Before you bring your new adopted friend home, there a few things that should already be prepared. 


  • Collar – the collar needs to fit well around the neck and two fingers should comfortably fit between the neck and the collar
  • Leash – a longer leash (especially in the beginning) is a good investment as you should not let your dog off the leash until you understand their behaviour 
  • Harness – if your dog is not used to walking on the leash, then a harness is a good choice as the pressure is distributed evenly on the body
  • ID Tag – even though your dog should have a microchip, an ID tag with your phone number helps to bring your dog back to you in case he or she runs away
  • Water bowl – a bowl for water should be available for your dog every hour of every day
  • Food bowl – a food bowl and a designated station where your dog will be fed
  • Bed/pillow – your dog wants to sleep comfortably, therefore a basket, pillow or dog bed is a good investment. He should have a designated sleeping area
  • Car harness, travelling crate or dog guard – when travelling in the car, your dog needs to be secure


  • Litter box – There should be at least as many boxes as cats, and ideally one spare
  • Opportunities for climbing – Cats enjoy occupying raised vantage points. These give them a feeling of safety while allowing them to indulge their curiosity
  • Opportunities for sleeping and withdrawing - Having a variety of options for the cat to choose from as they tend to change their preferences
  • Opportunities for scratching - For a cat, scratching is a way of sharpening their claws, marking out their turf through scents in the pads of their paws and for stress relief.
  • Water bowl – A bowl for water should always be available for the cat
  • Food bowl – A food bowl should be placed in another room than the water bowl as cats tend to prefer their food and water being separate. 

Small mammals

FOUR PAWS recommend to read specialist literature to learn the basics of keeping small mammals in a species-appropriate way.


Before you bring home your new friend, it is helpful to both you and your new animal to have appropriate equipment for them. Reading specialist literature helps to look for the right components of the starter-kit.

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