Bringing home a four-legged friend is a joy to experience. Be it a cat or a dog, furry snuggles are worth their weight in gold. While the companionship, love, and happiness they offer is inimitable, owning a pet represents massive long-term emotional and financial investment. As a pet owner, the responsibility of your pet’s emotional and physical well-being rests on your shoulders. The amount of money you choose to spend on your furry friend determines the quality and quantity of care that animals will receive. Although this is true for all pets, every animal has unique requirements. When it comes to felines, there is a host of expenses that might still be unknown to you.
Cats are one of the most common pets all over the world. In fact, the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association estimates that 42.7 million American households own a cat. They come in an abundance of colours, sizes and breeds; all of them inquisitive as ever, sneaking past your eyes into corners and crevices of your house you may not even know existed. Do not be surprised if you notice a pair of yellow eyes darting at you from inside a plastic bag – your kitten is just having fun!
Felines are famously known for their aloof, discrete and low-maintenance attitude but do not let this fool you; when we get down to the purr-ticulars the costs start adding up. If you consider routine check-ups, vaccinations, supplies, food, medications and health emergencies – it may start feeling like a financial burden. Hence, a responsible pet owner is one who budgets.
If you are still determined to be a cat parent despite this financial scare – congratulations! Shed your fears, doubts and questions – here are 3 facts to know about the costs of owning a cat.
When it comes to cat food, the prices can range from expensive $7 food to ¢25 store-bought kibble. There is little to no room for compromise when it comes to your kitty’s food – a financially motivated decision to purchase cheap, low-quality food might end up upsetting your kitten’s health.
What supplies you buy depends wholly on your budget except for the ones that are necessities like a litter box, litter mat, food and water bowls. Apart from these, there are toys, scratching posts, ID tag and collar and so forth that are optional luxuries for your kitten. It may not seem much at first but purchasing these small supplies can get expensive as time goes on. It may surprise you that a litter box alone can cost up to $25!
Even for a generally healthy cat, veterinary bills can burn a hole in your pocket. Visits to the vet and dental care can cost up to $60 or more. Since these furballs love exploring thickets, they will likely need to be treated for worms, ticks, and fleas. If not included in the adoption fees, spaying or neutering can cost an additional $145. Surgical expenses for your kitten can cost up to $400 alone. When it comes to chronic illnesses like Diabetes, Cancer, and Glaucoma – the charges run in thousands of dollars.
Unexpected emergencies like these are budget-busters. Since expenses like these can confuse even the most meticulous planners, the smartest option is to opt for cat insurance. It’s important to know How much is cat insurance in order to know if it covers the medical exams you need. Here is a brief explanation (but be sure to verify with your insurance company before) essentially, insuring your cat from illnesses and accidents not only protects your feline companion but also saves you money as the medical expenses mount.
In case you choose to adopt a pedigreed kitten, adoption fees can become formidable. The fee takes into account breed, demand, and special needs of the feline and can cost up to $270. On the other hand, adopting a stray or an indie cat from a rescue centre or shelter home is either free of cost or a nominal amount. When it comes to exotic breeds, the expense becomes $1,000 on average. Some breeds are not expensive to buy but have high maintenance costs due to breed-specific health conditions. For instance, Bengal cats can cost between a whopping $1,000 – $25,000 and can commonly encounter Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and eye disorders.
Being a cat parent can be cumbersome but the joy of loving and being loved by a furball trumps all the burden. The appropriate strategy should be to prepare a budget, invest in cat insurance and research adequately. Caring for a cat does not always have to be expensive.