We "did" this topic here awhile back, but we've got so many new "faces"
since then, it seemed worth recycling.  Last time around it was quite
interesting picking up tips from each other on what we like to keep on
hand, and where we've found to be the best places to "stock up" on
different cat-related items.
I keep picking up new tips (and sometimes cheaper sources, too!) from other
folks every time the topic comes up somewhere... 
At the moment, I'm kinda excited about the source of FeLV/FIV combo test
kits for $7.80 each for nonprofits -- I've dropped off a box of them at the
Pierce County Humane Society (they keep FeLV tests on hand but not combos,
so this way when we "pull" cats from them they'll do the combo test for
us... for free!  Saving Siamese Rescue $32.20 per cat!)... could sure be
done with cats being done at the Feral Cat Clinic that there's hope of
placing, too.  (I found out about the IDEX program from a post here, by
the way -- thanks!!!)
- - Michelle
(URLs, and uncensored editorial comments, for the sources mentioned are at
the bottom of the list)
1. *Book: The Pill Book Guide to Medications For Your Dog and Cat
(University Books $6.99) (free shipping) (800)335-7323 -- if you only
decide to get ONE thing off this list, this should be IT!
2. *Book: Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Manual (KV or Jeffers $15.99)
3. *Book: The Cat Who Cried For Help ( or $11.65)
4. *Trap (Tomahawk, KV or ACES, $25 - $55 each)
5. *Scale (for adult cats & kittens) (about $20, Revival)
6. *Health record forms (make your own, or I have one in Word 97 I'll share
with whoever asks)
7. *Holding cage(s) approximately 2'x2'x3', bars/mesh close enough for
kittens. (Cheapest acceptable options I've found are a) a LARGE [thrift
store] Vari-Kennel, b) cages homemade from the plastic "bread trays"
bakeries deliver bread on to grocery stores, connected with those plastic
pull-lock tie thingies.  Or c) if you aren't holding small kittens, dog
training crates are great, the 2' x 2' x 3' horizontal ones have room to
put a small Kennel Cab with door propped open in back for a bed/hidey hole,
with a small litter box next to it, food & water towards the front door.
Try to get the kind with one end being a hinged door AND the top being
hinged to open also!)
8. *Airline carriers, cat-sized (thrift stores/garage sales, or OVC)
9. *Food & water dishes, glass, china or stainless (NOT plastic!  It can
leach into food & water, causing allergies [which usually manifest as skin
allergies or chin acne]) (thrift stores or garage sales)
10. *Litter boxes, large w/"frame" or "rim" preferred (note: some cats
boycott "hooded" cat boxes) (I prefer Van Ness rather than Doskocil & get
them wholesale locally but haven't found a catalog that has 'em yet; OVC
has the best deal on Doskocil at $3.78)
11. *Litter boxes, smallest (Again, I prefer Van Ness rather than Doskocil
-- they're smaller! & I get them wholesale locally but haven't found a
catalog that has 'em yet; best deal on Doskocil is OVC at $1.59)
12. *Litter scoop(s) (I prefer Feline Pine scoops even though I use
clumping litter, & get them wholesale locally but haven't found a catalog
that has 'em yet)
13. *Collar(s) (KV Vet $2.49 each)
14. *ID tags (they needn't have cats' name on them, just phone #!)
(Jeffers $2.62 engraved)
15. *Sisal scratching post(s) at least 24" (Tallest I've found mail order
is 18" at KV Vet for $12.79 -- find locally or make your own tall sturdy
16. *Cardboard scratching pad(s) (Jeffers $3.65 each)
17. *"Sticky Paws" scratching deterrent (Jeffers $12.72/pkg -- not cheap
but they WORK!)
18. *Bleach with ONLY ONE ACTIVE INGREDIENT! (i.e. no Ultra Clorox)
(grocery store, store brands or generics are likeliest to be "real"
(1-ingredient) bleach)
19. Spray bottle for bleach solution (plant mister type) (Costco, Target
20. *"Furniture Magnet" pet hair remover
21. *Oxi-Clean stain remover (works really well but must be RINSED after!)
(Costco is now carrying this, also try laundry aisle at grocery store)
22. *Pyrethrin (NOT "permethrin"!!!) flea powder or spray that's safe to
use ON cat (I don't use it on cats, though, but on bedding etc.) (KV Vet
$4.89 16 oz[?] pyrethrin spray)
23. *Claw trimmer, I like Resco or Millers Forge guillotine-style (KV Vet)
24. *Styptic powder (Jeffers, KV Vet, OVC)
25. *EverGentle slicker brush(es) (Jeffers, KV Vet, OVC)
26. *Metal comb (Jeffers, KV Vet, OVC)
27. *Flea comb (Jeffers, KV Vet, OVC)
28. *Spray disinfectant for use on brushes & combs between cats
(Jeffers, KV Vet, OVC)
29. *Inexpensive groomers' shears (KV Vet $5.89) (when cutting out mats, be
sure to "work" a comb between mat and cat's skin, then cut ABOVE the comb
to avoid cutting the cat - the remaining little bit of mat will then
brush/comb out easily)
30. *Heating pad or hot water bottle (Snuggle Safe microwave HW Bottle
KVVet $19.99; Electric Pet Bed Warmer Jeffers $22.84)
31. *Cat shampoo (Jeffers, KV Vet, OVC) (remember, read ingredients: Tea
Tree Oil, for instance, is potentially TOXIC to cats and some shampoos
containing it are nonetheless labeled for use on cats!)
