There are many benefits to owning a cat, including reducing stress, providing companionship, and helping with allergies. According to the Humane Society of the United States, cats can help reduce stress by giving friendship and affection. Owning a cat has also been shown to help people who suffer from allergies, as they can reduce the number of allergens in the home. Owning a cat can also provide hours of enjoyment, as cats are playful and curious creatures. With so many benefits of owning a cat, you might not hesitate to get one.
However, there is no denying that it can be an expensive endeavor. Before diving into pet ownership, it’s essential to consider the costs associated with caring for a cat. Here are some of the top expenses you can expect when owning a furry pet.
Cats are vulnerable to certain diseases and infections, so it’s essential to keep them up-to-date on their vaccinations. They will require different vaccinations depending on their age, lifestyle, and where they live. Here are a few vaccinations that your cat will likely need and how often they might need them:
- Rabies: Your cat should be vaccinated for rabies every 1 to 3 years, depending on the vaccine.
- Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (FVRCP): The FVRCP vaccination protects against various viral infections and should be administered annually.
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV): This is an essential vaccination that cats should receive if they go outside or have contact with other cats who may not have been vaccinated. FeLV vaccines are typically required every year.
Depending on your location, a veterinarian will likely administer those vaccinations, which may cost between $30 to $50 per visit. That does not include the cost of additional services like checkups or tests needed for certain vaccinations.
Food and Treats
Your cat will need quality food, so it’s essential to buy high-quality food that meets their age and activity level requirements. Buying in bulk can help save money over time, but you should always ensure that the food is fresh and not past its expiration date. Cat treats are also a great way to reward your pet for good behavior, but make sure they are healthy treats made from natural ingredients. The cost of cat food can vary widely depending on the type of food chosen, so it’s essential to find food that fits within your budget. You can buy canned cat food online to save money.
The average cost of cat food is around $30 to $50 per month, depending on the type and quantity. You can also check out coupons or discounts at your local pet store to save up on cat food.
Litter Box and Supplies
Your cat will need a litter box, litter, and scoopers for regular use. Cat litter can range from $15 to $35 per month, depending on the type of litter you choose. Clay or clumping litters are more expensive than other types of waste. You’ll also want to ensure that the litter box is large enough—at least one and a half times the size of your cat—and easily accessible to them. If you have multiple cats, it’s best to get more than one litter box, so they each have their own space when they go potty.
Cats should receive regular checkups, just like humans. Depending on their age, lifestyle, and health conditions, cats may require additional tests, screenings, and regular checkups. When taking your cat for a checkup, it’s essential to ask about any other services that your cat may need, such as vaccinations or blood work. Veterinary care can add up quickly, so set aside enough for routine medical expenses throughout the year. An average veterinary consultation will cost about $50, depending on where you live. That doesn’t count the cost of additional tests, treatments, or medications you may require.
It would help if you also looked into a pet insurance plan to help cover the costs of more serious medical issues that may arise. It will cost about $20 to $50 per month, but this could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Your cat will also need other supplies, such as brushes, nail clippers, toys, and scratching posts. Depending on the type of supplies you buy, these can range from a few dollars to hundreds. Find quality products that are safe for your cat and that last a long time. You can check out pet stores or online stores for discounts or sales on these items if you want to save some money.
Overall, owning a cat is an enriching experience but comes with costs and responsibilities. Researching and planning will help ensure that you stay prepared to give your cat the best life possible. You can provide a wonderful home for your furry friend with little effort and dedication without breaking the bank.