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Great Feed, House and Keep Your Pets Hunt

MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
What's it about?

Whether your best friend is a dalmation or a dormouse keeping them fed, watered and generally healthy can take a large chunk out of your hard-earned wage. Of course if you have a pet you'd never be without it so the alternative is to cut the cost.

What to do?

I'd like to tap pet-owning MoneySavers' wealth of knowledge to find top tips, ideas and sources of cheap food, bedding, toys; anything that will keep your moggy or doggy happy and healthy without making your wallet less wealthy.

PS Also read Pet Insurance Cost Cutting article

Click reply to give your tips.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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  • Hello
    Hello Posts: 358 Forumite
    My cats love corks. No idea why, forget the shop-bought toys, corks do it for them! (And keeping them supplied with corks is no hardship!!;) )

    Big bags of catnip (I get ours from either one of those cheap sell everything places or the garden centre's pet department). Use and old rolled up sock with catnip in it and happy drugged up cat happy for weeks :drool: and can be refreshed just by keeping it in the same drawer as the catnip! I tried growing it once, but it didn't last long enough.

    Ours also love boxes to sleep in, not purpose bought beds and especially a wicker 'hamper' given to us at Christmas with goodies in.

    Basically, I don't bother with buying them anything from the shop except food and catnip.

    I am very annoyed that supermarkets have stopped selling individual cans of food, I once counted 14 varieties (more variation than I get!) but now they only do the 6 or 12 packs and the flavours are all the same. Our cats tend to off flavours for a while and it is difficult finding alternatives. Does anyone know where I can get individual cans with a variety of flavours? Whiskas and Kitekat, they won't touch Felix since the 'new improvement'.

    Cheers :D

    Ciggie free 2am 21/09/06. Debt free 25/06/09.
    'It was such a lovely day I thought 'it's a pity to get up'' W. Somerset Maugham.
  • billieboy_2
    Hello wrote:
    I am very annoyed that supermarkets have stopped selling individual cans of food, I once counted 14 varieties (more variation than I get!) but now they only do the 6 or 12 packs and the flavours are all the same. Our cats tend to off flavours for a while and it is difficult finding alternatives. Does anyone know where I can get individual cans with a variety of flavours? Whiskas and Kitekat, they won't touch Felix since the 'new improvement'.

    Cheers :D

    I know that Waitrose does individual flavours for dog food but not sure about cat food.

    I used to buy Vitalin dog food https://www.vitalinpetfood.co.uk until my dog went off it. It was about £11 for a 15kg bag. I thought it was very good value at the time. Shame he went off it really! He does have a sensitive tummy though.
  • Jay-Jay_4
    Jay-Jay_4 Posts: 7,351 Forumite
    I think the best moneysaving tip I can offer is to get your pet insured. It only takes a car coming around the corner too fast to have you lumbered with thousands of pounds in vets bills. There are threads on the insurance boards about pet insurance so I won't go into it on here .... but please do consider it.

    Just run, run and keep on running!

  • ailuro2
    ailuro2 Posts: 7,535 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I only just made a cat scratching toy from leftover carpet,some tacks and a bit of MDF yesterday-I did have to buy the MDF as I had no scraps lying around- 3.29 from Wickes. Two pieces completely covered and set in a roof shape attached to a top only covered base.Tall enough so she can still use it when she's fully grown.

    Add one length of string to encourage her to climb it....the kitten's happy to attack it,and our sofas are saved. :D

    The kitten was a stray that had taken up residence on a neighbour's garage roof, so was free apart from a roll of sellotape and paper to put up notices to find her owners(none came forward)
    Free kitten care packs are available from Felix website https://www.catslikefelix.co.uk

    Inside, you’ll find everything you need to give your kitten a happy, healthy start in life. Inside you’ll find:
    A handy advice booklet and wallchart with helpful, down-to-earth advice on kitten care, to see you through the first few months with your new arrival

    3 FREE delicious and nutritionally balanced Felix Kitten food pouches, just the thing for tiny taste buds

    a fun Felix mouse toy to enjoy together

    money-off coupons, worth £1.50 so you can treat your new little friend to delicious Felix Kitten food

    We also got a free pack of food and info from the vet, but any tips on how to reduce vaccination charges would be welcomed!:D

    BTW...Anyone know how much it costs to get a cat chipped?
    Member of the first Mortgage Free in 3 challenge, no.19
    Balance 19th April '07 = minus £27,640
    Balance 1st November '09 = mortgage paid off with £1903 left over. Title deeds are now ours.
  • thriftmonster
    It is much cheaper to get your dog microchipped at the Dogs Trust roadshows than to pay the vet to do it.
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
  • Fleago
    Fleago Posts: 1,185 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If you have annual boosters for your dogs, you may not be aware that you have up to a month after the year is up in which you can still have the booster done without having to do the entire vaccination course again. If you wait this period every year, the next one will be due 12 months from the date it was actually done, so if the dog lives 12+ years then the cost of one year's boosters will be saved :) Not much if you only have one dog at a time, but a bigger saving if you have multiple dogs in your household ;)

    Also, animal feed suppliers or country stores often stock a wide variety of brands of dry dog food and tend to be cheaper than pet supermarkets or normal supermarkets. They may also give a good discount if you bulk buy, useful if you have the space to store several bags.

    For soft toys for dogs to play with, it is often cheaper to buy them from charity shops but be careful to ensure there are no eyes etc that the dog could pull off.
  • patchwork_cat
    Cat microchipping is about £15. I really don't bother with beds - they prefer ours! Our cats that go out don't have toys - they find their own! Yuk. ( they would do no matter what I do, think, feel etc.)
    A complete dry cat food costs very little from supermarket and is better for them apart from the dry aspect. Some chippies do fish trimmings for cats for free ( they are charged to dispose of it) , they are quite boney, but my cats don't worry about that. Poach it in some milk and it also acts as a vehicle for extra liquid.
    Wood based cat litter from Wilkinsons is v. good value, but if you live near the cost sand that has blown off the beach makes great cat litter. _ you may need to double box it - or the sand gets everywhere! Don't take it off the beach though.
  • tigs78
    tigs78 Posts: 539 Forumite
    If your pet needs regular medication and is not insured you can get a prescription from your vet (he/she cannot charge for this) and then order from a pet pharmacy website.

    I have found the best to be https://www.vetuk.co.uk I literally pay half the price that my vet charges, the service is excellent and I normally get my cats' tablets within 48 hours of ordering - it's free delivery on non food items too.

    I've also used https://www.bestpetpharmacy.co.uk and they were excellent too, vetuk beat them on price for the particular tablets that my cat needs.

    You can also get flea and worm treatments that aren't available in pet shops or supermarkets and are normally bought at extortionate prices from the vets. Frontline no longer requires a prescription, some others do but remember your vet can no longer charge for issuing one.
  • patchwork_cat
    Also some insurance policies allow for worm and tick treatments.
  • Andybez38
    Andybez38 Posts: 1,773 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have a very large python and theres plenty of free food for him if i catch it "out there"

    He loves cats, dogs rabbits etc. :eek:

    Why did i say that? i dont even have a python. :confused:
    I came into this world with nothing and I'm gonna leave with nothing.
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