While you may first notice their gorgeous, silky coat and striking blue eyes, a Birman cat is so much more than meets the eye. Quiet, gentle, and social, Birman cats make wonderful pets for all ages, families, and living situations. Before you give in to the undeniable charm of this beautiful cat breed, let’s take a moment to consider the cost to own a Birman cat.
No one likes to think about their pets in terms of dollars and cents. The reality is that many of the homeless animals in shelters and rescues were given up because their owners couldn’t afford to keep them. Getting an idea of how much it costs to own a Birman cat before bringing one home is always going to be the best plan. Here is an overview of some of the one-time and repeating costs of owning a Birman cat.
Bringing Home a New Birman Cat: One-Time Costs
So, you think you want to welcome a Birman cat into your home, but want to make sure you have an idea of how much they cost first. You know getting a pet, especially a purebred cat like a Birman, can be expensive and you want to be prepared. The biggest one-time costs of getting any pet are usually when you first bring them home. Here are some estimates for bringing a Birman cat into your family.
There are certainly cases where you could be fortunate enough to get a Birman cat for free. Obviously, this will significantly decrease your one-time costs, however, you should still be sure you can afford the overall costs of owning a Birman. We’ll cover more details about this later but it’s worth keeping in mind the saying “There’s no such thing as a free pet” even if you don’t have to initially pay for one.
Birmans are not the most widely available purebred cat, which also means they can be tough to find available for adoption as well. Shelters or dedicated purebred cat rescues are a good place to look for adoptable Birman cats.
The cost will depend on several factors including the age of the cat and whether it is considered pet or show quality, but in general, a Birman costs $400 to over $2,000. Availability will also play a role in the cost of a Birman as they are not as common as some other cat breeds.
Always make sure you are working with a responsible cat breeder when purchasing a Birman cat. This will help ensure you get the healthiest cat possible. The International Cat Association (TICA) or the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) keep lists of registered breeders which are a good place to start your search for a Birman cat.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Besides the price of getting the actual cat, there are some other initial costs you will need to prepare for. These can include the cost of supplies as well as the cost of vet care such as kitten shots. Additionally, since Birman cats are sometimes hard to find, you might need to pay to have your new fur baby shipped long distance.
Here are prices to give you an idea of what the initial setup and supplies for your new Birman will cost. These prices will vary based on how old your new cat is and the types of supplies you chose to get.
List of Birman Cat Care Supplies and Costs
|Pet License (required by some cities/states)||$15-$35|
|Vet Exam and Shots||$80-$120|
|Bloodwork for Senior Cats||$85–$110|
|Shipping Costs (optional)||$200-$350|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$5|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10|
How Much Does a Birman Cat Cost Per Month?
$122–$677 per month
Now that we’ve covered how much it could cost to bring your Birman cat home, let’s move on to monthly costs. This will give you an idea of how much you should budget to care for a Birman cat every month.
$65–$575 per month
Health care costs can include everything from feeding your Birman a healthy diet to keeping their coat in tiptop shape to medications and vet visits. You can expect some of these costs to increase as your Birman gets older and possibly develops more health problems.
$15–$65 per month
The cost of feeding a Birman cat will change as the cat ages. Growing kittens eat more than adults and senior cats often need special food to help manage health conditions such as kidney disease. The price of cat food varies based on the quality of the food and whether you feed dry kibble, canned food, or a homemade diet. Birmans typically do best on a higher quality food so keep that in mind as you consider your cat food budget.
$0–$70 per month
The beautiful, soft coat of the Birman requires less grooming than you might think. However, regular brushing is a great way to bond with your cat and keep their coat healthy. The cost to purchase a brush and nail clippers was part of the initial costs we already covered. The only additional monthly costs will come if you choose to have your Birman professionally groomed. These sessions might include a bath, blowout, and trim to keep your Birman looking fancy.
