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19 things that will help your new cat feel at home, according to cat rescuers and a veterinarian

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bring home a new cat

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  • Make your cat’s transition to their new home as seamless as possible by stocking up on the essentials before their arrival.
  • Cats need supplies like a litter box, food, toys, and scratchers to make them feel safe, encourage healthy habits, and provide them with stimulation.
  • We consulted with two cat rescue organizations and veterinarian Andrea Moore, owner and medical director at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in California, to determine the most important items to have when bringing a new cat home.

The day you bring home your new cat is full of joy. But while you may be ready for snuggles and play from the moment your kitty arrives, most felines aren’t so gung-ho about moving day. Just when they were beginning to get used to the shelter or foster home — bam — here comes another transition. And cats, they aren’t the best at dealing with change.

Preparing for the arrival of your new cat ahead of time helps to assure that their adjustment will be as seamless as possible. While it’s a no-brainer that cats require a litter box and food, new cat owners may not realize that items like scratching posts, cat trees, calming pheromones, and toys can help reduce stress and provide your new pet with an enriching environment.

With the help of four experts, we’ve come up with a list of essential things to have when you bring a new cat home. For a veterinary perspective, we consulted with veterinarian Dr. Andrea Moore, owner and medical director at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in San Jose, California. Staff at two cat rescue organizations also lent their expertise on how to transition a cat to a new home: Danielle Carr, shelter manager at Town Cats in Morgan Hill, California, and Libby Farel-Friedman and Lindsay Franušić, supervisor and assistant manager of adoption programs, respectively, at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) in Milpitas, California.

Here are 19 pet supplies to have on hand when you bring your new cat home:

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