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How to Kit Out Your New Cat

All the cat adoption essentials you need, recommended by real pet parents.

by Jeremy Gundel
Updated February 22, 2023
Cat playing with a toy
anastas_ / Adobe Stock

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The ink isn’t even dry on your cat adoption certificate but now’s the time to stock up on everything your new kitten will need. Sure, cats are more self-sufficient than dogs — sorry, dogs — but they still need a lot of gear to get acclimated (and so they don’t poop under your bed or scratch up your shit). You probably know you need cat food and a litter box. If you’re bringing home an adult cat, try to stick with food and litter brands they’re already familiar with, at least for the first few weeks, to make them feel comfortable. And remember, every cat is unique so take the time to observe how they react to their new digs and adjust accordingly. That said, there are some must-have cat items that experienced pet parents swear by, from catnip toys to grooming tools, and we’ve rounded them up for you. First things first, how are you going to bring your new cat home?

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)


PrettyLitter has brains and brawn. It’s odorless (for real), a 4-lb. bag lasts a whole month, and the crystals magically absorb cat urine so you don’t need to scoop stinky clumps of it on the daily. But what’s most impressive about PrettyLitter is that said crystals will change colors if something’s off with your cat’s urine — alerting you to a UTI or kidney disease. *

$24 at PrettyLitter

* PrettyLitter is a Kinship brand. We think their products are pretty cool, but we don’t play favorites. So, when a product has family ties, we’ll be real with you.

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jeremy gundel

Jeremy Gundel

Jeremy Gundel is a writer and comedian from New York City. He’s a veteran performer at the Magnet Theater, been a featured contributor for CollegeHumor, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and performed stand-up in bars, basements, and basements of bars. He lives with his wife and two freeloading cats.