What Is the Average Cost of Owning a Cat?
Having a cat used to indicate that you were single or childless. Most people associate cats with unplanned pregnancies and heartbreak. People now associate cats primarily with viral videos of extreme cuteness.
Although most people are aware that owning a cat entails taking care of an animal in need, did you know that pet ownership costs are much higher than most people anticipate? In many ways, the average cost of owning a cat is similar to that of owning a small dog, but there are differences.
Here is everything you need to know about the average cost of owning a cat and how to cut the costs down to a cheaper price.
Future Medical Expenses of The Cat
The average cost of owning a cat is $1,070 per year, with future medical expenses of the cat totaling $10,000 over its lifetime. Cats typically live for 12-18 years, so while the initial cost of owning a cat may seem low, the long-term costs can be significant. When budgeting for a cat, be sure to factor in the costs of food, litter, toys, and vet care.
While some of these costs may fluctuate over time, the one constant will be the need for quality health care for your cat. To help offset the cost of future medical expenses, consider buying pet insurance for your cat.
The Price of Cat Food
One of the primary costs of owning a cat is food. A high-quality diet suitable for small cat breeds can cost as much as $1.50 per day, while an adult cat eating a maintenance diet may only cost $0.50 per day. The price of cat food depends on the brand, ingredients, and whether it is wet or dry food.
For example, a 4-pound bag of high-end dry food can cost as much as $20, while a mid-priced 12-can pack of wet food may cost $12. In addition to food, cat owners should budget for annual veterinary check-ups and unexpected veterinary costs, which can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year.
Just as you go to the dentist on a regular basis for cleanings, your cat’s teeth will most likely need to be cleaned at least once in its lifetime. Depending on where you live, your cat’s age, and the condition of its teeth and gums, you could spend $70-$400 on teeth cleaning. Other oral healthcare services, such as tooth extraction, are not included in this price.
Cost of Treats
Kitty treats are a necessity for any cat parent. They help keep your cat happy and healthy, and they’re a great way to show your love. But what is the average cost of owning a cat, and how much should you budget for treats?
Treats should be around 10% of your cat’s diet, so if you’re feeding your cat a $10 per week diet, $1 should be spent on treats. That said, there is no hard and fast rule, and you can adjust your budget as needed. The important thing is to give your cat plenty of love and plenty of delicious treats.
Cat Vaccinations Cost
The average cost of owning a cat is $1,070 per year, with the biggest expenses being food ($315), litter ($195), and veterinary care, including vaccinations ($265). Cat vaccinations cost between $35 and $65 for a series of shots and are typically given every three to four weeks until a kitten is 16 weeks old, followed by annual boosters.
While the initial investment in a cat can be pricey, cats can be relatively low-maintenance pets that provide years of companionship and love.
Additional Vet Services Cost
When it comes to your cat’s overall health, there’s more to consider than vaccines.
Cats can get contact disease, which weakens their immune systems and puts them at risk for other infections. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine. According to Bragdon, there used to be one, but it was pulled from the market because it wasn’t effective against all strains.
In addition, during your kitten’s first or second visit, your veterinarian will recommend additional treatments, such as flea and tick prevention and a fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites like roundworms and hookworms. If you live in the southern United States, your veterinarian may also recommend heartworm testing.
Cost of Owning a Cat Includes Getting Pet Insurance
The cat expenses include pet insurance, it is an excellent way to reduce the high cost of emergency situations or surgical procedures, and the monthly premiums are generally reasonable. When comparing policies based on your pet and budget, you must be cautious because certain breeds may have conditions that are not always covered.
The monthly expenses of owning a cat, and pet insurance typically cost between $30 and $50 per month, with some plans costing as little as $10 per month and others with more premium coverage costing as much as $100 per month. Discuss your options with your veterinarian as you consider whether pet insurance is worthwhile.
Discover How to Socialize and Train Your Pet
How can you save money on cat expenses while also making good decisions for their health? Be both their protector and their teacher. Puppy and kitten socialization entails exposing them to new sights, sounds, smells, and people. If you can’t afford to work with a certified trainer or behavior specialist right now, do it yourself!
Your pet is intelligent and eager to learn new things every day, so take advantage of various opportunities to broaden their skill set. From fun cats can learn tricks, to training essentials such as walking on a leash and learning to “drop it!”, there are numerous free resources for you to access that will help your pet live up to their potential.
How Much Should a Cat Owner Expect to Spend?
If you’re thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, you might be wondering how much it cost of owning a cat. The average cost of owning a cat is between $500 and $1,000 per year. This includes costs like food, litter, vet care, and toys.
Of course, the actual cost will vary depending on your cat’s individual needs. But, with a little planning, you can budget for a feline friend and provide them with a loving home.
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