Posted by Pet Honesty on

New Cat Adoption Checklist

Table of Contents

So you’ve made the exciting decision to adopt a feline friend—congratulations! Cat adoption is a life-changing experience for both you and your new pet, and should always be done after sufficient planning and research. 

Whether you’re bringing home your first cat or your fifteenth, there are several things to take into consideration before bringing your fur baby home. 

Questions to Consider

Before you make any serious moves, be sure that you know the answers to the following questions: 

  • Do you have other pets in your household? How do they typically react to other animals in their space?

  • Is your home suitable for a cat? Will she be able to have her own space? If you’re a renter, make sure to check your lease agreement for any pet policies and restrictions.

  • Do you want an indoor cat or an outdoor cat?

  • Do you want a kitten, or would you adopt an older cat?

  • Has everyone in your household agreed to having a cat in the home?

  • Does anyone in the household have allergies to cats?

  • Who will take the main responsibility for caring for the cat? Is your lifestyle suitable for caring for a pet?

  • Do you know someone who is willing and able to check on your cat when you’re away?

  • Can you reasonably afford all of the expenses associated with adopting and owning a cat (such as food, litter, vet visits, and potential emergencies)? 


If you’re confident that adopting a cat is the right step for you, the next step is to make sure you have all of the cat essentials

  • Canned and dried food. Ideally, you will be able to continue feeding your new kitty the same food she was eating at her previous residence in order to make the transition easier. Once she’s adjusted to your home, you can talk to your vet about changing her diet as needed.

  • Food and water bowls (although some cats do better with puzzle feeders and/or water fountains.) Prepare to be patient, as it may take some trial and error before you find the right fit for your feline.

  • A collar with an ID tag. At the minimum, make sure she’s microchipped with your contact information on file.

  • A carrying crate.

  • All litter necessities: litter box, kitty litter, scooper, and maybe even a litter mat.

  • Comfy bedding. If you find your cat making biscuits on her bed or blankets, you’ll know she’s making herself at home.

  • Catnip. Not only can this be a nice treat, it’s great for training.

  • Plenty of cardboard boxes. Boxes can provide cats with a warm, comfy hiding place to curl up and relax.

  • A cat tree, perch, or shelf. This gives your cat a safe spot to observe her surroundings, which is especially important if you have a dog who may not always give her the space she needs.

  • Plenty of interactive toys to satisfy your kitty’s prey drive.

  • Appropriate scratching surfaces. In addition to helping your cat maintain her nails, designated cat scratching surfaces may divert your kitty from scratching your furniture and walls.

  • Grooming supplies, including a proper brush depending on your cat’s coat type.

  • Treats (obviously).

  • Dietary supplements, such as Pet Honesty’s Digestive Probiotics+ Powder for Cats and Fish Oil Pack

In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, make your space cat-ready with the appropriate supplies before you bring your new pet home.

Things to Know

Every cat is different, so be sure to talk to the pet shelter, foster family, or previous owner to get some history about the cat in question. Has the cat been spayed or neutered? Are her shots up-to-date? Is she already microchipped? Does she have any special needs that require additional purchases or attention? 

Additionally, do some research to find the best vet for you and your pet. It’s also a good idea to look into pet insurance policies sooner rather than later. That way, you can avoid having to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions that could have been covered by insurance. 

Other Considerations 

Cat-proof your home ahead of time: make sure any toxic houseplants or small ingestible objects are removed or out of reach. Cats love knocking things over, so make sure any fragile valuables are also inaccessible. 

Moving to a new home can be overwhelming, so it may be best to keep your kitty confined to one room or area for the first few days after her arrival. Once she’s comfortable, leave the door open so she can come out and explore the rest of the house on her own terms. 

If you’re adopting a kitten, make sure you have the time and patience to get through those mischievous, high-energy adolescent periods. 

Take separation anxiety into consideration, too. If you’re frequently away from the house, you may want to consider getting another cat or even adopting a bonded pair to begin with. 

It may take some time for both you and your cat to feel comfortable with the new living arrangement, but be patient. As you get to know each other, you and your kitty will be cuddling and playing together in no time!