On a resonably low budget - how much do you spend on your cat each month?(21 Posts)
We are completing on our first house next week, and are finally going to be in the position to have a cat - I have waited 12 years for this. I grew up with a number of wonderful cats. One was my special tabby boy who used to snuggle up with me in bed and share my comfort blanket (he used to smell it and knead it). He had his own blanket, which I have kept in a drawer for 8 years, and would love for it to be used by a new cat.
I have spotted a lovely boy (non-pedigree, neutered, a year old) on a local shelter's website and have fallen in love.
The problem is, we don't have a lot of spare money, so I need to think this through carefully.
How much per month on average is pet insurance? What about cat food? Vacinations - how much and how often?
I know there's bits and bobs we'll also need, like a cat basket, bowls, litter tray.
ah, see I could probably get by with £3/week, for food alone, but that would be without most of your list.
My cats each cost £6-£7/wk with all the extras I want (like up to date jabs and flea control). I don't have insurance.
Try charity shops or carboots for the things like cat carrier. Litter tray is a £3 value high-sided box from Sainsbury's. Mine eat out of our regular cereal bowls (have plenty spare).
I pay £3.20 a week food, and about £4 a month on chick crumb for cat litter, £35 a year on jabs.
I buy side plates cheap in asda during the sales for his food, 50p each.
Anything like collars comes from poundland, toys are largely homemade eg shoe laces, balls of paper rolled up small etc.
I think most vets have PetPlans which are monthly payments covering the whole year of necessary treatments. (Eg the jabs and flea controls which lljkk mentioned plus the annual checkup.) i don't have insurance myself (Seniorboy was too old when I got him and is a housecat so RTA likelihood is pretty well Zilch) but I think that many posters pay about £10 a month?
Both of those, you should be able to check out on line.
If you're on a limited budget, I think I would go for those. Yes, they would be coming out of monthly budget but at least you would know (particularly with the insurance) that if you had made the payments and your new boy fell ill or had an accident, you wouldn't be in real trouble with funding treatment.
Our cat cost £80 from a shelter. The shelter will have done neutering (£?)and microchipping (£20)
£6 for a litter tray and £15 for a cat carrier.
She costs £5 a week to feed (this is a premium brand so you could save here)
£4 a month for Cat's Best litter (she is an indoor cat)
If your cat is an indoor cat you don't need flea/worm treatments (these would be £7 a month) or vaccinations - £30 per annum for flu and £70 for HIV
We didn't realise our cat didn't want to go outside so we started off doing these things and they were expensive. If you want to use a cattery or your cat will come into contact with other cats you will still need to get these vaccinations done.
We pay £20 a month for Petplan insurance. The lowest level of cover with petplan is £11 a month. If you get a kitten you can shop around and pay £5 a month or less for insurance.
Don't bother with a cat bed we bought 2 and sent both to a charity shop! Toys/ collar not required.
If you are on a budget tell the rescue centre you cannot take a cat with existing health problems and look for a young cat or kitten as generally these will be cheaper to own.
If your cat goes outdoors you might want a catflap and if you don't want other cats coming in you need one that recognises your cat's chip - £80 plus cost of fitting it.
Our cat has cost a fortune but she is worth it. We had no idea she would cost so much - fortunately we are both working full time so cost not really a problem for us at the moment.
Hope you are very happy with your new kitty! Rescue cats are lovely - I swear they are grateful!!
OK, our miaow isn't insured.
He doesn't have cat litter.
Food (whiskers) - about £16/month - one sachet of wet food per day, and biscuits for the rest.
Vet - £28/year for check-up and vacs
Flea collar - £3.50/four months
dewormer (we use the expensive spot on liquid) £5/three months.
So, on average £21 per month
Sorry Snog - I disagree that you don't need flea and worm treatments for an indoor cat. Houses are not sealed environments and you can still get things tracked inside. You may not need to get so frequent treatments as an outside/hunting cat (for worms for example) but you do still need them.
(I've had a housecat who got fleas and one of my acquaintances who was widely involved with cats told me that some of the worst infestations she'd ever seen were with housecats where the owners had assumed that they would never need to bother with treatments.)
Oh - and you may not need FIV shots for a housecat but you do need the rest, including cat flu.
We paid £60 for kitten from CP which has included all jabs, neutering and 1 month pet ins and free cat litter to start! I think it's very good value.
We have Tesco pet ins highest level of cover £6.50 p/m which vet says is fine - no probs with supermarket ins apparently. Food currently costs around £4 p/w and cheap toys/litter liners/bowls etc from poundland. Flea treatment was £7 but haven't needed worming yet so not sure about cost of that. Hth
Wow, thank you - really useful posts. This will really help. I'm going to make the phone call tomorrow!
I am 100% convinced I want a rescue cat. We've had a mixture of pedigrees and rescues, and the rescue moggies were hardier and had far greater longevity than the pedigrees. They were all wonderful cats, mind you, but my parents were devastated when our two lovely pedigrees passed away from various problems at 'only' 10 years old (which was actually a good age for the breed).
