How Much Does it Cost to Own a Cat


How A lot Does it Value to Personal a Cat

cost of owning a cat

You’ll be able to take care of a cat for as little as $162 per yr, nevertheless it’s widespread to spend about $800 yearly. Learn on for our detailed breakdown of your annual and lifelong prices.

Of their oft-cited “Pet Care Prices” publication, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) estimates that a new cat will value $1,174 of their first yr. With the prices of bringing a brand new cat into the household apart, the ASPCA determines decide that every successive yr will value $809.

How a lot does a cat value? We’ve calculated the annual prices of cat litter, meals, vet visits, and extra, and located that you may preserve a cat for as little as $277 the primary yr and $162 each successive yr. Little luxuries like vet checkups, treats, good meals, and new toys will add a number of hundred {dollars} to that annual determine, bringing us nearer to the ASPCA’s estimate. The costliest life will seemingly add up to some thousand {dollars} a yr.

However day by day bills aren’t cat guardians’ most severe monetary concern. Medical emergencies and sicknesses are the largest expense to price range for, doubtlessly including $5,000 or extra to your cat’s lifetime value.

Let’s work our manner by means of the prices of proudly owning a cat, estimating each startup prices and the recurring prices that you just’ll cowl for the remainder of your cat’s life.

Bringing Dwelling a New Cat: One-Time Prices

one time cat cost

Free Cats

You’ll nearly at all times should spend cash to boost a cat, however you’ll be able to deliver one into your life without spending a dime. Cats are given away without spending a dime day by day. Free cats are available in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Generally they wander onto your porch and by no means depart. Generally you discover them in trash cans or guide drops.

Whilst you gained’t should pay for these cats upfront, they might include further startup prices. You’ll have to cowl neutering by yourself. In case you undertake an orphaned kitten, you’ll should pay for kitten milk replacer.

These kittens are sometimes sick or flea-infested, so it’s seemingly that you just’ll encounter some medical payments alongside the street to maturity.


$25 – $200

How a lot does it value to undertake a cat? Animal shelters and different rescue organizations sometimes cost between $50 to $200 in adoption charges. If $50 seems like loads, preserve your eyes open for particular adoption occasions. Most rescue organizations run promotions repeatedly, throughout which they undertake out cats at diminished costs.

Shelter cats have already undergone checkups and have seemingly been handled for any medical situations earlier than they’re deemed adoptable. Spaying and neutering can be sometimes included within the adoption value.


$500 – $1,000 on common

In case you purchase your cat from a breeder, they’ll most likely value between $500 and $1,000, however the price could also be greater if you are going to buy one of the crucial costly breeds.

Whereas most breeders take the time to make sure that their kittens are wholesome and in nice situation earlier than they go to a brand new residence, they don’t at all times cowl neutering and different medical prices.

Your cat’s breed impacts how a lot they value, each upfront and over the course of their life.

Some breeds aren’t significantly costly to purchase, however have excessive upkeep prices because of breed-specific well being situations.

Listed below are a number of the costliest breeds and the well being situations they encounter most frequently.

Breed Title Common Value Frequent Well being Circumstances
Savannah $1,500-$50,000 None
Bengal $1,000 – $25,000 Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), eye issues
Persian $500 – $5,500 Polycystic kidney illness (PKD), Progressive rod-cone degeneration (PRA), and HCM
Peterbald $1200 – $5,000 None
Russian Blue $400 – $3,000 None
Sphynx $200 – $3,000 Coronary heart illness, respiratory points, digestive issues
Scottish Fold $200 – $3,000 Osteochondrysplasia, PKD, HCM
British Shorthair $500 – $1,500 HCM, Hemophilia B

Combined-breed cats are sometimes probably the most economical possibility. Not solely are they cheaper to purchase, combined breed cats are much less vulnerable to well being issues.

