How Much Do Cats Cost?

The financial cost of a cat is not quite as simple as buying a kitten and feeding it. Along with veterinary bills there are many other expenses that you will almost certainly run into during your cat’s life. Before you consider getting a cat you must decide whether you can afford its upkeep for the duration of its life. In this section we will go through the different costs of keeping a cat.


A healthy adult cat who can live for 20 years
A healthy adult cat who can live for 20 years

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Cat?

The cost of getting a cat or kitten varies a lot. You can quite easily get a cat for free or with a small adoption fee but you can also spend thousands on certain pedigree breeds.


An incredibly beautiful tabby cat with great big eyes and pointed ears
An incredibly beautiful tabby cat with great big eyes and pointed ears

Cost Of Adopting A Cat Or Kitten From A Shelter

Adopting a cat from the RSPCA costs between £35-£55 depending on the age of the cat. The adoption fee is to cover the animal's vaccinations which can cost up to £100 alone. You will have shelters local to you with their own adoption fee policies but you can expect the fee to be similar the RSPCA’s.


A young rescue cat in a cat crate ready to be adopted
A young rescue cat in a cat crate ready to be adopted

Cost Of Buying A Pedigree Cat Or Kitten

If you have decided you are going to buy a pedigree cat or kitten then you can expect to pay anywhere between £200 - £2000 depending on the breed, whether the animal has been pedigree registered and who the cat’s parents are.


A Russian Blue cat with a wonderful blue coat lying down
A Russian Blue cat with a wonderful blue coat lying down

Cost Of Buying Non-Pedigree Cat Or Kitten

If you have decided to buy a non-pedigree cat or kitten then you can expect to pay anywhere between £0 and £200. These costs are really down to the individual breeder and whether either of the kitten’s parents are purebred.


A non purebreed tabby cat
A non purebreed tabby cat

How Much Does It Cost To Feed A Cat?

Below you will find a table with an estimation of the basic food costs for a cat. We have worked this out by price checking British supermarkets in May 2015 and using the quantities that we feed our own cats. The price brackets do not necessarily mean highest and lowest quality but are a reflection of the highest, mid range and lowest prices we found.


Three cats being fed outside
Three cats being fed outside

Breakdown Of Food Costs

Quantities
High Cost
Medium Cost
Low Cost
 Pouches (1x)  19p  29p  19p
 Dry Food (per kg)
 £6.30  £2.65  £1.25
 Pouches Per Year (2 per day)
 £438.00  £211.70  £138.70
 Dry Food Per Year (50g per day)  £114.98  £48.36  £22.81
 Total cost per year  £552.98  £260.06  £161.51

From this table you can see a huge variation in cat food prices so it is worth looking around to see if you are getting the best quality for the price you are paying.


How Much Do Vets Cost?

Cats will need the occasional visit to the vets if they get poorly but it is more common for them to go in for routine procedures. Below are the most common reasons for a visit to the vet and their respective costs.

Neutering
Vaccinations
Flea / Tick
Worming
Microchipping
Putting A Cat Down
 £40 - £100  £50 - £100
 ~£30 per year
 ~£10 per year  £20 - £30  £30 - £100

Note: Neutering costs depend on sex and location (males are cheaper). Further booster vaccinations cost between £40 and £50 per year, and the price of putting a cat down can vary depending on whether you decide to cremate your cat or not.


A_cat_having_a_check_up_at_the_vets
A_cat_having_a_check_up_at_the_vets

Unexpected illnesses/accidents can rack up huge vets bills but it is difficult to include these in an average cost per cat. The average price of a veterinary treatment is ~£300 but you can expect to pay as much as £2000 in treatment for a pet that is seriously injured by a car. In the next section we will look at the cost of insuring your cat.


How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost For A Cat?

The cost of insuring your cat can vary a lot. Below is a table that shows the costs of different insurance policies that were checked on a price comparison website for one of our cats.


A lazy cat sleeping on the sofa
A lazy cat sleeping on the sofa

Pet Insurance Pricing Per Year

Accident Only
Time Limited
Lifetime
 £29 - £41  £43 - £97
 £79 - £165

Taking out pet insurance comes down to personal preference. Some cat owners believe that it isn’t worth insuring your cat as more often than not, vet bills are affordable. However, others will argue that you cannot predict the unpredictable and some animals will develop diseases and/or injuries that will incur expensive vet bills. As a new cat owner it is up to you to decide whether or not you think it is worth insuring your cat.


What Other Costs Are There To Owning A Cat?

Additional costs to owning a cat can quickly add up. In this section we will look at the cost of the various accessories and equipment that may be essential or optional when owning a cat.


A ginger cat enjoying her bed
A ginger cat enjoying her bed

Essentials

Collar
Litter Tray
Food / Water Bowls
Cat Carry Box
Bed
Cat Litter (per month)
Grooming Kit
 £2 - £5  £2 - £30
 £2 - £10
 £15 - £50  £10 - 70  £5 - £10  £5 - £20


Optional

Cat Scratching Post / Tree
Toys
Treats
Cat Flap
Cat Passport
 £5 - £100  ~£5 each
 £1 - £2 per packet
 £20 - £60  ~£60

How Much Does It Cost To Look After A Cat?

The table below shows an estimation of the total annual cost of keeping a cat at a high, medium, and low cost budget.


A ginger and white cat relaxing inside
A ginger and white cat relaxing inside

Breakdown Of Total Cost

Item
One Off Cost
High Cost (per year)
Medium Cost(per year)
Low Cost(per year)
 Buying A Kitten  £0 - £2000  -  -  -
 Food
 -  £550  £250  £160
 Vet Bills
 £140 - £330  £90  £85  £80
 Insurance  -  £160  £80  £40
 Other Costs  £50 - £425  £120  £90  £60
 Total  £190 - £2755  £920  £511  £340


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