Their one remaining cat is a little tabby and white girl who was discovered as a kitten in a plastic bag in a skip. She is now a very loving and gentle 18 year old, very fragile now, but still has enough spark in her to see off the neighbours' cats!
The only downside of going to the rescue shelter is the horrible feeling of leaving the other cats behind. I actually cried when I read some of the descriptions of these cats - particularly the bereaved cats who are badly missing their old owners
Nextphase - interesting that you use a flea collar. I've never considered that - my parents used to use some chemical stuff that went on the backs of the cats' necks (when I was younger, I had to be reminded not to cuddle the cats until it had worn off), but as I have a younger child myself, a flea collar sounds very appealing. Is it likely a 1 year old cat would accept one at this point?
Yes, sorry she was also microchipped before we picked her up!
Also thought I'd add we just got the cheap cat carrier from Argos - £9.99 I think and is fine..
He needs a collar, as he has a magnetic cat flap.
Not impressed with collar changes, but the thought of de-fleaing must be nearly as bad.
Sounds like we use worming stuff like your parents used - part the hair, and empty a vial onto his neck.
Vet has said flea collars not as good as the other stuff, but since he rarely (never to our knowledge) leaves the garden, we reckon the opps are limited. We have
touching wood not had a flea infestation in 8 years.
On the old cats from rescue homes, our local one offers a OAP rehoming package, where any age related vets bills are paid by the charity. Worth looking at if vets bills are a complete no - we would pay from savings.
The cheapest insurance I found which is the most basic and lowest level was £50 a year.
I would also budget for the odd pointless treat u will inevitably end up buying, or the odd toy etc.
Also consider what arrangements you will need to make if you go away - catteries are about £ 10 a day, friends and neighbours might be free or the cost of a gift.
I found the biggest moneysaving things to do are:
Buy food and if needed litter in bulk from the web e.g. zoo plus. Once you know they like it of course.
Bulk bought dry food that is decent quality is imo cheaper than lower quality wet food.
The cheapest option isn't always the cheapest if you have to buy replacements.
Find out what sort of games your new mog likes and find a cheap solution : one of mine loves running so a £4 laser pen entertains her. Another of mine hates running but likes pawing at things nearby so I built her a cat fort of cardboard boxes and she loves hanging out in it, defending it from attack by the toy fish/mouse etc.
Cat beds can be a waste. My cats prefer my dressing gown, my duvet, the sofa, the floor and a dog bed.
Yes - I've never had a cat yet who would use a bought cat bed. They much prefer their own solutions. Most needs can be catered for - if you have to - by an old fleece jacket or towel/rug. Your local charity shop is a good source if you haven't anything to hand in the house.
And I'd also avoid anything which is labelled as a 'cat toy' from a store. They tend to be much overpriced for what they are and can also sometimes be surprisingly dodgy in terms of metal innards (runabout mice which can't be chewed in case they break your cat's teeth) or eyes on metal stalks and so on. You're far better off making up stuff a la Blue Peter (eg from bits and bobs of cardboard around the house) or buying cheap little used kiddy plush toys from charity shops - which will machine wash a treat.
Definitely don't bother with a cat bed. Our rescue mog behaved as though it was the haunt of demons. Wouldn't go near it. She generally sleeps under or on our bed now.
Our cat cost around £600 a year, all in.
You could spend a bit less with cheaper cat food etc, but I felt high meat content and a mix of wet and dry would be worth it in terms of hopefully avoiding future health problems.
Yowza, TwWi, which food do you use? Mine are on Bozita & Applaws and I spend only half that all in (so £300/yr per cat). The only usual thing I don't have is insurance.
Probably about the same cost for food? Our insurance was more expensive (about £170 per year) due to past medical issues. He'd been hit by a car and was very badly injured before being taken to the rescue we got him from. Never actually had to claim though!
I've recently had a kitten cost us £300 in 2 weeks before having to be pts, totally unexpectedly, so wouldn't risk not having insurance.
We seem to have bomb proof fleas here as well so we are religious with defleaing and have to use expensive brands!
We buy food from Morrisons - £4.99 for 12 tins. Has no nasty cereals or sugars added like other cheap cat food. 1 tin a day so works out £2.91 a week on food.
Advantage flea treatment is £17.60 for 8 pippettes which is 8 months worth of protection. That's just 55p per week of flea protection. There's also Effipro which is £8.70 for 4 but some fleas are now resistant to this.
We buy Panacur worming paste which is £3.52
If you are on a low income you can get vouchers towards the cost of spaying/neutering. We used RSPCA and it only cost £15. Also if you keep a look out RSPCA often do free microchipping sessions.
Other things we bought were Litter scoop
Enclosed litter tray (So you don't get cat litter EVERYWHERE)
3 extra filters (That plus the one included with the tray should last a year)
We got a double feeding bowl from Poundland and a cat bed for £5.99 from Home Bargains.
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