Medications and Vet Visits
$40–$400 per month
Your monthly costs in this category are going to vary a lot especially as your cat gets older. At a minimum, a Birman cat should be on a monthly flea and tick preventative. Yearly or twice-yearly vet visits could run up to $400. As your Birman ages, or if they develop a long-term medical condition, monthly medical costs may increase. It’s a lot harder to budget for emergency medical costs which is why you should consider pet insurance.
$10–$40 per month
Pet insurance can make a lot of sense especially since the cost to cover a cat is usually a lot less than for a dog. Having a pet insurance policy for your Birman cat may help take some of the stress out of dealing with emergency vet bills that nearly every pet will have sooner or later. Some pet insurance policies also cover shots and other preventative care. Budgeting a monthly pet insurance cost is a lot easier than trying to budget for a medical emergency and can give you some peace of mind at the same time.
$42–$72 per month
Besides the initial costs of getting your Birman cat set up with a litter box, bed, and other supplies, you will need to budget for some monthly costs. Most of these are related to keeping the litter box clean and fresh. These costs can vary by the age and number of cats you have in your household.
|Litter box liners||$12/month|
|Deodorizing spray or granules||$5/month|
$15–$30 per month
Making sure your Birman cat has a supply of fun, interactive toys is a great way to help them stay active, mentally and physically. Bored cats can develop unwanted behaviors like scratching furniture or carpet. Playing with your Birman cat daily helps you maintain a strong bond with your pet.
There are as many different types of cat toys as there are cats to play with them. Some cats will prefer one type over another while others will play with whatever they can get their paws on. A good way to budget for monthly cat toy costs is to subscribe to a monthly cat toy box service. That way your Birman cat will always have a new supply of different toys each month.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Birman Cat
$122–$677 per month
Keep in mind that these monthly costs are estimates only. What you actually spend on your Birman cat each month will vary. However, these numbers give you a realistic idea of how much you might expect to spend each month to care for your Birman cat. Birman cats may look high maintenance but the monthly costs to care for them aren’t necessarily higher than those of other cats.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Monthly costs are fairly easy to budget for but what about unexpected or infrequent costs related to owning a Birman cat? This could include anything from emergency medical care to replacing your favorite couch that your cat decided to use as a scratching post.
If you don’t have pet insurance, it’s a good idea to keep some money saved up just to cover any unexpected medical costs. The recommended amount is about $1,000-$1,500.
Furniture and carpet replacement or other home repairs from cat damage could run anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Here are a few other possible costs you may have to consider:
|Pet sitters or boarding||$25-$85/day|
Owning a Birman Cat On a Budget
As you’ve seen, owning a Birman cat isn’t necessarily cheap. Just the cost to purchase a cat alone can be more than many of us can afford. Adopting a Birman is always going to be the cheaper option if you have the chance. Buying from a backyard breeder or pet store might seem to be less costly in the beginning but you may end up with big vet bills in the long run from buying an unhealthy cat.
If you have your heart set on owning a Birman cat but are wondering if there are ways to save money on care and supplies, here are some ideas to do just that.
Saving Money on Birman Cat Care
Vet care is going to be one of the most expensive parts of owning a Birman. The price of vet services can vary widely so shop around your area to find cost-effective options. Many areas also have dedicated low-cost vet clinics.
Cat food and litter come at so many different prices that it’s possible to find options that are less expensive but still quality. Many cat supplies can be found used or free at thrift stores or yard sales.
Cats are great at turning the most boring of household objects into exciting playthings. Empty toilet paper rolls, paper bags, or even crumpled paper to swat around can keep them thoroughly entertained!
Always remember that owning and caring for a pet is a big responsibility that you need to think seriously about before committing to. While there are ways to save money when owning a Birman cat, there’s no way to fully eliminate every expense. Fortunately, even though Birman cats may look like a million bucks, they aren’t going to cost that much to own!
Featured Image Credit: Borkin Vadim, Shutterstock