Cat Adoption Budget - Costs of Adopting a Cat
Our little feline friends are great consumers. Cats can live a long time,
and it is not uncommon for them to reach their teens. Some cats even live
into their twenties! It's important to set up a cat adoption budget before
you decide to adopt. While there are, of course, one-time
costs of adopting a cat, there are
also ongoing expenses that adopters should be prepared for.
Here is a sample budget. Prices have been left out because they vary depending
on where you live; visit the local humane society, pet store, or vet to get costs
for your areas. There really is no 'average' cost. Owning a cat requires both
long-term emotional and financial commitments!
One Time Costs
- Adoption fee.
Please adopt from a shelter! There are
many loving, wonderful cats and kittens just waiting for a home.
- Initial shots / vaccinations.
If you have a kitten, it will require at least a couple of sets of shots until its
immune system is fully developed. Adults who were never vaccinated also need an initial
set of vaccines.
- Collar, leash, and harness. It's a good idea
to have both a collar and a harness for when you plan on letting your cat outside.
Cats are very adept at escaping from collars alone.
- Litter box and scoop. There are many types of
these days, some pricier than others.
- Food and water bowls.
- Scratching post or tree. Give your cat an alternative
to shredding your furniture and carpets! Scratching is natural behavior for cats.
Scratching lets them shed the dead outer layers of their claws, plus it gives
them a good stretch. A scratching post
or tree should ideally be tall enough that the cat can stretch out fully.
Cat trees are even better since they give kitties a place to exercise, play, and
lounge around. Cats need to scratch so don't neglect to give them some
way to fulfill this need.
- Kennel. Good for car rides (many cats do not
enjoy cars!), vacations, moving day, etc.
- Brush/comb, and nail clippers.
- Spay/neuter surgery. Many shelters will include
the cost of the surgery with the adoption fee. There are simply not enough homes
for all of our homeless pets. Keep the pet population down by spaying or neutering
- Permanent identification. Have your cat tattooed
or microchipped just in case he or she gets lost. Tattooing can be done at the
same time as the spay/neuter surgery, and microchipping is a quick and painless
process done by injection.
- Cat bed. This isn't a necessary expense at all;
most cats are perfectly content to curl up on your bed. If you want to encourage
kitty to sleep in her own bed, or if you just think she would like her own
"private" spot, then there are many types of
Of course, many cat owners have discovered that their cats prefer a
cardboard box to an expensive cat bed (there's just something about cardboard
boxes!). Try lining a box with soft bedding.
- Unforeseen medical costs, including dental care.
Like people, your cat may sometimes get sick or require dental care. If you are
worried about additional medical costs, you may want to look into purchasing pet
insurance for peace of mind.
- Re-upholstering! It's not always possible to
stop your cat from shredding the furniture, especially in the beginning when
your cat first joins the family. If your mischievous little feline is the
type to sneak in a few scratches, you might want to budget in the cost of
re-upholstering some furniture.
Of course, every cat is different and you may want to add your own points to
this cat adoption budget list. The costs of adopting a cat vary from place to
place, but a budget can help you plan for the future.