Cats are known to be more low maintenance and independent than dogs, making them easy companions. Unfortunately, their carefree nature does not equate to low annual expenses.
To start, you can get a cat from a shelter, a breeder, or a pet store, where it would be free-$1500+ depending on the breed and place you choose to buy from. Additional initial costs are the necessary materials like a litter box, bowls for food and water, toys, a bed or scratching posts etc. Next would be the regular purchases like litter sand, food and remembering their veterinary checkups, which would be from $1000-$2800+ a year.
The yearly cost of owning a cat will be tied to the cost of living in your city. If the cost of living is high, cat expenses will likely increase.
As touched on briefly, there are two categories to focus on regarding cat expenses: Initial and Annual Costs.
The initial costs include the purchase of the cat and the initial supplies.
Buying A Cat
Fortunately, cats tend to be less expensive than dogs, making them more affordable. If purchased from a breeder or a pet store, it could cost around $500-$3,500, with rare and pure breeds being even more costly. Sometimes breeders or animal shelters will have free kittens to adopt. However, those cats may have yet to have the initial vet checks. Often animal shelters like the SPCA charge around $300 to adopt. However, the cats are vaccinated and checked out by the vet. So, the adoption cost pays for some initial vet expenses.
Find a cat to take in for free isn’t always easy; however, there may be a few opportunities through word of mouth or adoption events. Some people also post on social media to rehome their cats, for example, because of health reasons that can be costly or because they can no longer afford the care.
When receiving a cat for free, ensure you get documents on the cat’s health history; you don’t want any surprises, leaving you with long-term vet expenses.
Adoption is a great way to support your local animal shelters and give a cat a new home. Adoption fees are between $50-$300+. Some shelters, like the SPCA, have adoption events where you can adopt a cat for free!
Adoption is a more affordable option when considering the purchase of a cat. It also benefits the cats greatly since they often come from unsafe environments. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new best friend!
Breeders are people who have pure or rare breed cats. It is the most expensive way to get a cat. Depending on the breed, the price can vary from $500-$3,500+.
After or before buying your cat, you will need a few supplies to make your home more comfortable for your new companions, which is why your first month as a new cat parent could be the most costly.
Here are some of the one-time purchases needed to own a cat.
|ID Tag & Collar||$60||Spay/Neuter||$300|
|Litter Box||$30||Litter Scoop||$10|
|Food & Water Bowls||$20||Microchip||$50|
The cost of owning a cat depends on which products you buy. If you buy more organic cat food, then prices go up. Therefore it could range from $25-$151+ per month. The range is also due to some costs being once a year or every couple of months.
Breakdown (per month)
Breakdown (per year)
The price of pet food will vary the most since there are many brands and different dietary options. Remember that buying the cheapest option is like “fast food” for humans and can cause health issues down the line, increasing vet costs. So, giving your cat higher-quality food might save your cat’s health and health bills over the long run.
Annual Veterinary Costs
An important consideration is vet costs, primarily if the place you bought your cat did not provide those first vaccinations and spay or neuter.
Vet costs vary from $1000+ a year.
|Flea, Tick, Worm & Mite Treatment||$150|
Avoiding these costs can negatively impact your cat’s health, so make sure to include them in your financial budget for your cat.
There are some costs that you won’t spend monthly, but having an emergency fund could be a good idea. One option to avoid an emergency fund is to opt-in for pet insurance, which is also something to consider.
Another cost to consider is a pet sitter or boarding home if going on vacation.
A cat costs much less than a dog in Canada. Expenses can range from $1000-2800+ a year. Don’t forget the initial costs of around $725+.
Additionally, some provinces have a pet licence fee ranging from $15-$50, with low-income subsidies to cover the cost. Other provinces only require a pet license for dogs, so this might not be important to you.
A little hint for getting your cat spayed or neutered, the SPCA offers a low-income veterinarian option; they require proof of income, so be honest.
Remember that buying a cat isn’t only about whether you can afford it but whether you have the time and patience to care for them.
Budgeting can help you lower these costs, so keep an eye on sales and discounts when possible!