The Cost of Owning a Cat

The Cost of Owning a Cat in Canada 2020

The Cost of Owning a Cat: Initial Expenses

initial expenses adopting cat

Bringing a new cat home comes with a handful of one-time expenses you’ll want to keep in mind. The total for these one-time costs ranges from $720-$1,810 for most cat parents.

Let’s break these costs down: first up, adoption fees. This cost is usually in the ballpark of $60-$120, but can balloon up to $300-$2,000 if you opt to get your cat from a breeder. If your kitty isn’t spayed or neutered yet, keep in mind that those surgeries range in cost from $200-$450 for most cat parents.

Other essential one-time costs include getting your cat microchipped in case they ever get lost (average cost $50) and making sure they’re up to date on vaccinations, which typically cost $300-$500. You’ll also want to factor in the cost of a pet license, which is usually fairly inexpensive, averaging at $32.

Next up: Essentials to help your new kitty feel at home and like part of the family. This typically includes a collar ($5-$30), bed ($10-$80), food ($15-$50), food and water bowls ($2-$20), litter box ($5-$50), litter ($8-$40), scratching post ($8-$40), and toys ($5-$200). You’ll also need a few extra items to keep your cat healthy and happy: a carrier to safely transport them ($20-$60), a brush to help with shedding and preventing mats ($10-$40), and nail trimmers to maintain their claws ($10-$30).

The Cost of Owning a Cat: Annual Expenses

owning a cat annual expenses

Once your cat is all settled in, it’s important to factor in the costs you can expect to pay every year. These costs usually add up to between $600-$1,800 annually for the average cat parent.

Let’s break these costs down: Annually, most cat parents spend between $180-$400 on food, depending on the brand and type of food (dry kibble versus canned, for example) and how much your kitty eats. Litter is another essential for most cat parents, and it typically costs between $60-$500 a year to keep your cat’s bathroom fresh and clean. And while cats aren’t as prone to regularly destroying their toys like dogs, it’s important to keep them active and stimulated with new toys to hunt and play with. Cat toys cost anywhere from $5 to $200 a year depending on how often you need to replace them.

Routine vet visits are essential for any pet parent, and cost the typical cat owner about $80 to $150 per year. If your cat ventures outside at all, you should factor in flea and tick prevention (average $115-$250) and heartworm prevention (average $160-$300) costs.

The Cost of Owning a Cat: Additional Expenses

owning a cat additional expenses

While these expenses may not come up for every pet parent, it’s important to keep surprise costs in mind, which can average between $600-$3,000 total.

Hopefully you’ll never need to make a trip to the emergency vet, but if you do the typical cost averages between $200-$2,000. Teeth cleaning is another expense not every pet parent opts for, but if you decide to schedule a cleaning be prepared to pay anywhere from $200-$450.

Depending on your lifestyle and schedule, you may decide to book pet care for your cat. The nightly average for pet sitting comes in at $30. If you have a long-haired cat or breed with a coat that requires regular maintenance, this is one cost you’ll want to keep in mind: grooming. A typical cat grooming appointment costs between $90-$150. For many cat parents, litter disposal systems have become indispensable. They’re a bit like diaper pails for cat litter, and are relatively inexpensive to purchase at about $65 on average.

If you rent your home, you’ll likely need to put down an additional pet deposit before bringing your cat home. This expense can add up to about a month’s rent. Lastly, if you opt for pet insurance, it can cost anywhere from $20-$340 per year to keep your kitty covered.

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Sources: Petsmart, Walmart, 1800 Petmeds, Petplan, Trupanion, Amazon, Toronto Humane Society, Toronto City Council, Vancouver Humane Society, Vancouver City Council.

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