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How to Cut the Costs of Owning a Cat: 9 Possible Ways

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

boy carrying a cat

Owning a cat can potentially cost thousands a year. When you add together the cost of food, medical care, toys, and other expenses, it can be quite expensive. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can cut down on costs.

The 9 Ways to Cut Cat-Related Costs

You might be surprised at how much unnecessary spending you do for your feline. Here are a few of the easiest ways to save money.

1. Purchase Food in Bulk

The more food that you purchase at a time, the less expensive it gets per ounce. Therefore, the easiest way to save money is simply to buy bigger bags of cat food. When possible, purchase the biggest bag available. Sometimes, you can cut your costs by as much as 50% when you purchase food in bulk. Consider shopping around for the biggest bag. Learn to read the cost per ounce, and always check before you purchase food. Smart shopping when it comes to your cat’s food can potentially save you hundreds a year.

cat eating
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Watch Out for Unhealthy Breeds

Some purebred cats are more prone to health problems than others. For instance, Persians have squished faces, which makes them more prone to breathing problems. While these health problems may not seem like a huge deal, they can potentially cost you thousands in vet care. Many health problems are quite expensive, especially when they are chronic. Therefore, if you’re trying to save as much money as possible, the exact cat that you purchase matters! Be sure to do all the necessary research before settling on a cat breed to purchase. You should also research breeders. Good breeders perform various health tests before breeding their felines. Therefore, they tend to produce healthy kittens. If you want to avoid health problems and high vet bills, we recommend finding a breeder who performs the necessary health checks, even if it means purchasing a more expensive cat upfront.

Veterinarian examining teeth of a persian cat
Image Credit: didesign021, Shutterstock

3. Consider Pet Insurance

Vet bills are expensive. You can avoid a few of these issues by purchasing cat insurance, which should help you cover medical bills. However, this isn’t necessarily a cost-saver. It depends on the amount of money that you spend each month on the insurance and how much the insurance company pays you each year. It can potentially save you thousands of dollars in medical bills in the case of an emergency. However, you may not save money every year. Be sure to shop around for insurance. Different companies will have better plans than others. Many of the costs are based on your location, so use your zip code when looking around.

tabby cat with eye discharge
Image Credit: Pitsch, Pixabay

4. Purchase Medication Online

You can often save money by purchasing your cat’s medication online. Your local vet office likely doesn’t have much competition when it comes to medication costs, but online stores do. There are many pet websites today that sell medication, so be sure to do plenty of shopping around and read reviews before you settle on one.


5. Stay on Top of Regular Vet Care

Regular vet visits can add up fast. However, emergency vet bills can add up even faster. Therefore, if you’re looking to avoid sudden emergency bills, you should be sure to stay on top of routine vet care. Often, health problems are much cheaper to treat if you catch them earlier. Once your cat already has a severe illness, treatment often costs much more. Be sure to get regular vaccinations and similar preventative care too. For instance, regular teeth cleanings can be expensive but not as expensive as dealing with emergency teeth extraction and abscesses. Plus, dental problems can snowball into other problems. If your cat does end up with emergency problems, pet insurance should help!

sphynx cat vet check up
Image Credit: Irina Vasilevskaia, Shutterstock

6. Groom Your Cat at Home

Not all cats need grooming. However, if your feline does, it is in your best interest to groom them at home. This routine may take time on your part, but it is much cheaper than paying for a professional every month or so! You will need to make a one-time purchase for brushes and other supplies. After that, we recommend teaming up with a groomer or using the internet to figure out how to properly groom your cat, as there is a bit of a learning curve. However, it is worth it if you’re trying to cut costs as much as possible. Of course, if your cat doesn’t need any grooming, you don’t have to worry about this step!

cat getting brushed groomed
Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

7. Ask Friends and Family to Watch Your Pet

Cat sitters are extremely expensive. Even going to a kennel (if you can find one that takes cats) is pricey. If you can have a friend or family member watch your pet instead, you’ll be much better off. You can trade pet-sitting obligations by promising to watch their pet when they’re out of town. You can also hire a house sitter, which is generally cheaper than cat-specific sitters. Of course, house sitters may not perform all the maintenance that your cat needs, so be sure to discuss it with the sitter before hiring them. If you have more than one feline, hiring a house sitter is more expensive.

person feeding two cats
Image Credit: Milles Studio, Shutterstock

8. Buy Second-Hand

You can purchase many cat toys second-hand to save money. There are a few things that you shouldn’t purchase used, like cat litter boxes. However, cat beds, condos, and toys are all great options if you can find them for sale nearby. Check your local sales network or hit up a few yard sales. You never know what great deals that you may be able to find!


9. Have Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

You should always spay or neuter your feline. While this may cost you money upfront, you won’t have to deal with possible litters of kittens later. Spaying or neutering your cat can also help with troublesome behaviors, like marking. Therefore, it is typically best to spay or neuter your feline as necessary. You’ll save plenty of money in the long run simply by not having to take care of more cats or deal with your feline’s hormonal behaviors.

cat and vet
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

Conclusion

Having a cat can get expensive quite quickly. Luckily, there is much you can do to lower your costs. By staying on top of routine vet care and potentially purchasing cat insurance, you can save quite a bit of money. You can also shop smart for cat supplies. Buy food in bulk, and get secondhand cat toys and other accessories. Each method will help you save a bit of money. However, over time, they can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year. In the case of serious medical problems, they may even be able to save you thousands.


Featured Image Credit: Lapina, Shutterstock

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