(Closed) Cost of Cat

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
7176 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

When you get a cat/kitten, remember that you have to spend some time really wearing it out before bed.  Otherwise it gets lonely and wants to mess with everything.  When we got our first kitten, he would keep us up at all hours until we got him another cat to play with.  Now we sleep soundly 🙂

Post # 3
1840 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

My cat has been inexpensive compared to my dogs (who happen to have racked up lots of vet bills).  For my cat, recurring costs also include regular hairball preventative with her food, and monthly heartworm preventative.  I also find myself purchasing toys for my pets all the time.  

Post # 4
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I really like that you’re taking the financial aspect into account rather than just blindly following your whims and adopting an animal you will be responsible for for the rest of its life. Sorry, but people who do that and then are shocked by the expense really make me mad. Especially when they can’t afford vet bills or have to rehome their pets.

You’ve probably overestimated the cost of food, but that’s not a bad thing. My adult cat gets 1/2 a can of wet food per day and all of the dry food her little heart desires. I usually order her two bags of Purina One from Target when they have a buy 2, get a $5 gift card deal. It takes her seven months to go through 14 lbs of food. I either buy her wet food in bulk from BJ’s or stock up when there’s a sale at the grocery store or Target. 

The big thing is to make sure you put money aside for vet bills since that’s unpredictable. You should take the kitten in for regular shots and heartwork treatment so those visits you can plan for. You can call a vet in your area and ask for an estimated breakdown of costs for those routine visits. Just be prepared for the unexpected vet bills. I once had to take my cat in due to black scabs all over her chin. I thought she had cancer or something horrifying. Turns out she just had acne! Another cat of mine had a chronic ear infection that didn’t clear up for over two months. That was two months of follow-up visits and new treatments until she was healed.

And since you’re getting a kitten, expect some things in your home to be damaged that might need to be replaced. You may need to buy extras like spray to deter the kitten from clawing up your furniture, carpet cleaner designed for pet messes for any accidents, etc. And, as a PP mentioned, toys to keep the kitten occupied. Plus it’s fun to buy cute toys so you might find yourself impulse buying them when you’re at the store.

Post # 5
1264 posts
Bumble bee

This is the cost breakdown for our cat per month:

Food: $25

Litter: $22

Water filter for his fountain: $15 every 6 months 

Pet insurance: $18 per month 

Annual vet visit: $120


Time wise he’s a pretty mellow independent cat  now that he’s 2 and out of the kitten stage. Like PP I find myself buying him toys and catnip almost monthly

Post # 6
919 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Scratching posts are surprisingly expensive for what they are (around $60 for smallish ones) and unlike cat beds or toys, they aren’t optional. You’ll definitely need a number of scratching posts over your cat’s lifetime, so I’d factor that cost in as well.

I’d also have $100 or so handy when you first get the kitten to account for incidentals or unforeseen behavior issues. As an example, if the kitten pees outside of the litter box, you’ll need to go buy specific cat pee cleaner for that. 

By far the most expensive part is when you’re “ramping up,” so to speak. Most of your cost is going to be in the first couple of weeks when you have to get some longterm supplies (like bowls, mats, brushes, etc) and when you’re getting the cat’s initial shots. If the kitten isn’t already neutered/spayed, you’ll also want to get that done when they’re 3-6 months old. Some low cost places are able to do the procedure for about $50-100. Vets tend to run more in the $500 range, but in my experience, that can vary a lot. 

Post # 7
1264 posts
Bumble bee

Right, scratching things! Our cat prefers the cardboard ones to the rope ones but he has both and uses them. We also purchased a cat tree recently and those can get quite pricey. 

Post # 8
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

View original reply
bretagne422 :  Great point about the scratching post! My cat is weirdly picky about hers and only likes a certain shape and type. It HAS to be covered in carpet. Rope or cardboard just will not do for my princess. Of course, that means it took several purchases of different types to find the one she’ll actually use. That kind of stuff is expensive at first as you’re getting to know your pet.

