As a cat owner, these are supplies I can’t live without, for quality of life purposes for both myself and my cat. Whether you have a new kitten and you’re not sure what to get, or you have an old furball that needs an extra toy, this is the essential list of cat accessories for your pet.  There’s a plethora of practical, aesthetically pleasing and cat-friendly products out there and I’ve put this together from my most used items for Ysera from the past year. Most of these are very cheap and inexpensive!

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I wanted to cull the list down to just ten but I really couldn’t so here they are, starting with the absolute essentials to my (and my cat’s) most favorite item:

11. Food and water bowl tray

This tray prevents dry food from scattering all over the kitchen and dining area

I place Ysera’s food and water bowl on this tray to prevent a mess on the floor. There are probably better-looking trays out there but this purchase is still essential for me because it’s effective. My only gripe about this product as a pet food tray is that although the lip of the tray keeps things in, it’s hard to clean because of the grooves. I can’t just wipe it down but I have to rinse it out in the tub. Also, it’s a bit large so make sure you take measurements before purchasing.

10. Reusable lint roller

This reusable lint roller has a little chamber to collect hair and dust

I also have the regular sticky lint rollers that everyone has but they’re only good for a few spins and for some reason I can’t tear off the sheets very well. I used to have a similar product to this one but it was small and I wanted something a bit larger to remove cat hair off my bean bag chair and other furniture. Plus, this one has a little chamber to collect hair and dust so I don’t have to keep pulling out fur from its fibers every 3 seconds. I wouldn’t say it’s the best for clothes, but it pulled off the fur from my futon in a jiffy! The only negative feedback I have is that it’s not ideal for leather furniture or any other smooth surface because its fabric “teeth” won’t have anything to sink into. It gets a little messy when you’re emptying the trap so just make sure you have plenty of space over the trashcan while you do it.

9. Litter genie

Basically a second trashcan for my bathroom that’s dedicated for cat poop

I already have a small trashcan with a lid in my bathroom (which is where I have the litter box) so I wasn’t really sure if needed this and I didn’t even know what it was at first. Most of my life I’ve lived in an apartment complex with either a trash chute or a community dumpster. So I would just scoop, put the matter in the regular bathroom trashcan and maybe after a few days I would collect that with the other trash around my place and throw it out. I basically had poop laying around for a few days at a time in the trash (I don’t have a lot of guests). Seems fine until you start smelling it or it’s summer and the flies start to gather in the bathroom. Now instead of that, I just use this litter genie to store all the poop until it’s full and ready to be thrown out. There’s a bag cutter on the inside of the container, so there’s barely any smell when you need to change it, and you can avoid touching anything icky.

8. Free feeding stainless steel bowl

Stainless steel bowl to prevent cat acne

Ysera doesn’t overeat and she’s still a lean kitty so I let her free feed. It was difficult to find a stainless steel dry food bowl that was also a gravity feeder. Although the container is plastic, the bowl is stainless steel, which is more sanitary for her chin which is prone to cat acne.  I bought the Medium-sized one and I find myself refilling it about once a month. I’ve read a few complaints that this doesn’t dispense the food very well but that hasn’t been an issue for me (with Natural Balance Cat Food) — plus, Ysera kind of helps herself by pawing at the food in the back to help it get going. Good hunter kitty!

7. Trapped ball cat toy

This toy makes me think my cat’s not the sharpest tool in the shed

I like this toy because Ysera will spend hours (ok, not hours but definitely minutes) stalking and pushing the balls around in this toy and sometimes she even pops one out and chases it around the living room. Definitely a safe cat toy that she won’t accidentally eat. She does move it across the floor as she’s playing with it but it doesn’t bother either of us!

