The cost of owning a cat

Cats make great pets but before you rush out to buy one, remember when it comes to the cost of owning a cat the initial outlay is not the only expense.

18 Jul 2015 By Leanne Philpott Comments

A responsible cat owner will look after his or her cat and keep it healthy and well cared for and this will mean grooming costs, vet bills, vaccination costs—as well as forking out weekly for cat food and kitty litter.

Wise wannabe cat owners do their research first, so to help you on your way we’ve compiled a list of some of the set-up and ongoing costs.

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Initial set-up costs

The cat: The cost of a cat can vary from nada (you might get it free from a friend) up to $1000. You’ll need to do some initial research into the costs of different breeds of cats.

If you buy your cat from a registered breeder or shelter they have probably already had the cat desexed, microchipped and vaccinated but if not these add onto the initial costs.

Desexing: Both male and female cats must be desexed with prices varying from $100‑$200.

Microchipping: In NSW it’s a legal requirement for cats to be microchipped before they are 12 weeks old, with other states following suit. The cost is around $30-$50.

Vaccinations: Kittens need three vaccinations in the first year and then annually throughout its life. This helps protect your cat from disease. Vaccinations cost approximately $80.

Bedding: Even if you plan on allowing your cat to sleep on the end of your bed, he or she will still need a bed of its own. You can pick up a no-bells-and-whistles-bed from around $10-$30.

Litter tray: Unless you want to find a few nasty surprises when you wake in the morning, your cat will need a litter tray. These come in at approximately $10.

Kitty litter: What good is a cat tray without kitty litter? This will add an extra $10 onto your initial costs.

Grooming brush: No matter what breed of cat you get, you’ll need to brush its hair every now and again. You can pick up a cat grooming brush for $20

Scratching post: These aren't just to help stop your furniture from getting ripped to shreds, scratching posts help cats keep their nails in tact. Ideally your cat will have a few different posts but just one will cost around $20.

Total cost of initial outlay: $270-$420 (plus the price of the cat)

 

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Once you’ve bought your cat that’s not the end of the cost. Now you need to consider ongoing weekly and monthly expenses, which may be small but will add up over time.

Ongoing costs

Food: Depending on what you plan to feed your cat, food costs can vary greatly—especially if you intend to feed your new feline friend caviar! On average you might spend $10 a week.

Cat litter: You’ll need to place new litter in the tray every other day. Cost for this is around $10 a week.

Worming and flea treatments: Cats need to be wormed fortnightly for the first 12 weeks and then every three months ongoing. Monthly flea treatments are also recommended to keep your kitty free from nasty fleas. Cost for both is minimal at $2 a week, but it still adds up.

Yearly veterinary check up:  Annual health checks cost somewhere in the region of $70-$100 so let’s say $2 a week but remember, this doesn’t take into account any unexpected illnesses or accidents.

Total ongoing costs: $24 a week

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The other cost to consider is for a boarding kennel or pet sitter if you go away on holidays. Unless, of course, you have a friend or family member that will happily look after your cat for you.

So while you can’t easily plan for the unexpected costs that might arise, having a good general idea of the basic cost of owning a cat can help ensure you don’t find yourself struggling.

18 Jul 2015 By Leanne Philpott Comments

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