While we all love the idea of having a pet to cuddle and play with, the facts are that adopting a cat comes with various financial responsibilities. While there are certainly emergencies that come about without any advance notice, many of the costs of keeping a kitty are predictable.
Here are some financial considerations to keep in mind when deciding to adopt a cat.
Adoption Fees: Many shelters and rescue organizations charge adoption fees. Ensure you understand these fees. Often they cover initial vaccinations, neuter/spay, and more, and at a discount from what you’d pay at a vet.
Initial Veterinary Expenses: After adoption, you’ll want to take your new friend to the vet for a checkup and anything the adoption agency or previous owner hasn’t covered/ Don’t forget to get a microchip in case your cat gets loose!
Essential Supplies: You’ll need a litter box, scoop, cat litter, food and water bowls, and cat food, at a minimum. You can add on a collar, an ID tag, and a bed, as well as cat toys and enrichment items. Scratching posts help save your furniture. Ongoing costs for litter, food and flea treatment meds should be figured into your recurring monthly expenses.
These will get you started. Responsible cat owners will also build into their monthly. yearly budget the cost of ongoing Veterinary Care, where a yearly checkup and shots will run about $150 per animal, which could be covered by pet health insurance, if you choose to go that route. Plan for additional costs if special medical or dietary needs require professional care.
Some cats, due to their history, may need training or behavior classes, which can cost $100 or more. If you travel often, you’ll need to add to your budget for pet sitting, whether it’s from a neighbor or family member or professional.
Just like you do with your human family, you should save into an emergency fund for unexpected expenses related to your cat’s health or well-being. We certainly understand that through loss of job or illness, that the funds may not be in hand when the emergency occurs.
That’s why ACW has the EVAP fund, which you can contact at:
Finally, and this is especially poignant at the holidays, before you commit to a pet, keep in mind this is a long-term relationship. Cats can live for many years, 15 and more, so your financial planning should look to whether you are ready to make this investment for your family’s future.
Taking the time to plan and budget for these expenses will help ensure that you can provide your cat with the care and attention they need throughout their life. Responsible financial planning is a crucial aspect of being a good and caring cat owner.