32. *Spray hose for bathing (Jeffers, KV Vet, OVC)
33. *Buckets for bathing
34. *Bath towels (Garage sales/thrift stores… or, an excuse to buy new
towels for YOU!)
35. *Force-feeding syringe (KV Vet 99 cents)
36. *Nursing kit - "4 Paws" brand has MUCH better-shaped nipples for
kittens than PetAg or Borden (Jeffers $1.95' KV Vet $2.29); or splurge on
Catac nurser (KV Vet about $17)
37. *Tiny Tiger (more palatable than KMR I'm told) (WalMart pet dept.)
(editorial note from Gesine: KMR is my favorite)
38. *Pill crusher/splitter (OVC $7.25, KV Vet $10)
39. *Pill gun, med & lg pills (OVC $1.10)
40. *Pill gun, small pills (KV Vet $1.25)
41. *Hydrogen peroxide (Target etc., or
42. *Rubbing alcohol (Target etc., or
43. *Waterless disinfecting hand cleaner (KV Vet $1.09)
44. *Canned pumpkin (NOT pie mix) (grocery store) (I open can and spoon
into ice cube tray, freeze & bag up cubes of pumpkin to thaw & use 1 at a
time as needed for diarrhea or constipation)
45. *Fancy Feast Sardine, Crab & Shrimp… and other asstd Fancy Feast
flavors for tempting sick cats to eat (PetSmart)
46. *a/d canned food - this often tempts cats when even Fancy Feast doesn't
work!  (Call around to vets; this is technically prescription but seems
like they don't split hairs over it, so see who has best price)
47. *Eukanuba Maximum Calorie canned (Call around to vets; this is
technically prescription but seems like they don't split hairs over it so
see who has best price -- or more like, see who has it AT ALL)
48. *Catfood can covers (KV Vet 3/$2.59)
49. *Meat baby foods (read ingredients: NO onion powder) (grocery store)
50. *Nutri-Cal (grapevine says Nutri-Stat is less palatable) (KV Vet,
Jeffers, OVC)
51. *BUFFERED Vitamin C granules (call health food stores - the buffered is
easier on the GI tract and doesn't taste as offensive to the cats either)
52. *Pedialyte (unflavored) (grocery stores always carry it, but rarely if
ever carry SMALL bottles of unflavored; has 6-pack of 8-oz
bottles for about $12!)
53. Electra-Vite (mix-as-needed Pedialyte alternative)
(KV Vet $3.79)
54. *Vaporizer (Costco, Target etc., or
55. *Mineral oil (Target etc., or
56. *Triple antibiotic ointment (KV Vet $2.99)
57. *Terramycin ophthalmic ointment (KV Vet $6.29)
58. *"Cat Lax" hairball remedy (OVC $1.69)
59. *"Calming Essence" herbal tranquilizer
60. *Cotton balls (Target etc., or
61. *Q-tips (Target etc., or
62. *Plastic eyedropper, preferably marked in cc's (Target etc., or
63. *Flashlight or pen light (Target etc.)
64. *10-12cc syringe (for giving NutriCal, hairball goo, etc.)
(KV Vet 25 cents) (remove 1-1/2" needle & save it for drawing up Advantage,
Revolution etc. out of XL-dog dose tubes)
65. *3cc syringes w/25 gauge needles (for vaccinations) (KV Vet, OVC,
Jeffers, Revival)
66. *1cc syringes (for measuring) (KV Vet, OVC, Jeffers, Revival)
(KV Vet 22 cents each)
67. *16-18 gauge 1-1/2" needle (for drawing up Revolution, Advantage etc.)
