Cat Costs?(36 Posts)
Be gentle with me...
DP and I are thinking about getting 1 or 2 cats (lots of rescue cats seem to come in pairs). We are trying to figure out if we can afford them, I have knocked up a quick spreadsheet using premium bits as worst case scenarios - it'd be great if someone who knows could have a look and critique?
INITIAL COST - £350ish
Adoption fees £80, Beds £20, Scratchpost tree £35, Grooming £10, Toys £10, Microchip cat flap £70, Collars £10, Food balls £10, crates £30
MONTHLY COST - £270ish - ouch!
PAy monthly vet plan for vaccs etc £60, Insurance £42 (based on average, haven't got quotes yet), Cat litter £40, Food £60, Boarding £27
Do those figures look at all realistic - we want to be very sure we can afford these cats (going by this we cant ) - is there anything major we've missed?
We never use collars. Collar injuries are a real risk. They don't need beds. Ours love a cat tree but mainly sleep on the bed or back of the sofa. Grooming costs? Get a brush. Food balls? What are they?
We have never had a cat flap but then we didn't work long hours.
I'm sure flea, worming and vacs don't come to £60 a month!
Cat litter? Now ours go out I'm getting through a couple of bags of LIDL at less than £2 a bag. Per month.
Why boarding every month?
If you get kittens remember neutering and microchip!
Thanks for the fast response!
I'm not keen on collars either apart from the fact they show ownership. Minimal expense anyway.
If we got an outdoor cat, would def want a cat flap I think - it's another variable that depends in the cat/s
Food balls - balls with holes in to make cats work for food.
I'm not sure if the £60 pm vet costs are a scam or not, also covers things like examinations, bldental treatment etc - would rather pay out a bit more per month just in case than be hit with a surprise teeth cleaning bill (this also applies to insurance)
Not boarding every month - just broke down the annual potential cost monthly.
Unlikely to get kittens, as planning to get rescue - I think they will be microchipped and neutered already.
I think we may be able to afford one cat (half above costs) , but def not two...
I pay 100 per year for flea treatment, immunisations, claw clipping and 10% off seeing the vet.
£6 insurance per month
Roughly 25 per month food.
70 cat flap and 60 cat tree.
Whatever you get as your quote for insurance, factor in that the costs will rise steeply year on year as every year of age it will become more likely that they will need something expensive. £21 per cat average sounds about right but is over the cat's lifetime. It will probably start at around £8. Our geriatric old cat's premiums went up to nearly £40 a month by the end. Make sure you choose a policy where any imposed maximum payout is per year not per condition - the latter can be heartbreaking if your cat gets a lifelong treatable condition.
Haha tbh, food wise is going to depend on whether you have a fussy cat. My little by changes his mind all the time what food he likes. Usually right after I buy a bulk deal
I used to use £2 Tesco litter has great; but then I bought Catsan, and it does make a massive difference.
Litter tray can buy cheap too; but then a really good one is less smelly as covered but more expensive.
One of my major costs I never factored into owning a cat was the cost of text picture messaging. haha, so many cute pics need sending instantly
Thanks for the advice - I'm glad to see I am over estimating rather than underestimating
Was planning to get stupidly expensive covers everything for ever insurance
Unless you are away a lot I don't think boarding should be that much. Have you seen actual prices? Pet sitter cheaper? Any neighbour who could come in?
I would ask for prices of flea, worm and vacs individually. Cats shouldn't need major dental work. Some may be covered on insurance.
Be aware that stupid covers it all forever insurance may not actually do so.
Old cat on meds towards the end of her life £60 a month. Thyroid and arthritis. Doubt insurance would pay that.
Cats aren't expensive. My two cost me:
C2 £40 RSPCA fee
C2 free ( paid for by RSPCA)
( maybe £20 in toys accross the pair)
£2 cat litter ( wood pellet)
£4 collars ( my cats wear multiple bells because I am not happy for them to kill all the local birds)
The only big outlay has been the cat flaps - £190 here.. sure flap fitted by Cat Flap Alan (Facebook) and £300 at out old house which was through a wall.
Biggest expense for my cat is food . I spend a small fortune pandering to the fussy bastard every month
We had our kitten from the RSPCA two years ago, and I think he was £60.
Bed isn't essential. A basic scratchpost is about £5 from Home Bargains. A brush and toys are very cheap from bargain shops (a lot more expensive in places like Pets At Home). We used an old wicker carrier that my cats had when I was a teenager living at home, but you might be able to buy a modern one on eBay or through an advert in the local paper.
Food isn't a huge expense. People on mumsnet rave about the expensive brands like Applaws but my boy won't touch it and has Whiskers, Felix etc - whatever is on offer, supplemented by dry food and human food - cooked meat, a bit of tinned salmon or tuna, chicken or steak or whatever we have ourselves.
As for vets, I've taken him today for his annual health check and booster jab, and, including worming tablets and ear drops, it came to just under £60. I don't insure him. I prefer to save the money and take the chance that yes, he could one day run up a bill of thousands. It's personal choice.
He doesn't have a collar or a cat flap, and once he started going out we didn't need cat litter anymore. Big bags of catsan, which we used, are about £10 and lasted about three weeks, I think.
He hasn't been to a cattery. We take him on holiday with us when we go self catering (£25 charge) and for days out or a short break where we flew, he stayed at my mom's. He is very adaptable!
