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All cats need are something to eat, a place to potty and something to play with, right? Not so much. As with any pet, owning a cat costs money -- and we’re not just talking about loading up on feathered toys and catnip. Here’s what you can expect to spend (and where experts suggest you can cut costs).
Total: $40-$700 and up
Want to adopt? Hit the local animal shelter or check out rescue groups and see which cat steals your heart. Count on paying anywhere from $40 for an exam and vaccinations to $150 if your kitty needs to be spayed or neutered.
Have your heart set on a purebreed? These fancy felines can run several hundred dollars or more. And that only includes the cat. Prices vary throughout the country, but on average, a trip to the vet for vaccinations and an exam runs about $130. Tack on an extra $145 for spaying or neutering.
Setting Up Your Cat's Home
We’re not talking bells and whistles here -- these are things every cat should have:
- Cat carrier. Don't even think of taking your cat to the vet without one.
- Food. Dry, canned or mix it up.
- Food dishes. Stainless steel, plastic or ceramic, they just need to be clean and full.
- Litter box. They all serve the same purpose but covered boxes help contain litter and odors.
- Litter. Start with a brand and type you like; ultimately, your cat will let you know which it prefers.
- Scratching post (of course).
- Toys. No need to go fancy -- your cat will enjoy anything that moves.
The big expenses are usually out of the way once kitty’s home is established. Now you’re budgeting for maintenance and care.
- Food: $115
- Toys: $25
- Litter: $165
- Veterinary care after the first year: $160, more if your cat gets sick or injured Grooming supplies: $25 -- a must for long-haired cats
- Pet insurance: $300-$400 per year (optional)
Karen B. Gibbs is a writer and editor based in Lacombe, La.