6. Hanging cat condo

The perfect, compact cat tree for small spaces

I love this cat tree because I can hang it on any door and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It was easy to install and I bought the small one which is perfect for 1 cat. The only problem with this cat tree is that although it checks off the box for giving a cat its vertical space, it’s not meant to satisfy its desire to scratch and be used to pull itself upwards like climbing a real tree. However, Ysera loves climbing inside of it and up to the top. When I first started using this, it had a very strong odor which deterred the cat but it went away after a few weeks.

5. Non-ugly cat furniture

A cat tree that doesn’t look horrendous

Ok, I did splurge on this because I just hated the idea of having a bunch of 2x4s covered in carpet in my living room. This is definitely a luxury and not an essential, unless you also cringe at the sight of carpet towers. Ysera absolutely loves clawing up the sisal-wrapped pole and pawing at the dangling cat toy. I love it because it’s beautifully made and I’m not ashamed to have it in the middle of my apartment.

4. Springs cat toy

A spring toy that my cat can’t eat

It’s ridiculously hard to find cat toys that don’t have feathers or fur that falls apart easily. I made the mistake of letting Ysera play with feather toys which she’s slowly nibbled away at while I wasn’t looking, and with stuffed toys that fell apart. My coworker recommended these to me and these springs are great because not only do they roll and bounce around on hard surfaces easily (which leads her to chase) but she also loves batting them around all over the apartment and carrying them in her mouth from place to place. Definitely a cheap, must-have toy for every cat!

3. Interactive cat toy

A safe interactive cat toy with no feathers

Don’t get an interactive cat toy with feathers if you plan on leaving it out for your cat to play with while you’re not looking because they’ll just eat it! This interactive cat toy has no feathers, and the one featured here can be stuck on the wall or taken off for you to play with your cat. If this one isn’t available, there’s another Cat Dancer without the wall mount. Does it really make your cat dance? I would say yes! Ysera always makes funny cackling sounds when I take it off the wall to play with her because she gets so excited. With just a flick of the wrist, the natural springiness of the wire does all the work while your cat is mesmerized by the cardboard pieces on the end that mimics the movement of an insect, in my opinion.

2. Cat scratcher

A cardboard cat scratcher

Any sort of scratching post is essential for cats with claws (especially if you don’t want them to scratch your furniture). I like this one in particular because it doesn’t have an opening in the center, which feels like wasted space that can’t be utilized (I actually have a similar cat scratcher but I regret my purchase because there’s all that surface area in the center that can’t be used). I have a daily routine with Ysera in that whenever I come home from work, she comes out of her hiding spot and we both go over to her scratching post together where she can stretch and scratch!

1. Pellet litter system

The best cat litter system, hands down

A coworker recommended this to me when I first got Ysera and I love this cat litter because it’s so much cleaner than regular litter. It’s also less smelly, and doesn’t kick up any dust when you clean it. I also spend less time at the cat litter box because I only need to pick up poop, not hunt for pee clumps because the pee drains down to the pee pad below. The litter is replaced every month and the pee pad is changed out every week. It may not work for older cats who are used to regular litter but if you have a kitten, start with this and you won’t regret it. I’ve used regular cat litter before and eventually, the cat litter tracked all over the apartment and I spent a ton of time cleaning and exerting effort trying to find the right products to prevent that from happening. Japan has many more types of cat litter than we do in America and it’s much more common over there to use a pellet system. Until that catches on in America, there is an alternative if you still find the pellets to be too expensive — you can use this paper cat litter instead of the pellets because they are the same diameter so they won’t fall through the slots on the bottom of the litter box but they do absorb the smell and break down into the pee pad. I’ve also read that you can reuse/wash the pellets, but I have not tried that myself.  I still think this Purina Breeze Cat Litter Box System is totally worth it and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a cat!

A couple of pieces that I’m still looking for, to purrrfect my cat collection are:

  • A stainless steel or ceramic electric water fountain that isn’t too big
  • A good cat brush that I don’t have to pick at every 3 seconds
  • A cat carrier
  • More feather-free, durable interactive cat toys

If you have any suggestions, or have had success with any of the products from my list, feel free to comment below!