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How Much Does it Cost to Own a Cat?

Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

You’ve just got yourself a new home and bought everything you needed for it and now you remembered that promise that you’re gonna get yourself a cat as soon as you move to a new house. But can you afford to own a cat? And how much does it cost to own a cat anyways?

As cute as they may be, cats won’t come costless. Caring for a pet in general doesn’t come cheap, especially if you really want to offer her the best possible care. So let’s find out the details.

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Cat

Depending on your budget, there are a lot of options available today, but in general, they come into the following categories:

Food and Treats

One of the most important aspects of cat care is the food and the quality of it. It’s recommended to get good quality food if you want a healthy cat, but that’s harder to accomplish if you’re on a tight budget.

The monthly costs for quality cat food range from $15 to $25. That amounts to a total of about $180 to $300 per year. But remember that that sum is the top price for good cat food so it can be even cheaper if you can’t afford the quality.

The Litter Box

Litter boxes come in many options, with the cheapest being around $5 to $6, while the most expensive one reaches a sky high $500. That sounds like a tremendous difference, and for good reason. The $500 litter box is in fact an auto-cleaning litter robot, which sounds appealing but it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.

Then add the cost of cat litter, which goes up to a max of $15 to $20 for the best quality. The average spins around $10 per month, so in total for a year you would spend between $100 and $200.

Toys and Accessories

Toys and other accessories like the litter scoop, collar, scratching post or carrying crate will also add up to the overall costs. All these might up the total sum with $100, but keep in mind that some of them you’ll only buy once.

Health Expenses

Also there are other details that you need to think about and these are health expenses.

Spaying or neutering the cat will probably be the default option for many new cat owners, and that can cost somewhere between $40 and $150, depending on the vet and clinic.

Vaccinations are another cost for new cat owners and it can go up to $100, but you may also find some low cost clinics as well.

Vet examinations will also rise up to $150 a year. Depending on the cat, her age and general health, you might get away with a lot less.

Health insurance for a cat costs about $150 a year. While not all owners opt for it, it can be very economical for those who own more than one cat.


The total costs for the first year of owning a cat can rise quite high due to the fact that there are a lot of things to buy, but since some of them you only buy once, the total costs will be lower for the following years.

So the total cost for the first year of owning a cat can reach a good $1150, but that calculated for the best quality. Except for that fully automatic litter box. So, depending on your particular case, the total costs might actually be lower.

The costs for each following year will rise to around $750, but that is also calculated with quality in mind, so that should be the max.

No matter how much money you end up spending, the benefits you get from owning a cat is priceless and can not be outweighed.

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