(KV Vet, OVC, Jeffers)
68. *A few 20 gauge needles for subC fluids (KV Vet, OVC, Jeffers)
69. Rectal thermometer (or cat ear one if you're REALLY flush and can find
one!) (OVC digital: $4.19 + 50 covers $1.69; "analog" $1.99)
70. *K-Y Jelly (KV Vet $1.69)
71. *Silica aquarium gravel (NOT sharp) (for getting urine specimens)
(your local pet/aquarium supply store, you want 5-10#)
72. Squeeze side cage (for vaccinating/pilling feral cats)(Tomahawk or
ACES, $70 - $269 each) (note: the restraint modules' claim to fame is that
a second person isn't needed.  Not true, at least not with the one from
73. FeLV/FIV "combo" test kits (if you're with a 501(c)3 nonprofit, you can
buy these direct from the manufacturer, IDEXX, for $7.80 per kit in
packages of 30; call 800/248-2483 and get your regional sales rep's name
and extension number, and have them send you a nonprofit account
application.  You will need to return it to them with a copy of your IRS
501(c)3 letter and they will set you up an account, just that easy!)
74. *FVRCP vaccine and/or FVRCP+FeLV vaccine (my current 1st choice is
Revival, 2nd choice OVC - NEVER Jeffers for vaccines!!!)
75. Epinephrine (in case of anaphyllactic shock reaction to vaccine) (KV
Vet $3.59)
76. *Revolution (for ear mites) (Australian site: AU$51 [approx. US$26.47
US] for 3 large-dog pipettes [includes shipping] which will do about 15
adult cats at a cost of about $1.76 US per cat)
77. *Ivermectin injectable (I prefer 0.27% strength, easier to measure
those tiny dosages)  KV Vet, OVC or Revival (Read it up in the Pill Book
first!!!  Also, the "grapevine" says don't use on Persians, Persian mix or
white cats.)
78. *Frontline or Advantage (for fleas if Revolution not used for mites)
(Australian site: Frontline AU$34 Australian [approx. US$17.65] for 3
extra-large-dog pipettes [includes shipping] which will do 24 cats at a
cost of about US$0.74 per cat) (Advantage is fastest to kill fleas, but
Frontline is waterproof - good for ferals - and may have some effectiveness
against ear mites in addition to fleas.)
79. *"Pyrantel Pamoate Liquid" 8 oz. $12.95 for enough to do 240-480 adult
cats at a cost per dose of 8 cents or less [16 cents or less for requisite
2 doses 7-10 days apart) (this is the stuff the vets refer to under the
brand name "Strongid," used for roundworms and hookworms) (KV Vet)
80. *Cestex or Droncit (for tapes) (Australian site: AU$24 [approx.
US$12.46] for 10 "Tapewormer Tablets" [includes shipping] - same active
ingredient as Droncit -- which will do about 20 adult cats at a cost of
about US$0.62 per cat)
81. *Amoxicillin (KV Vet "Tropica-mox" (100) 250 mg capsules labeled for
aquarium use $8.95 for enough to dose about 20 adult cats twice a day for 7
days at a cost per cat of about 75 cents US)
82. *Pet-tinic vitamins or equivalent (Iron, copper, B-complex) (KV Vet)
83. *Lactated Ringer's (this is a prescription item - need to get from a
vet, or get an Rx and mail order from KV Vet)
84. "IV Set" (tubing set for use with Ringer's above - this part is NOT Rx)
(KV Vet $2.85)
85. *Catnip
86. *Toys (esp interactive)
87. *Cat furniture OR assorted empty cardboard boxes & paper grocery bags
€ "Pet Supplies OnLine" (aka "Australian site")
note: prices shown are in Australian dollars; right now US$0.48 = AU$1
handy currency converter is at
I've ordered from him many times, as have many other people on the
feral_cats email list.  All of us have been delighted with his quick
responses to questions, fast shipping, accurately-pulled orders, and
generally top-notch customer service.  Stuff arrives here (Pacific
Northwest) 8-9 days after I order via email.  Friends on the US East Coast
tend to get theirs even faster.
€ KV Vet Supply
About the widest selection of the catalog outfits, often have the best
prices, reliable, usually "in-stock" on stuff, free shipping on orders over
$40.  This is my "default" company to order from for the majority of my cat
supplies (except for the stuff carried on the Australian site, which is the
€ Omaha Vaccine Company (OVC)
Been around a long time, nothing special but pretty reliable.
€ Revival Animal
I've been VERY pleased with their handling of vaccine orders.  Haven't
ordered anything else from them yet.
€ Jeffers Pet Supply
Jeffers is often cheaper than the competition on the items they carry;
however their "in-stock" track record is poor, their customer service is
inconsistent (at BEST!), and their shipping of vaccines (and apparent
intention to return vaccines that have wandered around the country in the
heat for a week at a time to their stock to resell to the next unknowing
customer) is sometimes hair-raising.  I would NEVER get vaccines from
Jeffers, and probably not order anything I needed in a timely fashion
there, but I might order non-perishable stuff I wasn't desperate for.
€ Tomahawk Live Trap
Their "economy" cat trap is nice and light to handle, and pretty
serviceable.  Their regular cat traps have been a standby for feral cat TNR
folks for years.
€ University Books (free shipping) (800)335-7323
I've ordered from them and always been satisfied.