Before a kitten comes to your home, you need to get prepared for it. What should you purchase before the arrival of your Abyssinian kitten?
- food and water bowls;
- cat litter box/tray;
- litter scoop;
- cat litter;
- cat scratcher;
- cat carrier;
- cat nail clipper;
- cat bed, cat house or mat;
Food and water bowls
First of all, a kitten will need bowls for food and drinking water. It’s better to buy bowls of three different kinds – a shallow bowl for wet food, a deep bowl for dry food and a deep stable bowl for drinking water. Pay attention that it’s better to buy glass, ceramic or metal bowls, but certainly not plastic ones, as plastic bowls are an excellent breeding ground for various microbes and bacteria. We prefer ceramic bowls as they are most hygienic, easy and convenient to use.
Cat litter box/tray
Open cat litter trays are the most commonly used ones, but it’s better to choose a hooded cat litter box as it prevents the litter from scattering, traps odors and provides privacy for your cat. This variant is most suitable and convenient for a kitten. Any kind of litter may be used in such litter boxes; and the removable hood means easy access for cleaning and maintenance. A couple of words about open litter trays with a plastic grid. It may be comfortable if you constantly stay at home and have a possibility to clean and wash it up to six times a day. Unfortunately, it may complicate your life with unpleasant odors and scattered litter, but many cat owners find this variant good enough for their homes.
The cat litter may be of different kinds:
Over the past few years, organic, biodegradable cat litters have become increasingly popular, as they have certain advantages over other types of litters. For one, they’re more eco-friendly, as they’re made from all-natural cat litter substances, which can include materials like wheat, corn, grass, walnut shells, pine or even recycled newspapers. Because of this, they are flushable and can even be composted. Another plus is that biodegradable cat litter typically consists of larger-grained pellets, which in turn makes for acceptable kitten litter, since kittens can’t ingest the particles. Many biodegradable cat litters come in clumping varieties.
The most popular types of cat litter are clumping clay litters, one reason being the price; they’re drastically less expensive than many of the other types available, such as natural, biodegradable cat litter. Most are effective at controlling odors – a key concern for owners when choosing a litter – and they make cleaning out the litter box much more painless. However, most consist of fine-grained clays, which can be dusty or even tracked throughout the house by a cat. Fine-grained cat litter isn’t appropriate for kittens under 3 months old, as the small particles can get into their respiratory tract. Clay-based cat litter isn’t biodegradable and should never ever be flushed down the toilet for disposal.
Cat owners praise crystal cat litters a lot, but experts typically dislike them because they consist of jagged, crystalline particles that can be rough on cats’ feet. On the other hand, many pet owners swear by crystal cat litters because they’re extremely absorbent – thanks to the sodium silicate or silica gel used – and don’t need to be changed as frequently as other types of cat litter. One important notice: when the crystals reach their absorbency limit, you can expect a pool of urine in the bottom of the cat litter box.
A cat scratcher or a scratching post is a wooden post or even a complex consisting of several posts, houses, cozy cave-like areas, shelves and horizontal platforms for climbing, which are covered in rough fabric or sisal that cat owners provide so their pets have an acceptable place to scratch. Cats have a natural urge to scratch: the action helps them remove old material from their claws, and they mark territory with scent glands in their paws. Indoor cats may be prevented from exercising this urge on furniture if they are provided with an acceptable scratching post. The scratching post is mounted vertically in a wide base, which allows the cat to stretch upward on its rear legs and scratch freely without tipping it over. A post that is unstable or does not allow a cat to fully extend its body might put off the cat from using it. Surfaces may vary: the post may be covered in sisal rope, upholstery fabric or the jute backing of a piece of carpet. In many cases cat owners need to train their pets to claw approved surfaces. A kitten’s paws are like the hands of babies. As they grow, they will become more and more important tools for life, and claws are an essential part of cats’ paws. And like babies, they may use those tools in destructive ways unless they are trained. Please learn to respect your cat’s claws. Never even consider declawing as an option, nor getting rid of the cat. Instead, consider the training options you need to use, even as you’d train an errant toddler. Play with your cat near the post and put a little catnip on the post to make it more appealing. Pretend you’re a cat and scratch the post yourself; before you know it, the kitty might join you. Praise your cat profusely and give him one of his favorite treats when he uses his scratching post. If a kitten tends to use a carpet, a piece of your furniture or any other item as a scratcher, take it gently to the scratching post trying to distract the kitten from undesirable objects. A little bit of patience and your kitten will start scratching its nails in a proper place. So, a cat scratcher is a very essential accessory for your home if you want to protect your furniture from your pet.
Cat nail clipper (trimmer)
A cat nail clipper (trimmer) is a pair of special scissors for clipping the pointed appendage of the cat’s nails. Nail clippers fall into several of the following styles: scissors, guillotine-type, pliers and electric. It is highly recommended to trim your cat’s nails about every 2-3 weeks. Keeping them properly trimmed is very vital to your cat’s overall health and well-being, especially if they are full-time indoor cats. Trimmed cat claws also protect you, your family (perhaps children), guests, and your household furniture! The number one rule is to never cut to the quick – the slightly pink-colored part of their nail where all the nerves and blood vessels are. The white/clear part of the nail is the only thing that should be cut; it’s always better to trim off smaller portions than larger in order to avoid the wounds and bleeding. Ideally you should introduce your cat to nail clipping when he’s a kitten. It is easier to start kittens on the right path than to retrain an adult cat, but even older cats can learn to enjoy having their feet handled and to accept nail trimming. But go slow! Paws are one of the most sensitive parts of a cat’s body. They will often pull away from you and make the job more difficult. If your cat is sensitive, try warming them up to the concept during petting sessions. When the cat is most relaxed, touch one of its paws. Then, gently push on their pads, extending a claw, gently praising the whole time. Make sure your trimmers are sharp. Dull trimmers will crush and splinter the nail.
A must-have accessory which many neglect is a carrier or a bag/box for transportation of the pet. You will need it when you come to take the kitten from the cattery to your home or when you go to the veterinary clinic to revaccinate your cat (which is required to be done annually) or for any other reasons. As much as you might like to bring your cat with you everywhere you go, travel makes many cats nervous. For some cats, simply leaving the house is cause for terror. As much as your cat may hate it, however, it becomes necessary to take your cat out of the house once in a while whether for travel or just a trip to the vet. To keep your cat safe and secure, you need to invest in a high-quality cat carrier. Cat carriers come in all shapes and sizes with different designs depending on the intended use. Soft-sided carriers are typically lightweight and easy to store, while hard-sided carriers offer sturdier protection.
You shouldn’t buy a lot of toys at once. At first a couple of teasers with feathers and some small mice and balls will be enough. Also kittens are usually very interested in various tunnels, laser toys as well as any rotating and dangling toys. Later you will get to know what exactly your pet prefers and most likely you’ll be buying only one or two kinds of cat toys.
The necessity of having this accessory in your home is rather controversial. On one hand, cats are self-contained and mysterious. Your cat may totally refuse to sleep in a cat house or bed bought for him with love, but he will choose a window sill, a sofa back or a half-empty shelf in a bookcase for sleeping. He can even sleep on the floor behind the sofa. Therefore, take your time with the purchase of this accessory before you learn your pet’s preferences. However, a bed or a mat will be useful to you at a cat show to put it in a tent or cage where the cat will be happy to sleep and hide its nose from the visitors of the show.
Before buying any cat food (wet or dry) you must ask the cat breeder about the food and eating habits of your pet. Or discuss with the breeder a possibility to transition your kitten to a new food.