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Raising one Cat - How much does it cost?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hi guys!

I love it here, I'm pretty happy I found this forum!

I was wondering, how much does it cost, per year, to raise one cat?

Does breed matter?

Any help would be great!

Thanks again!
post #2 of 37
Gosh, there are so many factors, like if you're going to feed a premium food, which you should BTW what kind of litter, how much medical care your kitty might need The only thing I can say is that different breeds probably don't make much of a difference, and 2 cats really don't cost that much more than 1
post #3 of 37
It's different for everybody. I've had Bean for just over a month and he's already cost me over $1200 in vet bills. Now this was completely unexpected, and someone that got lucky and got a cat that was completely healthy obvioulsy would have spent alot less. So what I'm saying is you need to have money saved up in case something happens. But I'd say on average without any health problems around $300-$400 a year.
post #4 of 37
hahahahah how much does it cost? less than sending a kid to medical school...

okay let me recall:
adoption fee at humane shelter or cost of purebreed- $50 up to hundreds
initial shots - possibly free to $150
sterilizing - $50 if you get a deal from the shelter to more
really GOOD food - $1-2 dollars a day at least
toys - infinite
litter: depending on what you use up to $50 a month
litter pans, dishes, grooming tools, clippers - maybe $30? I am guessing
furniture, cat tree, perches, scratching posts - infinite
routine exams at least annually- $75
license when required $15 approx

then there are the illnesses/parasites and chronic conditions : worms, fleas, conjunctivitis, herpes, allergies, UTI, URI that are common and we are not even discussing the extraordinary things like diabetes cancer etc.

Being a cat owner is a serious responsibility and your cat quickly becomes a family member. SO if you are not willing to spend the time and money to properly care for a cat, don't get one. But if you do, their love and beauty will fill your heart forever.

If I left anything out, I am sure ithers will chime in.
post #5 of 37
for this past year for my 2 cats it cost devided by 2 about $550 each. that is including their shots, bloodwork, food and litter and the numerous cat toys strewn about my house.
post #6 of 37
I think I'm going to try to keep track this next year, then again maybe I don't really want to know
post #7 of 37
I guess it depends if you just have to buy stuff for them every single time you walk into a pet store!

no really, a rough guess.....

****dry food $10 for a small bag (I use good dry food, Nutro) that lasts over a month, I leave it out all day for them, oh & I have 2 cats

****wet food....I feed them each a small can of wet for brkfst & dinner, so it depends on the brand, I mix the nutro wet & the fancy feast elegant medleys that they love so much....but I want to get some nutrition in them, so I mix it together....I get the FF on sale for 59cents a can and buy cases of it for that cheap (it's usually 89 cents for 1 sm can) so that's $2.36 a day for 2 cats

****litter, it's not so much the brand, but how often you scoop. You can get the petsmart brand clumping exquisicat litter in a 40lb box on sale for $9.99, this will last me a month, or maybe 5 wks.....but I scoop their business everytime I take out the trash (almost everyday....maybe it'll go overnight), this cuts down on odor too!

****don't forget vet care....kitty will need vaccinations, unless you adopt, all vet costs are covered in the adoption fee....otherwise you have rabies shots, distemper & a booster for this one, and then the neuter/spay (very important).....

****and there is all the start up stuff, bowls=glass or stainless, don't use plastic! and a collar, and tag..... and don't forget a litter box....those will run you about $20, and I use litter liners! This way the litter box doesn't get so gross when you clean up, it makes changing litter a breeze! And you don't have to get so caught up on toys, a kitty will make a toy of anything!
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hi guys!

Wow, you guys are active in this forum - it's great!

Yes, I plan on feeding the cat premium food. etc.

