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Cat Adoption Checklist: What You Need to Know and Buy

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

hepper pod bed nom nom bowl himalayan cat eating

The arrival of a new kitten or adult cat in your home is an exciting and important event. But the joy you feel should not make you forget your future responsibilities: to offer your little one a safe and enriching environment. For that, you must buy a few things to make his arrival go smoothly. So, to help you with your preparation, we’ve put together a cat adoption checklist, along with a few extras to help you gather all the cat essentials that will make your life easier.

Let’s get started!


Things To Consider Before Adopting a Cat

Adopting a cat involves a long-term commitment of energy, time, and money. It is better to think about it before passing the pet store or shelter because it is very difficult to resist the imploring gaze and plaintive meow of a kitten! However, you should never adopt or buy an animal on a whim or give one as a gift. Here are the main questions to ask yourself:

Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

Are you ready to make a long-term commitment?

Indoor cats can expect to live 16, 17, or even 20 years. As your pet gets older, it is also possible that your pet will become ill, so you will need to provide the necessary care, which means you will have to devote time and money to it.

Do you have the financial means to take care of a cat?

Adoption or purchase, sterilization, vaccines, visits to the vet, food, bedding, basic equipment, toys, grooming, hiring a pet sitter during your vacation…it all comes back expensive in the long run!

There are many important pet supplies to stock up on, but one that many people forget is pet insurance. Companies like Lemonade offer balanced, personalized plans that can help you keep vet costs under control.

Will you have time to take care of your feline?

A cat is more independent than a dog and is often more content with limited space. However, be aware that he enjoys company and needs a minimum of two 20-to-30-minute play sessions each day to thrive. Also, a cat demands attention, hugs, and playtime; in short, he needs your warm presence by his side! Taking time with him is important because the more he is stimulated, the more balanced he will be and the more you will enjoy living with him.

What will you do with your pet during the holidays?

If you don’t take your cat with you and don’t have someone to look after him while you are away, you will need to budget for a pet sitter who will come to your house every day.

Are you ready to change your lifestyle?

Every room in the house contains a thousand traps for a curious little feline: tilting windows, a balcony, hot plates, electrical outlets, chemicals, and many others. The arrival of a kitten will require you to rearrange your entire interior. And if you do decide to let your cat outside, you’ll need to make sure their vaccines are up to date, in case of any unexpected encounters with wild animals that may have rabies.

hairless cat curious hepper nest bed liner sphynx

What if your kitty stains or damages your furniture, rugs, and clothes?

A cat often claws in the “wrong” place and leaves hair all over the place, not to mention its “hunting trophies” or the risk of urine marking if disturbed.

Do you suffer from allergies?

Before adopting a little furry companion, make sure that no one in your family suffers from allergies. To find out if you are allergic, you could spend a few hours with a loved one who already has a cat, babysit the animal while they are away, or offer to care for cats from your neighborhood shelter temporarily.

hepper cat paw divider

The 20 Supplies You Need Before Adopting a Cat


1. Wet Cat Food

  • Our Pick: Fresh/Wet Food: Smalls Fresh Cat Food

Nothing will help your new cat feel more at home than enjoying a tasty meal. For cats who enjoy wet food, Smalls Fresh Cat Food offers nutritionally balanced, gently cooked, fresh meals made with human-grade ingredients shipped directly to your door.

2. Dry Cat Food

  • Our Pick: Dry Food: Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Rice Dry Food

If your new cat is used to crunchy kibble, Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Rice dry food is a high-protein diet with nutrients like fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics. Remember to slowly transition your adopted cat to any new food to avoid upsetting their stomach.

3. Cat Bowl

  • Our Pick: Hepper Nom-Nom Bowl

hepper nom nom cat food bowl from above

If your new kitty can’t choose between dry or fresh food, you’ll want a bowl that can handle both options. Our very own Hepper Nom-Nom bowl offers two dishes in one whisker-friendly package. With dishwasher-safe stainless steel dishes, the Nom-Nom bowl also features a wide lip on the tray to catch spills and keep your home cleaner. This dish could also serve as a food and water bowl combination. It’s raised for easier eating but is still shallow enough for kittens to use.

