How Much Does it all Cost to Have a Kitten at Home ?
Now time to get down to the nickels and dimes of it! As I briefly mentioned, kitten care can be a little hard on your bank account because of the setup fees that it takes. You need to have the essentials like a litter box, litter, bowls, food, treats, toys, and a bed or two. Then you can look at things like a cat castle and a scratching post, etc.
We already talked about how DIY Accessories for Cat can give you a lot of options as far as cutting costs down, but we need to take a look at all of the essentials in terms of food and other needs.
You’ll be able to narrow down the costs for financials into regular care and veterinary care, so regular bills are going to be what we’ll start with. A lot of these numbers will vary in brands as well as availability and pricing in certain areas, so it’s important to note that these may not be 100% accurate in all locations. This will help you start your budget off on the right track, though!
Getting all of the toys and beds together can vary drastically. A good ballpark to aim for, however, would be around $100. This seems like a lot, but you’ll be getting bowls, a litter box, a good selection of toys, a cat castle (a cheap one, that is, or DIY), and even a scratching post. That’s a lot of value for money, and your kitten will use these for a good, long time.
Kitten food does tend to be more expensive because it’s considered to be a “specialty” item. Typically you can get a 2 lbs. bag for $8-$20 (depending on the brand). Your kitten will go through a cup a day, or so, so you’ll be able to make the food last for a good amount of time.
You can switch to adult food for your kitten once they reach a year of age unless your vet tells you otherwise. The price for adult food is lower since more options are available, you’ll also get larger sizes for a lower price, too, which is definitely worth considering.
Litter can often be bought in large amounts, about 50lb bags or boxes. Typically, unless you are getting specialty kinds, you will be able to get it for around $10-$15. You should be able to get around 3-4 months out of a single bag/box of your litter since you only need to scoop out the waste daily and will only need to fully dump the litter and replace it once a month or so. If you want a non-clumping litter, then it may be more expensive, and you will go through more of it.
This can vary greatly from kitten to kitten. It’s normal to have some sort of destruction of toys, but some kittens can be worse than others. Toy replacements can be anywhere from $10 and up per month, it’s really up to you in terms of how you want to handle replacement toys. This you can tweak and change as you need to.
Vet bills (Health Care)
The dreaded part of most pet-parents is the vet visits, and they can absolutely be damaging to your pocketbooks, so planning is essential for bills. Just like our own doctor visits, medical care can be expensive, and it’s hard to take when you have to go for regular check-ups and expensive procedures.
When you are looking at a kitten’s first year for vet care, you’ll have to handle three main things: the first shots and checkup, and then the spay or neuter (which we’ll talk about in a minute). For a kitten’s first shots, this is going to take care of deworming, rabies and all sorts of boosters’ healthy options that will make sure your kitten stays healthy and happy for his first year. After that, he’ll get yearly checkups and immunizations to keep him healthy.
How much does it cost to go to the vet for a cat ?
Barring any medical issues that arise, that will be it! First shots in combination with a checkup tend to cost anywhere between $75-$200, and a lot of times they will bundle them, price-wise, with a spay or neuter surgery to encourage pet-parents to do the surgery, and keep the cost down on it. Regular yearly shots after the first year will often be under $100 including a general health check-up.
Spay and Neuter appointments
A lot of pet-parents that are unfamiliar with kittens and cats will tell you that a spay or neuter is unnecessary, but that is old thinking. A spay or a neuter is the procedure that will take out the reproductive organs of your kitten so that they are unable to reproduce. This prevents unwanted litters of kittens that can cause physical stress and harm on your young cat to start with.
Spaying for a female and neutering for a male is critical to giving them a better overall health as well. You will give them better immune systems, less aggression and bad behavior, a genuine joy in remaining inside and lounging around like a house-cat, and so much more. There is a lot of research that shows that you’ll be able to give your kitten (and eventual cat) a longer life as well.
As mentioned, a lot of vets will bundle the costs for you, but if unbundled using traditional rates, a spay or a neuter will cost anywhere up to $200 including the procedure and post-op care such as pain medications and antibiotics that are needed for proper healing. That’s a lot to process, but it’s all important to know what to expect.
In a nutshell, here’s what you can expect for your financials in the first year for your kitten:
How Much Does it all Cost to Have a Kitten at Home ?
- Food $10 to $20 per bag
- Litter $10 to $15 per 50 lbs
- Toys $10+ per month
- Vet Bills
- First needles $75-$200
- Regular shots and yearly checkups under $100
- Spay or neuter $200
Financials is always a hard thing to talk about, but remember that a lot of these will vary and coupons are a real thing. Some kittens will have adoption fees as well, and some organizations will even have the adoption fee cover the spay or neuter, so it seriously depends on where you choose to source your kitten.
Consider your options carefully!