What it costs to own a pet cat

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From company to the sound of a reassuring purr, there are many benefits of owning a cat. But before you go with a cat basket to get one, it’s worth considering the cost. Even the average moggie can lose its owners thousands of pounds in their lifetime.

What are the financial costs of owning a cat?

Unless you choose a rare breed, probably not as much as owning a dog. This is the good news. On the other hand, costs can go up.

There may be purchase fees, vet bills, a microchip, jabs, and you may need to pay to install a cat flap on your back door. Then there is everything you will need to do to feed and don’t forget the kitty litter. None of these commitments need to break the bank, but they all contribute to the bill and, as such, require some thought.

Where do you get the cats from and how much do they cost?

A kitten can cost you around £ 150, but breeds such as the Russian Blue, Maine Coon, and Norwegian Forest can cost 10 times as much. Exotic breeds such as the Bengal, Savannah, and Ashera can reach five-figure sums.

The cheapest alternative is to adopt. Cat shelters are overflowing in the UK, welcoming responsible cat owners. They will ask for a donation, but the bonus is that your chosen cat is likely already spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped. Plus, you get the warm and fuzzy feeling to give it a loving new home.

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What are the initial costs to consider?

The costs include the microchip, vaccination and sterilization of your cat, and you will need a few basic necessities such as a cat bed / basket, a food and water bowl, a litter box and a cat carrier. If you don’t want claws tearing up furniture, a scratching post can also be a handy investment, as can a brush or comb for grooming and even a few kitten toys. Overall, the PDSA animal charity estimates that these initial costs will set you back around £ 250.

If you need a cat flap you may be able to buy a standard one for just £ 10, but expect to shell out £ 50 or more for one with smart sensors. The installation will likely double your costs, ranging from £ 30 to £ 60 if installed in a wooden door, but up to £ 300 for the modification of double glazed glazing.

What are the ongoing costs of owning a cat?

After the initial setup, there are regular costs to consider. These include annual health checkups and vaccination reminders, deworming and flea treatments, cat food and litter. If you are going you will also need to consider the cost of a pet-sitter or cattery at around £ 10 per day.

PDSA estimates that it costs around £ 70 per month to care for a cat, but the costs of vets or a specialist diet could add significantly to that amount. In the first case, you can also consider cat insurance.

What is cat insurance and how much does it cost?

Cat insurance can save you a hefty vet bill in the event of illness or injury. Purebred cats are more susceptible to congenital and hereditary illnesses, but there is also a risk of loss or theft to be aware of.

Although bills vary, a respiratory problem can cost £ 480 and tumor removal around £ 600. The average pet insurance claim cost £ 817 in 2020, according to the latest figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Different types of insurance are available, ranging from accident only coverage to annual and lifetime coverage. Accident-only coverage is the cheapest, although according to consumer group Which ?, 70 percent of all pet insurance claims are for illness, not accidents.

The ABI estimates the average annual premium for pet insurance at £ 271, but cat insurance can start at around £ 80 per year. It’s worth noting what’s covered, however. For example, insurance generally does not cover regular treatments such as vaccinations, deworming, flea treatment and sterilization.

How much are you going to spend on your cat in her lifetime?

A final cost to consider is what happens when your beloved feline companion dies.

The cost of cat cremations varies, but if you want the ashes to be returned after a private ceremony, it will be more expensive. Costs range from £ 50 to £ 300 depending on the Money Advice service. Your vet should be able to help you with the arrangements.

To sum up, Battersea Cats & Dogs Home estimates that it costs around £ 1,000 a year to own a cat. In addition, a cat typically lives around 18 years. So that’s £ 18,000 of feline support to be found, offset by plenty of fun and loving memories. Owning a cat will hopefully be worth every penny.

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