Since 2002, 8 August has marked International Cat Day – an annual event celebrating all things feline.
It was originally created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare which works to raise awareness for felines, from big cats to domestic pets, and educate people on how to care for and protect them.
As of 2020, Wiltshire-based charity International Cat Care are now custodians of the event, and it’s a day to unite cat lovers and learn more about the varied species.
If you’ve been a cat owner for a long time, you have everything you need to keep them happy at home. But if spending more time at home over the last couple of years has inspired you to adopt or buy a new furry friend, you need to dress up to prepare for your new arrival.
There are a handful of essential products worth buying to make your life easier, while others will keep your cat happy and entertained. From toys to collars, here are the must-have products to stock up on.
While collars make it easy to identify your cat if it ever goes missing, they can also be helpful in maintaining your cat’s health. Plus, your furry friend will look super cute while wearing one.
This soft Beaphar velor cat flea collar (£4.25, Petsathome.com) is more than just a simple collar.
It contains an insecticide that kills fleas and prevents them from returning for up to four months, making it a great multitasking product for your pet. It is also adjustable for a comfortable fit.
Designed for cats and kittens over 12 weeks, it also comes with a silver bell, which is ideal if your cat likes to curl up in enclosed spaces you might miss around your home.
We also love this red tartan cat collar (£7.99, Coolcatcollars.co.uk) which has a safety release quick release buckle and a removable bell.
When pulled, it will open without harming either your cat or the buckle, perfect if your pet ever gets stuck in a tree.
Handcrafted in the UK, the McGregor Scottish tartan design is approved by the Scottish Tartan Society and is also fully adjustable. Your furry friend would look great in it.
While most domestic cats can do their business outside, a litter tray is also useful for preventing accidents and reducing bladder and bowel problems, if for some reason they can’t get outside.
This Trixie vico easy-clean domed litter tray (£23.95, Amazon.co.uk) will do the job.
It has a hood and filter to keep odors in, door flap and scoop for easy cleaning and is made with a double edge that will keep any – ahem – liquids splashed off the tray.
If you have a larger cat, try this large cat litter tray (£12, Argos.co.uk), which comes without a hood but still has a litter shield.
For a cozy night’s sleep and endless naps throughout the day (we wish we had the luxury), make sure your cat has her own place to snooze.
This Purrshire felt cat stool (£24.99, Petplanet.co.uk) is ideal as it keeps pet hair off your carpet or wooden floor, but provides a soft and comfortable resting place. We also love the minimalist style of the design.
Covered in durable felt with wooden legs, it’s both sturdy and stylish, and the design means your furry friend can nestle into the pod or sit on top if they’re feeling more adventurous.
For a style that’s more open, try this Omlet Maya donut cat bed (£24.99, Omlet.co.uk). The soft faux fur cat bed provides relaxing naps for the cat, while the cover is washable to keep the bed fresh.
Available in 15 colours, you can choose the right finish for your home.
Bowls and biscuits
If you fancy a splash, treat your cat to this Gibraltar Single Wall Pet Bowl (£9.99, Lordsandlabradors.co.uk) which will also make a stylish addition to your kitchen floor.
It’s shatterproof and dishwasher safe, it’s easy to clean and it’s deep enough that your cat (hopefully) won’t spill water on the surrounding floor.
For those days when you’re out of the house, or perhaps staying overnight for a much-needed stay, this Trixie Automatic Pet Food Dispenser (£26.99, Amazon.co.uk ) will come in handy.
It’s also useful for managing your diet, as you can program four portions in advance containing a portion size of 240ml, including wet food.
There is also a cover over the top of the control panel, which will stop your cat from accidentally changing the settings with a curious paw. To clean, just pop in the dishwasher.
The water fountain
Staying hydrated is important for cats, but many are fussy about the water they drink – and that’s where water fountains come in. These devices circulate the water through a filter, providing your furry friend with a steady supply of clean, running water.
Catit’s pixi smart drinking fountain (£82, Argos.co.uk) took the crown in our round-up. “This remarkable cat water fountain combines advanced smartphone-controlled features with a simple and efficient design,” said our tester. “Another key benefit of this fountain was that it is perhaps the quietest electric option we’ve tested.”
Cats can be attention-seeking creatures, as such toys are a great way to keep them entertained, stimulated and happy. In our round-up of cat toys, PetSafe’s Peek-a-Bird Electronic Cat Toy (£30.99, Petsafe.net) took first place.
“This little white bird is a WFH savior. When turned on, a yellow feather sticks out on either side of the device in random motions, making it a delight for cats to watch and play with,” said our tester.
If you have a medium to long-haired cat, regular brushing will help keep the coat in good condition and reduce matting. It is also a useful way to regularly check for fleas and ticks.
This Pecute double-sided pet grooming brush (£13.99, Amazon.co.uk) is perfect for all coats.
Use the rounded pins on one side to remove tangles of dead undercoat hair and the bristle side to get rid of dander and dust.
Designed to pick up excess hair without harming your cat, it is soft to the touch and gentle on delicate skin.
Cats have a natural urge to scratch as it helps them remove unwanted material from their claws, so if you want to prevent them from ruining your furniture, a dedicated scratching post is a good buy.
This adorable cat scratching and resting station (£45, Argos.co.uk) will keep your cat entertained for hours.
It has a carpeted base, scratching post, hanging toys and sitting platform so they can relax, keep their claws trimmed and stretch their muscles.
Should you be shopping on a budget, Amazon has a large pet section and it includes this 16in cat scratching post (£12.99, Amazon.co.uk).
A simple rod design with spring mounts, it won’t take up much space if you have limited space and will help naturally shorten their claws.
For trips to the vet, moving, or if you’re taking your cat with you on your stay, make sure you have a carrier for safe, secure and easy transport.
In our guide to the best cat carriers, we loved this Catit Cabrio turquoise pet carrier (£55, Catit.com).
It’s ideal if you struggle to get your cat into the carrier, as it has a see-through front door and a roof made up of two hinged halves, so you can place them down in it instead of trying to coax them through the door.
According to our reviewer, it is very solidly built, and it provides a nice, wide viewing window for the cat to look out of and the owner into.
Dealing with fleas
Fleas are a nuisance that can seriously damage your pet’s health if not properly cared for, as they can transmit bacteria and parasites, cause hair loss and leave your cat with irritated and red skin.
This Frontline spot-on flea treatment for cats (£14.64, Petdrugsonline.co.uk) is a monthly solution for the treatment and prevention of flea and tick infestations as well as lice.
Available in packs of three or six, the treatment comes in dropper form, each capable of 0.5ml of fipronil, an insecticide that kills fleas.
The brand suggests applying the treatment by parting the fur between the shoulder blades until the skin is visible, then placing the tip of the dropper on the skin and squeezing gently to empty the contents onto the skin in two spots; one at the base of the skull and one, two or three centimeters further back.
Just make sure it’s in a place where your cat won’t lick it off, and avoid bathing your pet for two days after treatment.
If you are looking for other products for your furry friend, visit our pet section for more reviews