Here's some specs:
Food: Premium
Toys: as per, many...
Vet: All shots, vacs, as necessary
Dishes: Pans, Dishes etc.
Litter: Good brands

Hopefully that clarifies things a bit!

post #9 of 37
Well for my two yr old...for a month

20.00 for dry food another 10.00 for wet and what I try to get her to eat

4.00-10.00 for toys

36$ for accupucture( havent started yet) but with the old one it saves money

10.00 for nail trims or free if I manage to do it

31 for vet exams as needed ( once a yr or more) so say $6 a month

shots well talk to my vet... she is fairly sure no more since Zoey had bad reaction

15 for misc ( ie she wanted a new type of treat )

for the 18.5 yr old

60-90 a month for accupucture ( if she misses vet bill is usually 200-350 so cost effective)

food varies on season and how much canned ...15.00-50.00 per month

toys see younger ..lol

15.00 misc

shots she is too old no worries

2 25 lb bag of chn feed about 11 $ litter
post #10 of 37
Here's some specs:
Food: Premium - I Feed Eukanuba vet diet witch is aprox 40.00/10 kg (canadian)
Toys: as per, many... - I get these at the dollar store or for minimal at petsmart
Vet: All shots, vacs, as necessary - I would set aside about 100-200/year for this depending on health of kitty
Dishes: Pans, Dishes etc. - Dollar store again
Litter: Good brands - I get an 11 kg box at Walmary for less than $15
post #11 of 37
Like someone said, if you get a healthy, it doesn't cost much more.

Getting a cat from a shelter is "cheaper" than finding a kitten off the street because they usually have all their shots and are spayed/neutered. We adopted Orion from the vet for 80$ and he had all his shots. That's just a little more than a neuter would have cost.

Initial vet visits are about 150$ depending on what shots you need. That's how much it was for Isis.

Other than the unexpected vet bills, i think people's assessments are right. Isis has already cost me more in vet bills than my other 3 put together in the year i have had them all.
post #12 of 37
I don't have much to add except that maybe if breed doesn't matter, size does. Obviousely a larger cat will consime more food and create more waste.
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hi again!

Ok, so what I'm getting from this, after all the initial stuff has been purchased, I'm looking anywhere from:

$200 to $300/USD for one cat.

Does that make sense? Generally?

post #14 of 37
Originally Posted by BarryK View Post
Hi again!

Ok, so what I'm getting from this, after all the initial stuff has been purchased, I'm looking anywhere from:

$200 to $300/USD for one cat.

Does that make sense? Generally?


That's probably close, but make sure you have some savings for unexpected vet bills (illness).
post #15 of 37
Food: Premium - We feed Evo at about $20 a month per cat
Toys: as per, many... I easily spend $10 per cat per month
Vet: All shots, vacs, as necessary - shots for mine along with annual check ups and bloodwork comes to about $500 for the 4 of them, plus any unexpected vet bills and insurance of $45 a month for all 4
Dishes: Pans, Dishes etc. - Don't buy cheap and they last and are cheaper per day, mine get new litter pans 1-2 a year ($12 each rubbermaid storage boxes), raised feeders with bowls $50 for the 4 cats, water fountain $45
Litter: Good brands - we use WBCL at about $30-40 a month for the 4 cats
post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 

water fountain $45
A literal Water Fountain for the cats?

Let me know!

post #17 of 37
Originally Posted by BarryK View Post

A literal Water Fountain for the cats?

Let me know!

Something like this:

You don't need one, but it encourages drinking, and cats can get dehydrated easily. Mine love it.
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 

That's really cool - and I good price...what does it do, keep recycling the water in the tray through the fountain?

Man, sounds lame, but you guys are getting me excited about getting a cat!

post #19 of 37
It's good to be excited and very encouraging that your doing so much research before being owned by a cat. If only more potential cat owners were as pro-active as you.

I have the fresh-flow (linked above) and it's great. It keep their water clean and circulating and for me (I'm prone to laziness) it's great because I only have to re-fill it every few days instead of every day like with standing water.
post #20 of 37
I have a fountain you have to put more water in it evcery few days but it is great I had to take mine to my parents when they were cat sitting the cat's wouldn't drink out of a bowl, it had to be running water.
post #21 of 37
Originally Posted by BarryK View Post

That's really cool - and I good price...what does it do, keep recycling the water in the tray through the fountain?

