Vet Blog

Can I Afford to Adopt a Cat?

February 09, 2021

Adopting a new cat or kitten is exciting, but before you sign the adoption papers, it's important to learn the initial and annual costs of owning a cat.

The cost of bringing a cat into your home is more than the initial adoption fees, which can vary from nothing to hundreds of dollars. In addition, the initial expenses include purchasing supplies, travel funds, and adoption fees should be prepared before the arrival of your cat. There are also recurring expenses that occur throughout the year and over the cat's lifetime. Be prepared for unexpected costly veterinary visits and emergencies that can happen any time during the year that needs to be at your annual expense. Depending on where you live can also make a difference in cat costs. Here is a list of things that will help you prepare for your cat's arrival.

Cat Adoption Costs

Cat Carrier

The first thing you need to prepare for your cat's arrival is a cat carrier. Carriers are very important because they safely transport your cat between trips to the vet, emergencies, disasters, and travel. Unlike dogs, cats like to roam freely, and unless trained, they do not like to be on a leash. Purchasing a cat carrier eliminates the struggle of chasing your cat around at different places. Invest in a sturdy, non-collapsible, durable carrier to ensure that your cat won't be injured inside. A quality cat carrier costs between $40-$80, and it's a one-time purchase and built to last. When choosing a cat carrier, make sure your cat will be able to feel comfortable, able to move, turn around, and stand up in the case.

Litter Box & Litter

The next item you need to purchase before your cat arrives home is a litter box. Litter Boxes vary in size, style, and design that costs between $25-$50. You want a litter box that your cat has plenty of room to turn around and easily stand up in. Invest in a litter box that has a roof or top because cats like privacy, and having a cover helps contain the litter in the box. Place your cat's litter box in a convenient but non-heavy traffic area. There are different litters for cats like newspaper, pine pellet, sawdust, silica gel beads, or granulated clay litter. Litters can range from fragrance to fragrance-free, offer odor control, clumping and non-clumping, flushable, and have less-flushable formulas. Each bag cost between $20-$45, depending on the type and size of the bag. Find a litter that your cat is most attractive to use.

Food & Water Bowls

Cat bowls come in different varieties, sizes, and materials. Just to name a few, consider getting either glass, stainless steel, or ceramic bowls. Stainless steel is the best material for cat food and water bowls because it's easy to clean, disinfect, and extremely durable. Glass and ceramic dishes are also easy to clean, but they can chip, crack, or break more easily that could lead to cuts on your cat. Avoid plastic bowls because they can easily get damaged and generate more bacteria than other materials. Choose bowls that will best fit their lifestyle, whether it's a plain bowl or a puzzle feeding bowl. Ideally, you should clean your cat's food and water bowl every day; however, with busy lives, try to clean as often as you can.

Cat Food

Your cat needs high-quality, well-balanced, premium food that provides enough protein, fats, amino acids, moisture, and essential nutrients- twice a day. Before purchasing, check the label on the product to see where the protein is coming from and avoid products that have corn or corn gluten on the ingredient label. Cat food costs between $40-$60 supply for two or more weeks, depending on the amount your cat consumes. Canned food is generally considered healthier for cats because of its higher protein content and significantly more moisture in the food.

Cat Accessories

Cats love to curl up in a cozy spot. Purchase a fabric, washable, soft, and cotton bed for your cat to feel protected, keep them warm, and give them a space of their own. Cat beds range from $10-$50 depending on the material, size, and detail. Cats like to scratch, stretch and flex their entire body. To prevent your cat from using your furniture as a scratcher, invest in a $15-$60 scratching post or board for your cat to condition their claws, leave their scent, and groom their nail. Cats love to play with toys, especially ones with catnip. There are a variety of inexpensive cat toys to choose from. Buy toys that are safe and don't have strings, feathers, or small beads that can be ingested.

Visit a Veterinarian for More Information about Pet Adoption

Maintaining your cat's health will require an annual veterinary well-check. It's important to give your cat a complete physical exam by a vet at least once a year, and cats over 12 years of age should visit twice a year. Schedule your cat's first wellness exam at Avery Creek Pet Hospital. We believe that the prevention of illnesses and diseases is the real goal of wellness exams. Contact us today to request an appointment.