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Prepping for a cat arrival.

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  • Jan 31st, 2019 1:54 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
2925 posts
734 upvotes
Mississauga

Prepping for a cat arrival.

So after much thinking, research and overthinking, I have decided I do want one in my life. I have decided on the breed (Ragdoll kitten) and will have one shortly.
Before the cat comes home to me, what do you experience cat owners say are must haves and where to get the stuff?
I know the obvious but I will not list them, instead I want to see what do you guys suggest.
Again must haves now and to get later.
30 replies
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May 9, 2006
11264 posts
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The obvious:
Litter box
Food bowl
Water bowl. None of these things should be placed next to each other.... even the food and water bowl.

Must haves:
Cat tree. It doesn't have to be massive or expensive, but something stable and tall enough the cat survey the room and not be stepped on. It's a sanctuary for cats. I recommend making your own.
Scratching post. If you value your furniture.
Brush. Get a good one made for cats. Don't get dog brushes as the bristle ends may not be rounded. Cats have thin skin, so a brush that scratches can be irritating for them.
Nail cutter.
Toys, but don't go nuts with this. Interactive toys are good for play time with your cat. Laser pointers are fun, but reward your cat at the end as not ever being able to catch the laser can be frustrating for cats.
Food quality. Find the best quality food that fits your budget. Wet is better than dry and don't buy food sold by vets. They are horrendously overpriced and don't actually offer any more nutrients.
A good cleaner. Something that will clean up various accidents. I personally like Nature's Miracle.

Nice to have:
Lavender scent. Candle (just be careful the cat stays away from the candle) or air spray or whatever. Lavender scent is calming for cats.
Snacks.
Catnip. Your cat may be an addict like one of mine.

Not needed:
Cat bed. You can leave a towel or pillow on the ground, but if you buy a "cat bed" there's 99% chance they will never use it.
Various gadgets like Water fountain (just replace the water more often), Self cleaning litter box (massive waste of money, toilet converter (so cats can do their business on the toilet), toys with all sorts of moving parts, feeders, etc.

Dollarama is good for litter box, bowls, toys, snacks, lavender scented spray, catnip
Amazon (and online shops) are good for brush, nail cutter, scratching post, cleaners
Pet Valu for food

There's probably more, but that's all I can think of...
Member
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Jun 19, 2006
285 posts
96 upvotes
Brantford, ON
Congratulations on your new kitten. The only thing I can think of to add to the excellent list above is a cat tunnel
https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20391663/

We adopted a 10 year old cat last August and bought one of these not really expecting her to pay much attention to it. Well, we were wrong! She plays in it, sleeps in it and seems to like the noise it makes when she charges at it. I imagine a kitten would have a ball!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
2925 posts
734 upvotes
Mississauga
Thank you both. Also that tunnel is an amazing idea!!!

For the litter box what should I get? Just any plastic tub large enough for the cat? Ditto for the bowls? Also, why not water / food side by side? Should they be located in a completely different locations in the same room or at various places in the apartment?
Could you post some links to what you suggest from Amazon, that would be very helpful.
And last thing I need is litter recommendation. I see some ppl even using wood pellets?
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May 22, 2005
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Thornhill
My cats fav toy is plastic springs. It's like 8 bucks for 10 and they chase it around everywhere, though it works best on a hard floor.

Brush is a good idea, the best toys are the cardboard boxes you get in the mail
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May 22, 2003
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cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 12:36 pm
Thank you both. Also that tunnel is an amazing idea!!!

For the litter box what should I get? Just any plastic tub large enough for the cat? Ditto for the bowls? Also, why not water / food side by side? Should they be located in a completely different locations in the same room or at various places in the apartment?
Could you post some links to what you suggest from Amazon, that would be very helpful.
And last thing I need is litter recommendation. I see some ppl even using wood pellets?

I've read that if you put the food/water bowls side-by-side, the cats may not drink. My cat did not drink water at all (we tried water fountain, ice cubes, etc.) - in the end we had to add water to her wet cat food with each feeding. Regarding cat litter, we used wood pellets and really liked it. First of all, it's dirt cheap if you buy from a hardware store (e.g. Rona) and second it was fantastic with odour control. If you're getting a kitten, avoid clumping litter as they may eat it and it can be hazardous.
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
Ragdolls are big cats. Get a large litter box (we got them from friends - the IKEA one is useless). My wife likes to use contractor bags.

