How much does a pet cat actually cost?
Anyone who owns a cat will know not only how rewarding it can be, but also about the true costs involved – usually much higher than might be expected!
Cats are often the preferred choice for people who are out at work all day, as they are independent, and, provided you’ve got a cat flap installed, they are usually happy to exercise themselves.
However, before rushing out to buy a moggy, remember that it isn’t quite as straightforward as collecting your kitten and stocking up on a few tins of cat food.
There are numerous other expenses you will need to factor in. For example, has your kitten had any vaccinations yet? If not, then the first lot of ‘primary’ vaccinations should be given from the age of nine weeks onwards, with a second booster vaccination three to four weeks later, with these likely to set you back about £70.
Depending on the vaccine, they will then usually be given every year to ensure you cat is protected from any nasty diseases, typically at a cost of about £38.
Soaring veterinary costs mean that it only takes one accident or illness to run up bills worth thousands of pounds.
But these aren’t the only healthcare costs you’ll need to consider. Cats will need regular flea and worm treatments, and you will also need to think about whether or not to neuter your cat. Vets recommend that this is done to prevent serious illnesses and any unexpected litters of kittens.
According to the RSPCA, neutering your cat will cost you between £30 and £50.
Healthcare aside, you should also consider insuring your cat as soon as possible. Cat insurance needn’t break the bank, costing from around £5 a month for a cat, although you do need to check cover limits carefully. Remember too that a number of factors such as age, breed and medical history will affect the price.
Don’t think that cover is just another expense – soaring veterinary costs mean that it only takes one accident or illness to run up bills worth thousands of pounds.
Lost and found
If you want to improve the odds of finding your cat if it ever wanders off and gets lost, you should also think about getting it micro-chipped, which will usually set you back around £20-£25, although this can vary depending on where you get it done.
Then there are the costs of things like a bed for your cat, food bowls and, if you want your furniture to stay intact, a scratching post. There’s also the less delightful litter tray and regular supplies of fresh litter to consider.
Worth every penny!
Of course, most cat owners would claim that the cost of owning their moggy is more than worth it, but it does pay to consider the impact owning a pet will have on your monthly bills. Be realistic about whether or not you really can afford to take on a cat and if the answer is no, don’t do it.
Much as you might be sad about not having one, getting one and then having to see it re-homed elsewhere because you can’t cover costs is likely to be a lot more painful.