The Cost of Cat Ownership in 2023

The Cost of Cat Ownership: New Cat Expenses

Bringing a new cat home can come with a handful of surprising initial expenses.
We are here to demystify the budget. It’s not just cat food and litter that your cat needs. You can expect the upfront costs to range from £440-£1,440 in the first year.

First-Time Cat Costs

Item From To
Adoption fees £90 £115
Spay or neuter surgery £120 £180
Microchip £35 £35
Initial vet exam and vaccinations £90 £135
Collar £5 £10
Bed £10 £125
Food £20 £65
Food and water bowls £5 £125
Litter box £5 £125
Litter £20 £65
Carrier £15 £145
Scratching post £5 £250
Brush £10 £20
Nail trimmers £5 £15
Toys £5 £30
Total £440 £1,440

Let’s break these costs down.

First up, adoption fees

The cost of adopting a cat is usually in the range of £90-£115. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered yet, keep in mind that those operations range in cost from £120-£180 for most cat owners, unless they’ve already had it done.

Wellness check

Other essential one-time costs include getting your cat microchipped in case they ever get lost (average cost £35) and making sure they’re up to date on vaccinations, which typically cost £90-£135, including the vet visit.

Cat supply costs

To help your new cat feel at home and part of the family, you’ll want to make sure you have the following:

  • cat carrier (£15-£145)
  • kitten collar (£5-£10)
  • cat food (£20-£65)
  • water bowls (£5-£125)
  • litter box (£5-£125)
  • litter (£20-£65)
  • scratching post (£5-£250)
  • bed (£10-£125)
  • toys (£5-£30)
  • cat brushes (£10-£20)
  • nail trimmer (£5-£15)

Don’t be intimidated by the higher price in these ranges. There’s an increasingly wide range of options for those who want a high-tech automated feeder or premium natural cat litter. Opting for more affordable items doesn’t mean your cat is missing out on any love, care, or fun.

The Cost of Cat Ownership: Annual Essentials

Cost of Owning a Cat Per Year

Item From To
Food £215 £805
Litter £245 £790
Toys £35 £380
Annual check up £35 £50
Total £530 £2,025

Once your cat is settled in, it’s important to factor in the costs you can expect to pay every year. These annual costs usually add up to between about £530 to £2,025 per year for the average cat owner.

Here’s why the cost of owning a cat has such a varied range:

  • Food costs: most cat owners spend between £215-£805 on food, depending on the brand and type of food (dry versus wet, for example) and how much your cat eats.
  • Litter: another essential for most cat owners, litter typically costs between £245-£790 a year to keep your cat’s tray fresh and clean. Some cats can be picky and will only use the litter tray if you get the right
  • Toys: while cats aren’t as prone to regularly destroying their toys as dogs, it’s important to keep them active and stimulated with new toys to hunt and play with. Cat toys cost anywhere from £35 to £380 a year depending on
    how often you need to replace them and how many and at what price you buy.
  • Routine vet visits: these cost the typical cat owner about £35-£50 per year.

The Cost of Cat Ownership: Optional Extras

Additional Cat Expenses

Item From To
Emergency vet bills £150 £310
Dental cleaning £220 £420
Wellness vet bills £90 £160
Drop in visits £15 £105
Grooming £65 £205
Pet insurance £180 £325
Litter Genie £40 £55
Total £760 £1,580

While these expenses may not crop up for every pet owner, it’s important to keep unexpected costs in mind. These range from emergency to optional, and average between £760-£1,580 in total.

Here’s what may factor into unexpected costs budgeting:

  • Emergency vet visit: hopefully you’ll never need to go to an emergency vet, but if you do a visit can average anywhere from £150-£310.
  • Dental hygiene: teeth cleaning is another expense not every pet owner opts for, but if you decide to schedule a cleaning, be prepared to pay anywhere from £220-£420.
  • Pet insurance:you may also opt for pet insurance, which can help with alleviating large costs. Pet insurance for cats can cost anywhere from £180-£325 per year.
  • Cat-sitting: depending on your lifestyle and schedule, you may decide to
    book pet care for your cat. The average for pet sitting comes in from  £15-£105 per night.
  • Grooming appointments: typical cat grooming appointment costs between £65-£205. If you have a long-haired cat or breed with a coat that requires regular maintenance, grooming is important to budget for.
  • Litter disposal system:for many cat owners, litter disposal systems have become indispensable. They’re a bit like nappy bins for cat litter, and are relatively inexpensive to purchase at about £40-£55.

End of Life Care Costs

Item From To
Euthanasia £225 £510


£100 £135
Special Foods £50 £150
Medical Costs £85 £850
Total £460 £1,645

As pet owners, 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.  We have come up with some estimates in order to take the pressure off trying to figure out these costs when already facing a very difficult time.  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 £460 and £1,645.

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Metodology: A Rover survey of 1,500 UK pet owners conducted in March 2023 via Pollfish.

Sources: RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Pets at Home, Zoo Plus,, Park Vets, Blue Cross, Forbes, Amazon,, Pet Plan, Many Pets

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