It’s important to know all of the costs associated with adopting a cat before you bring home your furry friend. Use this guide to figure out what you’ll need for your cat and see if you can fit the cost of adopting a cat into your budget.
The cost of your cat adoption depends on a few variables. Each shelter sets its own fees, so check the details for the shelter you’re using to get an accurate price.
Cost for cat adoptions is somewhat based on demand--a kitten generally costs more than an adult cat, with senior cats costing the least.
When you look at the price at a specific shelter you should be able to look at what is included in the cost of cat adoption. There are some things that are usually included--if those things aren’t listed, you’ll most likely end up paying for them separately. Adoption feeds tend to include:
Once you’ve adopted a cat, you need a way to get it from the shelter or foster home to your own home. Having a cat, especially a cat you don’t know well yet, roam around your car freely isn’t really an option--you need a cat carrier.
There are lots of options for cat carriers: hard shell carriers, light weight net carriers, carriers with wheels, and carriers designed for air travel. You’ll have to decide the ideal carrier for you and your cat.
Now it’s time to feed your cat. The shelter might send you home with some of the food your cat has already been eating--this helps smooth the transition and makes sure your cat has a food that definitely works for it. It’s up to you if you want to keep your cat on the same food the shelter used or try other options.
What you decide to feed your cat will determine the cost of cat food. On average, your cat food options will look like this:
You’ll know your cat best, so what you feed them will be up to you. You can ask your veterinarian what kind of food will be good for your cat.
The litter box is an unfortunate reality of owning a cat--it needs to be there and it needs to be cleaned frequently. You’ll need to be ready with a litter box, scoop and trash bags.The costs of different litter box options include:
Once you choose a litter box, you can determine the cost of cat litter:
There are pros and cons for each variety of cat litter--make your decision based on what will be best for your cat while keeping your house as clean and odor free as possible.
There’s a huge range in price for cat beds because there’s a huge range in types of cat beds. You can get your cat anything from a thin mat to put on the floor to a stylish piece of furniture that might be classier than your own couch.
There are pillow beds, orthopedic beds, covered beds, heated beds, and bolster beds. You can always let your cat use your own bed and furniture for napping, but having their own space is nice and helpful for keeping them (and their hair) out of your way sometimes.
Everyone’s cat toy budget is different, but $28 a year is what the average American cat owner spends on cat toys. Giving your cat things it is allowed to play with and scratch will hopefully limit damage to furniture, carpets, toilet paper, and anything else that looks fun to a cat.
Before you break the bank on cat toys, remember cats often have just as much, if not more, fun with an empty cardboard box as with an expensive toy. The best cat toys tend to be scratching pots, small toys that behave like prey, and puzzles in which cats have to work to find treats.
Cat medical care costs are a significant part of the cost of owning a cat. Even if your cat stays healthy and doesn’t get hurt you still need routine check ups. These check ups monitor your cat’s health and establish a relationship with a veterinarian in case you ever had an emergency with your cat.
You also have to keep your cat up to date with vaccines. Although not all cats need all these vaccines, there are cat vaccines for panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, rabies, feline leukemia, and chlamydophila. Vaccines for your cat can run between $50 - $100.
Flea medication is something you can buy yourself, but your vet may have advice on which kind to get. You can expect to spend $30 - $60 a month on flea prevention.
First aid spray can save you costly vet visits by treating fresh skin wounds, cuts, and scrapes. You can protect your cat and help it heal with Bacitracin and Zinc in an economical and effective formula.
With first aid sprays in your home you’ll be ready for wounds, fungal infections, skin protection, and any other healing your cat may need.
Now you’re ready to see if adopting a cat will fit into your budget. By making smart choices and keeping your cat’s wellbeing in mind, you can keep your cat happy and healthy without spending more than you’re able.
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