Those who buy a cat are spoiled for choice when it comes to equipment. The trade offers a huge range of products for the house tiger - from the cat's own sofa and water fountain to the hammock. However, cats do not need everything that is offered in specialist shops. But what is part of the basic equipment for the pet and what can cat owners do without?
1. Litter box: space, ventilation and height are important
A litter box is a must and should have a minimum size of 40 by 60 centimeters so that the four-legged friends can turn and sit in it. "Toilets with lids or additional door flaps are problematic because they cause ventilation problems," explains Melitta Töller from the animal protection organization Vier Pfoten in Hamburg. The result: The four-legged friends no longer feel comfortable and do their business elsewhere. The rim should also be high enough so that cat litter does not end up constantly next to the toilet.
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2. Cat litter: stay away from sharp-edged products
Cat owners should stay away from litter with pointed or sharp stones. This can injure the animal. "Even dusty or scented litter can be harmful to cats," explains Marius Tünte from the German Animal Welfare Association in Bonn. The best thing is to test different products and check what the four-legged friend likes.
3. Scratching post: important retreat for the cat
Whether as an observation area or to whet the claws: scratching posts increase the well-being of furry pets and protect the furniture. "We recommend floor-to-ceiling, stable cat furniture," explains Tünte. The cats can climb and sit on it well. The scratching post should be high enough for the four-legged friend to stand upright with the front legs straight. Integrated caves are also a good way for the animal to retreat.
4. Food: Do not feed the cat vegetarian
“What ends up in the four-legged friend's bowl primarily depends on the cat owner,” explains Tünte. Many owners would prefer certain brands. According to Tünte's assessment, the specialist trade offers a large and good selection of cat food. The mixing ratio of dry and wet food, however, depends on the particular preference of the cat. Tünte generally advises against vegetarian cat food: "The animals need meat to absorb vital proteins and fats."
5. Bowl: vessels must not be too high
Whether pink, black or blue: there are no limits to your imagination when choosing a food bowl and water bowl. The important thing is: the vessels must not be too high. “Because otherwise the sensitive touch hairs on the cat's nose always come up against the edge of the container and this is very unpleasant for animals,” says Melitta Töller. The two vessels should not be placed near the toilet.
6. Sleeping basket for cats must be stable
From wooden constructions to plastic baskets to pillows, everything is allowed. "First of all, the sleeping basket should be stable so that the four-legged friend cannot knock it over - the appearance is of secondary importance," says Astrid Behr from the Federal Association of Practicing Veterinarians in Frankfurt am Main.
7. Transport box for the safe way to the vet
In order to safely bring or pick up the new roommate to the veterinarian, cat owners absolutely need a transport container. «Alternatively, there are also transport bags in specialist shops. Cats do not belong in a handbag or backpack - they are not lap dogs, »says Behr.
8. Fur brush helps fight hairball in cats
Especially in cats with long fur, hair balls form in the stomach through daily grooming, which in the worst case can lead to an intestinal obstruction. This can also happen with cats with short fur - especially when changing from winter fur to summer fur. With regular brushing or combing, the cat swallows less hair that can knot in the stomach.
9. Toys for cats: variety is important
Above all, cats with no clearance should be kept busy. "Toys are therefore very important for the four-legged friend, because they challenge him," explains Behr. Anything that runs, rolls or flies like balls and straw mice is suitable. "At the beginning, you shouldn't buy too many toys," advises the experts. It is better to keep surprising the four-legged friends with it. But be careful: there is a risk of injury with some toys. Behr advises against fur toys with wire, glass, metal, as well as plastic parts or toys made of hard plastic. "The animals could swallow individual parts or get caught on them and pinch off body parts."
10. Cat flap for velvet paws with free access
If you live in a house with a garden, you can install a cat flap. Through them, the animals can enter or leave the house at any time. The flap must be large enough that the four-legged friend does not get caught in it and injures itself.