How Much Does a Cat Cost? A Small Price to Pay for Unconditional Love!

How Much Does a Cat Cost

Buying a new cat is not just a simple case of paying the adoption fee and walking away with your new family pet. There are many other costs involved in owning a cat. Some of these are obvious, while others are more subtle, the smaller expenses that accumulate over time.

I have always owned cats. My family was heavily involved in the Cats Protection charity in the UK. My father still works for them today.

Having been involved in pet ownership from both sides of the coin, I understand and appreciate the importance of understanding the full spectrum of the costs involved in owning a cat.

The following collection of statistics outlines everything you could ever need to know about how much cats cost.

How Much Does a Cat Cost 

Below are eight eye-opening statistics about how much a cat costs.

The Average Range to Adopt a Cat from a Shelter Is $50 to $175

how much is a cat

According to a post from ASPCA Pet Insurance, the approximate costs to adopt a shelter cat range from $50-$175. The range in adoption fees is due to the various breeds, ages, and any pre-existing medical conditions.

Additionally, many cats are spayed and microchipped and are given their vaccinations by the shelter, actions that are also reflected in the adoption costs.

It’s important to understand that many shelters incur a lot of extra costs when caring for cats, and these are not all passed on to the new owners.

Buying a Cat from a Breeder Can Cost $750 or Even More

The same article also compared the cost of adoption to buying a cat from a breeder. Many cat breeders will charge upwards of $750 for a cat.

Unless you are buying a pedigree cat, there is no real reason not to consider adoption. There are millions of cats and kittens in the shelter system, all eager to find their forever home.

The Capital Cost for a Cat Is up to $365

cost of owning a cat

The capital costs of buying a new cat are those fixed expenses that you can essentially guarantee having to pay. According to a post on PetInsuranceReview, these costs come in at $365.

These costs include neutering/spaying along with the basic initial veterinary checks and potentially microchipping.

Vaccination and Veterinary Care Can Cost from $110 to $550

One of the key considerations in taking a cat home is the ongoing risk of veterinary bills. According to a breakdown of cat costs published by the Whitman County Humane Society, cat owners should budget to spend $110-$550 per year on vet visits.

average cat price

Of course, there are more serious issues that can see these costs jump, and different pet insurance options can help mitigate the impact of such costs.

Tick Prevention Can Cost up to $140 per Cat

According to an article published by the ASPCA, cat owners can expect to pay approximately $140 per year for tick and flea prevention. This cost is for each cat, an important consideration as many people own multiple kitties.

While it may seem a lot, it’s a necessary cost to keep your cat healthy.

Cat Food Can Cost Almost $120 to $500

Cat food cost

According to a post from the Humane Society of Hurren Valley, cat food costs in the region of $120-$500 per year per cat.

The range in prices is indicative of geographical location and brand availability, along with any special dietary requirements a cat may have.

Up to $100 Could Be Spent on Treats

cat annual cost

An article published on DailyPaws cat owners spent up to $100 per month on cat treats. People are spending more and more on their cats. Luckily, cat treats are one of those items that can easily adjust to suit your budget.

Whether you have a cat or kitten, treats will always be a financial consideration you need to make.

A Litter Box Can Cost Anywhere from $6-$500

Litter boxes are wildly varied in their pricing. According to an article on PetSafe, a litter box can cost anywhere between $6-$500.

yearly cost of a cat

A basic open litter box can be found for just a few dollars, while hooded litter boxes cost a little more, up to $20, for a simple design. However, you can also buy automated, self-raking boxes for around $200-$250, while a designer litter box could hit your wallet for $500!

How Much Does a Cat Cost Per Month?

Below are nine fascinating statistics about the monthly cost of owning a cat.

The Average Cat Cost per Month Is $53

kitten vet costs

As per an article published on ASPCA Pet Insurance, most cat owners should expect to spend $53 a month on their cat. These costs cover food, treats, toys, and also the potential for any veterinary bills.

When bringing home a new kitty, it’s easy to get carried away with everything, but it is important to set yourself a budget and stick to it.

The Average Basic Health Care Cost of a Cat Is $500 per Year

As a cat owner, you should expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $500 per year. This does not include any illnesses or vet treatments beyond the standard flea and tick treatments.

According to the Humane Society of Hurren County, an indoor cat is cheaper at just $150 a year, while an outdoor cat reaches $500 thanks to the additional treatments they need.

The Monthly Food Cost Is Approximately $50

cost of having a cat

The same article also breaks down the monthly cost of cat food. Most cats cost approximately $50 per month for food. This can vary based on budget and any specific nutritional needs the cat may have.

Some people feed their cat or kitten only supermarket dry food, while others buy gourmet raw food online and have it delivered every week.

Grooming Can Cost up to $50-$100

According to HowMuchIsIt, the cost of cat grooming can run anywhere between $30-$100 per session.

The average kitten cost for a grooming session is $30-$40, while cats over 5 months old average anywhere between $50-$100. The cost of cat grooming depends largely on the breed, as fluffy or longhaired cats will cost more than a traditional shorthair.

Cat Insurance Can Cost up to $19 per Month

average cost of a cat per year

A report published on ValuePenguin the average cost of cat health insurance is just $19 per month. This is based on data taken from top-level pet insurance companies.

To further break the costs down, a younger cat or kitten cost $9-$16 per month, while older cats or those with pre-existing health concerns are higher at $25-$30 per month. While you might consider saving money by not getting insurance for your cat or kitten, it really is vital.

Regardless of your cat’s age, taking out insurance early is one of those things you can’t ignore.

The Miscellaneous Cat Cost Is $30 per Month

The price of owning a cat includes a number of expected and schedulable costs. However, ancillary costs crop up from time to time.

