Tips for buying a new cat or kittenIs it almost time to bring home your new and long-awaited family member? How do you need to prepare? Here we share our best tips for planning for your new cat's arrival.This article was written by a FirstVet vetDid you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.✓ Included free as part of many pet insurance policies✓ Help, treatment and if you need it, a referral to your local vet✓ Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Rating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1300 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviews BOOK Cat-proof your homeThere are lots of things to think about to ensure that your home is safe for your cat. Cats and kittens are naturally inquisitive, so you can be sure that they will find their way into all sorts of places and hunt out new things to play with. Here is a list of some things that you should check:Windows and balconies: keep them closed or set up protective netsPlants: cats enjoy eating plants. Make sure that you don't have poisonous plants in the house. Some common toxic plants can be found in our article.Unsuitable items: often seen as toys by cats, these can be very dangerous. For example, electric cords, hair bands, string, balls, needles, cords and beadsToxic chemicals: examples include detergents, glycol, rat poisons, disinfectants and antifungal agentsMedications: make sure all medicines are carefully locked away so that cats cannot access them. Common tablets, such as aspirin can be fatal for a cat, and leads to blood clotting disorders, gastrointestinal and kidney damage.Robotic lawnmower: if your cat goes outdoors, robotic lawnmowers must be kept under close supervision. A curious cat could get severe injuries by getting too close to the machineThings you may need for your new catOf course, the most important thing for a cat is you, but there are some other things that you will need. Here are some things that are good to prepare in advance for their arrival:Food and water bowl (avoid plastic if possible): read our article for tips about encouraging your cat to drinkCat food: check with the breeder what your kitten is used toLitter tray and cat litterCat basket or bagHarness and lead (if you want to harness train your kitten)Scratching postToysNail clippersToothbrush and cat-specific toothpasteAccessories for grooming such as brush and shampoo (cats often prefer dry shampoo)Sign a purchase agreementAsk the breeder for a written purchase agreement, whether you are buying a domestic shorthair cat (DSH or ‘moggy’) or a purebred cat. Further information can be found at the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the UK’s largest feline registration body.Make sure your cat is insuredAn insurance policy for your new cat should be taken on the day you collect it. Check with the breeder if they have already insured their kittens prior to purchase. If your cat is ill, or has an accident, insurance is important to cover medical fees. A lifetime policy is recommended. You can read more about insurance, feeding and worming in our article about caring for your kitten, as well as everything you need to know about vaccinating cats.After Covid-19 lockdownOnce lockdown has ended, it will be important to help our pets understand that they may be left at home, or on their own, for increasing periods of time, to avoid separation anxiety and behavioural problems. We have put together some suggestions for teaching your pet how to be home alone.Good luck with your new feline friend!Still have questions?Book a video appointment to have a chat with one of our vets.