Basic Equipment - Keeping A Cat

Basic Equipment

Cats are not expensive to house, but they must be provided with certain items of basic equipment, such as somewhere to sleep, a litter tray, feeding and drinking bowls, a collar, a carrying box and basic grooming equipment. Useful, but not essential, extras are items such as a scratching pad or post, a cat flap (is your cat is able to go outside), a playpen and some toys.

Cat flap and playful
A cat flap should be fitted no higher than 6cm (two or three inches) from the base of the door or windowsill. All flaps should be lockable. Some have magnetic strips along the sides which help avoid draughts, by creating a tight seal.

A playpen is useful for kittens until they are acclimatized to their new home.

Picture: Scratching pad or post and a litter tray

Litter tray
Cats are clean animals and toilet training is relatively simple.

Scratching pad or post
There are particularly useful for indoor cats.

You can buy there from pet shops, or simple supply things like empty cotton reels which give endless enjoyment. Avoid soft rubber toys; they can cause choking and other problems.

Picture: Toys and grooming equipments

Grooming equipment
As well as a brush and combs, such as those shown here, you will need nail clippers (see Grooming page)

Collar and walking lead
Cats should at all times wear collars with address tags and an elasticated insert which stops the cat choking if it is snagged. If your cat is willing to walk on a lead, an adjustable harness is preferable to a collar. Choose a lightweight lead.

Feeding and water bowl
Each cat should have its own dishes. They must always be kept clean and separate from the household crockery.

Cat bed
Beds can be purchased in a wide variety of designs, from traditional wicker baskets, to bean-bag types, to cat igloos made out of plastic, to the good old cardboard box lined with newspaper.

Carrying basket or box

Carrying basket or box and a fluffy blanket can be used as a cat bed