You can buy kittens at Petsmart

13 Prices of Proudly owning a Cat

They party all night and sleep all day. And no, this isn't a student generalization, it's the domestic cat's life - or at least mine.

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 42.7 million American households own a cat. And due to COVID-19, adoptions have increased in some metropolitan areas as people seek companionship while mostly staying at home.

But just like with human children, the cost of returning home and caring for your fur baby can really add up. You need to consider vaccinations, groceries, waste, and a host of other recurring and one-off expenses. (Costs vary based on breed and health of each cat.) To give you a realistic picture of how much it costs to own a cat, we interviewed veterinarians and thought about industry research - and insights into our own real ones World gained experience living with cats. Look here.

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Adoption costs

Unless you happen to come across a box of kittens or notice a friendly stray in your neighborhood, your first expense of owning a cat will likely be the adoption fee. How much depends on where you get it from. If you are adopting from a local animal shelter, you should set aside up to $ 200According to Claudine Sievert, a veterinary doctor in Manhattan, Kansas and a veterinary advisor at, a website dedicated to cat lovers. This price usually covers medical checkups, vaccines, and neutering or neutering prior to adoption.

However, you can avoid these costs. Adoption centers and animal shelters often waive adoption fees at certain times of the year. For example, the Animal Foundation in Las Vegas waived adoption fees for their "Clear the Shelters" event last August. You may also be eligible for a discount on adoption fees if you're a veteran, senior, or attending a BOGO event where you can get two cats for the price of an adoption fee (often for married couples).

If you choose to get your cat from a breeder, the price for certain breeds can be thousands of dollars and this may not include vaccines or the cost of spaying / neutering the animal.

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Spay / neuter costs

For those who stumbled upon that kitten box or let a stray cat into your home, it is your responsibility to have your pet neutered and vaccinated. According to Sievert, an operation can cost up to $ 300.

According to Lindsay Hamrick, Public Policy Director for Pets at the Humane Society in the US, some cities are offering surgery vouchers for low-income families to cover the full cost of spay / neuter surgery, while other regions offer low-cost spay / neuter surgery -Operations offer clinics to its community members that bring costs down to $ 100 or less. For example, Emancipet, a group of nonprofit veterinary clinics based in Austin, Texas, offers spay / neuter surgeries for $ 69 and regularly offers free days when members of the community can get these services for free. The Human Rescue Alliance in Washington, DC, offers spay / neuter services for $ 100 to neuter a female cat and $ 65 for a male cat.

You can find inexpensive clinics by asking your local veterinarian or animal shelter, or you can check out the PetSmart Charities database, which lists PetSmart spay / neuter clinics across the country.

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You should get your cat vaccinated against rabies, distemper, and an upper respiratory disease known as viral rhinotracheitis in cats. According to You will spend up to $ 80 on core vaccinations for kittens for the first year. After this, The cost of vaccination for a healthy cat drops to about $ 50 per year.

As with spay / neuter cost, be sure to search the internet quickly for inexpensive animal health clinics that offer vaccinations. If you do adopt, your adoption center may alert you to clinics like mine.

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Routine exams and emergency visits

It is relatively cheap to take your cat to the vet for an annual checkup. According to A routine veterinarian exam costs $ 55and you can keep that cost stable by making sure you don't overfeed your fluffy friend. Cats are prone to obesity, and while the internet loves chubby cats, it is bad for their health and your wallet.

If your cat needs emergency care, All bets will be void when it comes to the cost of maintenance, especially if they swallow something they shouldn't have, like plastic or a tape that may need surgery.

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Dentist costs

Just like you go to the dentist for a regular clean, you will most likely need to clean your cat's teeth at least once in a lifetime. You can have expenses depending on where you live, the age of your cat, and the condition of its teeth and gums According to, $ 70 to $ 400 for teeth cleaning . This price does not include other oral health care such as tooth extraction.

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Food and garbage

Food and litter make up the majority of your cat's annual expenses. And how much you spend depends on the type and brand of food you want to give your cat (wet, dry, or a mix) and the type of litter you prefer. If you choose to feed your cat a mostly raw diet, it will usually cost you something.