One-time prices that you just’ll want to contemplate if you first deliver your cat residence:

cost cat info

Complete one-time prices for cat care provides: $115 – $410

  • ID Tag and Collar (non-compulsory)  – $15
  • Spay/Neuter (non-compulsory) – $145
  • Cat X-Ray Value- $100 – $250
  • Cat Ultrasound Value- $250 – $500
  • Microchip- $45-$55
  • Enamel Cleansing- $150-$300
  • Mattress (non-compulsory) – $30
  • Cat Tree (non-compulsory) – $75
  • Cat Nail Clipper (non-compulsory) – $7
  • Cat Brush (non-compulsory) – $8
  • Litter Field  – $25
  • Litter Scoop – $10
  • Scratching Submit – $30
  • Provider – $40
  • Meals and Water Bowls – $10

Value of Cat Possession—Annual Expense Breakdown

cost of ownership info

Annual Medical Bills

Veterinary payments can take a giant chunk out of your cat care price range, particularly in case your cat has a severe sickness or damage. Right here’s a breakdown of each routine and emergency veterinary bills.



Taking your cat for a daily vet examination will value between $40 and $55 per go to.

It’s typically really helpful that cats go to the vet’s workplace every year till they attain their senior years. As soon as your cat is someplace between 9 and 11, most vets advocate that you just take them in for a checkup each six months.

Dental Care


If you wish to preserve your cat’s dental care payments low, put money into a toothbrush and toothpaste as quickly as you deliver them residence. A toothbrush and cat toothpaste value round $15 and are a terrific funding in your cat’s well being and your monetary future.

Periodontal illness impacts many, if not most, middle-aged and senior cats, and it brings with it a sea of different points. As soon as your cat’s tooth are lined in calculus, it’s going to take knowledgeable dental cleansing to do away with it. That can value you between $150 and $500 each time.

And when you don’t catch it early sufficient, periodontal illness will result in organ illness and its multi-thousand-dollar therapy paths.

Cat Vaccinations Value


Along with your cat’s first-year vaccinations, it’s possible you’ll go for booster photographs, which value between $50 and $150 each three to seven years. Vaccination frequency is determined by your private desire and your cat’s way of life.

Remedies for Fleas, Ticks, Worms, and Mites


In case you reside in an space with fleas or ticks and your cat spends time open air, you could have to deal with them with pesticides. Cats who eat wild prey may have dewormers. These therapies aren’t mandatory for many indoor cats.

Emergency Medical Bills

$0 – $10,000+

According to Dr. Louise Murray, vice chairman of the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York Metropolis, costly emergency medical payments are one thing price getting ready for. She says that “homeowners will seemingly incur at the least one $2,000 – $4,000 invoice for emergency care sooner or later throughout their pet’s lifetime.”

Right here’s A Breakdown Of How A lot It Would possibly Value To Deal with Frequent Circumstances.

breakdown of how much it might cost to treat common conditions.

Persevering with Remedy For Prolonged Or Continual Sickness

In case your cat develops most cancers, diabetes, continual kidney illness, or one other severe sickness, you’ll be able to anticipate to spend some huge cash on steady therapy. These bills might be a lifestyle for a very long time, presumably for the remainder of your cat’s life

Continuing Medication for Extended or Chronic Illness

Long-term cost estimates from Trupanion’s breakdown of actual claims and veterinary costs for various conditions.

Pet Insurance coverage


The large variable right here is whether or not or not you may have pet insurance coverage. In case you purchase pet insurance coverage on your cat early in life, your annual medical payments will most likely be comparatively low even with a severe situation at play.

Pet insurance coverage charges depend upon how previous your cat was if you took out a coverage, the place you reside, your cat’s breed, and a wide range of different elements. Typically, it prices about $10-$20 a month to insure your cat for accidents and sicknesses. Complete wellness plans might value $30 or extra.

If you want to learn more about insuring your cat, read our comprehensive guide to the best pet insurance for cats.

