Cat Math: Find Out the Cost of Owning a Cat

Sometimes potential owners can be worried about the cost of owning a cat when considering bringing a new furry friend home by the cost of owning a cat. When deciding which pet to get, there is a lot to consider. If you can afford that pet is definitely one of these factors. You need to know you’ll have time free to entertain them, be able to provide them with a loving home, and be able to pay for them. While some cats have been known to receive a salary, most aren’t exactly going to get a job and pay their own expenses.

Cost of Owning a Cat

Cats aren’t quite as expensive as other additions to your family like a child, but they still have some costs. Before getting a cat, you should ensure you’ve budget for caring for one. It may come as a relief that most of the one-off costs come just prior to bringing a kitten home, rather than throughout your time together! The cost of owning a cat isn’t too high but there are still ways to reduce this cost.

The Initial Cost of Owning a Cat

The initial costs involved with getting a cat are some of the largest you’ll encounter while you have them as a pet. Although there are plenty of ongoing costs throughout their life, getting equipped for a new kitten is going to be a bigger expense than you’re likely to get again.

The costs of setting your home up for a kitten involves purchasing all the essential supplies. This includes a small budget to spend on toys along with bowls, a bed, litter box, litter, and grooming equipment. You will also need a cat carrier for taking them to the vet and bringing them to their new home.

Another cost when you first bring a kitten home are their initial medical needs. While this won’t be a factor for an older cat, a kitten will need vaccinations and microchipping.

With all of this accounted for, it is likely going to cost up to £200 to get everything ready for your new cat. Although the majority of these costs though are only going to occur once!

Health Care

Throughout your cat’s life, they are going to need some health care. While initial vaccinations help, there are many other health problems that cats might encounter throughout their lives. Even for healthy cats, flea and worm treatments, and booster vaccinations will be an ongoing expense. There are even one off health expenses like neutering or spaying to consider.

Neutering or Spaying

Cost of Owning a Cat

Neutering or spaying your cat is important if you don’t plan on breeding them. There are a lot of kittens in the world and in shelters with nowhere to go, mainly because of irresponsible breeding. If you’re having an outdoor cat, then neutering or spaying them is essential. This is a one time cost that is usually around £50.

Flea and Worm Treatments

These treatments are medical care that you administer yourself at home, but they are still very important. Cats are really susceptible to fleas and this can lead to a big infestation. Keeping up to date with these treatments adds to the cost of owning a cat, but it is essential.

Flea and Worm treatments typically cost around £20 around for 6 doses. This is an ongoing cost for the life time of a cat. There are cheaper flea and worm treatments available. However, the majority of those being sold for considerably cheaper are ineffective.

FRONTLINE Spot On Flea & Tick Treatment for Cats 6 Pipettes
FRONTLINE Spot On Flea & Tick Treatment for Cats 6 Pipettes View on Amazon


Most other cat healthcare will be done through a vet’s office. For the most part, prices can vary widely depending on what is wrong with your cat. Vet bills can get very expensive in the later half of a cat’s life. To make this a bit easier, it is wise to get pet insurance. If you begin a policy while your cat is young you have the peace of mind of knowing your cat will be cared for even in the worst case scenario.

The insurance cost per month is going to vary depending on your situation. Many people find it easier to group their pet insurance in with other insurance for a discount, others have multiple pets on the same policy. In any case, the insurance is going to be a lot cheaper than end of life care for your cat.

The Cost of Owning a Cat

While health care is a big part of the cost of owning a cat, there is the small matter of the cat itself. No matter what source your new friend comes from, it will cost some money. The amount however is going to vary.

The decision to adopt or to buy a kitten is a big one with other things to consider, but the price is worth keeping in mind too. Equally, the cost of a pure breed kitten is typically more than a mixed breed. You need to keep these things in mind while deciding which pet is right for you.

