Animal shelters often have an influx of kittens in late Spring and early Summer and many advertise for new pet parents during this time. If you are considering adopting a cat, you should be financially prepared. Typically, cat owners can expect annual costs to be between $500 and $1,000, more in the first year and more if health issues arise.
Initial costs to expect when adopting a cat include:
- Purchase price- adoption from a shelter is usually the least expensive option (over private adoption), because many cats come already spayed/neutered, vaccinated and micro chipped. These costs can range between $50 – $750.
- Spaying/neutering- if the shelter or person you are adopting from hasn’t already taken care of this procedure, this is another important expense to consider. Generally, spaying (for females) is more expensive than neutering (for males). Spaying/neutering can cost anywhere from $150 – $300.
- Pet insurance- pet owners should have insurance the day of adoption, for accidents, injuries or other unforeseen problems. The PetFirst Lifetime 5,000 insurance plan costs $37 per month.
- Initial veterinary exam- a new cat should have an introductory visit to the veterinarian you are planning to use, along with a checkup. If the cat is a kitten, then preventative shots may be given. A basic veterinary visit can cost up to $150 with shots ranging from $25 – $200.
- ID tags, collars and micro chipping- all of these are a good to have in case your cat gets lost. Along with purchasing a tag with your name and number on it, it is also recommended to have your veterinarian micro chip the cat. Tags are inexpensive at around $10 and micro chipping can cost up to $100.
Supplies are also important to consider as part of initial first-year investment in a new cat. Depending on the types of products you purchase and the specific needs and personality of your cat, the cost may vary. Some of the items you will need to consider purchasing are food bowls or towers, water bowls or fountains, litter box, cat carrier, scratching post, a cat bed, etc. Generally, cat owners can expect about $200 annually for these supplies.
In addition to the budgeting for the costs that accompany a cat in the first year, there are many annual fees that will need to be considered for the life of the cat.
- Food and treats- you have a choice between dry food or wet food for your cat, or both. Each has different health benefits, however wet food tends to be more expensive. Annual food costs can range from $125 – $250.
- Litter- there area variety of litters on the market (including disposable boxes) and extras such as deodorizers and scoops. Litter costscan be as high as $175 per year.
- Routine veterinary care- your cat will need annual exams, a variety of vaccinations and heartworm, flea and tick prevention. These cost can range from $200 – $400 each year.
A consideration to help with annual veterinary costs or emergency medical situations for your cat is pet health insurance. PetFirst offers plans that cover a variety of veterinary expenses for both young and old cats, as well as comprehensive coverage for illnesses, accidents, genetic conditions, and emergency care, including chronic conditions, and breed-specific or hereditary conditions. PetFirst also offers insurance plans multiple pet families.
PetFirst is the fastest growing pet insurer in North America offering easy-to-understand lifelong coverage for dogs and cats. PetFirst’s comprehensive coverage is unique in the industry providing simplified policies with coverage for hereditary, chronic, and breed-specific conditions with no per-diagnosis limits. PetFirst offers pet insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through animal welfare agencies, retailers, employers, as well as other partners. To see how PetFirst pet insurance compares to other pet insurance companies, visit try.petfirst.com/petfirst-competitive-comparison/. For more information about PetFirst pet insurance, visit www.petfirst.com or call 877-894-7387.