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What’s the Price of a Cat in Canada? (Updated in 2023)

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

Maine-Coon-cat_ShotPrime Studio, Shutterstock

If you are considering getting a new cat, you might be wondering if you can afford one. There are always the initial costs, like the cat themselves, but taking care of a new pet does incur ongoing expenses.

It’s an excellent idea to be prepared in every way, not only financially but also knowing what kind of supplies you need. Cats are less expensive overall than dogs, but you’ll still need the money to cover things like food and litter.

Here, we go over the costs that you should expect as a new cat owner living in Canada. This will include one-time expenses and certain situations that you should be prepared for, such as vet visits. This way, you will hopefully be better prepared before you bring your new adorable feline friend home.

Bringing Home a New Cat: One-Time Costs

The first and most important one-time cost is the cat themselves. Then there’s everything that you need to have in place before you bring the cat home. We cover the costs for a cat, which depends on where they come from, and then, we go over the estimated expenses for the essential items, such as litter boxes and food bowls.

Some of these items are one-time only, but others might need replacing occasionally.

Ragdoll Munchkin kitten lying on the floor


Finding a cat for free is unlikely unless you pick up a stray or have a friend or family member who needs to find a good home for their cat. Sometimes, cats need to be rehomed due to circumstances beyond the cat owner’s control, such as moving or allergies.

The same could be said for kittens. If someone you know has a pregnant cat, they might need people to take the kittens once they are the right age.

But it isn’t easy to find a free cat and usually for a good reason. Charging a fee for a cat is the original cat owner’s way of ensuring that their cat will be given to someone serious about the adoption.


  • $25–$150

Adoption is by far one of the best ways to get a cat. You’ll be potentially saving a cat’s life and giving them a second chance at a much better life.

Additionally, adoption fees tend to be much less than what you will pay a breeder, and those fees go toward supporting the shelter or rescue.

Many shelters make their animals available through certain pet stores. Ensure that this is the case before considering buying a cat from any pet store, as some stores sell kittens and cats obtained from kitten mills.


  • $500–$3,500

The price of a cat/kitten from a breeder depends entirely on the breed and the breeder. The more unique and rarer the breed, the more you should expect to pay.

Only use breeders with an excellent reputation. This can include checking if they are registered with cat associations like The International Cat Association and speaking to people who have received a cat through this particular breeder.

Once you’ve settled on a breeder, visit their cattery if you can, as this will allow you to see the kittens and parents firsthand and take a look at the cattery itself. If everything is clean and the cats are well taken care of, you should feel comfortable proceeding with the purchase.

three fluffy ragdoll kittens
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $100–$1,000

What you will end up paying depends on the cat’s age and how many items you plan to purchase. You might also be able to get a few things from other cat owners.

A few things in this list might not be necessary, such as the spay or neuter surgery, unless you’re bringing home a kitten.

List of Cat Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar: $15–$25
Spay/Neuter: $150+
X-Ray Cost: $100–$250
Microchip: $45+
Teeth Cleaning: $150+
Cat Bed: $20–$60+
Nail Clipper: $10–$50+
Brush: $15–50+
Litter Box: $20–$80+
Litter Scoop: $10+
Toys: $10–$100+
Carrier: $50–$100+
Food and Water Bowls: $15–$50+

How Much Does a Cat Cost Per Month?

  • $50–$250 per month

In this current year, it cost Canadians an average of $2,542 to take care of a cat annually, with dental cleaning ($743), pet insurance ($638), and food ($576) as the three most significant expenses. But these numbers won’t reflect every cat owner’s situation.

How much you’ll end up paying depends on your choices and your cat’s health. Some cats might need a prescription diet, which is more expensive than regular food, or they might need medication for a health condition.

Other optional expenses include things like grooming, pet insurance, etc.

white himalayan persian cat laying on chair hepper

Health Care

  • $0–$500 per month

Hopefully, you won’t need to worry about healthcare expenses every month, but this will depend on whether your cat has a medical condition or might develop one later in life.

Note that some purebred cat breeds are much more likely to develop health problems, such as the Scottish Fold.


  • $30–$100 per month

Feeding your cat is one of the more expensive parts of cat ownership. How much you pay depends on your choice of food and your cat’s health (e.g., prescription food).

While high-quality food is more expensive, it can pay for itself by keeping your cat healthy throughout their life.


  • $0–$150 per month

Some cat owners won’t need to worry too much about grooming, particularly if their cat has a short and sleek coat. They will still need weekly brushing and nail trims like all cats, but it’s much easier to deal with.

But some cats, like the Persian, have incredibly dense, longhaired coats and require daily brushing.

