Best Things to Buy for Your New Cat on a Low Budget

Bringing home a new kitten or cat can be exciting, but there is a bit of prep work required. There are some things that you’re going to need to buy for your new cat when you get them home or even before.

feeding new cat

Thankfully though, this list can be done pretty easily on a budget. Most cats have fairly ordinary tastes, and you won’t have to break the bank to provide everything that they need. There are basic supplies like bowls and a litter box which you’ll need to buy, but these are one-off costs. Even beyond that, it is possible to get everything that you need for a cat on a budget, including toys and activities.

Picking up everything that you need to bring a new cat home shouldn’t take too long. Essentially, you’re getting supplies to welcome in a new member of your household and family. These are just the things they need to have to live at your home. This isn’t like you’re stocking up just to cater to a visitor! Instead, you’re making your home habitable for your new cat. Part of doing that is to remove things that could be dangerous to them, and another part is making sure that they have everything that they need.

This is a shopping list for the things you’ll need to buy for your new cat but on a budget. This is everything you’re going to need while watching the total cost. It is possible to make savings without sacrificing on quality, so you just have to make sure you’re shopping for your cat’s supplies wisely.

The Things You’ll Need to Buy for Your New Cat on a Budget


Of course one of the first things that your cat needs is some food to eat! The type of food you need to buy for a new cat coming home is dependent on a few things, so this is what you need to think about:

  • What Do They Already Eat? – Your cat should be kept on whatever type of food they’re already eating at first. This is just for the first few weeks as they settle in. Often you’ll get a short supply of the same food when you pick your cat up. However, having some in hand is a good idea. You can then gradually transition them to the new food of your choice.
  • Kitten Food – If your new cat is a kitten, then they’ll need to eat kitten food rather than regular cat food until they grow up. Kitten food has a different composition than regular cat food. While it provides all of the protein that they need to grow, it is formulated to be easier on their stomachs. Iams Kitten food is great for a kitten when you’re sticking to a budget, any food like with a high protein content is going to be god for them.
  • Adult Food – If your new cat is an adult or old enough to transition to adult food soon, then you’ll need different food. You have a lot of options when it comes to adult cat food. You’ll need something high in protein. Buying in bulk makes it a lot more budget-friendly. Something like this is great for combining quality with price. This guide covers what you need to know in more detail too.

You can get all of these items pretty easily on a budget. Cat food is an ongoing expense, but it is possible to get something healthy without paying too much.

Food and Water Bowls

new cat eating for a cat food bowl

Getting your cat’s food is essential, but so is finding something for them to eat and drink out of! Food and water bowls are one of the most basic things you’re going to need when you bring your new cat home. Getting a pair on a budget is pretty simple, but there are some things you should keep in mind when you’re finding them.

  • Try to avoid plastic dishes for your cat. They can give them a rash, but also they’re easily scratched. Once scratched, they become a good home for bacteria! This can make them a bit of a hazard if not treated right. Stainless steel or ceramic are probably your best choices if you want to keep things sanitary.
  • A plain ceramic bowl can be bought on a budget. Keep in mind though that a cat’s bowl is a permanent thing, this is going to be a one-off cost.

A simple ceramic bowl like this is going to work great and still fit within a low budget.

Litter Box and Litter

cat litter

Most cats won’t need much toilet training at all, provided you give them a litter box and some litter. This is an area where you can get stuff very easily on a budget. Although, low-quality boxes and litter will lead to a lot of clumping, a lot of mess, and they won’t hide the smell particularly well either. You need to go for something high-quality. This is what you’re going to need here:

  • Litter box – There is a lot more choice in litter boxes than new cat owners might be aware of.  If you’re doing things on a budget, then a well-made tray is going to be the priority. Go for something pretty large. Your cat is better off using a box too big for them while they grow than needing to replace it after a few months. A basic but large litter box is probably the best choice if you’re on a budget.
  • Litter – You’ve got a lot of choice for the material to use for litter. However, this might be a bit more trial and error. Try to avoid clay litter since they can be dangerous to cats if accidentally ingested. It is also not healthy for anyone to breathe around. Go for something natural. Buying in bulk is also a lot better if you’re watching your budget.

This is a litter box that is going to fit all of these needs on a budget, it is big enough, safe, and will contain everything. Simple litter like this can be absorbent without having any negative effects.

Bed and Toys

cat sleeping in a cat bed

Litter and food are clear essentials for bringing a new cat home, but there are a few other things you’ve got to think about. Your cat is going to need a bed and some toys. While cats can sleep on your furniture and play with you, it is for the best that they have a space of their own too! A bed will give them a comfortable and safe space just for them, this is important for helping your kitten settle in well. Toys can also give them stimulation when you’re not around, or give the two of you something to play with together. This is what you should get on a budget:

  • Bed – Much like buying your cat a litter box or bowls, a good bed should be a one-off cost. A bed is going to make things a lot nicer for your cat when they first get home. If you’re on a budget, go for something that is large enough for an adult cat. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just somewhere safe for your pet. Something like this would be a good and cost-effective choice.
  • Toys – Toys can be quite a bit more complicated. It can be difficult to know which toys your cat is going to enjoy playing with until you’ve spent some time with then. However, most cat toys are relatively inexpensive. This means you can get your cat quite a few toys to play with even if you’re on a limited budget. For toys, things like these small mice, a kong to put treats in, and a mobile to entice them to play are all great choices for a kitten.

Scratching Point

cat playing in a catio on a cat ree

This can fall under toys, but it is really more of a utility. Your cat is going to need to scratch things, if you don’t provide a post they’ll find something else to scratch! A simple scratching post like this will suffice while keeping to a budget. Further down the line, a scratching post integrated to a cat tree or some cat furniture can be a good upgrade. For when you first bring your cat home though, something simple like that will work on a budget.

What Else Do You Need to Budget for When Bringing a Cat Home?

little kitten sleeping

That is everything that you’re going to need to buy on a budget to prepare for your cat coming home. However, there are a few other things that you might have to budget for. These aren’t things that you have to buy, but you should factor the cost in when you’re setting things up for your cat to avoid any surprises.

  • Vet Appointment – When you first bring a cat home, they’re going to need some vaccinations if they’re a kitten. Even an adult cat should have a health check when you first bring them home from somewhere else. You should factor the cost of this in and figure out which vet you’re going to take your cat too.
  • Flea and Worm Treatment – Flea and worm treatment can be administered by a vet, but you also apply it at home. This is relatively inexpensive, but whether you have an indoor cat or outdoor they will need protection against fleas and parasites.
  • Cat Carrier – To take your cat to the vet, you’re going to need to bring them in a cat carrier. You’ll likely get a lot of use out of this over time, for example when you take them to the vet. Something sturdy and simple can be gotten relatively cheaply.

That’s everything that you’re going to need to bring a new cat or kitten home. It is possible to get all of this while keeping things on a low budget. If you go for quality and value, you can get supplies for your cat that is going to last and help your cat settle into their new home.

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