According to the ASPCA, these miscellaneous cat costs can run upwards of $30 per month. These costs include those little extras you can’t help but buy when you’re out and about. A little bit of catnip or a second set of toys for upstairs.

Emergency Veterinary Care Can Cost from $800 to $1500

kitten vet costs

Emergency veterinary care is something pet owners should prepare themselves for. Whether you have insurance or not, keeping a little something in reserve is recommended. According to CNBC, emergency veterinary care can cost anywhere from $800-$1500.

Unexpected illnesses or accidents can easily result in expensive emergency care. This is also why the amount Americans pay for insurance keeps rising each year.

Environment Maintenance Can Cost Almost $25 per Month

Alongside the initial expenses of getting a cat, it is important to work environmental maintenance into your pet’s annual expenses budget. According to MyCatMeow, these costs can easily hit $25 a month.

Cats need to settle into their home, and they will need to claw things, and no matter how many scratching posts you buy, they will always find a piece of furniture that works better.

The Entertainment Cost for Cats Can Cost from $20-$50 per Month

cat expenses

According to, most cats cost around $200 a year just for entertainment. In this regard, cat entertainment relates to buying toys, scratching posts, and other toys that are designed to keep your kitty happy.

Cat Annual Cost

Below are three statistics linked to the annual cost of cat care.

Approximately $1150 Is Required for Cat Care Annually

cost of cat

An article published by the ASPCA shows that the annual recurring cost of owning a cat can run as high as $1,150. These are the must-haves that you need to account for when bringing home a new cat.

This cost considers food, litter, toys, healthcare, and standard medical expenses such as vaccinations or annual checkups. It does not factor in the additional costs of having your cat neutered or microchipped.

The Initial Setup and Supply Can Cost from $160 to $450

As per an article from the ASPCA, the total initial expense of getting a cat can run anywhere from $160-$450. This covers all of the basic costs of getting a new feline friend.

how much does it cost to raise a cat

The initial setup for a cat includes payment such as cat insurance, food and water bowls, cat goods, and a scratching post, as well as the initial adoption fees.

The First Year of Cat Ownership Can Cost from $405 to $2285

cat cost

A report published by TidmoreVet revealed the eye-opening truth about the cost involved in the first year of cat ownership.

From pet insurance to food and water bowls, one-time cat costs to recurring fees, and the always unexpected costs of keeping a cat healthy, expect to fork out anywhere between $405-$2285 a year.

Optional Costs of Owning a Cat

Below are three interesting statistics on the optional costs of owning a cat.

The Cat Boarding Can Charge from $15 to $45 per Day

According to HomeGuide, the average cost of cat boarding or pet sitting is anywhere between $15-$45 per day. Pet sitting costs will vary based on the length of boarding time, the cat’s breed, age, and geographical location.

Additionally, every pet boarding facility offers something different and adjusts its prices accordingly.

Professional Grooming Can Cost up to $300 Annually

cat expenses

According to figures released by DailyPaws, professional grooming for cats can cost up to $300 per year.

The cost of professional grooming for cats will vary heavily based on many factors, including breed, aggression levels, coat complexity, and lifestyle. A long-haired cat that loves messing around outside will cost more than an indoor short-haired kitty.

Almost $50 Could Be Spent on Cat Gifts

average cost of a cat

A report published on StudyFinds found that 40% of cat owners would happily spend $50 on their cat for Christmas or other special occasions.

These unexpected costs cover cat toys and other little perks that will keep your cat happy throughout the year.


Are Cats Expensive?

Yes, cats can be expensive. However, as with any animal, cat costs are adjustable to fit your budget. There are many different brands and options out there for everything from bedding and toys to food and insurance.

If you are worried about the total cost of owning a cat, do your research before you go out and buy a new cat.

Which Cat Breed Is the Most Expensive?

Currently, the Ashera is considered by most cat experts as being the most expensive cat breed. Not only are they the most expensive cat, but Asheras are also very rare. If you want to buy an Ashera cat, you need to save money because it costs upwards of $125,000!

Which Generations Own the Most Cats as Pets?

Millennials are the generation that owns the most cats as pets. In fact, millennials own the most posts in general out of all the generations. 75% of millennials are pet owners, and 35% of them own cats.

Wrap Up

There is no such thing as a free cat. Whether you get given one or adopt one from a shelter, you need to prepare for a long stream of kitten expenses. From one-time costs to an endless parade of cat foods and pet insurance premiums, cats cost money.

However, if you ask me, the price is more than worth it because cats are amazing animals and make fantastic companions!

Whether you get a cat or kitten, you are gaining a fun new family member. Just let these statistics open your eyes to the true costs so that you fully understand what you are getting yourself into.

Are you a cat owner already? Perhaps you are looking to get your first new feline friend. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand just how much a kitten costs.

Which statistic did you find the most shocking? Let us know in the comments because we always love hearing from you!

Alexander Laybourne
Alex started writing from the moment he could hold a pen. What began as a way to pass time soon became a compulsion. It took several decades before Alex was able to leave the corporate world behind and embark on a real writing journey. Now, Alex writes full-time, and when he’s not working on an article, he’s knee-deep in writing fiction. An animal lover, Alex’s family, have all been involved in various animal welfare charities. His father works for a large national Cat charity in the UK, and Alex has regularly taken part in fundraising events for them through the years. Alex shares his life with his wife (to-be), children and stepchildren, a herd of guinea pigs, and numerous tropical fish, frogs and snails. The most recent addition to the family, Willow, a cockapoo puppy, has settled straight into family life and now controls who sits where on the sofa.

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