Average yearly cost of a cat


According to the ASPCA, the cost of owning a cat for one year is about $1,000. At first glance, that seems like a lot. But consider this: according to an article in the LA Times, research from the National Association of Realtors says that pet ownership increases the value of your home by an average of $250 – $300 (ref 2). Also, if you are like many people who bought a new home because you had to get out of a lease or move because of a roommate situation, having a pet helps you stay put and avoid breaking your lease if you are planning on staying in your new place for at least two years.

You’ve likely heard that getting a cat isn’t cheap, but you probably haven’t heard just how expensive cats can be. The cost of an average cat over its lifetime is around $23,000 to $31,000—and that’s not including any initial adoption fees or the cost of getting your new pet spayed or neutered. That’s the kind of money you could use for a down payment on a house in some parts of the country—or several vacations abroad! Cats are incredibly popular pets—in fact, they’re the most popular pet in the U.S.—but they’re not necessarily easy on your wallet. While other kinds of pets have even higher costs (for example: horses), getting a cat still means you’ll need to add up all sorts of expenses to find out what it really costs over time.

The cost of getting a cat

The cost of getting a cat can be broken down into two categories: the initial adoption fee and care costs.

The initial adoption fee is the price you must pay to take possession of your new pet, which can range from nothing at all (if you plan on adopting from a shelter) to several hundred dollars or more if you choose to purchase a purebred kitten from a reputable breeder or pet store. These fees generally cover things like vaccinations, microchipping and spaying/neutering; however they do not include any additional expenses related to caring for your cat after it’s old enough to leave its mother’s home.

As far as care costs go, there are many things that fall under this umbrella: food (the most obvious expense), toys/treats/supplements/medication; litter boxes and other supplies such as liners & scoopers will also add up over time—as will veterinary visits when the time comes!

Care and maintenance costs

When you have a cat, there are several different kinds of costs that can add up.

First, there’s food and litter. A good quality premium dry food will run you about $30 per 40-pound bag, while high-end clumping clay litter can be as much as $20 for 30 pounds (depending on the brand). This means that in your first year alone, you’ll spend around $3,000 on these two things. The good news is that after that initial investment, those costs will remain fairly stable over time—which makes sense when you consider how little cats eat compared to dogs!

Next up comes veterinary care: routine vaccinations and wellness visits run between $300-500 each year (and more if something serious happens). Spay/neuter surgeries typically cost between $250-$500 depending on where they take place (you may also want to consider having a microchip implanted). Finally…there’s other medical expenses such as emergency vet visits or medications from your veterinarian; this one depends on what happens but could end up being anywhere from $1K to several thousand dollars each year depending on the severity of any health problems your cat has….

Food costs

Food costs are the largest expense for most cat owners. The average annual cost of food is $400, but this figure varies based on your choice of brand and type of food. Switching to a cheaper brand can reduce your yearly bill by about $100, while switching to raw or vegetarian diets could save you as much as $150 per year.

Litter box costs

Litter costs can vary depending on your cat’s tastes, but a decent estimate is $5 to $10 per month. You can find litter that’s more expensive or cheaper than this range.

A good litter box will run you about $25 to $50, and a scoopable one will cost you at least half of that.

Recurring expenses

You’ll also need to consider the recurring expenses associated with taking care of your cat. These include:

  • Vet bills
  • Vaccinations/flea treatments (most common)
  • Spaying or neutering (if you don’t already have a fixed animal, this can cost anywhere from $100-$500 depending on where you live)
  • Litter box: a small tray filled with litter that allows for easy cleanup and disposal of bodily waste. It’s recommended that you change the litter every week at a cost of about $0.20 per pound for non-clumping clay ($5-$7), or about $1-$3 per pound for clumping clay ($15-$20). You may also need special additives from time to time such as baking soda to help neutralize odors and anti-bacterial chemicals like Tidy Cat Litter Conditioner Plus Clump & Seal ($8). Alternatively, some people opt not to use commercial litters altogether and instead just clean out their cats’ boxes using newspaper or leftover sawdust from woodworking projects—but this means more work on your part in terms of scooping out poop after every trip outside!

Having a cat can be expensive.

The average cat owner spends $831 per year caring for their feline friend. Some of this cost can be offset by the revenue generated by feeding the stray cats that come to visit your front porch, but those contributions are typically insufficient to cover all expenses. Below is a breakdown of some of the costs that you may be able to expect if you decide to adopt an animal companion.

  • Cat food: $115
  • Cat litter: $62
  • Cat toys: $275 (cats are very intelligent creatures and require lots of stimulation)
  • Cat grooming: $350+ (if your pet doesn’t have its own personal stylist yet, it’s time to call in reinforcements)
  • Health care: variable depending on whether or not your cat has any medical conditions



As you can see from the data, there are many costs to consider when getting a cat. If you’re on a budget, an older cat or one with special needs may be a better option than getting a kitten, which will require more of your time and attention. However, regardless of how old your feline friend is when they come into your life (or if they’re already grown up), it’s important to remember that pets are not disposable items! Cats do need their owners’ love and care throughout their entire lives—just like humans do!

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