Cute, fluffy and purrrfect for making a house a home but did you know the average lifetime cost of a cat is £17,200? When considering getting a cat it’s important to know the costs that are involved, these are the common expenses you will encounter:
- Startup costs: From kittens & litter trays to vaccinations – £110-£200
- General Upkeep: Food & Litter – £17-£33 per month
- Insurance & Vet Fees – £3- £12 per month
Startup Costs : So, How Much are Kittens?
You can often adopt older cats free of charge but when it comes to kittens you’ll generally encounter a price. Unless you’re looking for rare breeds or pedigrees you can generally pick up a kitten for around £20 – £40. Gumtree and Pets4Homes are a great place to find kittens in your area.
You’ll also need a scratching post, cat toys, a bed, a litter tray, litter scoop & litter tray liners; average cost – £30 – £40.
Cats will play with almost anything so there’s really no need to splash out, our kitten loves playing with a toy mouse tied to a piece of twine – it cost us less than £1!
Young kittens will also need two sets of vaccinations these will vary depending on the veterinary clinic but you should budget for £30 – 60 per injection.
General Upkeep – Food & Litter : Cheapest Places to Shop
In general, a cat can eat around one 400g can of food per day – a little dry food in addition to that but not much more. Food and litter are the biggest expenses you’ll encounter and costs vary depending on:
- How much you feed your cat
- Which brands you choose
- Which supermarket you shop at
We took a thorough look at the prices of 5 major supermarkets (July 2014) and compared these against average consumption of a fully grown cat. You’ll find your monthly cost almost doubles from store brands to big brands.
Store Brands – £17.73 per month
Big Brands – £33.45 per month
The below graph compares costs between five major supermarkets for an average monthly supply of dry food, wet food and cat litter. Based on our analysis ASDA is actually the cheapest place to shop for your furry friend where you can pick up a month’s worth of basics for just £15.38!
Average Cost of Cat Insurance: £3 – £12 per month
Pet insurance is a must. Committing to another monthly cost is not easy, however in the event that your cat falls ill then you do not want the fear of vets bills to influence your decisions about your furry friend’s health.
As with car insurance there is no set cost to pet insurance and there are many different types of policy – do your research and make sure you get exactly what you want from the policy. The cost tends to start very low and increases with renewals as your cat gets older – you can therefore expect to pay around £3 per month for a young and healthy cat and up to £12 per month for an older cat.
As with car insurance you’ll often have to pay an excess (around £99) if you make a claim; this sounds like a lot but vet bills can stack up into the thousands for some illnesses and operations.
Cattery’s and Cat Sitters
If you plan on going away from home for any period of time you’ll need someone to take care of your furry friend. Oftencase a friend, neighbor or family member can do this for you but in many cases we don’t have that luxury. Catteries charge between £6 – £10 per night so be sure to budget for this when planning your holidays!
Do you have any cats? How do you budget for your pets?