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I am the first time owner of an awesome, friendly, socialized and people-loving Maine Coon cat – who I raised from a kitten.
Before picking her up, I consulted with my her cattery, and did months of research to decide exactly the kitten essentials and supplies to purchase to set her up for the best future.
There are the products we talk about in this article:
First we go over each kitten essential and why they are must haves. Then at the end we talk more about the bigger picture regarding what exactly kittens need.
- Kitten Essentials – Litter Box System
- Kitten Essentials – Grooming Brush
- Essential Kitten Toys
- Kitten Essential List – Runner Up Toy
- Kitten Essentials Kit – Water Fountain
- Cat Essentials – Treats
- Must Have Kitten Supplies
- What About a Kitten Bed?
- How Do I Choose Kitten Food?
- New Kitten Checklist – What Do Cats Need In Products?
- Kitten Essentials – Conclusion
Kitten Essentials – Litter Box System
- Top non-clumping litters system
- Recommended by breeders
- Safe compared to clumping litter
The first on your kitten essential list has to be a litter and litter box. This Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box System is the one to get for the peace of mind this will give you regarding kitty litter.
It comes highly recommended because kittens should not use clumping litter, as it it may cause intestinal issues if ingested.
Instead of clumping litter, this comes with litter pellets Kind of looks like cork or husks, but it breaks up into large sawdust like chunks.
I was confused at first, but my Maine Coon kitten was already used to this litter, as it was the type used by her awesome breeder.
Solid waste stays on top and (hopefully) bunched up in the litter pellets. And the liquid flows to the bottom, where you place absorbable pads.
The best (and only) non-clumping litter system I used back then. Once my Maine Coon kitten reached 4-5 months, she graduated to a clumping litter.
Kitten Essentials – Grooming Brush
- Prevents furballs and shedding
- Keeps coat healthy
- Not for daily use!
The next kitten essential is a deshedding tool, like the Furminator deShedding Tool. It’s the original and still the best, IMO.
It’s a must-have for stopping shedding, mats and furballs before they begin! For a long hair cat like a Maine Coon, this is a must.
As a new cat owner, though, realize that this is not a daily brushing tool. For that I use less fine slicker brush.
As a de-shedding tool, the fine teeth gets through the topcoat and into the undercoat to remove fur that will either mat, shed or turn into hairballs if ingested.
Let me tell you, if I slack on using this for a week, the house picks a western movie vibe, with tumbleweed rolling around!
I’m not saying go wild with this tool right away. Because used too often, it will thin out fur. Introduce it slowly, but do get your kitten used to grooming with a shedding brush.
Keep in mind that each cat can tolerate or requires differing amounts of deshedding. With my kitten’s coat, deshedding was not a daily thing. YMMV.
Essential Kitten Toys
- Engaging, unpredictable toy
- Maine Coon proof
Kittens have a natural urge to investigate and play and figure things out. The Hagen Catit Design Senses Play Circuit really captures their attention for a play session.
This also came recommended by my cattery. Bright balls roll around a track that you can arrange in different patterns.
Every time the cat bats the ball, it moves unpredictably through the tracks. My Maine Coon really gets into it, laying on her side and using her hind legs to find the ball as well!
She still plays with it, so this toy is not one they grow out of.
During playtime, you can tilt and manually handle the track so the balls would roll around even faster…if you are ready for a frenzy of kitten activity!
The toy itself is sturdy and big, so it can handle some heavy-duty playtime. Kittens will destroy anything not built tough.
Kitten Essential List – Runner Up Toy
- Speedbag for your kitten
Next for your kitten is a toy to hone those hunter reflexes: the often imitated, never duplicated Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy.
The idea is very simple and elegant – long wire with cardboard at the end. The cardboard resembles cat treats.
You can secure one end to a door jamb with the ends hanging in mid-air so it’s like a speedbag for your kitten. One swipe and it reacts unpredictable in the air, causing adorable kitten jumping and pouncing.
My favorite way to use it to drag it on the floor in a slithering “S” pattern, Chelle goes crazy with jumping and charging.
The reviews are amazing with videos of cats simply going insane and praising the affordability, durability, and value.
Here’s the truth. Your new kitten will require lots of toys. They need a variety of stimulation. This one is cheap and has over 6000 reviews.
Kitten Essentials Kit – Water Fountain
- Encourages more drinking of water
- Waterfall effect
- Fresh, filtered, circulating water
Ahh, the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain. This ensured my kitten had filtered, fresh, and more importantly, circulating, water to drink.
Many cats are entranced by flowing water, and the large pet fountain with some motion takes advantage of that.
Kittens like circulating water because it’s less likely to be stale and have bacteria. So cats not only drink more from this, you’ll also see them staring at the movement and sticking their paws in to play.
Change the carbon filter to keep water fresh, and I also clean with vinegar once a week. The tank is big so you’re not refilling too often.
See my post on the best water fountains. I address Maine Coon owners, but the products I mention within apply to all cats. Everyone drinks water!
What About a Kitten Bed?
I’ve purchased my fair share of kitten beds: from nests to benches to caves. And guess what? It’s always a pleasant surprised when my cat used it.
Because she hardly ever does!
While my cat probably appreciates my effort, she’ll decide where she wants to sleep, thank you very much.
Cardboard boxes are warm, enclosed on three sides, and a little dark. All very enticing for cats. After your kitten is acclimated to her new home and develops habits, then go and buy an appropriate cat bed.
New Kitten Checklist – What Do Cats Need In Products?
A new kitten needs dynamic, interesting products that are tough to withstand being roughly handled. Oh, and of course love and affection!
Before we jump into these must-have supplies for your new kitten, let’s understand what the kittens needs in terms of supplies.
Consider the type of kitten or breed you have. What are they like in terms of personality and size?
I had to think about these things for my breed.
- Maine Coon kittens are a very unique breed due to their large size, inquisitive nature, and playful nature into adulthood.
- So Maine Coons have very great personalities with special needs for products.
- Adult Female Maine Coons range from 10 – 17lb’s and adult males 12 – 25lb’s and up! Maine Coon kittens are extra large as well.
- Chelle, my female Maine Coon was the size of an adult house cat just after a few years.
- Litter boxes can be comically small. Cat trees can tip over from the weight of a bowling ball jumping on it.
- And dainty toys are no match for Maine Coon paws, which are more than double the size of a regular cat’s.
- With a combination of curiosity and intelligence, they may become bored of products quickly after an initial honeymoon period.
Overall, don’t get discouraged if your kitten does not respond to things you buy. Us cat owners all have the experience of purchasing an item from Amazon for them, and they end up liking the box more!
Kitten Essentials – Conclusion
That’s it for this new kitten essentials list! I hope it helped you with selecting must-have items and the thought process behind them.
I’m Gary Hu, a proud cat dad to a 15 lb Maine Coon. Have taken care of outdoor and indoor cats for over 10 years, and learned tons on behavior, habits, health, and products. I help new Maine Coon (or any other cat) parents with common questions and issues based on real, practical experience.