How Much Does It Cost to Have a Cat?

By Jungla Luque, Ethologist and dog trainer. September 6, 2020
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Cat?

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Adopting a cat is a wonderful idea as your relationship and experience with them will be priceless. However, when considering getting a cat, it's very important to make sure we can provide them with all their needs. A common question future cat caregivers have is “how much does it cost to have a cat?”.

In this AnimalWised article we're going to go through the different costs of having a cat. We'll also give you a rough monthly and yearly budget of how much it can cost.

How much does it cost to adopt a cat?

The first important fee you will need to take into account is the adoption fee. This can greatly vary depending on the shelter you go to or the breed of cat you want to have.

Here at AnimalWised we always encourage our readers to opt for a mixed breed cat in an adoption centre, instead of buying them off breeders. This way, you will rescue a cat that has lost their home and give them a new life and you will also cut costs when it comes to adopting your cat. Some adoption centres work off of donations while others will ask for a small fee. This small fee is usually due to the vaccination and deworming costs. If they are adults, the veterinarians may also spray or neuter them.

On the other hand, if you want to buy a purebred cat from a breeder, the cost will be much higher. In fact, they range from $300 or more depending on the breeder and on the cat breed you want. Just as with adoption centres, the breeder must provide the cat with all the vaccination and deworming necessary. They must also provide sufficient health records, medical care, vaccinations, and documentation for your new feline friend

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Cat? - How much does it cost to adopt a cat?

Veterinary Care

Another important fee is the veterinary care. This will vary throughout your cat's life. When they are first adopted, shelters and breeders take care of the first vaccination and deworming costs. However, if you adopt a cat from a friend, you will need to make sure to bring them to the vet. Here are some veterinary care budget estimates:

  • Vaccines: $20-40
  • Deworming: $10-20
  • Spray or neuter: $50-90 for males and $100-300 for females
  • Microchip: $30-50

As a cat grows they may need more veterinary assistance as they may suffer from a disease. If you adopt an adult cat or an elder cat, we encourage you to read our article on caring for older cats.

Accessories for cats

When calculating how much it costs to have a cat, it's important to keep in mind that cats will also need certain accessories. These include a cat bed, food and water bowl, carrier, toys, litter box, etc. Here is a rough estimate as to how much they can cost:

  • Cat bed: cats will need a comfy area where they can sleep. There is a great variety of cat beds on the market, so you can choose whatever is in your budget and to your cat's liking. Keep in mind that cat's aren't usually fussy about where they sleep. In fact, many will fall asleep next to the window, on the sofa, even in a cardboard box. Nevertheless, we should provide them with a comfy area where they know they can relax and sleep. These beds will range from around $10-$100.
  • Food and water bowl: next on the list is a cat feeder. You can opt for two simple bowls, one for their fresh water and another one for their food. However, there are also more expensive items that offer high-technology perks, such as an automatic feed that reads your cat's micro-chip when they approach. This is definitely not necessary for most caregivers. We recommend you buy stain-less steel bowls, so as to avoid plastic. These can cost you from $2-10. The expensive modern feeders will cost you more than $100. Learn more in our article about the different types of bowls and feeders.
  • Carrier: a cat carrier will be necessary as you will need to bring your cat to the veterinarian for their regular check ups. Some cats even enjoy having them in the living room so they can sleep in there too. With that being said, this is usually a one-time buy as they should last your cat's entire life. The price of cat carriers vary from $15-80.
  • Litter box: another essential item when having a cat is the litter box. These are usually also a one-time buy, however sometimes we may buy another one later in our cat's life. Uncovered litter boxes are around $10, whereas covered are around $15. Modern self-cleaning litter boxes go up to $100 in price.
  • Cat litter: you will also need cat litter. These come in a large bag and are not particularly expensive. Their price is usually around $1 the kg. Therefore, you can probably find an 8kg litter bag that costs around $8-12.
  • Scratching Post: scratchers are absolutely essential for your cat. They can have very varied prices depending on the structure and size they have, since some scratchers are limited to being simple posts while others look like little castles that include shelters and other entertaining elements for your animal. This is why a small scratcher can cost approximately $10-15, while bigger ones (up to 2 meters tall) can cost $150 or more. Of course, keep in mind that this is a tool that will allow you to stimulate your cat physically and mentally, as well as ensure that it can develop such primary instincts for it as scratch marking. For this reason, we recommend opting for one with various heights, even though its price is higher.
  • Brush: although cats are very clean animals that love to groom themselves, some cats with very thick fur may need you to help them take care of their fur by brushing them often. These are usually around $5-20.
  • Toys: there are many different types of toys for cats, for example: rods, tunnels, balls, intelligence toys, etc. It's also very important to have different types of toys for our cat so they can be physically and mentally stimulated. One simply toy can range in price from $1-5. Other toys can range from $15-50. You can also opt to make your own DIY cat toys.

Check out this video where we show you the 10 best accessories for cats:

How much does cat food cost?

Your cat's diet will not only be important for their health but also to determine how much caring for a cat can cost. Some families opt for dry cat food, however, wet cat food is best for your cat's health. Learn more in our article about the healthiest wet foods for cats. n average, you can expect to pay around $120-500 on cat food annually.

Overall monthly and yearly estimate cost

Now that we have gone through the different costs when it comes to adopting and caring for a cat, it's time to see a rough estimate of how much it would cost yearly and monthly.

Please keep in mind that these estimate are rough and will depend on where you adopt your cat, what type of products you buy, where you live and the prices and that country, etc. The monthly cost is approximately $30 if you don't buy many fancy products. There are certain products you won't need to buy very often, such as a carrier or cat bed, whereas other products will need to be bought with more frequency, such as their cat food or litter.

You must also keep in mind that if your cat is experiencing symptoms and needs to go to the veterinarian, the cost that month will be more. Nevertheless, caring for a cat should be accessible for many families. This decision should always be done responsibly as many cats can live up to 16 years. If you have any more questions, we encourage you to read our other articles about caring for cats.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Cat? - Overall monthly and yearly estimate cost

If you want to read similar articles to How Much Does It Cost to Have a Cat?, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

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