What is the average cost of owning a cat?
21 June 2021
Cats might be lower maintenance pets than dogs, but they’re still going to end up costing you at least £12,000 over their lifetime, and on average closer to £17,000.
In fact, some cat breeds might end up costing you as much as £24,000!
Average cost of buying a cat
If you’re getting a standard domestic cat from a reputable breeder or rescue home, you’re not going to be breaking the kitty, with an average price of £50 to £150.
However, you can spend a lot more, with the price of some cats really making your fur stand on end.
Russian Blue, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats can cost well over £1,000.
The Bengal, Savannah and Ashera breeds, which are all hybrids of small leopards and domestic cats, can have price tags in the tens of thousands.
Average cost of cat food
While feeding a cat is going to cost you less than a dog, their food bill can still be significant.
Per year, you’re probably looking at between £100 and £200 depending on what kind of cat food you’re buying.
Higher quality cat food can be beneficial for your pet’s health, although it can be more expensive. But, make sure you check the ingredients to make sure you’re actually getting a higher meat content.
Average cost of cat toys and bedding
There are quite a lot of additional costs when it comes to owning a cat. Not only do you need the obvious things, like a bowl and bed, but there are also things like litter trays and litter.
As a starting point, you need to be looking at about £200 a year to cover the most basic expenses.
Now, there are things you can spend a huge amount of money on, like scratching posts, so this is really up to you. But let’s be honest, the cat will probably end up playing with the box it came in anyway.
Average cat insurance cost
A lifetime pet insurance policy for you cat will cost around £285 a year, according to Which?.
You can save money by getting a one-year policy in the early years, but be careful.
Premiums will go up a lot when your cat gets to about six or seven, and you might struggle to get cat insurance at all when they get to eight or nine, or even younger for some breeds.
Average cost of vet bills for your cat
Vet bills can be really expensive, which is why so many people choose to get pet insurance.
But, if you’re thinking about covering the costs yourself, it’s worth knowing how much they might set you back.
Surgery can cost on average £1,500, but the things which will really hit you in the pocket are ongoing medical costs for long-term illnesses.
Cats are particularly prone to certain illnesses like urinary tract infections and liver disease.
Average cat vaccinations cost
When you first bring you kitten home, it’s vital you get their vaccinations and keep up with the annual boosters. The first round of jabs will cost about £100, with another £50 for the annual boosters.
If you choose to get a cat or kitten from a rescue shelter, they will normally already have the first round of vaccinations done.
Average cat neutering cost and cost to spay a cat
If you want to avoid the pitter patter of tiny kitten paws, then you’re going to need to spend about £100 to have your cat spayed or neutered.
Average cat microchip cost
Unlike dogs, microchipping cats is not a legal requirement. But if you want to keep your furry feline safe, then it’s still a good idea.
And it doesn’t even cost much, with an average price of just £15 to £20.
Average cost of flea and worming treatment for your cat
Cats need monthly flea treatments which will set you back about £5 a month.
Worming is another important preventative treatment needed every three months, which costs on average £15.
Average cat grooming cost
Grooming requirements vary depending on the breed of cat you have and, more specifically, its coat.
Domestic cats require regular brushing to avoid matts in their coat and fur balls and a high-quality brush is not going to set you back very much.
Pedigree and long-haired cats will require more grooming and you might want to consider taking them to get professionally groomed. This will usually set you back about £20 to £35 depending on the size of your cat.
Cat flap installation cost
If you want to make life a bit easier, for you and your cat, you might be thinking about installing a cat flap.
There are two things to think about here - the cost of the cat flap itself and the cost of installing the cat flap.
You can buy a cat flap for as little as £10, but they can cost more than £50 for ones with infrared or microchip sensors.
The bigger issue is installation and where you choose to put the flap.
If it’s going to be put in a wooden door, single glazed window or uPVC panel, it will usually cost between £30 and £60. But, installing a cat flap in a double glazed window is a lot more expensive and can set you back between £200 and £300.
Average cost of a pet passport for your cat
If you want to take your cat on holiday with you, then a pet passport is going to set you back between £25 and £50, by the time you have paid for the extra jabs required.
Your cat must have been microchipped to get a pet passport and they will also need a rabies vaccination and be treated for tapeworm before they return to the UK.
It’s also worth remembering your pet insurance might not cover you if you’re out of the UK.
Average cattery costs
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of taking your cat abroad with you, then catteries are another option.
On average, this will probably set you back between £5 and £10 a day, plus extras.
Another option would be arranging for a pet sitter to come visit and feed your cat while you’re away, which removes the stress of taking them to an unfamiliar location. This will cost a similar amount to a stay in a cattery.
Cat euthanasia cost
When the time comes to say goodbye to your cat, it will usually cost about £30 to have them put to sleep at the vets and £60 for a home visit.
Cat cremation costs
There is a large variation on how much it costs for a cremation and it largely comes down to do you want the ashes back.
If you do want the ashes back, the you will need an individual cremation, which costs more. This will usually set you back between £150 and £300.
If you don’t want the ashes back, then it should only cost you £50.
Some vets also offer a combined euthanasia and cremation service, but this won’t save you much money.