Cat Meals

$90 – $2,520/yr

The kind of meals you purchase impacts your lifetime prices in a variety of methods.

One, there’s all kinds within the costs of cat meals and types. You can pay $7 per day for a number of the costliest cat meals or $0.25 for a grocery-bought kibble. Theoretically, this discrepancy in meals value alone means the distinction between $1,368 and $38,325 over your cat’s lifetime.

Meals has a deeper influence, although—it’s an funding in your cat’s well being. Whereas many low-cost meals are simply as nourishing because the costly ones, others solely look like an excellent worth within the brief time period.

A financially-motivated resolution to purchase a low-quality meals might find yourself costing you hundreds in vet payments down the street.

Put meals high quality earlier than value, however keep in mind that you don’t should spend some huge cash to get an excellent meals. Among the highest-quality meals is sort of economical and a few low-quality meals are dearer than you may anticipate.

Take a look at this value chart displaying the completely different prices of cat meals. The chart is predicated on averages of common merchandise bought on

different costs of cat foods. The chart is based on averages of popular products sold on Chewy

Kitty’s Toilet – Litter and Provides

$72 – $240/yr

One cat will sometimes use about 20 lbs of clay litter every month, however litter utilization varies based mostly in your cat’s well being, the kind of litter you select, and your scooping effectivity.

Silica gel-based litter will value between $10 and $25 monthly, whereas clay litter prices between $2.50 and $6 every month. Biodegradable merchandise are priced all throughout the worth spectrum, however are sometimes dearer than clay.

Your prices will go up when you embrace further litter field equipment like mats, deodorizers, and a devoted rubbish can.

  • Litter field liners – $18/yr
  • Deodorizing spray or granules – $20/yr
  • Vacuum for litter field space – $35
  • Devoted trash can – $30
  • Litter mat – $25

Further Assets:

Enjoyable and Video games


Yearly, you’ll most likely purchase your cat a number of enjoyable objects. This class contains toys, furniture, cute costumes, journey gear like harnesses and leashes, and treats.

Complete Annual Value Of Proudly owning A Cat: $162 – $3,872

Let’s see what goes into retaining a cat on each extremes of this big spending spectrum.

The low price range doesn’t contain any pet insurance coverage, nor does it contain a single vet go to. The cat is fed an affordable—most likely dry—cat meals and makes use of a low-cost clay litter. The cat might have some good issues like a cat tree, scratching post, and ID tag, however these had been purchased when he got here residence and so they don’t add as much as recurring prices yearly.

As a result of this cat doesn’t have pet insurance coverage, a severe sickness or accident might be his guardians’ sole duty.

Our ultra-expensive feline has a vet checkup twice yearly, makes use of a spot-on flea treatment in the summertime, goes for normal skilled dental cleanings from an costly vet, and receives booster photographs each three years. She doesn’t have pet insurance coverage, so all of those vet visits are charged to her guardian’s bank card.

She eats a top-of-the-line natural, uncooked, or human-grade industrial meals, probably subscribing to a meal supply service like Nom Nom. Her litter field is full of Pretty Litter crystals or a high-end biodegradable litter. She will get toys, top-of-the-line scratching posts, and new cat timber regularly.

Proudly owning A Cat On A Finances

Generally a cat wanders into your private home and coronary heart earlier than you’ve had an opportunity to suit cat meals into your month-to-month spending plan. What then?

In case you don’t have the funds for to lavish your cat with advantageous meals and gifts, please don’t assume that you just’re a nasty cat guardian. Nearly everybody can afford a cat and may afford to boost them effectively.

Listed below are a number of ideas for individuals who need to preserve their cat care price range low.

Know the distinction between giving your cat the very best and shopping for issues as a result of they makes you really feel like an excellent cat mother or father.

There’s an entire world of cat care merchandise that solely exist to make folks really feel like they’re doing one thing good. These things will be enjoyable, however they’re actually not mandatory and more often than not, they’re extra fulfilling for the human than the cat who’s receiving them.