My food and trash costs averaged $ 60 a month, or $ 720 a year. Every month from pet supplier, I order an 8.5-pound jug of Tidy Cats Lightweight Glade Scented Clumping Litter and three 24-can boxes of 3-ounce cans of Fancy Feast. By participating in the website's Autoship program, which ships my order at a set time each month, I save almost 5%. I can edit my order to include additional toys or treats, or cancel a month if necessary.

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To keep your furniture from scratching - and to keep your kitten occupied - you should play with it a lot. And that means buying toys but not going overboard - cats have pretty cheap taste in toys. On average, I spend roughly $ 25 a year for cat toys, and that includes the tried and tested spring toy. If you're looking to spend $ 0 a year on cat toys, just wait for the next shipment of anything. Your cat will have fun with an empty box, wrapping paper or an empty bag. You can also chase your cat around your home for more free fun.

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Furniture protection

To protect your furniture, invest in double-sided tape called "sticky paws". Cats generally can't stand their paws sticking to surfaces, so sticky paws will eventually stop your cat from ruining your lovely couch and chairs. You can purchase a 32.8-foot roll from the pet supply website for just $ 9. In addition to the sticky paws, you'll also want to invest in cardboard scratching posts. That costs you about $ 120 a year (or $ 10 per board) as they need to be replaced frequently.

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Pet insurance

Just as you need health insurance, your Garfield needs health insurance too. The cost of pet insurance varies by breed and insurer, but on average, cat owners spend money $ 252 per year, according to insurance comparator Value Penguin. Before choosing a policy, consider its deductible, the maximum annual payout and the reimbursement rate for insured benefits.

And just like with humans, the cost of cat insurance can vary depending on the conditions you already have and the breed. To keep your insurance costs down, you want to keep your cat companion as healthy as possible from the day of adoption or birth.

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Unlike their dogs, who often require physical bathing, the average house cat is a fairly clean animal indoors. They are immaculate snow groomers that spend a large part of the day bathing and sleeping. But if you have to help Kitty you can expect to spend on average $ 50 per visit to the groomer. This can include a bath, a nail cut, and a haircut. (Some snow groomers may refuse to bathe a cat who has never bathed at home before. But they will give your cat a haircut.)

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Travel accessories

If you plan to travel with your cat, you need to prepare especially during the pandemic. If you're traveling by car, if you want to help your cat stretch its legs, you'll need to invest in a good travel carrier that includes a litter box, food and water bowls, and harness. You can buy an extra-large, portable cat cage with a litter box from for about $ 50 and cat harness for about $ 20.

Or you and your cat can travel by plane. Delta and United allow you to take small dogs and cats on domestic flights for $ 125 each way. (American Airlines no longer allows verified pets due to COVID-19.) For example, let's say I wanted to take my cat Nikon home to my parents' home for the winter vacation. I would spend $ 250 on Nikon's own round-trip airfare from Washington, DC to Michigan and back.

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Housing fees

Renters must consider another fee if they choose to adopt a cat: apartment fees. You can be responsible for a Deposit for pets Fee and or a monthly Pet surcharge added to your rental. Similar to leaving a security deposit when moving to a new complex for the first time, the pet security deposit covers any damage that your beloved kitten may cause. (It is refundable.) According to a PetFinder survey The pet deposit can be between 40% and 85% of the cost of a monthly rent. You can also pay what is known as a pet rental, usually around $ 50 per month.

Be sure to research your home's policies before you bring home a new pet. Some landlords may not have a fee at all. For example, I lived in a complex that had pet deposit and pet rental, while my current location doesn't have any.

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Comradeship: Priceless

If, based on these initial numbers, you believe cat adoption is out of your reach, it is not. Keep in mind that you can save a lot of these costs by simply saying goodbye to a shelter that includes much of the startup costs mentioned above. Use your local animal shelter and the internet to point you in the right direction for inexpensive grooming and keep your cat as healthy as possible with food, water, and exercise. You should also throw away extra money when it becomes available to cover unexpected emergency visits.

I have a budget of around $ 800 to $ 1,000 a year for my Nikon as I sometimes get him extra toys and goodies. And remember, your rewards - cat kisses and cuddles - are priceless.