Kitten Must-Haves Vs. Don't-Needs

See what you need, and what you can do without, when you get a kitten.

By Julie Mignery | Posted: April 2, 2014, 4 p.m. EDT

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New Kitten
Madame Wong, Laura Perault
When I adopted my tabby, Fergie, the one and only cat of my adult life, I wanted to be the best owner I could be. So I started consulting fellow cat lovers and made a list (similar to one recently published in Kittens 101) of all the things my girl would need. Now it’s 17 years later and I’ve purchased, given away, thrown away and repurchased lots of stuff, including …

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Dishes
One for water and one for food sounds like all you need, but they’re probably not enough. Fergie has three bowls in my tiny kitchen — one each for wet food, dry food and water — but she doesn’t spend much time in that room. Hydration is important, especially for a senior kitty, so she has another water dish in the bathroom. She used to have a third water dish on the bathroom counter because she’d sit up there and stare at me while I went about my morning routine. That’s a bit too high for her to leap these days, though, so that bowl’s been retired. Bauer Pottery makes my favorite pet dishes. Fergie had one, until I broke it.

Brushes
Some cats are fickle. Sometimes Fergie’s favorite brush is the rubber cat-shaped one with fat bristles. Other times she prefers the straight metal-bristled one. Brushes are a definite, but you will have to see which one is right for your cat.

Check out rubber-bristled KONG cat brush here >>


Carpet-Stain Cleaner
Hairballs and occasional indigestion are just a fact. Stain-cleaner is a must-have.

Uncover litterbox training secrets >>


Cat Beds
The one I bought for her and the one she got as a gift were donated to a shelter because Fergie didn’t like either one. And why should she have? Cats are small, so there's always room for them in your own bed. And if you're weird like me and don’t ever turn on the heat (I live in Southern California) you need your cat to be your foot warmer.  I’m not going to say I’ll never buy another cat bed though. One of my clients has a super-plush heated one and Fergie does have a birthday coming up …

Discover more Cat Sitter Confessions >>


A Window Perch
Fergie doesn’t have one because my apartment doesn’t have the right kind of windows. Since one of her personal pleasures is watching the neighborhood birds and outdoor cats, though, she has her own chair right by the window. 


See how window perches and other cat products can help fight boredom >>


Flea and Tick Prevention
I ignored this suggestion for about 12 years. I mistakenly thought Fergie didn’t need it because she stayed inside. It never occurred to me that because I go outside I could bring fleas in on my shoes. I was wrong and the resulting flea infestation was annoying to those involved. Parasite protection is a definite.

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