15 Essential Cat Supplies For A Happy Cat

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One of the most common questions I’m asked by my clients (besides “How do I get my cat to stop doing __________?) is about which cat supplies they should buy. It’s a very important question as not all cat products are created equal. From cat towers that are too short to cat toys your cat has no interest in playing with to scratching posts your cat won’t scratch, there are so many cat products out there designed to appeal to humans, but not cats.

A grey tabby cat sitting in a box, looking up, in a living room.
“I’ll stick with the box it came in, thanks.”

Thankfully, I’m going to save you the headache of having to sort through product reviews, marketing, and hype to figure out which cat supplies are actually worth purchasing. All these products are ones I personally use or ones that my clients have seen success with. They’re designed to both make your life easier and be something your cat will actually use.

Remember that every cat is unique so, while these products are pretty great for most cats, your cat may prefer something different. Let’s use scratching posts as an example: most cats prefer scratching posts that are tall, sturdy, and a sisal material. Some cats prefer other qualities in a scratching object. They may, for example, prefer cardboard or scratching at an angle. Listen to your own cat and they’ll tell you what they like!

And on that note, let’s get shopping!

Cat Furniture

I’m purposefully starting my list with cat furniture as it’s one of the things most cat parents seem to lack enough of. Cat furniture can help prevent behavior concerns (and thus prevent you from needing a behavior consultation from me) so it is necessary to have it around the home for your cats. That doesn’t mean you have to buy a hideous cat tower and place it right in your entryway, but if you want a happy cat, you want cat furniture.

Best Modern Cat Tree

When you think of a cat tree, chances are you think of something like this:

A grey cat on a cat tower.
The classic carpeted monstrosity cat tower.

While the ugly carpeted cat tree is absolutely still a thing, more and more companies are developing cat furniture that actually looks nice. If you think I’ve lost it, I suggest you check out the Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower.

I recommend this cat tower to all my clients who have hesitations about the way adding a cat tower to their home will look. It’s made of wood and has a very interesting shape. To me, it looks more like a modern bookshelf than a cat tower, but it’s pleasing to the eye regardless. It comes in four different finishes (including, yes, a millennial gray) so you can find one that fits your aesthetic.

From the cat’s perspective, it’s nice and tall so they can get out their natural cat instinct to climb. The scratchers included allow them to have an alternative to your couch and the hidey hole in the bottom gives them a place to snuggle up for a nap. It’s a win for all involved!

A Cat Tower For Small Spaces

If you live in a smaller space like an apartment, floor space is at a premium. While you may want to squeeze in more cat supplies, it may mean sacrificing space you need for something else or cause your home to feel cramped. Thankfully, there are creative solutions out there. Class Act Cats’ Chief Purr Officer, Zoloft, has volunteered himself to model one of my favorite solutions.

A grey cat sitting on one of my favorite cat supplies, an over the  cat door cat tower.
Such a handsome dude on such a practical product.

The K&H Pet Products Hangin’ Cat Tree is an innovative way to make use of space you likely aren’t using. No judgment if you like to lounge in front of your doors, but if you’re like the majority of humans that space isn’t being used for much. Might as well add a cat tree there.

I have 5 cat towers and this one is in my bedroom where I couldn’t quite fit another one in the location I suspected Z wanted somewhere to climb. Thankfully, I stumbled upon it and it worked out great! The tower hangs using straps and brackets that will slide over the door so no drilling or damage to the door itself is required. If you are using it in a narrower space like a hallway, it will stick out a bit. However, it can be easily folded up when not in use if you need it temporarily out of the way.

A Scratching Post Your Cat Will Love

If your cat doesn’t seem to like the scratching posts you’ve offered them, you may have placed them in the wrong location or you may have gotten a scratching post that isn’t going to appeal to cats. A tall, sturdy post is a much better choice than a flimsy, short one so you’ll want a scratching post like the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post (which comes in millennial gray like the Refined Feline cat tower).

Cat towers are one of the most important cat supplies you need to purchase as cats have a need to scratch. If you don’t get one, they’ll find something to scratch. Chances are that something will be your favorite armchair or your bed.

This tower is tall and heavy so it won’t tip over as your cat scratches. The scratching will be super satisfying for your cat and will help them relieve stress. It’s also made of a great sisal carpet material so it will really appeal to your cats. If you have it in your budget, getting a few of them for around the home will keep your cats happily scratching away and your furniture intact.

Litter Box Essentials

Ahh, the litter box. Cats love pooping in it. Humans hate cleaning it. It’s a necessary part of having a cat, though, and setting up a box that appeals to your cat is a good idea. There are some great ways to make litter box maintenance way easier on you and solve some common gripes with the box so you’ll have no problem keeping your home tidy and scooping the litter box at least once or twice a day.

