The cost of owning a cat

Owning a cat is an incredibly rewarding and happy experience, but the cost of owning and keeping a cat healthy and happy is a long-term financial commitment. Take a look at our guide to the one-off, monthly and annual costs associated with getting a new cat.

Cats typically live for around eighteen years, so before getting a cat, it’s important to consider the costs associated with taking care of them for that long. The typical annual cost of a cat is around £1000 per year. The table below is a guide to the basic costs of cat ownership.

Item One off expense Monthly cost Annual costs
Equipment £90
Cat flap £40+ installation
Microchip £17
Food £13 - £55 £160 - £655*
Litter £2 - £9 £25 - £104*
Routine health care £10 £120
Pet sitting £140

Total

£147

£74

£1019

Essential items for a new cat

Before you bring your new cat home, you’ll need to buy a few essential items. These include a cat carrier, bedding, food bowls, a litter tray and scratching post. These will also need replacing from time to time.

A Cat Flap

Giving your cat access to the outdoors can provide them with a huge amount of positive stimulation. Most cats benefit from having the freedom to come and go as they please especially if they’re young and you’re regularly out. We at Battersea recommend a microchip cat flap. These scan your cat’s microchip and only open for your cat. As well as the flap, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of installation. This will vary depending on where it’s being fitted in your home. For example, installing a cat flap in a double-glazed window will be more expensive than in a wooden door.

Food

Cats need their own food to ensure they get all the nutrients they require. Costs will vary significantly by brand, the size of your cat and their lifestyle (e.g. how active they are) but a typical adult needs two pouches of wet food per day and around 20g of dry.

Litter

Although some cats prefer to go to the toilet outside, we always recommend providing a permanent indoor litter tray. This will need to be scooped out daily to remove any soiled material and a complete wash and change at least once a week. Like food, litters can vary significantly in price.

Routine health costs

Annual vaccination protects your cat against a number of common but serious cat diseases. To keep them free of parasites, you’ll need to treat for fleas and worms regularly, following the advice of your vet.

Insurance

Just like us humans, pets also have accidents and illnesses. Many people choose to insure their cat rather than be faced with large and unexpected costs. We recommend looking for policies which cover your cat for the lifetime of any illness rather than a fixed period of time.

Pet sitting

If you go away, it’s important to make sure your cat will be looked after. In many cases it may be possible to ask a friend or neighbour to help, but for longer breaks, you may require a professional pet sitter.

Microchipping and neutering

If you rehome from Battersea the initial costs of microchipping will be covered. However, there is sometimes a charge if you need to amend your registration details in future. At Battersea we also cover the costs of neutering. However, this is something to bear in mind if you get your cat elsewhere. Prices range from approximately £50 to £100.

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