Pet Wellness Guides > 7 Cat Expenses to Consider - Pet Insurance Review

7 Cat Expenses to Consider

Posted: 10/04/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Cat , Pet care

Cats make wonderful companions. They make us laugh on those days the world seems to conspire against us and warm our laps on chilly evenings. But as awesome as cats are, bringing one into your life requires a financial commitment on your part. With this in mind, the following are some cat expenses to consider before bringing that furball home:

Key Points

Fees associated with adopting a cat from a shelter will be much lower than fees if buying a purebred cat from a breeder.

Taking care of a pet means making sure you have all the right supplies on hand. You’ll need a litter box, litter, a cat carrier and more.

Good health is dependent on good nutrition. Feeding your fur ball a quality cat food is ideal.

There will be recurring medical costs associated with year checkups, vaccinations, dental cleanings, etc.

cat expenses

The Initial Costs

Unless you happen to know someone whose cat has had a litter of kittens and is happy to place one with you for free, you’ll most likely be paying some form of upfront fee. If you’re adopting a cat from a shelter, you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $175. These fees help to cover the shelter’s costs for spaying and neutering, vaccinations and even microchipping.

Of course, if you’ll be getting your cat from a professional breeder, you can expect to pay quite a bit more. Some breeders will charge $500 for a purebred cat, like a Persian or Maine Coon, while others will charge upward of $2,000 for a cat from the best lineage.

Cat Supplies

If this is your very first cat, you’ll need to equip your home with the necessary supplies. Some of the items you’ll need are:

Litter Box and Litter

You’ll find litter box prices can vary greatly depending on how fancy you want to go. There are very basic litter pans that will cost less than $10, and then there are incredibly fancy litter boxes that use special technology that automatically scoop the box for you. These can cost you $100 or more. If your house has multiple floors, it is recommended you have a litter box (or more if you’re bringing home more than 1 cat) on each level.

There is also the litter that you’ll need to purchase on a weekly/monthly basis. Litter, like litter boxes, can vary in price. Regular clay litter will tend to be the most economic, but not necessarily the best for your cat’s health because it is high in dust. Litter made from corn, pine and wood chips may cost a bit more but may also be better for your cat. Ask your vet what they recommend.

Cat Carrier

Cat Carriers are necessary to safely transport your fur baby to the vet and back. In fact, any time you should want or need to take your cat in the car, they should be safely inside of a cat carrier, and that carrier should be seatbelted in place. 

Most regular hardshell cat carriers cost about $25. Those that offer a bit more room and comfort can range up to $75 or more. 

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Cat Food

Obviously your fur baby has to eat and you’ll want to purchase a high quality food that offers her proper nutrition. It’s not a good idea to opt for a cheap cat food as the right diet is how you will keep your cat healthy and away from the vet.

And speaking of…

Recurring Medical Expenses

Every cat needs routine veterinary care to stay healthy. And last time we checked, annual checkups, bloodwork, vaccinations, dental cleanings and flea and tick medications all cost. 

And these are just the costs associated with routine, preventative care. You can also expect to pay for treatment anytime your fur baby may become ill or injured. And no matter how hard we try to ensure our cats are healthy, inevitably there will always be those medical issues or emergencies that crop up.

The bit of string our cat ingested…

The sudden respiratory infection…

The fall off that high shelf…

All of these medical emergencies may cost you quite a bit of money. Before buying or adopting a cat, be sure you can afford to take the very best care of her.

Pet Insurance

And speaking of getting hit with unexpected and costly vet bills…

Pet insurance is how many pet parents ensure they are able to pay for treatments when they wind up at the emergency clinic at 3 in the morning. Accident and illness plans can cost between $10 and $30 a month and many will reimburse you for up to 90% of the vet bill.

Final Thoughts

There is no denying that cats bring a lot of joy, comfort and laughter into our lives. But they also require a financial commitment on our part. Make sure that you can comfortably afford a cat before bringing one home.

And if you are considering enrolling your fur baby into a pet insurance plan, here are the top providers based on reviews from pet parents just like you:


Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,498
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,216
4.3Pet Assure12


References: “How Much Does it Cost to Have a Cat?” “13 Costs of owning a Cat” “What’s the Cost of Owning a Cat?”


The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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