How Much Does It Cost to Own a Cat?

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon and if you purchase from these links, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase.

In my post here I talked about how to save money on all of your cat expenses. But maybe you don’t have a cat yet or you want to compare your expenses with what other cat people are paying. Today I will run you through the products we buy, where we buy them from, and how much they have cost us.

The financial cost of owning any pet just doesn’t compare with the fun, love, loyalty, and company that you receive back from them 10-fold. But just like with any parent you have to consider how much you are able to provide them. Your time included.  Cats might tend to be an independent animal but they will still get lonely, wait for you to get home, want to be in the same room as you, and crave your attention. 

Their emotional needs aside… the main reason why I’ve got your attention is to talk about the financial burden that comes with all of the benefits. 

Food 
You can buy some really cheap food out there and it will cost you next to nothing to feed your cat. And in some circumstances that might be all the choice you have. And that’s okay… temporarily. Eating cheap hot dogs and boxed Mac n Cheese might be okay to eat on occasion but having them every single day is going to be detrimental to your health. If you look at the ingredients on a bag of cheap cat food they probably won’t say cheap hot dogs and Mac n Cheese but it’ll be equally disturbing. Our animals deserve better than that.
One of our cats needs to eat the “sensitive stomach” crunchies or it comes back up most of the time. So I buy what I consider to be the “middle range” of quality cat food. Cat Chow Gentle will last about a month feeding three cats. And yes, sometimes I switch it up with a higher quality food if I find one on sale. At the time of writing this post, I haven’t been able to find the Cat Chow Gentle in over a month because of COVID 19.
13.98 for 13lbs bag (cheapest at Walmart) I buy this once a month to feed our three. My cousin said that her one cat will eat a 15lb bag every three months or so.

Litter 
This isn’t quite as serious to their health in my opinion but there are still some factors that you need to consider. The cheap litter is going to have dust and how much of that dust is going into their lungs? Also, the liquid isn’t going to clump as well and if you don’t change it every other day (ish) they are going to be scratching in urine soaked litter. Not to mention the smell of a cheap litter. We’ve tried a lot of different litter out there and so far our favorite is the Arm&Hammer Slide. With three cats we will use about two of the 38lb boxes per month.
22.76 for 38lbs x2 (cheapest on chewy)

Flea 
Depending on where you live this might not be quite as essential. We live in the south and fight with fleas long and hard through most of the year. My Northern friends don’t seem to have any problems with fleas what so ever. I wish I lived with them. Flea treatment for 3 cats is where most of our money goes. We use Advantage and it works well for us.
56.03 for 6 treatments (same price on amazon and chewy)

Insurance
Vet bills are almost* as expensive as going to the hospital. I know someone who’s beloved got sick and after two days of diagnostic testing they still didn’t know what was wrong and his vet bill was at a whopping 3500. I heard of someone else who had a 50K vet bill because of a sake bite. They were able to save the dog because they had insurance. You don’t want to be faced with a hard decision of choosing not to treat because you don’t have the money to pay for it. Most pet insurance policies will start at about 1 dollar a day (per animal). For most people that’s a cup of coffee in the morning. What gets hard is when you have multiple pets… like us. This is not something that we are able to do right now but we hope to do so in the future. If you are able to do this then we HIGHLY suggest it.
30.00ish for one pet.

For us having three cats and no insurance, it’s a rounded amount of 70 dollars a month. If you have just one can and include the insurance it rounds up to be about the same 68 dollars a month.

Of course this is just the very basic and doesn’t include all the fun stuff like toys and treats! Or the one time purchase items that is needed when you first bring a new cat home.

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