IKEA has a nice cat box that can be used as a side table too. The poop bags are handy for waste disposal and cheap to boot. They also used to like the IKEA cat tunnels but grew out of them (after we got a second tunnel).

Food bowls - my wife gets them at the thrift shop - small fruit or cereal bowls. Our cats eat out of Limoge and English "china".

We got the cat carriers from friends. A cat tree/scratching post and scratching post from neighbours, another scratching post from Walmart. I did buy a tree from Costco for my B-i-L's cat.

Before we got a tree, the cats used to like sleeping in a basket, or even a cardboard box, with a blanket. They prefer the sofa or armchair that we're not in otherwise.

Toys. We've tried several. One particularly likes a brand called Cheesebox mice: He'll throw it into the air to catch it. The other likes bouncing balls (he'll occasionally bring it for you to throw) - I think he'll love gerbils and kangaroo rats. They certainly like some toy more than others.

Get a grooming comb (the steel ones) as they - contrary to what you read on the web - do shed, a lot. I will post a picture on the anniversary of our first 2 Ragdoll year and the collection of fibre just from combing. Got the nail clipper from a thrift store.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6224 posts
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There's nothing special about a litter box. I looked at Wal Mart and Can Tire and just bought a standard clear plastic storage bin with the dimensions I wanted and threw the lid away. My cat at the time tended to be a "digger" and I needed a bin with high sides to keep the litter from going all over. (High sides to prevent that but not too high the cat couldn't easily get in and out.) All the true so called litter boxes I saw were too small, had low sides, and were easily twice the price that they should have been. The re-purposed storage bin has worked out really well.
Deal Fanatic
May 1, 2012
8619 posts
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Markham
I have two Ragdolls, perhaps l can chime in:

1. Get an enclosed litter box. You can thank me later. Like this
2. You need two at least, preferably three litter boxes.
3. Get another Ragdoll so they can play with each other and keep each other company. This will allow you to go on vacations like 1-5 days without issue.
4. Both my Ragdolls (both from different breeders) prefer litter in the following sequence: Clay (likes the most) --> Corn --> Pine.
5. We use exclusively World's Best Cat Litter, because you can just flush it. Thank me later. If you have an old house, maybe not flush it.
6. Ragdolls will sleep 80% of the day and they are not very active (compared to other cats). But, you do have to either play with him/her often or you get another cat so they can play with each other.
7. Get lots of scratching posts. Not that you need a crapton, but that the more you have, the less likely they are to scratch your furniture. We have several posts and cat trees per level of the house.
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May 9, 2006
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cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 12:36 pm
Thank you both. Also that tunnel is an amazing idea!!!

For the litter box what should I get? Just any plastic tub large enough for the cat? Ditto for the bowls? Also, why not water / food side by side? Should they be located in a completely different locations in the same room or at various places in the apartment?
Could you post some links to what you suggest from Amazon, that would be very helpful.
And last thing I need is litter recommendation. I see some ppl even using wood pellets?
It's instinct for cats not to drink where they eat as to not contaminate their water supply with their kill. So they eat their kill in one location and drink in another. They don't need to be in separate rooms, but being on opposite sides of the room is good enough.

I don't have any links on hand, just do a search and go with the cheapest for things like brushes.

I use Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Unscented. It's pricey and I wouldn't recommend it, but my cats prefer this to any other brand. I've used the pine pellets in the past that change to saw dust with urine. The problem is the poo can't be completely covered in the pellets and stink. Never again. For litter tray, I use the tall walled triangle shaped ones. Good for condo life.