This can be done yourself, but if you opt for a groomer, how much you’ll pay depends on the groomer and how much work they’ll need to do for your cat.

woman grooming a siberian cat
Image Credit: Sergio Photone, Shutterstock

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $10–$200+ per month

You’ll need to bring your cat to the vet for an annual wellness check, which can be $50 to over $100, depending on your vet and your cat’s health. Vaccines might cost about $100, and then there are dental cleanings. These cost more than anything else. The price can range from $400 to more than $1,000 if there are any issues with your cat’s teeth.

Pet Insurance

  • $35–$60 per month

Pet insurance is optional, but if your cat experiences a medical emergency, you could have a chunk of the fees covered by the insurance. Just keep in mind that insurance companies won’t cover any health conditions that your cat already has before signing up.

How much you pay will depend on the company and the plan that you choose, in addition to your location and the age and breed of your cat.

Environment Maintenance

  • $20–$50+ per month

Environmental maintenance includes cat litter, cat scratchers, and anything else to do with litter or damage that your cat might cause.

Cat scratchers are a must, particularly if you don’t want your furniture shredded. The expenses can also include any protective devices that you invest in for your furniture.

Cat litter: $25+/month
Furniture protectors: $25+/month
Cardboard scratcher: $20/month
cat scratching post
Image Credit: Daga_Roszkowska, Pixabay


  • $10–$50+ per month

Cats need mental and physical stimulation, which can be satisfied with a variety of toys and catnip! Cats, particularly indoor cats, are prone to obesity, so playing with them will help prevent this.

Everything from toy mice to catnip, feather wands, and toys on a fishing pole are particularly effective.

You can also try out a cat toy subscription box, which might cost about $25 to $50 per month. This will enable you to constantly rotate their toys so they won’t get as easily bored.

Or, if you're thinking of getting your cat something a little different, that entices play and looks like a modern piece of furniture in your home, you might think about giving our Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher a try! Its curved design targets a full range of motion, and with three height configurations and a durable design, you can be sure your cat is getting the exercise, height, and adventure they naturally desire.

Tony and Cheetah playing on Hepper Hi Lo Cat Scratcher

Click here to learn more about our innovative, functional, and funky, Hi-Lo cat scratcher. 

Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Cat

  • $50–$250 per month

Everything comes down to your choices — the kind of cat litter and food that you get, if you decide to go with pet insurance, etc.

Things not factored in are unexpected emergencies and health problems. Some cats won’t ever need help with a health problem, but others might, so it’s a good idea to keep room in your budget for these unexpected costs.

a tabby maine coon cat at home
Image Credit: Daniel Zopf, Unsplash

Additional Costs to Factor In

Additional expenses can include things like boarding your cat or hiring a pet sitter for when you go on vacation. You might also need to buy new household items, like when your cat chews through your laptop’s charging cord.

Also, as graceful as cats are, they can accidentally (and sometimes on purpose) knock things down, which you will need to replace.

Additionally, you’ll want to invest in scratching deterrents for your furniture. Make the cat scratcher as enticing as you can and your favourite chair as repellent as possible.

Owning a Cat on a Budget

It is quite possible to look after a cat while on a tight budget. That said, you should never skimp on cat food, particularly if your cat has a food intolerance or allergy, or on their healthcare. But look out for deals on cat toys and your brand of cat food.

Ensuring that your cat is eating well, staying on top of their health, and giving them attention and affection is ideal; most cats don’t need all the other bells and whistles.

Abyssinian Blue Cat sitting on the arm of a sofa
Image Credit: Foonia, Shutterstock

Saving Money on Cat Care

Grooming your cat yourself is one way of cutting back costs. If you have a kitten, you should start touching and gently squeezing their paws regularly, so they get used to the sensation.

Trimming their nails, brushing their teeth, and doing all the combing and brushing of their coats will definitely save you money.

If you’re crafty, you can make your own cat toys and even DIY cardboard cat scratchers.

The cat-in-a-box stereotype is true: You can just put out a few boxes, and your cat will likely entertain themselves.

Speak to your vet if you need to find less-expensive cat food. They should be able to recommend brands that will be good for your cat but not break the budget.


Starting off as a cat owner can be pricey, particularly if you purchase your cat from a breeder. Consider looking at shelter cats first; it’s a worthwhile cause and you’ll also save money.

Owning a cat might cost roughly $50 to $250 a month, but this depends on how much you’re able to spend and if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself (like grooming).

The most essential part of cat ownership is spending time with your cat. Make sure they are healthy and happy with access to food and water, and you’ll have a gorgeous and fuzzy companion for many years to come.

Featured Image Credit: ShotPrime Studio, Shutterstock

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