For the joy, fun and love we get from him, he is a bargain and getting him was the best thing we ever did!
Oh, meant to say, I think the RSPCA paid for him to be neutered, or it was half price.
They were excellent. We inquired about him on the Saturday and had him on the Monday, after a mad dash to the shops to get his bits and pieces.
Don't bother with cat beds. Cats sleep wherever they fancy!
We have one cat. The best investments were the cat tree and a laser pointer! Cheap cat toys from B&M or Wilkinsons are fine.
Cat is fed on Asda's own fish and meat cat food pouches, we buy the big boxes. Tried him on fancy food, tuna and he once tried some chicken but he's only interested in the cheap pouches in jelly.
So I get through a bag of woodchip cat litter a week. We have a big covered litter tray. It costs £52 for a 6month supply of spot on treatment (which is to prevent fleas and se-worm). We trim his claws with ordinary nail scissors, and if he's in the mood he'll let us brush him every now and then. He doesn't wear a collar, but is microchipped and doesn't leave the garden. He's very distinctive looking, so our neighbours knows who he belongs to. Don't have a cat flap yet, something we need to get round to, but at the moment we just leave the back door open when someone is in the house.
We didn't bother with pet insurance and were landed with a £500 vet bill when he was 18months and had a kitty cold and stopped eating and drinking. I wish we had pet insurance at the time, and it was more difficult getting it afterwards (but still only about a £5 month). I would say it's a must!
We book the cat into the expensive, registered cattery (£9/night) when we go away, as when we've left him in cheaper places (approx £6/night) the cat accommodation has been grim and often an add on to a kennels or as a sideline for a farm. He gets fussed in the expensive cattery (though we did work out on our last week camping we spent more on cat accommodation than on ours!).
Good luck with the cats. I really love mine despite his random assaults on my person, he's lovely company and keeps me and dh amused. He's worth everything we've spent on him and is definitely part of the family. He even converted Dh who wasn't a cat person previously!
Don't bother buying beds until you are sure they'll use them. A baby blanket will do. Get the human equivalent if there is one as the pet stuff is more expensive. Ie baby blankets instead of 'cat' blankets. Take a close look at wether a vet planwill be cheaper. I worked out that I would be spending £240 a year on a plan and all of the stuff that it covers has worked out cheaper than that for both of them. I buy their food in bulk and their litter in bulk and it lasts ages.
Forgot to mention - You will need a cat carrier and get the biggest you can afford. Our annual check up and boosters are approx £50-year but your cat should come fully vaccinated if you are rehoming from a charity.
My annual check up and boosters including claw clip and worming tablets cost £60 for both my girls. (Not each)
We have 2 adult cats (pedigree) and 2 baby ones (cross).
Adults eat 2 pouches of felix each a day (£3.95 for 12 - varies) and a bag of decent dry food like Royal Canin costs around £20 and lasts about a month. Insurance is £32 a month for the pair of them. They are indoor cats so we get through quite a lot of litter but no more than a bag a week at £3.98 a bag.
The babies have just had their first jabs. The vets do a jab/worm/flea/4 weeks insurance for £70 each. Neutering for the boy is £60 and the girl £70. Ongoing flea treatment is about £23 for 3 pipettes. Works out cheaper if you buy 6 at a time.
We bought a big cat tree which was about £70, and some small toys.
I think you've hugely over-estimated your costs
My 1 cat costs
£10 a month vetplan that includes yearly jabs, flea & worm monthly treatments.
£4 cat litter
DP has just told me that he has just remembered he is allergic to cats <cries>
Should I LTB?
Leave immediately. How dare he be allergic
Yes. Tell him to man up first. My Dh has to have to inhalers now we have a cat and you don't hear him complaining.
My cat costs me £14 a month per plan which covers flea, worming and vaccinations. I buy tesco everyday cat litter which is about £2, get through maybe three of those a month. I have a feeder dispenser which cost me £10 and he Helps himself, I fill it as and when and just buy big bags of cat food. His scratch post was £14 from the range and he's on his fourth one as he loves it.
Cat beds are not worth it as the buggers sleep wherever they can squeeze their ass in.
Cats are not expensive pets I don't think. Mine loves indoors and is a happy healthy moggy, though he hates other people apart from me and DP! I think you've very much over estimated!
When we have gone away we've used a pet sitter who came every other day to check on him and clean the litter tray. Think it was £8 per half hour visit. You just provide the stuff.
My one cats costs:
£11.49 healthy pet club (covers jabs, flea & worm treatment etc)
£20 into his 'savings' to cover the pet sitter when we go away
I agree you don't need a bed. Harry has one and he does sleep in it sometimes but I don't think he'd miss it if it wasn't there! He has a mixture of James Wellbeloved dry food and Natures Menu wet.
If you're going to give them dry food please make sure it's a good quality one as the cheaper ones have been proven to cause problems, especially for male cats.
Get rid of DP. Seriously though, if you do go ahead, see if there's a Vets4Pets near you. They do a lifetime vaccination plan which I think is £100 and covers annual boosters and a healthcheck up for life of the cat. Don't bother with cat beds. Or collars- I bought about 25 collars for my cat, quick release for safety. The longest lasted 4 days. I gave up in the end. Don't bulk buy food. ThE minute you do they decide they don't like it < glares at uneaten bowl of food and pitiful looking cat who knows full well I have 3 multipack boxes of that food in the garage >
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