Advertising Disclosure

Skin Research Institute has a financial connection to products sold via links on our website such as our top choices.


Adopting a cat? Here’s what you need to buy

So you’re adding a feline friend to your home. Congratulations! Bringing a cat into your life is fantastic. But now it’s time to make a new cat owner shopping list. Because if you are a new cat owner, you may be overwhelmed by figuring out what you need to buy. We’re here to help you learn the basics of what you and your new cat are going to need. But remember to take your cat’s preferences into account. Keep in mind that every cat has a unique personality. You will learn your cat’s personality and preferences more and more over time. So don’t be concerned if you don’t get everything right the first time. And cats, like people, may change their minds and tastes. Your cat may like something one day but hate it the next. Take it all in stride.


There are tons of litter box available online and in pet stores, including self-cleaning, top entry, hooded and open styles. When purchasing a litter box, think about the size of your cat. If you have a large cat, look into getting a wider litter box so the cat can fit and have plenty of space.

For a simple litter box, check out the So Presh from Petco. It comes in kitten-size, large, and extra-large. And you can choose to purchase it with or without a lid. Some cats tend to kick up a lot of litter, so if that sounds like your cat, get a box with higher sides to prevent cat litter from getting all over your floor. Van Ness is a great brand. You can buy Van Ness through Chewy, and the prices of their litter boxes range from $4 to $23. They even make a sifting litter boxes, which makes clean up super easy. While self-cleaning litter boxes are nice, they can be pricey. The other problem with self-cleaning litter boxes is that some cats dislike the sound they make when it starts cleaning, so they stop using it.


You can go all-out and get a super fancy food or water bowl for your cat, but, frankly, it’s not necessary. And your cat may not even like it. You can get a simple food or water bowl such as the Yasma. It comes in a two-pack for under $10. Some cats don’t want their food and water next to each other, so be open to moving the bowls around to your cat’s liking.

A bowl for water is fine, but consider a drinking fountain designed for cats. In the wild, cats drink from running water sources because they find it safe. Some people believe this instinct passed onto domesticated cats, making them more comfortable drinking from a water fountain. The Veken Pet Fountain on Amazon is under $30, and it comes with a mat and three replacement filters. The Cat Mate water fountain is also under $30, but it is multi-level. This fountain is quiet, dishwasher-safe and holds two liters of water.


Trying to get a cat in a carrier can be quite a feat. While it’s common for people to get hard cat carriers with a gated door, it should not be your first choice. Cats tend to prefer a cat carrier that they can easily see out with space to get comfortable. The other great thing about having a soft cat carrier is that they can fold up and be stored away easily. Our favorite options for soft cat carriers are the LURVIG pet travel bag from IKEA and the Petisfam Pet Carrier. Both of these options are affordable, durable, and big enough to hold any size cat. Plus, if you get a kitten, they can grow into the carrier, and you don’t need to buy another in the future.


Cat toys are essential to ensuring that your cat gets a physical and mental workout. You can easily purchase cat toys at any pet or grocery store. To get started, invest in a variety pack such as Hartz, which has mice, balls and a teaser to give your cat options.

For interactive toys that let you play with your cat, try getting a teaser toy. Cat wands and feather teasers provide mental stimulation and exercise while also allowing you time to bond with your cat. For feather teasers, they come in short and long sizes. The long teaser is perfect at preventing you from being scratched while your cat is playing. Some fun teaser toys are the Leaps & Bounds caterpillar teaser and the rainbow cat charmer.

There are also cat toys that are fun for cats to play with alone on their own time. Cat tunnels and play cubes are great for single and multiple cat households. Cats love hiding in them and flipping them around. The Kitty City and HDP cubes you will find are durable and built to withstand your cat. You can purchase a cat tunnel from a brand like Kitty City or a variety pack like Youngever on Amazon.


Getting a brush for your cat is something that many owners overlook. However, brushing your cat keeps their fur healthy, can reduce the amount of shedding, cuts down on your cat’s self-grooming, and prevents hairballs.

One brush that works well is the Hertzo Self Cleaning Slicker Brush. The slightly bent metal bristles make cleaning your cat’s fur very easy, making it great for short and long-haired cats. This cat brush has a self-cleaning button, so with just a click, the fur releases from the brush. Another brush that’s geared more towards cats who have a shedding problem is the FURminator. This brush comes in two sizes designed for either long or short-haired cats. The FURminator is made from stainless steel and cuts through the topcoat of fur to eliminate loose cat fur and dander in the undercoat.

Some cats have no problem at all with you brushing them and will thoroughly enjoy their grooming experience; other cats may be standoffish or become disgruntled. Just be gentle with your cat and listen to the signs they are showing you. A brush that could make it easier for your cat to allow you to groom them is Mr. Peanut’s Pet Grooming Glove Brush. It’s a glove-styled brush for you to groom your cat while you pet them. This brush can easily untangle and remove dander.