Owning a pet is a wonderful thing, especially a cat. Most pet owners cannot imagine their lives without their loveable pets. As a responsible pet owner, you will need to purchase some essential items when you first purchase or adopt your kitten or cat. You want them to be as comfortable and happy in their new home as possible. You also want to make sure that you take care of them in the best way possible so that they are healthy in the long-term. Below are some of the costs you will incur when you own a cat.
- First-Year Cat Costs
The very first cost you will incur is the purchase price of the kitten or cat. This price will vary based on whether you adopt or purchase from a breeder. This cost could be anywhere from $35 to $750 depending on the breed. Next, you will also need to take them to your vet right away for an initial visit and examination. They may require shots as well. This could cost you around $100 or more as well. Vaccinations are highly important to the health of your cat. Do not skip this step. They need to be dewormed, have blood tests ran, be vaccinated, etc. You may consider having them declawed as well. This is your choice. You will also need to spay or neuter your cat for their protection and yours as well. It is best practice to do this. This will cost you around $100 to $150 depending on your vet. You also need to invest in your initial supplies such as a collar, tags, and food and water bowls. Each of these you can get pretty cheap at your local pet store.
- Food and Treats
Food is essential to the wellbeing of your fun little friend. You can feed a cat wet or dry food. Wet food will be more expensive and more of a daily chore, but again it is up to you. Urinary tract infections are a common problem for cats. This can happen if you feed them too much dry food. Therefore, I suggest you at least feed them a good mixture. You should be looking at a monthly cost of $20 or so a month on food (maybe less).
I also suggest you get some fun treats for your cat. Treats are great for training and rewarding your new pet. I would definitely purchase some of these on a regular basis.
- Toys, Bedding and Extras
Cats are active little creatures, they need toys to keep their minds occupied and entertained. They are instinctively prey animals. I suggest getting them some stands that they can climb on, some scratching posts, and then try out toys here and there to see what he or she likes. All cats are different and you will find they like the oddest things! Besides the stands that you have to buy once, the little toys may cost you $30 or so a year. How much you invest in toys is really up to you. A good cat tree or stand (including a scratching post) will run around $50 to $100, but again this is a one time purchase.
- Cat Litter and Bathroom Tools
Cats need a litter box with litter to use the bathroom. You will need to clean this on a regular basis to keep it smelling fresh. There are several different kinds of litter, but ultimately it is up to you what you use and you may need to try a couple of brands before your settle on your favorite. Get a scooper to clean it with as well. This will run you around $150-$175 a year.
- Vet Costs
Routine vet care is important to your cats overall health. You need annual vaccinations, heartworm prevention, flea and tick treatment, etc. All of these will add $150 a year towards your cat costs. You also need to take into consideration the chance of an emergency. You never know when your cat will get sick or hurt. Any emergency with an animal that needs surgery can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Be prepared to take care of your cat if he or she falls ill. Cats are known for urinary tract infections, so you can bet an emergency vet visit is in your future at least once if not more during your pet days.
- Grooming Supplies
Most cats do not need to be groomed all that much because they groom themselves; however, you may want to get a brush so that you can brush his or her hair on occasion. Possibly some cat shampoo as well just in case he or she gets dirty. It is not a bad idea to be prepared. This will cost your about $20 annually.
- Travel/Boarding Costs
Boarding can be an expensive part of being a pet owner. Although lots of cat owners leave their cats at home while they vacation or are out of town for work, some do not feel comfortable leaving them unattended. If you do not have someone to watch your cat, you will need to board him or her. Depending on your boarding facility this could cost you $10-30 a night! It all depends on the type of boarding you prefer and the facility you use. There are all kinds of options available such as cage free boarding, special treatments, baths, grooming, and how long you will be gone. Always take this into consideration if you are a frequent traveler.