4. Water Fountain

  • Our Pick: Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain
Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain

If this is your first cat, it may surprise you that kitty owners often struggle to encourage their pets to drink water. One way to combat this dilemma is to buy a cat water fountain. Many cats prefer to sip running water as opposed to still, and our Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain provides just that. With triple filtration and adjustable water flow, this fountain is quiet and energy efficient.hepper-cat-paw-divider


5. Treats

  • Our Pick: Greenies Feline Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Adult Dental Cat Treats

Feeding treats can be a great way to bond with your newly adopted cat and an excellent training tool as they learn the routines of their new home. Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Dental Treats are tasty, nutritionally complete, and low in calories. Best of all, they help clean your cat’s teeth and sweeten their breath. Delicious Greenies treats are the perfect snack for your adopted cat.

6. Toys

  • Our Pick: Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker Toy

Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker Toy

You don’t want to rely on treats alone to bond with your new cat, or your kitty may quickly gain weight. Instead, provide them with toys and spend time playing with them each day. Our Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker Toy is a good option because the long shape allows your cat to grab and kick at the toy, letting out their pent-up energy. This toy is great for getting your cat to exercise!

7. Scratching Post

  • Our Pick: Hepper Hi-Lo Scratcher
grey cat using hepper hi-lo cat scratcher from side

Although scratching is an instinct for cats, it can be an unwelcome habit in their new home. To protect your possessions, you’ll want to buy a scratching post for your cat. Our Hepper Hi-Lo Scratcher features a sturdy frame and replaceable cardboard scratching surface. This scratcher can be positioned in three ways to accommodate the scratching preferences of individual cats. Using this scratcher will help your new cat keep their claws healthy and also serve as a stress reliever.

8. Cat Tree

  • Our Pick: Frisco 52-inch Faux Fur Cat Tree and Condo

Cat trees function as an all-in-one exercise and enrichment zone for your new cat. Offering vertical space for them to look down on their new home, the Frisco 52-inch Faux Fur Cat Tree and Condo has multiple scratching surfaces and lounging platforms. Napping, playing, and scratching are activities your feline can experience on Frisco’s cat tree. It’s also an excellent option for multi-cat families because there’s enough space for all kitties to enjoy.

9. Bed

  • Our Pick: Hepper Nest Bed
Hepper Nest Cat Bed

Give your new cat a comfortable space to retreat and rest by buying them their own bed. Our highly sought-after Hepper Nest Bed is lined with soft fleece, and the bowl design allows your cat to curl up and hide away if they feel like it. Cats of most sizes will fit, but big kitties may spill over the sides a bit. The liner is machine-washable, and the bed looks nice anywhere in your home thanks to the modern design and neutral colors.


Exercise Supplies

10. Harness and Leash

  • Our Pick: Hepper Harness and Leash Set

Hepper Harness and Leash Set

While it’s recommended to keep your new cat indoors, outdoor exploration can be an excellent way to get your kitty exercise and enrichment. The key is to do it safely, and our very own Hepper Harness and Leash Set is ideal for adventurous kitties and their owners. Cushioned for comfort and light enough for sensitive cats, this harness is made of soft, breathable velvet and mesh materials. It’s also adjustable with reflective materials for nighttime safety. The leash is made of nylon climbing rope with a padded handle and rotating hook to prevent tangles as you guide your new cat around the yard.

11. Collar

  • Our Pick: Hepper Breakaway Cat Collar
Hepper Breakaway Cat Collar with Bell

Even if your new cat stays inside, it’s a good idea to dress them in a collar with tags for easy identification if they ever try to escape. Our Hepper Breakaway Cat Collar provides the safety feature of a breakaway buckle on a soft and stylish collar. It’s made in the USA from sustainable hemp materials, and the collar is adjustable and made to withstand the elements. The attached bell is removable, too.

hepper-cat-paw-dividerLitter Supplies

12. Litter Box

  • Our Pick: Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan

Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan

Ideally, you should have enough litter boxes at home for every cat in the family, plus one extra. Litter boxes are an essential supply you must have before your adopted cat comes home. The Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan is spacious, stain and odor-resistant, and easy to clean. The high sides help keep litter contained and are necessary for cats who can’t or won’t crouch low to pee. It’s also budget-friendly, making it affordable to provide the recommended number of litter boxes.

13. Cat Litter

  • Our Pick: Scoop Away Complete Performance Clumping Cat Litter

To fill your cat’s box, you’ll need to buy (and keep buying) cat litter. Generally, you’ll want to stick to one type of litter once your cat gets used to it. Scoop Away Complete Performance Clumping Cat Litter is an excellent choice because it is a low-dust formula and provides strong odor control. The tight clumps are easy to scoop and limit wasted litter. If your cat doesn’t like scented litter, Scoop Away also offers an unscented variety.