The Cost of Owning a Rescue Cat

Cost of Owning a Cat

Rescuing a cat helps ease the burden on shelters and gives you more control over the personality of your cat, but they do still cost some money. Shelters typically charge for a cat to get funding to continue their work. While it goes to a good cause, it doesn’t help lessen the cost of owning a cat.

Shelters set their own ‘donation’ costs for adopting a cat. However, the bigger shelters use uniform fees. The Cat’s Protection charges £70 to rehome a cat, while the RSPCA charges £90 for kittens and £70 for cats older than six months. Pedigree cats from the RSPCA have a different fee, which isn’t decided until the application process. While every shelter has different fees, most will fall in this general range.

Most shelters allow an additional donation if you’re able to help the other cats there out too. However, by paying the fee and giving a cat a loving home you’re already doing quite a bit to help them.

Buying the Cat – Kittens

If you’ve chosen to buy a kitten, then the cost of owning a cat will be a bit different. The cost of kittens from a private seller can vary quite a bit. It mainly depends on if you want a pure breed cat or a mixed breed.

Mixed Breeds

Cost of Owning a Cat

Mixed breed cats will be considerably cheaper. The main issue with finding a mixed breed kitten isn’t finding a good price, but finding a good breeder. Kittens listed at very low prices will likely be from poor breeders. The cost of humanely breeding and caring for kittens means a good breeder usually won’t be practically giving them away. While they will lower the cost of owning a cat it encourages the bad breeding practises that is leading to so many unwanted kittens.

From a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay around £50-100. This will vary depending on your location, with less kittens available in the area the price will be higher and the opposite if they’re a lot of kittens for sale.

Pure Breeds

The cost of owning a pure breed cat is pretty unpredictable. There are too many breeds to specifically list the cost of every pedigree cat. However, the more common the breed of cat the cheaper they will be. There are geographical differences too. Some cats may be cheaper in certain regions or countries than others.

If you’re worried about the cost of owning a cat, you should make sure to check the average price for a pedigree breed before becoming too set on that breed. It is not unusual for a pedigree kitten to cost more then ten times the price of a mixed breed kitten. 

The Cost of Owning a Cat – Food and Other Supplies

Outside of initial costs, your main expense month to month for a cat is going to be food and litter. These are two things that cats go through pretty quickly. Litter can be pretty inexpensive and you shouldn’t have to spend more than £10-£15 a month on this, depending on the quality and ease of use. For example, World’s best cat litter is quite aptly named – it’s made of whole-kernel so it provides great odour control; it also forms clumps and is super easy to clean.

World's best cat litter
World’s best cat litter – View on Amazon

However, food forms a major part of the cost of owning a cat. Food can vary quite a bit more. While it can be tempting to go for a cheaper food these typically aren’t particularly healthy for your cat. While the food might be cheaper now, it will lead to health problems for your cat that will be expensive later. If you do decide to go for cheaper food like Whiskas, it can cost you as little as £10-20 a month, depending on the size of the cat.

If you’re going for a good quality cat food, you can expect to spend between £30-60 a month on food, depending on the size of the cat. Some of the best quality no-grain, organic wet food is by Thrive and Lily’s kitchen. This isn’t all that much really when you consider how many meals it accounts for!

Lily's Kitchen Adult Natural Wet Cat Food
Lily’s Kitchen Adult Cat Selection – View on Amazon

Food, litter, and treats can be bought in bulk to reduce the cost. Buying in very large amounts of cat food will let you save a considerable amount of money compared with buying at a regular pet store. As long as you have somewhere to store this large amount of litter, food, and treats, it is the best option.

The cost of owning a cat isn’t quite as high as other pets since they are relatively low maintenance. You can still expect to pay between £30-80 a month on ongoing expenses. This should account for food, monthly health expenses (for a healthy cat), litter, and any toys you might want to treat your cat to.

You do have to consider their cost when deciding if a cat is right for you. As long as you budget for any eventuality with your cat, you should be able to bring a furry friend into your life for a relatively low price!

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