The Cost of Owning a Cat



This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Simple Dollar


Cats are more self-sufficient than dogs. They require less personal attention and can be expected to take care of themselves for days at a time. Cats are also less expensive overall than dogs, especially if kept indoors. Because they aren’t exposed to other animals and the elements, indoor cats have a much lower risk of injury and sickness. If you’re the type of person who wants animal companionship without as much commitment, a cat is a great choice.

Adopting From a Shelter

The reasons for adopting a cat from a shelter are very similar to those for adopting a dog. Not only are shelter cats in need of a new home, but many are already used to living with humans and can integrate into a house much more easily than a kitten bought from a pet store. Shelters are, again, the more humane option. There are cat breeders that produce high volumes of kittens with little regard for their health; adopting from a shelter negates the risk of supporting institutions like this.

The cost of adopting a cat from a shelter typically ranges from $50 to $150. Most shelters will spay or neuter the cat before adoption, as well as provide a rabies and distemper shot. Depending on the shelter’s budget, it may also microchip the cat and provide other vaccinations. The adoption fees help offset these costs.

Purchasing From a Pet Store or Breeder

While a pet store may be the easiest place to find a cat, purchasing an animal from one can be risky. Pet stores don’t always obtain their cats from reputable sources, which can result in mistreatment of the animals and higher risks of health problems. While a pet store is far cheaper than purchasing from a breeder, the risk isn’t worth it. The cost to treat future medical problems won’t be worth the initial savings.

Purchasing from a reputable breeder can be costly, but it provides you the option of selecting exactly the breed of cat you want. The most in-demand breeds will cost significantly more, with some of the rarest cats exceeding $5,000 or more in cost. However, cats purchased from a reputable breeder will be less likely to have behavior or health problems. Like with dogs, beware the ‘backyard breeders,’ as these individuals are not certified and may not give the animals the care they need.

NOTE: These costs are only estimates. Price often varies from one breeder to the next.

If those prices give you a bit of sticker shock, here are some more affordable breeds.

This article was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jessica Carter of The Simple Dollar © 2017