14. Litter Scoop

  • Our Pick: SunGrow Non-Stick Metal Scoop
SunGrow Non-Stick Metal Scoop Kitty Box Cat Litter Scooper

Because you’ll be cleaning your cat’s litter box at least once a day, you’ll need a sturdy litter scoop. Nothing is more frustrating than a flimsy scoop that buckles and spills your cat’s dirty litter as you’re trying to clean. The SunGrow Non-Stick Metal Scoop is sturdy, rust resistant, and features a comfortable grip handle. It’s wide, lightweight, and can be used with most types of litter.


Cleaning Supplies

15. Cleaner

  • Our Pick: Hepper Advanced Bio-enzyme Pet Stain and Odor Remover Spray
Hepper enzyme spray

Cats, like kids, will all make a mess at some point, probably more than one. To battle both stains and odors, you’ll need a cleaner like our top-rated Hepper Advanced Bio-enzyme Pet Stain and Odor Remover. Instead of relying on smelly chemicals that mask odors, this spray features enzymes that attack and destroy stains and smells. It works on nearly any surface and material, including outdoors. The Hepper spray is safe and eco-friendly, with no strong chemical scent left behind.

16. Cat Litter Deodorizer

  • Our Pick: Hepper Litter Additive
Hepper litter additive

Even though you keep your litter box scooped, there still might be a lingering smell. And that can be a bit embarrassing if you have people coming over to your home! Having a cat litter deodorizer, like the Hepper Litter Additive, can help take the edge off lingering litter box odors. But remember: daily cleaning and replacing the litter is still the main way to keep the litter box from smelling bad—plus, it is healthier for your cat, as well!

17. Disposable Pet Wipes

  • Our Pick: Hepper Wash Wipes

Hepper Wash Wipes

Cats are clean animals and do not usually need to be bathed—unless they have gotten into a sticky situation! However, once in a while, your cat might just need to get freshen up again. Using a disposable wet wipe, like the Hepper Wash Wipes, will do just the trick. These wipes are made with a hypoallergenic formula, so they will effectively remove dirt and grime without stripping oils from your cat’s fur or skin.hepper-cat-paw-divider

Grooming Supplies

18. Cat Brush

  • Our Pick: Hepper Deshedding Cat Brush
Hepper Deshedding Cat Brush

Brushing your new cat isn’t just vital to keep their coat healthy; it’s also a way to build a bond with them. Our Hepper Deshedding Cat Brush can be used on either long or short-haired coats. The metal pins help remove tangles and collect loose hair but are rubber-tipped to be gentle on the cat’s skin. If your cat sheds heavily, you’ll be brushing them frequently, and this brush is light and comfortable to hold. It’s also easy to clean with a simple push of a button, which releases the collected hair.

19. Nail Trimmers

  • Our Pick: Hepper Cat Nail Clipper Set

Your cat will use their scratching post to keep their nails healthy, but you’ll still need to trim them regularly. Long and sharp claws can get snagged and torn easily. They’re also dangerous to other pets, kids, or people with thin skin. Our Hepper Cat Nail Clipper Set is an amazing set, containing two trimmers plus a nail file, giving you the tools you need to perform regular kitty pedicures. The storage pouch keeps everything organized.

20. Shampoo

  • Our Pick: Hepper Waterless No-rinse Pet Shampoo

Hepper Dry Waterless Shampoo

Cats are experts at keeping themselves clean and well-groomed, but they can still get a little smelly, oily, or dirty. Instead of wrestling your cat into the bathtub, try our top-rated Hepper Waterless No-rinse Pet Shampoo. It’s free of soap or synthetic ingredients, and Hepper’s pH-balanced product cleans and conditions the cat’s coat, leaving it soft and smelling fresh. You’ll lather the foam into your cat’s coat and brush thoroughly at the beginning of your grooming session. That’s it: no rinsing, no water, just a clean, fresh cat.



Now that you have the cat adoption checklist in hand, you can go shopping for the cat essentials that will make your home welcoming for your little love ball. But don’t forget that beyond accessories and other supplies, what your cat will need most is your attention, care, and love for many years to come!

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Featured Image Credit: Uschi_Du, Pixabay

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