Cat bowls

Cat Essentials Guide: Must-Have Items for New Cat Owners

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We’ve been covering cat food and treats since day one, but we often find owners have questions about what they need to get started for their cat. We’ve compiled a simple list of some of our recommendations along with other products we have seen work with other cat owners. This article as last updated in 2024.


Litter Trays – Sifting Litter Trays are a system we swear by. Check out the Ozpet Litter Tray or Catmate Litter Tray to work with the below litter.

Catmate Litter Tray with Wooden Pellets

Wooden Pellet Litter Catmate Wood Pellet Litter is the litter we prefer. Some of the other brands have chemicals in their pellets as reflected in their reviews so it’s best to check the reviews. Alternatively, you can find wood pellets from some hardware stores which can be even more affordable!

Urine Cleaner – We use Enzyme Wizard but something like CSI Urine should be just as effective. Although Indy has never urinated on carpet, I still find the cleaner indispensable for deodorizing items like his litter box without any harsh chemicals. It’s a must have for any cat owner.

Cat Health

Flea and Worming – Advocate Flea and Heart Worm from Pet Circle or Vet Supply. We think it’s a good balance between the options. However, you should check to see if it covers your flea/worming needs depending on your location/risk of exposure.

Brush – We prefer brushes with thiner metal bristles which grab the hair better. Similar to this style brush at Pet Circle.

Thin bristle cat brush
Thin bristle cat brush

Shampoo – We use Dermcare shampoo, but don’t have a strong opinion about it. It has worked well since Indy was a kitten.

Toothpaste – We use EZDog. They have a product that comes with a toothbrush, but I started brushing by using my fingers and never bothered to use the brush. Indy doesn’t necessarily like the taste, but in conjunction with chicken necks, the vet has said that they are some of the best teeth she has seen for a 3 year old cat! So it’s an easy recommendation from us!

Pet toothpaste
Pet toothpaste (cats and dogs)

Food and Bowls

Bowls – We use this ceramic bowl and this one as well. The white one is a bit shallow if you add water like we do, whereas the blue one can get food stuck in the ear portion. But.. look how cute! We are also a fan of the Zeez ones which have a rubber bottom for stability and are stainless steel.

Cute Cat bowls
Cute Cat bowls!

Dry food – We’ve reviewed a number of great dry foods. But if we had to choose one, we would choose Providore Air Dried Food (available via Pet Barn) because it is good value for the quality and loved by Indy.

Wet food – Similar to the dry food, we have a lot of great choices. For our go to, we prefer Ziwi Peak wet food (available via Pet Circle) for its quality and nutrient density.

Treats – It’s hard to pick only one treat, so we’re going with one of the creamy treats from Absolute Holistic’s range (available via Pet Circle) and a dry one like Meow’s freeze dried selection (available via Pet Circle) as our first options.

Bedding and Scratchers

Bed – Let’s be honest. We have no idea if our cats will like the beds we buy. If you have the budget and space, we recommend buying a few shapes/textures to see what your cat gravitates towards. Indy like round shapes like this one (prefers larger beds) and enjoys his Paws for Life sofa bed (he feels he has his own spot on the couch).

Indy enjoying his sofa bed!

Scratcher – Similar to beds, different cats prefer different scratching materials/patterns. It’s best to buy both horizontal and vertical scratchers to test what works for them. Some brands we have liked in the past include The Catsentials Scratch Posts (vertical) and Pawise Infinity Scratchers (horizontal).

Toys and Entertainment

Harness – We use the Catventure Cat Harness which is nice and secure. If you don’t need the lead, you could buy the harness only and find an alternate lead.

Toys – Many cats tend to like simple toys versus some of the more expensive ones we can purchase. For that reason, I am more inclined to recommend simple wands like this Rogz wand, and small soft toys they can pick up with their mouth.

That’s a wrap! We’ll keep adding to this article as we find other products we like!

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