Owning and raising a kitten or cat can be an extremely rewarding experience. They offer companionship, affection and humor. It is also a great learning experience to be able to learn how to properly look after a pet. In saying this, it is important to know how much it will cost to raise a kitten and whether you are in a position to be able to give your cat the best life possible. To determine where you are on the scale of pet owning ability, it is wise to look at the cost of the first year of ownership as this will help to determine whether you are financially cut out for a cat. The first year is definitely the most expensive year of pet ownership and this is the year that deals with most of the predictable costs associated with owning a cat.
Approximate first year expenses and costs
- De-sexing: Approximately $115-$300, cost dependant on any complexities
- Flea and worming treatment: $100
- Micro-chipping: $60
- Council registration: $23 for de-sexed cat
- Kitten vaccinations: $170-$200
- Bed and Carry cage: Between $50-$100
- Collar and bell: $20
- Food and bowls: $350 upwards, depending on the quality of food that you buy
- Tray and litter: $130-$180
- Toys, Treats and Scratching Post: $20-$300
The first year of owning a kitten will cost you approximately $1,150-$3,570. In saying that, if you were to rescue a kitten or cat from an animal shelter the cost of vaccinations, de-sexing, registration and worm and flea treatment will usually be taken care off beforehand so you can minus these costs from the total of the first year. With this in mind, seriously consider rescuing a cat or kitten. Not only does it give the animal a second shot at a great life but it can also save you a lot of money.
Cats are financially cheaper to own then dogs, they usually weigh less, eat less and require less attention and exercise, and so they are definitely a great choice. In saying that, they have been known to live for 20 years, so be prepared for ongoing expense’s to occur throughout the potentially long life of your feline friend. A predominate reason cat’s are surrendered or are left on the street to fend for themselves is because the owner of the cat was not prepared for the expense of the life of their cat and sadly can no longer afford to keep their cat. It is important to keep all of these constant expenses in mind before taking on a cat of your own. Ongoing costs that are associated with owning a cat continue as follows for the remaining years of a cat’s life.
Ongoing costs of owning a cat
- Flea and worming treatment: $100-$150
- Annual vaccinations and vet check: From $80
- Grooming: $50
- Litter: $120 upwards
- Food: Approximately $370 upwards
- Toys and treats: $30 upwards
With keeping these costs in mind, the minimum total of costs per year of owning a cat would be approximately $880. This is not taking into consideration any unplanned vet trips or anything else that can go astray with owning a pet from accidents to wounds from nighttime fighting.
It is also a good idea to seriously consider pet insurance. It may seem like another initial cost but it could save you thousands of dollars if you unexpectedly end up at the vet. Insurance costs can vastly range, but usually range from $200 to $550 per year, depending on what you decide to get your pet covered for.
Another good way to keep costs down per year is to buy your cat’s food and litter in bulk. Cat owners who have done this have said that by buying in bulk they have reduced their litter costs from $120 to $50 per year and the cost of food dropped from $370 to approximately $120. These are huge savings but unfortunately it is hard to find good quality bulk products. So you might be saving money but this could be at the expense of the health of your cat.
There are also costs that are relevant to climate and location. In locations where ticks are prominent, it is essential to protect your cat from potentially fatal tick bites; this medication can start from approximately $30 a month. Other costs due to climate and location can be associated with weather, either very cold or very hot. In very cold climates, cat’s need to be kept warm with insulated or heated cathouses; especially is your cat is sometimes not home until the early hours of the morning and sometimes sleeps outside. In very warm climates, fury cats need to be sheared as their fur can cause them to fall very ill from overheating.
When the costs are put together, it is really eye opening to see how much owning a pet really does cost. With all of these expenses in mind, it is now time for you to consider whether you are in a position to give your cat the best possible life.