Make Scooping Easy

If you hate scooping, this next product is a ~magical~ solution that will ~grant your wish~ for a clean, odor free box. It’s the Litter Genie!

The Litter Genie, similar to the Diaper Genie, is one of the most useful cat supplies out there for keeping odor down. It’s a container that you scoop your cat’s waste directly into and the waste is sealed inside. You only empty the unit when it becomes full and replace the bag cartridge with a fresh one. The unit can easily be placed right next to the litter box and will seal the stink in. As scooping your litter box daily is the best way to keep odor under control, this will help keep your home from smelling like a litter box.

There are a few variations of the Litter Genie besides the basic one. The Easy Roll version has a cartridge that lasts up to 6 months. If you have multiple cats or just don’t feel like emptying the unit that often, the Litter Genie XL is larger so less emptying is required.

Keep Litter Tracking Under Control

Litter being tracked all over your home isn’t fun, but it’s the unfortunate reality that comes with many types of litter that appeal to cats. Thankfully, there are ways to significantly reduce the amount of litter that makes its way to other parts of your home.

While there are many mats available that claim to keep your litter from being dragged all over by your cat’s cute little peets, not all of them work. Others work, but are really challenging to clean. Some may even keep your cat from wanting to use the box if they have to walk on it.

I’ve found a lot of success with the Gorilla Grip Honeycomb Litter Mat both personally and for clients. The texture on it isn’t aversive to most cats and it allows litter to drop into the bottom of it. Once enough litter is collected, you carefully pick it up, squeeze the sides together, and dump the litter into the trash. It does an excellent job of collecting the litter, too! Even better, there are many color options and sizes available so you can find something that will fit your home.

And yes, there is a millennial gray litter mat.

Keep in mind that some cats may not like the texture so don’t keep it out if your cat suddenly stops using their box. It’s also pretty easy to clean, but you will want to make sure you clean the top and bottom of the textured side. I haven’t found this to be a problem at all since I’ve been using it. Plus, occasionally having to clean two sides of a mat is much better than endlessly sweeping up litter!

Attract Your Cat To The Litter Box

I want to be very clear before I suggest this next product that it’s not a magical solution to your cat not using the box. While it can help, if you pick the wrong type of box, litter, or location for the box, you’ll still have your cat eliminating elsewhere.

In some cases, however, Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Litter Additive can be mixed into your cat’s litter to help them be more inclined to use the box. It’s great if you get pretty dang close to what your cat prefers, but can’t quite get them using it consistently. It’s made with an unknown mix of herbs that draw cats into the litter box. I’ve had litter box cases where this has been the final piece that got a client’s cat consistently going in the box.

The additive version can be mixed into many different types of litters so you can add it to the one your cat seems to like the most. If you’re not in the mood to mix the additive yourself, you can buy pre-mixed litters with Cat Attract. A few of the other cat behaviorists I know have reported that the pre-mixed litter works somewhat better so don’t hesitate to try both.

Fun Cat Supplies

Not all cat supplies are for boring and unpleasant tasks like litter box maintenance. Some of them are fun and will build your bond with your cat! Let’s go over some of the splurge-worthy cat products that will have your cat making biscuits with joy.

The Best Cat Toys Out There

I’m combining my two favorite cat toys into one because they’re made by the same company, Cat Dancer Products. I don’t have any evidence of this, but based on how much cats seem to love their products, I suspect the company is actually run by cats. If anyone can confirm or deny this, please let me know.

Conspiracy theories aside, the original Cat Dancer is the best cat toy out there for 90% of cats. Zoloft loves it. My clients’ cats love it. Even my most skeptical clients who claim their cats don’t like to play come around to the Cat Dancer. It’s magical… and proof that the company is run by cats.

The toy is a wire with cardboard tubes rolled up that bounces a lot like a bug would. This gets your cat’s hunting instinct activated and is irresistible to even the most sentient cat. While you absolutely want to actively play with your cat, there is also a deluxe version that you can mount on the wall for solo play while you are away.

Side note: If your cat prefers chasing birds, the Fukumaru Cat Wand Toy is basically a feathered version of the Cat Dancer. Heck, I actually even find it fun to play with because it spins through the air. Maybe I’m actually the one who is a cat and not the fine folks at Cat Dancer Products…

The other toy that seems to drive cats nuts is the Cat Charmer. It seems simple as it’s a long piece of colorful felt attached to a wand, but it moves like a worm or snake would. For cats that like to go after slithering things or play with strings, it’s a great toy.

