Getting a pet is just the first step. There's all kinds of equipment that you'll need – little things like nail trimmers, pet shampoo, tags, leashes and harnesses, medications and vitamins. You'll also want to protect your pet from ticks, heartworms, fleas and other pests. For cats, there are all kinds of solutions to the litter box issue – some pretty high tech and some just, well, a box. The high-tech solutions are more expensive and, if they don't work right, can turn out to be a lot more trouble. Don't worry. Your cat will make its wishes known.

Most of these items are pretty straightforward but there's always controversy swirling around some of the anti-tick and flea treatments. Also, shampoos and soaps can be problematic for some pets. They're just like people, after all. Some are thick-skinned, some not so much.

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Laura of Marquette, MI

I am a 55 year old retired army officer having two dogs and a cat. Since, I get a limited pension it becomes very imperative ...

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