The Cost of Cat Parenthood in 2023

The Cost of Cat Parenthood: First Year Expenses

Bringing a new cat home comes with a handful of initial expenses you’ll want to keep in mind. The total for these one-time costs ranges from $960-2,515 for most cat parents.

New Cat Expenses

Item From To
Adoption fees $175 $490
Spay or neuter surgery $270 $540
Microchip $100 $110
Initial vet exam and vaccinations $215 $540
Collar $10 $20
Bed $25 $80
Food $15 $80
Food and water bowls $10 $105
Litter box $20 $155
Litter $15 $40
Pet license $15 $45
Carrier $45 $110
Scratching post $15 $105
Brush $10 $25
Nail trimmers $15 $35
Toys $5 $35
Total $960 $2,515

Let’s break these costs down.

First up, adoption fees

This cost is usually in the ballpark of $175-$490, but can balloon up to $500-$1,000 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 $270-$540 for most cat parents, unless you adopt and they’ve already had it done.

Vet visits, vaccinations, and microchips

Other essential one-time costs include getting your cat microchipped in case they ever get lost (average cost $110) and making sure they’re up to date on vaccinations, which typically costs $215-$540, including the vet exam visit.

You’ll also want to factor in the cost of a pet license, which is usually fairly inexpensive, ranging from $15-$45, depending on the area you live in.

New cat supplies

Essentials to help your new kitty feel at home and like part of the family typically includes (a):

Don’t be intimidated by the higher price in these ranges—there is increasingly a ton of options for those who want a high-tech automated feeder or premium natural cat litter, for example. It’s absolutely possible to love and care for your cat without overspending your budget.

The Cost of Cat Parenthood: Annual Essentials

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 total between $350-$1,380 annually for the average cat parent.

Yearly Cat Expenses

Item From To
Food $180 $960
Litter $80 $230
Toys $5 $60
Annual check up $85 $130
Total $350 $1,380

Let’s break these costs down.


Cat food can range in price and cat parents spend between $180-$960 on food annually. Where your budget falls in this range depends 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 $80-$230 a year to keep your cat’s bathroom fresh and clean. Cats can be picky, meaning you may have to go through several litter brands before you land on the one they’ll actually use.


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 $60 a year depending on how often you need to replace them.

Annual check-up

Routine vet visits are essential for any pet parent, and will cost the typical cat owner about $85-$130 per visit.

Worth Budgeting For: Additional Expenses to Consider

Optional & Surprising Pet Expenses

Item From To
Emergency vet bills $215 $1,615
Dental cleaning $430 $645
Drop in visits $20 $140
Grooming $40 $100
Rental pet deposit $500 $1,000
Pet insurance $300 $540
Litter Genie $45 $45
Total $1,605 $4,300

While these expenses may not come up for every pet parent, it’s important to keep surprise costs in mind, which can average between $1,605-$4,300 total.

Emergency vet and dental hygiene

Hopefully you’ll never need to make a trip to the emergency vet, but if you do the typical cost averages between $215-$1,615. 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 $430 to $645.

Pet insurance, while technically an added expense, can help reduce these costs. If you opt for pet insurance, it can cost anywhere from $300-$540 per year to keep your kitty covered.


Long-haired cats or breeds with a coat that requires regular maintenance may need more grooming appointments than others. A typical cat grooming appointment costs between $40-$100.

Litter disposal system

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 $45.

Pet rent

If you rent your home, you’ll likely need to put down an additional pet deposit before moving your cat in. This expense usually adds up to about $500-$1,000 for the average renter.

Keep in mind these costs are for one cat. When adopting, many people often opt for taking in two cats to avoid splitting a bonded pair, or so the cats can keep each other company (and well-exercised).

Cost of Cat Parenthood: End of Life

End of Life Considerations

Item From To
Euthanasia $400 $800
Cremation $50 $150
Special foods $50 $150
Vet visits and medical costs $100 $1,000
Total $600 $2,100

As pet parents, it sometimes feels impossible to think about what our beloved cat’s end of life might look like, but it’s important to budget for. This is perhaps the time when costs vary the most, depending on your cat’s case and your own preferences. Vet visit costs will vary, but we’ve put together an estimate for some considerations totaling between $600 and $2,100.

Learn More

Should You Adopt Two Cats?

There are many things to consider when adopting a cat. Our guide to finding the right feline friend for your home outlines whether you should go for a kitten or an adult cat to where you should consider a second cat. Here’s how to adopt a cat in Canada.

Health Benefits of Living with a Cat

More than a cuddly companion, cats are help you reduce stress, sleep better, and feel less lonely. Read up on the benefits of living with a cat.

Methodology: A Rover survey of 720 Canadian pet parents conducted in February 2023 via Pollfish.

Sources: Rebecca Greenstein, B.Sc., D.V.M., The Pet People,, Pet Valu, Homes Alive,,, Nicole Ellis,

Interested in learning more about services Rover provides?

Dog Boarding | Pet Sitting | Dog Walking | Doggy Day Care | House Sitting