Man, sounds lame, but you guys are getting me excited about getting a cat!

Pretty much, they have filters that keep the water cleaner.

I have the CatIt fountains
post #22 of 37
Originally Posted by BarryK View Post

Here's some specs:
Food: Premium
Toys: as per, many...
Vet: All shots, vacs, as necessary
Dishes: Pans, Dishes etc.
Litter: Good brands
I have used wellness and nutro, other great brands like felidae and innova are too rich for my cat's tummy, she eats 90% wet food and I use the dry for treat time.

toys: her favoites turn out to be home made things like paper knots , boxes and scrunchies. I buy small balls because she adores chasing up and down stairs and they move well. But the cat trees and snuggle dens and scratching posts cost money. ebay is a great place to find those.

shots: don't keep count. medical care is medical care, gotta do it.

dishes: always use clean ones and steer away from plastic, it can cause allergic reactions and chin acne

litter: I am a total devotee of World's Best Cat Litter- multicat. I fill the pan really deep and completely change litter every 2-3 months. I scoop several times a day.

Hope this helps Barry !!
post #23 of 37
I'm not sure I want to know how much kitty costs me a year
$200-$300 sounds conservative Barry.

The start up costs in the beginning needs to be factored in, b/c after that things will slow down.

Adoption fee: $75 (included all shots/treatment, spay, + 1 f/u visit for her broken paw)
Cat tree: $40
Perch: $20
Brush,clippers,harness leash,litter tray, bowls: $50?
Annual visit to vet w/shots: $54
(as long as she is healthy, she is on the annual only plan)
California Natural dry: $16 for 4 lbs (just switched,I don't know how long it will last)
Tidy Cat: $7/mn?
wet food: $15/mn ? (I dont keep track, and she only eats the cheap stuff, ignores the good stuff, just a teaspoon twice a day or so - lots of waste unfortunately)

I dont remember specifics...I got the startup stuff here and there.
post #24 of 37
I havn't calculated it bout I'm guess with food, vet bills, litter, litter box, toys, I'm going to guess between $500 to $600 per year
post #25 of 37
Let's see... 150$ this year for her insurance, plus about 100$ for routine vet care which will be needed again soon. 15$ for litter and maybe 40$ for food a month. Probably 200$ a year for toys and grooming and furniture.

I probably spend well over a thousand dollars a year on Zissou, and I don't have the money to buy her extravagant things like an automatic litterbox or giant cat tree and such.

The best way to avoid quite a few expensive problems is to have them spayed or neutered before sexual maturity
post #26 of 37
I spend about $1.50 a day per cat on food, then litter is abot $40 a month.

To get a purebred, you're going to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars. To adopt (!!!) you will pay $20-100.

If you get a purebred, you'll also have to finish the initial series of shots and get the kitten spayed or neutered (which your breeder SHOULD require, if they're good they will and you'll thank them for that requirement). This will set you back a couple hundred $$ depending on your area. A GOOD shelter or rescue will include the shots and the neuter in that $50 adoption fee. A BAD shelter or rescue, much like an irresponsible breeder or BYB, won't, and won't care whether you do those things or not. A municipal shelter or traditional open-admission humane society generally can't afford to provide those services, but will give you discount voucher.

Do not get your cat declawed. A good breeder or rescue isn't going to let you anyway. But, look on the bright side...you save the couple HUNDRED $$'s from this expensive, painful and uneccessary surgery!

Every year, you'll have to update shots according to the laws where you live. If the law doesn't require shots, then you don't necessarily have to, but research cat vaccines and make your own choice. I am required by law to have rabies, so that's something like $20 a year per cat. The exam should be done twice yearly and will cost about $50. ETA: I know that in at my vet in Chicago (where things are slightly pricey), an exam and a 3-year rabies costs $100 even

I always save about $500 per cat per year for emergency vet expenses. So far, i've only had to use it once, knock on wood.