Drugs For Cats

If you’re familiar with catnip, you may not be as familiar with its more powerful cousin, silver vine. Silver vine is a plant in the kiwi family that contains chemicals that will get your cat stoned much like catnip will but often produces a stronger response. More cats will respond to silver vine than they will to catnip!

My favorite brand of the ‘nip, silver vine, and the closely related valerian root is Meowy Janes. Their silvervine powder is some of the best out there. It is STRONG! I keep some in the pocket of my backpack when I do in-home sessions and cats will often throw themselves at that pocket as soon as I set it down. Plus, a pinch of it will last you forever so it’s well worth the price.

The Best Cat Treats Around

Besides psychoactive powders, what else makes cats go crazy? If you said “Gogurt for cats,” you’d be right! Kind of.

Churu is meat goop that cats absolutely love eating and it comes in a staggering 19 different flavors. They’re an excellent training tool because there’s just something about them that cats love licking. Whether or not you’re training your cat or just giving them a tasty treat, Churu is sure to be a hit.

Want to take your Churu to the next level? Consider freezing it for a cool summertime treat for your kitty or put it on a LickiMat to slow them down as they gobble it up. Heck, you can put it on a LickiMat and then freeze it for a cool summertime food puzzle for your cat.

Rest and Recharge

Does your kitty need some pampering and rest? Yes, yes they do. It’s not easy being as cute as they are. Let’s look at my favorite products to help them feel nice and relaxed.

Make Brushing Fun

One of Zoloft’s favorite things is being brushed. I know not all cats love being brushed, but it may be because you’re using the wrong brush.

A glove brush will make the task easy and relaxing. Basically, you just pet your cat and it keeps their coat clean and tidy. Brushing regularly can help reduce hairballs and matting. The soft, silicone bristles are great for short-haired cats. If you get a pair, you can even brush your cat with two hands at once!

A Cozy Bed

Cat not using all the beds you’re offering them? Even if they are, they deserve another bed. Your cat didn’t pay me to say that, for the record.

A gray cat on a white bed sleeping with both cute little peets outstretched.
That face is the only payment I need. Photo by Jakub from Pixabay

Clearly, cat beds are one of the most essential cat supplies given how much cats sleep. You want your feline friend to be not just cozy, but cozy as heck, right? Right. If so, go for a donut cat bed.

No, these cat beds aren’t made from carbohydrates and they won’t taste good if you try to eat them. They will, however, allow your cat to sink in and feel nice in secure with their donut shape. They’re squishy and soft so your cat will feel snug as they dream about murdering all the mice in the neighborhood. Donut beds are available in a variety of colors including pink, brown, and (apparently my favorite color) millennial gray.

For The Humans

You didn’t think I’d forget about you, dear reader, on my list of best cat supplies, did you? I mean, it would be reasonable to skip over you as this list is targeted toward cats. However, as a cat behaviorist, I see how it ultimately benefits your cat for you to understand them. Let’s wrap up this list with a few books to help you and your cat live harmoniously.

Yes, Cats Can Be Trained

As a professional cat trainer, I still run into people who think cats can’t be trained. If your cat’s behavior has changed in response to anything you’ve done (even unintentionally), you’ve trained them. The extreme majority of cats can be trained, it just may not be quite as easy for some cats.

If you’re interested in training cats, the thing I recommend as your best option is cat training with me. Obviously this is a totally unbiased recommendation.

If you’d rather read about training, I get it. Everyone learns differently! A great book to pick up is The Trainable Cat by Sarah Ellis and John Bradshaw. It was one of the first cat training books I got so it holds a special place in my heart. It goes into the science of cat training while still remaining practical. It’s a must-have for cat trainers, whether they are pro or casual trainers.

If you’re looking for more cat training supplies, there’s a blog post for that.

Read Your Cat’s Body Language

The last item on my list of essential cat supplies is one of my new favorite cat books, Kitty Language by the amazing Lili Chin. Lili is an incredible artist who uses her talent to spread knowledge about animal behavior.

Kitty Language goes into more depth than a lot of other books on cat behavior, but it is still accessible to the average reader. Seeing as cats can’t speak, we have to rely on their body language to be in tune with how they’re feeling. It’s really easy to misinterpret so this book will help you figure out what your cat is trying to tell you. Plus, the illustrations are adorable.

If you’re somehow a very confused dog person who made their way to my blog, Lili also has a canine version appropriately titled Doggie Language.

And for those wondering, none of her books are available in millennial gray.

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Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi CCBC is an IAABC Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and professional cat trainer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He runs a behavior consultation and cat training service, Class Act Cats, where he helps cat parents address a variety of unwanted behaviors. Joey is available for in home sessions locally or virtual sessions wherever you are located!