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The Ultimate Shopping List for Adopting a New Cat

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Happy National Adopt a Cat Month! It’s no secret that here at meowbox, we’re huge fans of pet adoption. We also understand how overwhelming it can be to figure out what essentials you’ll need before bringing home a new cat or kitten, especially if you’re a first-time cat parent. How many litter boxes will you need? Is pet insurance worth it? From basic must-haves to optional items that you might want to consider in the future, let us help you get started with this new cat shopping checklist!

This blog is sponsored as a part of meowfest by Catit and ACANA.

Cat carrier

Bailey & Bella Jet Setter Soft Carrier in grey, $79.99 CAD, Pet Valu

This may be the first item you’ll need to purchase, since you’ll need something to safely transport kitty home in! You can find soft or hard cat carriers, depending on your preference. Soft carriers may be easier to store and are more comfortable to carry, but hard kennels are sturdier and easier to clean. Whichever you choose, make sure to store it somewhere easily accessible in your home, in case of an emergency.

Cat food

ACANA Premium Pâté for cats (tuna recipe), price varies. Available at most pet stores

With so many options out there, choosing a cat food can be daunting! Created in Alberta, Canada, ACANA cat food contains added vitamins, minerals and probiotics, and offers a delicious variety of flavours to appeal to even the pickiest feline. Since every cat is different, we recommend consulting with your vet about which food they would suggest for your kitty’s age and dietary needs.

Food and water bowls

Handmade ceramic cat bowls, $38 CAD each, MomocorStudio on Etsy

Many cats may prefer shallow food and water bowls with wide openings over deeper bowls, which can irritate their whiskers. To encourage hydration, leave out at least two bowls of fresh water in different areas of your home at a time.

Food mat

Silicone pet food mat, $27.07 CAD (plus shipping), ShouldWeGo on Etsy

Cats are generally neat creatures, but for some, mealtime is an exception! A cat mat will keep flyaway food confined to kitty’s eating space and make for an easy cleanup.

Litter box

Suhaco Cat Litter Box with top and front entry, $73.99 CAD, Amazon

Whichever litter box you choose should be at least one and half times the length of your cat, to allow your kitty plenty of room to move around. When it comes to how many litter boxes you’ll need, Pet Finder recommends having at least one per cat, plus one extra.

Litter and scoop

Okocat clumping litter (13.2 lbs), $18.99 CAD, Pet Valu

Some cats are particular about litter. Scented or unscented, clumping or non clumping? Finding the right one for your kitty may take some trial and error. Make sure to get a litter scoop, to clean out clumps and poop regularly.


Hippo cat scratcher and lounger, $36.99 CAD, Catit

A cat tree allows kitty to sharpen their claws, exercise, and observe their surroundings from a comfortable spot. Even better if it’s placed by a window, so they can birdwatch! However, a cat tree definitely isn’t necessary. You can find all kinds of scratchers, including wall-mounted ones, at different sizes, shapes, and price points. Offering your cat a few scratching points throughout your home will keep them happy, healthy and away from the furniture!

Looking to upgrade your current cat tree to one that’s better suited to multiple cats? Check out Pet Keen’s list of the 10 best cat trees for more than one kitty.


meowbox subscription, $23.95 USD/$29.95 CAD per box. Monthly and bi-monthly plans available

Keep kitty entertained with a variety of toys they can rotate between. meowbox ships a box of curated cat toys and treats to your doorstep every month, or bi-monthly. Speaking of shopping lists, don’t miss this month’s Trip to the Supurrmeowket box (theme available for a limited time only, while quantities last)!


Image: Hadley Woodall, Unsplash

Even if your cat will be staying inside, microchipping is a one-time, permanent procedure that increases the chances that they will be safely returned to you if they wander off or escape. Some states and provinces require cats to be microchipped. If you live in British Columbia, the BC Pet Registry is a service operated by the BCSPCA that protects your pet if they do go missing.

Pet insurance

Lloyd Henneman on Unsplash

Pet insurance is optional, but is generally low-cost for cats in Canada and can give you peace of mind if your cat ever needs expensive veterinary care. Check out Furkin Pet Insurance Canada for plans that will provide coverage for unexpected accidents and illnesses, from emergency care and anaesthesia, to cancer or hereditary illnesses. You can get a quote online or over the phone in seconds and choose which plan is best suited to your cat’s needs and your budget.


Lickable cat treats, $4.49 CAD for pack of 5, Catit

Cat treats are the purrfect way to reward your cat for good behaviour and win over their heart (or shall we say, stomach). Catit Creamy lickable cat treats are a nutritious and hydrating snack that your kitty will come running for.


Image: Hella’s Custom Catios

A catio is an enclosed outdoor space that allows your cat to enjoy some exercise and fresh air, without common outdoor hazards such as vehicles, predators and poisons. It’s completely optional of course, but an excellent way to keep kitty entertained if you have the extra funds and space! Check out Hella’s Custom Catios to start designing your cat’s dream catio.

Are you ready to adopt a new cat, but don’t know where to start looking?

Some shelters require that potential adopters submit an application online or make an appointment to meet the animals. If you don’t already have a local shelter or rescue in mind, a quick search on Google or social media such as “adoptable cats in [your city/town]” should bring up a list of options near you. Petfinder is a helpful online resource that allows you to search for local adoptable pets using filters. If there are any in your area, cat cafés such as Catfé Vancouver are also a great way to find a new furry friend. We love Catfé for their kind and welcoming staff, support for BC rescues, and of course their revolving door of adorable kitties!

Now that you have your list of new cat essentials, you can focus on getting to know your new furry family member. Happy bonding!

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