The Cost of Being Owned By a Cat
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How much does owning a cat really cost?
You’ve been thinking about bringing a kitty home from the shelter. Or, you have your eye on a specific breed of cat and the breeder is waiting for you to make your choice. In addition to the initial cost of adoption or purchase, there is a quite hefty list of expenses the average cat owner will incur within a year. To make it easier for you to plan for your new arrival, the ASPCA has prepared a financial breakdown of the first year expenses and subsequent annual costs of caring for cats. This helpful information is listed in chart form, and it also includes the costs of owning a variety of pet species. So, you can take a look at what your new kitty might cost, versus the cost of a small, medium or large dog...or a bunny.
According to the folks at ASPCA, the chart represents the estimated minimum cost of humane care. While you shouldn’t expect to pay less than what you see in the chart, ASPCA says you should definitely be prepared to pay more. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of unexpected veterinary care, as well as boarding facilities, and pet sitters if you plan to use them. And keep in mind that the price tags on pet-related services and incidentals differ from region to region.
The list includes $115 for food (dry kibble, premium brand) to $165 for litter (scooped once a day), $25 for toys and treats, $175 for health insurance and $160 for recurring medical exams/immunizations and a mere $30 for “misc.” The annual total for keeping a kitty tops out at $670.
The “capital costs” of acquiring a new cat are listed, too. And those costs add up to $365 with spay/neuter, initial medical needs, litter box, scratching post and other assorted items included in the total. Not included is the cost of a cat purchased from a breeder.
Every cat parent pays different amounts for the various “things” and services associated with being owned by a cat. Pet food costs and medical expenses can vary greatly and some of us use plain scoop-it-yourself kitty litter boxes while other people use the mechanical-scooping type.
When you look at the list on the ASPCA’s website, take a look at the costs of owning a cat versus a small, medium or large dog. Cats are decidedly cheaper to own, especially when you think about the average $110 for training that was added in for dogs! Training classes for my cats? My little guys won’t touch that with an outstretched claw.
Take a peak at the ASPCA’s Pet Care Costs Chart and think about what you spend per year on your kitty. Do your best to be as frugal as you need to be, then forget it. We all love our felines and want to give them the best of everything. In our household, we could have settled for a three-story cat tower, but that four-story with the built-in scratching post gives them all three a spot to sleep and play at once. Never mind it was twice the price. It was for our kitties.
“Mews of the Day” is a fun, enlightening look at the world of cats, large and small. Join us here on CATVIDEOS.COM, as we share news, blogs, photos and entertaining videos about -- and for -- cats.
Photo of Nico lounging in his 4-story cat tower by MammaMeow.