What do your cats cost to keep?

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DD265DD265 Forumite
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We may be getting a cat later this year. We're going to discuss again in October as we have a few weekends away between now and then, so it doesn't seem fair to get one now and then abandon it shortly afterwards.

We live in a duplex apartment next to a main road with no garden and therefore an indoor cat is a must. I don't like the idea of taking a perfectly healthy kitten and depriving it of an outdoor life, so we'll go to a rescue and look for something that has to be indoors for health reasons; perhaps eyesight problems or FIV. We work full time so would allow the rescue to guide us on whether there was a single cat who would fit into our lives (I'm sure some would cope and others wouldn't), or whether we'd be better with a bonded pair so they have company during the day.

I've always lived with cats with my parents but never had to pay for them. Can I ask what you pay for your cats on a monthly basis? Do you all insist on having cat insurance (my parents don't)? If you have two cats, is there a significant increase in costs?
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  • PolariaPolaria Forumite
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    Hello,

    I have had a pair of cats, the mom and her daughter, for 14 years. They've always been indoor.

    If you consider a pair of cats, I'd suggest two cats that you know get along - siblings for example, and two litter boxes.

    As for insurance, indoor cats have less risk of accidents and less health issues than outdoor cats. I've never had anything happening to my two, except for the neutering op. Of course this will depend on the cats but I don't really see the point of insurance for indoor cats.

    So the running costs per month for the two monsters:
    • litter: £8 - Sainsbury's ultra clumping - it's their favorite...
    • wet food: £12 - Lidl trays - it's their favorite...
    • dried food: I'd say ~£12, I buy a big bag of Hill's every 3 months
    • vet costs: average £20 - Bear in mind mine are quite old, so they go every year to the vet for an extensive visit (checks, vaccine and blood analysis). This is about £120 per visit. They only get one vaccine as they are indoor cats, but I don't remember which one it is. The vet costs would likely be lower for younger cats.
    That makes running costs of about £52 per month for two cats.
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  • poppycrackerpoppycracker Forumite
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    I have three. One has a special diet due to crystals in her bladder, she costs me @ £20 in food every fortnight from the vets, the other two get bog standard wet and dry food at @£18 a month. I get through £8 of litter every three or four weeks. So £46 a month for the moment.

    I am well aware though, as they are all around 7 years old, that I will have to set up contingencies for vet visits etc as they get older.
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  • mrsHall2bmrsHall2b Forumite
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    I only have one and she is an outdoor cat.

    I dont have insurance but we dont live near a busy road and she is very scared of noises etc so wont go near anything she just sits in the hedge or jumps about in the field for a bit. and she doesnt wear a collar so wont get caught in the branches.
    We live in a coach house and when we first got her she did jump out f the window and disappear for a day before she was spayed so consider that if you do have a cat which hasnt always been indoors.
    Initially we got her spayed/microchipped/jabbed when we got her but if you get from a rescue those bits will be included in the cats 'fee'

    And as for food my cat wont eat dry food so I just buy cans of food, and she isnt fussy so we swap and change depending on whats on offer. she also gets some of our meats when ever I cook meat and if there are any cheap fish reduced in the supermarkets then occasionally she will get some as a treat. Oh and we also buy it on approved foods which makes it quite cheap.

    the other thing is flea and worming treatments but ive no idea how much that costs us as we buy in bulk which lasts a little while.

    we do look around for whatever is cheapest for her, and we dont really spend very much on her now.
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    Thanks both. I think vets bills would be the area of concern to be honest. I would probably (depending on exclusions if the cat already has an illness) opt for insurance until I had a pot of a few grand aside specifically for cat vet bills.

    I have a horse and we've always had him insured. About 75% of the annual premium is vets bills! But we've claimed several times so do feel like it's been worth it.
  • pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
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    Bear in mind that if you get a cat who must be indoor for health reasons, those health reasons won't be covered by any insurance you get. They all exclude pre-existing conditions. Vet bills can really rack up fast. We've had our kitty since October. I think we've been a bit unlucky, but in that time we've had:

    - two fight wounds (not an issue if indoor!)
    - a high fever with upset stomach
    - a spell of persistent diarrhea

    As a result of the above, we're already up to almost £600 in insurance claims! (with the fever he had to stay in kitty hospital overnight :( )

    I don't want to put you off. Adopting a cat with health issues is a wonderful, wonderful thing to do. I just wanted to check you'd considered the likely costs and were comfortable with them, given that the issues won't be insurable.
  • FireflyawayFireflyaway Forumite
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    Food - £10 a month
    Litter - £6 a month

    Its not expensive to keep a cat unless vets bills come into it. Last bill was £70 just for a steroid injection and check up.
  • Double_VDouble_V Forumite
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    We have one. And he's called Simba.
    We simply love him to bits.

    It doesn't cost that much. Around £30 a month.
    Plus cats make you smile and often take your stress when you come home and they start showing you love.
  • Litter - £8 a month
    Food - £7 a month
    Insurance - £9 a month
    Carpet repairs for when she decides to have a scratch - a lot

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  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    Thank you all.
    pinkteapot wrote: »
    Bear in mind that if you get a cat who must be indoor for health reasons, those health reasons won't be covered by any insurance you get. They all exclude pre-existing conditions.

    This is why insurance is on the maybe list. In either case we'll want some money set aside purely for vets bills. I think we'd have to see what the individual cat's condition was vs what coverage we could get. I'm sure there are blind cats, or cats with FIV, which never have a sorry day in their lives, and then I'm sure there are hypochondriacs in the cat world too!
  • mellymoo74mellymoo74 Forumite
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    Toms spoilt so
    £25 bed
    £10 scratch post
    £10 collar
    £5 tag
    £8 per week food
    £3 per week treats
    £5 a month toys
    £15 per month insurance
    £13 every 2 months litter

    Next he will be injected and microchipped

    Basically more than my dogs
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