Supplies. Wow. Supplies.
A good litter box will be $20-30
Dishes shouldn't cost much, but make sure they're metal or glass. We'll say $15 for those.
Toys...well, it's up to you. You're going to need some, so I'd say plan on initially blowing $30-50 on toys. Figure out what the kitty likes and go from there. Almost every cat in the world like Da Bird, which it totally worth the $7 investment.
A cat tree will cost $100-200 and will save your furniture (you know, since your kitty will have it's claws)
I also give my cats cheap sisal doormats to scratch up. So $10 there.
I'd also say to invest $20 in some blankets or a bed for kitty.
post #27 of 37
Well it really depends on the cat. You have to take into acount food, vet bills, emergency vet bills (much higher then regular vet bills), litter and toys to name a few things.
I take good records of everything I do with the animals to see how much a spend each year on them!
Lily was a very cheap cat to raise!
For first year $500
Food $150
Vet Bills $200
Litter $100 (we also had 2 other cats)
Toys $50

Bagheera on the other hand had many health problems
His first 5 1/2 months (he died) 5,917
Food $150
Vet Bills 5,600
Litter (shared with 3 other cats) $100
Toys $67

Kittens vet bills were also higher 2,000. Her first year. So if you get a healthy kitten it should be to bad.
post #28 of 37
Hmmm, good question.. I would rather not tally up how much I spend on Trout
post #29 of 37
I've spent right around 4k for both boys this year BUT here is why. I've found out that 8-Bit is allergic to corn and that Scratch has teeth, gum, eye, and hip issues. DH and I have also gone through a cat tree this year. (Here's a tip: get a sturdy one the first time and you won't have to re-buy it. Spend the extra money it's WORTH it!) Next year we will most likely spend closer to five or six thousand because I am adopting a third, we need a second kitty tree, and Scratch is most likely going to require sugary on his back legs to ease any pain from the bowing.

All in all it's really going to depend on the cat that you adopt.
post #30 of 37
For the two in my house right now, it goes a little something like this:

One time fees:
Adoption fee for Peewee: about $65 (included neuter)
Spay fee for Tryon: found her on the street, so no adoption fee but spent $40 on her spay
Microchip: about $60 each cat (give or take, I don't have the bill on me) and then $17.50 to register it with the chip company
Litter pans: about $8 each
Food bowls: 2 @ $4.98 - I bought larger ceramic dog dishes at target on clearance
Water bowl: I have one of those big ones that look like an office water cooler. With two large dogs and two cats drinking out of the same bowl it helps me not have to refill it every 5 minutes.. now it's every 10 minutes . Cost me about $20. Looks like this: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2001+113908
Nail clippers: $5
Collar: $5 each
Cat tree: dont have one yet, but am in the middle of building one and its looking like it'll cost me about $40 in materials. The one at my mothers house was about $100.

As for the ongoing expenses:
Food: Innova Evo $20/month
Litter: Either Feline Pine or Exquisicat Pine (depending on which store I get to first) - $4.99/week @ 4.5 weeks = $22.45/month
License: $9/year each cat
Vet Bills: I spent $400 total for the year for all the furkids, so figure $100 per year per furkid. We didnt have any major catastrophies with mine, but earlier this year my mom and I dropped about $3000 on Azrael (whose staying at my moms house) because of a urinary blockage. In the past we also spent $650 on Mayhem because he ate string and a few hundred on Johnny because of a complicated neuter (undecended testicle they had ti go searching for which then got infected and then popped his stitches and gave himself a hernia) I can't stress enough how important it is to have a fund ready for when these things happen.
Toys: For me this is actually a one time fee since my kids don't like cat toys. Tryon ignores them and Peewee has a stuffed frog that he carries around in his mouth. He won't play with anything else. So $4 one time fee for the frog. But for the cats at my moms house who like cat toys, about $10/month.

So after the one time fees, I spend about $50/month per cat for two healthy cats... subject to change by quite a bit if one of them were to get sick.
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