The Goathouse Refuge is a 501(c)3 non-profit no-kill animal sanctuary dedicated to providing care and finding homes for hundreds of homeless cats. We are located in Pittsboro, NC, and are open daily from 12 - 3:30.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shopping List

Things to buy before you bring your new kitty home

A microchip tag will be provided by the Goathouse Refuge when you pick up your cat. We will also give you a small bag of GHR food and litter that you can use to transition to your own brands. You will need to purchase the rest of these items if you don’t already have them.

Food. We recommend a high quality food such as Science Diet or Chicken Soup for Cats. Avoid by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives. Feeding a more expensive food is cheaper in the long run; high quality food is made with good meat and is more digestible so less will be wasted in the litter box (another advantage – less stool!). Your cat will be healthier and less prone to disease and will shed less hair. It is better to measure (see manufacturer's instructions) than to free feed. GHR kitties are fed twice a day (breakfast and dinner) and we recommend keeping your kitty on that schedule.

Litter box & Litter Scoop. The bigger the box the better! Cats like room to turn around and dig. Higher sides will help avoid spills. Covered boxes should be large enough for the cat to turn around in and stand up straight. One litter box per cat plus one extra. Clean the box(es) daily.

Litter. You will get a bag of the litter used at the GHR. We use custom cattle feed. It has no smell and no dust. We also recommend either clumping (World’s Best Cat Litter, Swheat Scoop, Dr Elesey's Precious Cat Ultra), or non-clumping (any plain non-scented litter like Johnny Cat). Avoid clay clumping litter (Scoop Away, Tidy Cat, etc.) and silica bead litters, as they may be toxic if ingested. Never use scented litter or pine litter since many cats are repelled by the smell.

Dishes. Use some from your kitchen or get special ones for your cat, just make sure they are wide and shallow enough for your cat’s face. Ceramic or stainless steel is recommended because plastic dishes harbour bacteria which can cause feline acne on the chin.

Scratching posts. It is best to provide your cat with a large cat tree or post, and make sure you have at least one or more flat cardboard scratching boxes available too. You want to start good habits from the beginning. Cats like to scratch things right away in a new home because they mark territory that way – so provide a suitable outlet for this urge. Have them in the rooms the cat will be in the most.

Cat Carrier. We recommend the sturdy solid plastic type. Even if you're adopting a kitten, get one big enough for an adult cat to stand and turn around in comfortably.

Toys. Simple cat-approved toys include ping pong balls, stuffed catnip mice, and laser pointers. Interactive toys such as magic wands or cat charmers are great but should not be left with the cat, as they will destroy the toy or possibly choke on it. No items smaller than a ping pong ball or toys with feathers should be allowed because they are a choking hazard.

Brush. Grooming your cat not only reduces shedding and makes her look great, it is a great way to bond. Start with a soft-bristled brush. Later try a slicker or rubber curry brush, but some cats are ticklish and object to certain types of brushes.

Bed. (Optional): An old pillow may be chosen by the cat, but many cats adore nest-type beds sold in pet stores. Others will ignore any bed you provide and choose the sofa or your bed.

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