Also I just wanted to expand on my point about making your own cat tree. Cat trees are typically not stable, made with really poor material (often particle board and cardboard), and fall apart easily, yet still cost far more than it should. You probably have some old furniture. All you need to do is glue on some old carpet to it and maybe wrap some sisal rope around one of the legs. Total cost is just a few dollars. I used my old Ikea bookshelf, added additional legs for extra support and got free carpet from someone renovating. My cats got in the habit of running into the bedroom full speed, jump into the bed to catapult them onto the top part of the cat tree with a lot of momentum. My cat tree never fell over and still solid nearly 10 years later.
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Apr 25, 2011
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British Columbia
joeyjoejoe wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 11:24 am
Amazon (and online shops) are good for brush, nail cutter, scratching post, cleaners
Pet Valu for food
Agreed with everything until this. Face With Stuck-out Tongue And Tightly-closed Eyes Scratching posts and cat trees can be found cheaper secondhand with no wear on them; I got a 7 foot tall massive cat tree for 50 dollars a number of years ago that still looks great. Would have cost over 500 new. Also purchased a 4 1/2 foot cat tree for 70 dollars that cost brand new 200+. Again no wear. Some cats don't use them or the people are moving so they get resold online.

It is important to get a carpeted cat tree, the faux ones are awful and flimsy.

I've found the best prices on cat food at PetSmart, they'll have sale or clearance items that will stack with other promotions, like the recent deal of buy a 50 dollar gift card and get a 10 dollar gift card. Sometimes the gift cards can also be purchased in other stores where there will be a deal and I'll stock up.
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Karala wrote:
Jan 15th, 2019 11:58 am
Agreed with everything until this. Face With Stuck-out Tongue And Tightly-closed Eyes Scratching posts and cat trees can be found cheaper secondhand with no wear on them; I got a 7 foot tall massive cat tree for 50 dollars a number of years ago that still looks great. Would have cost over 500 new. Also purchased a 4 1/2 foot cat tree for 70 dollars that cost brand new 200+. Again no wear. Some cats don't use them or the people are moving so they get resold online.

It is important to get a carpeted cat tree, the faux ones are awful and flimsy.

I've found the best prices on cat food at PetSmart, they'll have sale or clearance items that will stack with other promotions, like the recent deal of buy a 50 dollar gift card and get a 10 dollar gift card. Sometimes the gift cards can also be purchased in other stores where there will be a deal and I'll stock up.
Not all cat trees are bad, but the vast majority are awful. They are built using mostly particle board and thick cardboard. They use faux fur (like you mentioned) and most parts are just glued together. The costly ones (like $500 one you mentioned) are better, but it's not like there's a massive availability of used ones in perfect condition available for 10% of the price.

Also building it yourself, you can get creative. For example, if you lack the space for a cat tree, then put up some floating shelves with carpet on top that start low and stagger upwards. Takes up no space and your cat with love being perched up nice and high.

I don't buy food from Petsmart simply because they don't carry the brand I buy. Their selection is a bit on the weak side when it comes to the premium brands.... otherwise I would. There's not much value at Petvalu.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
2925 posts
734 upvotes
Mississauga
When I bring her home, I was reading that I should not allow her to roam the whole house but to keep her in one small room for a while. Is that true? Is that the best way from your experience? There are no other pets or humans in the house.
Sr. Member
Jan 18, 2017
521 posts
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cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Jan 18th, 2019 12:30 pm
When I bring her home, I was reading that I should not allow her to roam the whole house but to keep her in one small room for a while. Is that true? Is that the best way from your experience? There are no other pets or humans in the house.
I would ignore the cat for the first day or two. That's what I did when I got my cat. I just went about my business, and she hid for the first couple hours because it is a high stress environment, she had no idea what threats may be there. It will take a bit of time, but she would slowly explore the house bit by bit and now it's her kingdom :D

Just let her do her thing, you want her transition to be as smooth and stress-free as possible. Good luck!
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May 22, 2003
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Vancouver
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Jan 18th, 2019 12:30 pm
When I bring her home, I was reading that I should not allow her to roam the whole house but to keep her in one small room for a while. Is that true? Is that the best way from your experience? There are no other pets or humans in the house.
Generally speaking, yes my local cat rescue agency recommends confining your cat in a small room (e.g. bathroom) with litterbox and food for at least a few days, as large spaces can scare and confuse them. Being in a small room will make them feel safe and secure. You're welcome to go into the room with them though. However, my last cat was super easy going and within a few minutes demanded to be let out of her room and wanted to explore the house.

edit: we just adopted two older cats and are bringing them home next week :)

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