  • Most cat toysToys are fun, however most cats are completely able to find their very own toys round the home.
  • Cat bedsCats are simply as pleased sleeping in a blanket-lined cardboard field as they’re snoozing in a sherpa-lined cat tunnel.
  • Organic cat food—In case you can afford it, spring for natural meats and meals, however when you can’t, keep in mind that non-organic species-appropriate meals is a lot better than natural meals that doesn’t honor your cat’s carnivorous wants.
  • Retailer-bought treats—Most cats can be simply as pleased to eat a bit of recent hen and it will be more healthy for them.

Contemplate Alternate options To Conventional Cat Litter.

Cat litter bills can add up rapidly, so optimizing your litter scenario is likely one of the strongest areas for enchancment.

Probably the most economical litter field options is swapping out conventional litter for woodstove pellets—additionally marketed as horse stall bedding. These sawdust pellets are ultra-absorbent and seem to work simply in addition to common manufacturers of pine cat litter. One of the best half is that they value a tiny fraction of the worth of conventional cat litter.

Whereas the typical clay litter prices round $0.40 per pound, customary wooden pellets value about $0.17 per pound.

Additionally Learn: Best Cat Litter: Choose the Perfect Litter for Your Cat

When secure to take action, don’t be afraid to offer your cat issues that don’t have the phrase “cat” on the bundle.

It might sound clear and straightforward to completely purchase your cat merchandise “made for cats”, however in actuality, no cat has an issue utilizing generic merchandise that don’t have pawprints on them.

Till I lastly purchased a set of meals bowls that might look good in images, my cats ate from classic metallic and ceramic bowls we purchased at a thrift retailer. They nonetheless drink water out of an previous pot.

Cat-specific meals and water bowls and cat water fountains, like many different objects within the pet retailer, are bought at a “love-of-a-pet” markup.

Don’t let your love on your cat delude you into believing that any cat is happier with bowls, beds, treats, and toothbrushes bought particularly for pets. You’ll find generic variations of many of those merchandise in thrift shops, on Amazon, and wherever else you may store for high-value objects.

Feed Your Cat Nicely And Preserve Them Protected.

Emergency vet payments and caring for a sick cat are two of the largest bills you’ll encounter. It’s not possible to make sure that nothing will ever occur, however you’ll be able to scale back your cat’s chance of getting sick or damage.

A species-appropriate eating regimen is the only best and most reasonably priced technique of discouraging weight problems, diabetes, and feline decrease urinary tract illness. Cats want a high-moisture eating regimen wealthy in bioavailable protein and minimal carbohydrate matter. In case you’re unsure what this implies, take a look at our article on the best cat food.

Along with retaining your cat wholesome with an excellent eating regimen, it’s best to think about their security. Forestall accidents by retaining your cat indoors or go for supervised outside adventures with a harness and leash.

Proudly owning A Cat Isn’t Low-cost, However It’s Not Essentially As Costly As Some Counsel.

The price of retaining a cat ranges from underneath $200 a yr to a number of hundreds of {dollars} yearly. Your precise prices will depend upon which breed you select, your cat’s well being, the kind of meals you purchase, the place you reside, your way of life decisions, and whether or not or not you put money into pet insurance coverage.

Elevating a cat is rather like elevating a human. There’s no single determine for the way a lot it prices to maintain a toddler wholesome and pleased—all of it is determined by what you’ll be able to afford, what you’re keen to pay, and the way good you might be at making sensible shopping for choices.

Your cat’s high quality of life hinges much less on {dollars} spent and extra on the quantity of vitality, intelligence, and love you’re keen to offer.

Concerning the writer

Mallory Crusta is a author and adventurecat fanatic on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of many founders of Wildernesscat – a website for pleased, wholesome, and adventurous cats who’re fueled by nature. Go to Wildernesscat for radically pure cat vitamin, residence treatments, and way of life inspiration.

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