal scoops are far sturdier and will take a much better beating over the long haul. This scoop in particular is completely made of stainless steel so it lasts well, but the handle isn’t as comfy as a rubber covered one. This is an excellent scoop. It has a super comfortable handle and more importantly, it has lasted an extremely long time being used on a daily basis. I highly recommend this scoop!


5. Cat Food

Option 1 Wet Food Option 2 Wet Food  Dry Food

Purina Fancy Feast Variety Pack

Muse Natural Grain Free

Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food

 This is a go to option to get some variety in a large package. This makes sure you get a lot for your money, but you don’t get all the same thing which might bore your cat.  This option is grain free and there are a wide variety of flavors available. I’ve found the Ocean Whitefish is one the favorites in my house. This is one of my go to foods when I bring home a new foster cat that is in adult. They typically love it and it is at an affordable price point.

One additional note on food. In general cats tend to like variety in their food. If you feed them the same thing over and over then they will often get bored of it and sometimes stop eating it. New cats might also have a specific taste for some kind of food or another. You should definitely ask the rescue/shelter what type of food the cat has been eating in the past and buy some of that. If not, I highly recommend trying a wide selection of different foods as opposed to buying a ton of one specific kind.


6. Bowls

Stainless Steel Bowls

Stainless Steel Bowl Set

 This bowl set is super easy to clean, it is super durable, and it holds plenty of food or water for your cat. These are my favorite bowls by far. Steer clear of glass, it chips and can cut or your cat you long term.

7. Cat Carrier

Soft Carrier Option 1 Soft Carrier Option 2

Amazon Basics Soft Carrier

PawFect Soft Pet Carrier
The basic carrier was the first carrier I ever had. It works great, especially if you only transport your cat to the vet and back for the most part. Once we got a second cat we needed a bit larger of a carrier and a second one in case both cats had to travel at the same time. This was a slight upgrade in cost, but it is far more comfy inside and the carrying strap is far more comfortable in my opinion.

Note that I don’t specifically recommend hard carriers. Plenty of people use them, but I’ve personally not found any need for a hard carrier and they are a much more difficult item to break down and store in a small space. I would personally avoid them unless you need something that might go in the back of a car where something could potentially fall on top of it. This is just a personal preference.


8. Scratching Equipment

Vertical Scratching Post Horizontal Post

SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post

Cat Scratching Board
Hands down the best scratching post I’ve had. It is tall enough for most any cat, has lasted for years, and it is easy to rub cat nip into it to keep the cats using it instead of the carpet. This kind of board works really well in the case that your cat doesn’t like something standing up. Every cat is different, but I’ve found most prefer vertical scratching posts.

If you have any questions on how to ensure your cat uses the scratching post please check out my post on ensuring your cat doesn’t scratch up your furniture.


9. Nail Clippers

Cheap & Effective Clippers

Safari Professional Nail Clippers
These are some of the cheapest clippers on the market and they are remarkably durable and effective. I highly recommend them.

10. Brush

General Use Cat Brush Extra In Depth Removal

ChirpyCats Cat Brush

The Furminator

This is a great general cat brush. If your cat doesn’t much like being brushed, this will help you pull off the loose hair and decrease shedding to some extent. The Furminator is by far my favorite brush. Just like its name says, it basically terminates stray or shedding hairs. My cats absolutely love it. I have one for the short hair and one for the long haired cat.


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