Buying a pet

The real cost of owning a cat

Date updated: 20 09 2018

Before welcoming a new cat into your home, it pays to be prepared for what’s ahead - and this includes budgeting. To help you, here’s our rundown of the costs involved in cat ownership…

Buying a cat: around £400 to £1000+

Although there can be a lot of variation between breeds, this tends to be the ballpark for pedigree kittens registered with either the GCCF or the TICA. But don’t forget that crossbreeds are just as adorable - and tend to come with a significantly lower price tag. Before making any buying decisions, it’s definitely worth taking a look at our guide, “Buying a kitten? Here’s what you should look out for".

Rehoming a rescue cat can be another way of keeping the initial purchase cost down - as well as being a great way to give a cat a second chance. Adopt from the likes of Blue Cross and you get the reassurance of knowing that your new cat is already wormed, neutered, microchipped and up to date on vaccinations when they arrive.

Cat equipment costs

Here are all the items you’ll need to buy for your home before or shortly after your cat arrives...

Cat bedding £50
This covers the cost of a good quality, durable, machine washable bed, along with suitable padded blankets and cushions. You’ll only really need to replace these if the bed loses is loftiness and starts to sag, or if the bedding gets torn or damaged.

Collar £10 ID disc £5
This is the typical cost for a good leather breakaway collar. It can be adjusted as your cat grows and will only need to be replaced if it gets frayed or damaged. You can get a basic ID disc engraved with your contact details for £5 or less.

Cat litter £110 per year
Robust plastic litter trays can be bought for £2 (and they can last pretty much forever!). Litter usually needs to be changed every two to three weeks.

Cat scratching post £10-15
Cats love to scratch to keep their claws strong. A scratching post can definitely save you money on new upholstery!

Feeding bowls. £15
You’ll need separate bowls for water and food. Choose stainless steel or aluminium bowls and you shouldn’t need to replace them.

Carrier £30
Pretty much essential for vet visits. So long as you get a carrier that’s big enough for your young cat to grow into, a good carrier can last a lifetime.

Toys around £100
This should get you a climbing tree and a decent stash of chewies, puzzles and teasers. They need to be replaced if and when they get torn, frayed or sharp around the edges.

Average cost of cat food per year: £250
This can vary depending on age, breed type and any health issues. Your vet should advise you on the best type of feed and portion sizes.

Average cost of cat grooming per year: £150
Long haired breeds such as the Persian, Ragdoll and British Longhair tend to require the most grooming. Opt for professional grooming, teeth cleaning and nail clipping and these costs can increase significantly.

Routine cat medical fees

Here are the typical costs for essential routine vet treatments…

  • Vaccinations £70. This includes initial vaccinations and subsequent boosters. You can find out more about the importance of this and what’s involved in our guide to vaccinations.
  • Microchipping £15. Chipping is a very wise move; even more so for outside cats, where there’s a much greater risk of straying or accidental injury. Read our guide https://www.everypaw.com/all-things-pet/the-lowdown-on-pet-microchipping to find out why microchipping makes perfect sense for all careful pet owners.
  • Worming £50 (per single treatment, including vet consultation).
  • Flea/tick treatment £60 (per single treatment, including vet consultation).
  • Neutering £45.

Cat insurance costs: £150
All of the costs we’ve covered so far are predictable: you can pretty much guarantee that they are going to crop up - so you can budget accordingly. But what can sometimes blindside an unwary cat owner are the unpredictable expenses: especially if your buddy has to be patched up after a fight or if they develop a health problem! This is why so many cat owners opt for pet insurance.

From respiratory problems, kidney and bladder diseases, right through to broken bones, the list of potential cat health issues is certainly a long one. The good news is that many of these conditions are treatable. So obviously, your mission is to get your cat patched up and back on their feet with the minimum of fuss - and preferably without a huge vet bill.
The right cat insurance can make it easier to access the treatment your cat needs, right when they need it - and reduces the chances of being hit with a big treatment bill.


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