Post # 9
2521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

The thing that can throw the cost of a pet over the edge is medical bills- some of which is unpredictable.  But you can ask a local vet about the cost of spay/neutering, declawing if you plan on doing that, vaccines (especially important if you plan on letting your cat outside).  Pure bred cats tend to have lots of health issues and remedy/treatment for them is extremely expensive.  My parents had a long hair cat once whose fur was impossible to groom- and it always turned up super knotted no matter how hard we tried (which caused her pain from the impossible to get out knot pulling on her and skin problems)- we had to take her a few times a year to the groomer.  Cats are much harder to groom than dogs (not only do many put up with it less, but there skin is paper thin and wrips- a bad grooming job could kill a cat)- so you have to find a groomer with a special licence for cats, which costs several hundred dollars a cut.  That being said- cats are amazing companions, but pets are just expensive in general and impossible to completely plan for (much like kids!).  

One word of advice- I wouldn’t spend much money on cat toys.  Every single kitten I’ve ever met usually could care less about a cat toy you’ve spent money on, but then find a bottle cap, a scrap of paper, or some other random junk in the house and go nuts- hours of entertainment (my cat’s favorite thing was a ball of tinfoil and half of a plastic easter egg- and she had a billion cat toys so go figure).  

Post # 10
1298 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

My cats are also fairly inexpensive, I have two and one is a purebred 

£30 per month cat food (I subscribe and save from amazon)

£10 for cat litter (they’re outdoors so it’s just for emergencies)

£20 for vet plan – covers flea treatment, worms, booster jags and discount for vet appointments

£35 for insurance 

Post # 11
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

For my cat I bought glass bowls $2 each food $20 bed $10 cardboard scratcher $14 collar $8 nametag $4 litter $16 litter box with hood $40. At petco they sell litter that you can refill for $6. Also at petco if you tell them that you got a new kitten you’ll receive a coupon book. On average I am spending $25 every other month for litter and food. Vaccines I get from petco for $55 and I went to a spray clinic and spent $150. 

Post # 12
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

piece of advice – GET PET INSURANCE. i thought it sounded stupid… until my beloved little guy got gum disease and it cost TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to fix his poor little teeth. i shit you not. GET PET INSURANCE!!

Post # 14
6907 posts
Busy Beekeeper

View original reply
lauralaura123 :  A bag of food lasts my cat for a couple of months at about 20 bucks, plus now that she’s older (and stopped puking it up) she gets one container of wet a day – a 24 pack is about 9 when it’s not on sale.  So in total, significantly less than you are thinking per month to feed a cat, though of course it depends on the food you get.

Remember your initial and annual expenses as well: toys, food, bowls, maybe a cat fountain, scratching post, carrier and of course vet bills (I see you intentionally left that out but I’ll say it anyway) – spay/neuter and shots, then the yearly checkup.  Heck at age 12 mine just cost me $400 to get three teeth removed due to gingivitis.  She hates or barfs treats so her teeth weren’t in the best shape as she never gets any.  Also maybe occasional pet-sitting?

The fun part is when you waste money on things you think the cat will love only to get ignored.  Mine didn’t like the cardboard scratcher and ignores most toys. She liked catnip for a whole day.  She’s totally into feathers on a string and packing paper, though.  Her ‘sister’ was an indiscriminate kleptomaniac who stole slippers and anything else that happened to be on the floor.

ETA: I did not have pet insurance and thought I got screwed over at 400 bucks.  Guess I’m mistaken!  phew

Post # 15
237 posts
Helper bee

My cat costs significantly less than my two dogs.

Keep into account the upfront vet costs associated with a new pet (neutering, vaccinations, etc.), as well as other potentialy suprise vet costs if he/she gets sick. 

Other than that, I’d say you probably overestimate the cost of food. I’m in Canada, and feed my cat an organic food. I usually go through a bag every six weeks and that bag costs me  $25 (so roughly $20 american)


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