Cat Adoption Checklist

January 27, 2024

Have you just welcomed a furry feline into your home? Fantastic! Whether you're a seasoned cat parent or a newcomer to the world of whiskers, the addition of a new cat to your family is undeniably an exciting adventure. But hold on – is your home all set to embrace this adorable new ball of fur? To ensure you're fully prepared for the journey of pet parenthood, check out our cat adoption checklist. It's not just a list; it's a guide to turning your home into the purr-fect haven for your new kitty companion.

Cat Adoption Checklist:

  1. Cat food (Top-notch cat food options)
  2. Cat treats (Delightful Treat choices)
  3. Food bowl 
  4. Water bowl or fountain
  5. Litter box or pan
  6. Scooper
  7. Litter and Litter mat
  8. Scratcher or scratching post
  9. Cat tree
  10. Cat bed
  11. Wand toy / Ball toy
  12. Interactive toy
  13. Cat nail clippers
  14. Cat crate or carrier
  15. Cat collar
  16. Personalized ID tag and microchip
  17. Updated vaccinations
  18. Flea and tick prevention
  19. Heartworm prevention
  20. Register with a Vet

Prepping Your Home for the Purr-fect Welcome

Cats, especially kittens, are naturally curious creatures. Ensure your home is a safe place by stowing away breakables and securing potentially hazardous items like cords and wires. Check that window screens are secure, and always keep toilet seats down to avoid any unintended splashes. Additionally, make sure your greenery is cat-friendly – consult this list of non-toxic plants for cats.


Just like us, cats need time to adjust to their new surroundings. While some may warm up within days or even hours, others might take a couple of weeks. Embrace their timidity and give them the space they need. Your new fur baby might initially prefer a cozy corner or a secluded room for quiet time. Be patient, avoid overwhelming them with too much attention, and let them explore at their own pace. Note, if you have other pets or kids, let your new cat acclimate before introductions. Keep them separated initially, then gradually introduce them one at a time under your watchful eye.

Cat Food and Water

Your cat’s foster family or rescue organization might indicate the type of cat food they’ve been feeding your new pet. If so, stock up on that specific formula that your cat is used to and slowly transition to another cat food later if you wish to. When considering foods take into consideration your new cat's age and any special medical needs. Don’t forget to pick up plenty of treats to welcome your new friend. Of course, your kitty will also need food and water bowls. A mini water fountain is a great option to encourage your cat to drink more water. When shopping you’ll run into a lot of options for best bowls but generally stainless steel is considered the best material for cat food and water bowls because it's sanitary, durable, and easy to clean. 

Cat Box

Choose a litter box that suits your cat's preferences. Some prefer hooded or top-entry boxes, while others feel more comfortable with an open-air pan. Ensure you have a box on each floor for multi-level homes, and don't forget the scooper.

Space and Play for Your Cat

Cater to your cat's scratching and climbing instincts with scratchers and a cat tree. Engage them with wand toys, ball toys, and interactive gadgets to bond with them through play. Create an environment where they feel safe and entertained, even when you're away. Give your cat an appropriate place to exercise their need to scratch and climb. Scratchers are essential for good nail health and for the safety of your furniture. You’ll want to consider procuring a cat tree, as well. Cat trees are an excellent way to provide more space for your cats in smaller homes and apartments where horizontal space is limited. The majority of cats prefer to observe the world from up high, where they feel safe and untouchable.


A cat crate or carrier is a must-have for taking your new cat home from the shelter or their foster family, and it will come in handy for future trips to the vet. Pick your carrier based on your new cat's size and needs as well as your lifestyle. Here are a few tips for choosing the right cat carrier. It’s a good idea to outfit your feline in a cat collar as well in case they ever manage to escape from your home or their carrier.

Their Vet

Even if your new furball isn't quite ready for a formal check-up, it's crucial to connect with a vet pronto just in case of any unexpected whisker emergencies or for those routine wellness check-ups down the road. When the day finally arrives the veterinary team will gather intel on your feline companion, things like their rough age, whether they've been spayed or neutered, any past health hiccups, and a rundown of vaccines, preventive care, or medications they’ve had. Life with a cat can be delightfully unpredictable, let's talk about emergencies. Arm yourself with a pet first aid kit stocked with essentials like tweezers and gauze pads. It's your trusty sidekick for handling those unexpected feline fiascos until you can rush to your vet or a 24-hour pet hospital.

Vaccines and Flea/Tick Prevention

Stay on top of vaccinations, especially for kittens. Core vaccines like rabies and distemper are crucial, and lifestyle vaccines may be recommended based on your cat's activities. Also, be sure to discuss flea and tick prevention with your vet to protect your cat from diseases. Heartworm prevention is essential as cats can be just as susceptible as dogs. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your new feline friend. 

Every cat is unique, and your new furry friend may have individual needs. Be sure to shower them with love. We wish a lifetime of happiness for both you and your new cat! Congratulations on adopting a new best friend! 🐾