Eletiofe25 Best Cat Toys and Supplies (2023): Scratchers, Window...

25 Best Cat Toys and Supplies (2023): Scratchers, Window Perches, Modern Furniture, and More

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kitten playing with colorful blocks

Basic Cat Rules

Dos and Don’ts

Find a Litter Box They Like

Litter Box

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If You Want an Automatic Box

Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes We Like

Read more

A Cheaper Way to Monitor Bathroom Habits

Petivity Smart Litterbox Monitor System

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Cats are beautiful, interesting, weird creatures. If you’re lucky enough to be loved by one, it’s your God-given responsibility to give them a comfortable and fun home. We wrote about the supplies you should get if you recently adopted a pet, but once you have that pet situated at home, you’ll want to create a healthy, welcoming space for them. Cats require a specific type of environment to play, scratch, and relax.

Here are our favorite products based on months of testing with our own cats. Even if our pets rejected a particular product, we still examined overall construction, design, and value to determine whether it may be of use to other kitties. Felines can be finicky, so you may have to go through a few options to find the right fit.

Check out our related guides, like the Best Veterinary Telemedicine Services and Our Favorite Fancy Cat Furniture. More of a dog person? We’ve got you covered! See our Best Accessories and Tech Essentials for Your Dog guide.

Updated March 2023: We’ve added a bunch more cat stuff we like, including Purina’s Petivitiy bathroom tracker and the Cat Amazing treat puzzles, as well as the Fur Zapper and Sprinkle & Sweep cleaning accessories. We’ve also updated prices and links throughout.

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  • kitten playing with colorful blocks

    Photograph: Martin Poole/Getty Images

    Basic Cat Rules

    Dos and Don’ts

    Don’t listen to the cat haters: Cats do form a connection to their human owners. And while they may be more low-maintenance than dogs, they still require thoughtful care. Here are some basic dos and don’ts when it comes to owning a cat.

    DO: Separate food and water. Use multiple litter boxes for multiple cats. Give them ways to hunt their food. Ensure they get exercise. Give them places to hide and feel safe. Regularly trim their nails. Give them love and affection!

    DON’T: Leave them unattended around these toxic plants. Accidentally harm them with common essential oils like eucalyptus. Feed them a vegan diet, milk (yes, really), or these other toxic foods. Declaw them.

  • Photograph: Tuft and Paw

    Find a Litter Box They Like

    Litter Box

    A litter box is essential. What kind you get depends on your cat—not every cat likes enclosed boxes, and others need high sides to shield your walls from urine (sometimes they aim high!). You should have one box per cat, and one on each floor if you live in a multilevel home.

    You’ll find cheap, standard litter boxes everywhere they sell pet items, but if those don’t work, consider these:

    • Rubbermaid storage bins (without the lid) are cheap and work well.
    • Tuft and Paw’s Cove Box is simple but modern with detachable sides and a place to hold its scoop and small dustpan. (All Tuft and Paw products are aesthetically pleasing and pricey.)
    • The Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Planter nicely blends into small spaces, but it needs to be replaced more than other boxes as it gets weirdly grimey.
    • Want to try an automatic litter box? We have thoughts below.
    • Can’t decide on a box? Kitty Poo Club delivers disposable, recyclable boxes to your door every month. The cardboard has a thin plastic coating inside, so it shouldn’t leak, as long as you’re actually replacing them.

    You should also use a litter mat underneath the box to minimize the litter tracked through your house. Just vacuum and shake it out regularly.

  • Photograph: Smarty Pear

    If You Want an Automatic Box

    Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes We Like

    I (Medea) was unsure about robotic litter boxes—they’re big and expensive, and experts warn that not cleaning out a box every day could mean missing potential signs of sickness. But then I tried two that changed my mind: Leo’s Loo Too and Whisker’s Litter-Robot 4.

    Both are still large and expensive, but they connect to apps that keep track of your cat’s bathroom habits, alerting you when they use the box and what their weight is. You’ll know something is off if their bathroom trips suddenly change, and you can scoop a little less too. Both have sensors and other safety features so it won’t spin if a cat is inside. Leo’s Loo is the most sensitive, so if you have a particularly curious cat, this might be the one to get. Bigger cats will probably prefer the larger drum of the Litter-Robot.

  • Photograph: Purina

    A Cheaper Way to Monitor Bathroom Habits

    Petivity Smart Litterbox Monitor System

    You don’t have to spend $700 to know exactly what’s happening when Fluffy visits the commode. Purina’s Petivity (8/10, WIRED Recommends) sits underneath a standard litter box and, once connected to the app, tells you which cat visited the box at what time, how much they weigh, and if they went one or two.

    This has made my life much less stressful, because now I know exactly how much Huxley, who has lower urinary tract disease, is urinating. If something is off, I know immediately and can get him to the vet.

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