How Much Does It Cost To Look After A Cat? (The Real Truth)

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Welcome Crazy Cat People

So you are thinking of owning your first cat and sharing your life with a Kitty.

Cats can bring so much joy, love, and fun into our lives but we must make sure we can financially afford to give our feline friends all they need to live a healthy and happy life.

In the post below I did my own research and did a poll to find out just how much people are spending on their cats.

There are lots of things to consider when working out what it costs to look after a cat such as the initial costs of adopting, monthly food bills, veterinary care, and the cost of toys. It is a good idea to also have a large sum of money saved up for emergencies as vet treatments can be expensive.

Let’s look into this in a little bit more depth as I break down the cost of what you need to get started, how much it is going to cost you per month, and the things you need to consider before bringing that cute little kitten home with you.

What are the initial costs of owning a cat?

So I am sure you already know that you cant just bring the kitten home without any preparation, there is a lot to consider before you even think of giving a cat a forever home.

So what exactly are the initial costs?

Adoption fee

This is your first real cost and this can vary so much depending on the breed of cat you choose to adopt. Sometimes you can rescue a cat or cat’s like I did without a charge and give an adult cat a good home.

You can adopt a cat from a shelter and this can be so rewarding to see a cat who has potentially been neglected or mistreated and build a great level of trust with them over time.

Talking of building trust, you may wish to read this article I wrote which will tell you about 13 ways you can build trust with your cat to develop and grow your bond.

Your average cost is anywhere between – £11 ($15) – £145 ($200)

Neutered and chipped

Having your cat neutered is very important if you don’t want lots of kittens running around. Also, indoor cats can try to escape when in heat, if they’re male they may go away for a long time in pursuit of a female and not come back for days.

Getting your cat chipped is very important for indoor and outdoor cats and is the best way to find your cat if he or she should go missing.

Cost of chipping a cat averages at £20 ($30)

Cost of neutering a cat £70 ($95)

Water and food bowls

This is obvious, it’s important to have a food and water bowl for your cat. You can get so many different types of water and food bowls for Kitty with so many designs.

The average cost of food and water bowl is £15 (£20)

Litter box

If you own an indoor cat it is a good idea to have 2 litter boxes, I only have one per cat and that is more than enough.

The prices for cat litter trays can vary especially if you get one of the new self-cleaning litter trays. If you haven’t seen these you have to check them out.

This one is really good and has some super cool features. It has a 13L capacity, a carbon filter to absorb odour and it even connects to your phone where you can monitor your cat’s health and toilet habits. It can recognise cats in a multi-cat household!

Let’s say you just opt for a basic cat litter tray with no frills.

Average cost – £25 ($35)

Scratching post

This is a definite must – take that from someone who didn’t have a scratching pot at first and ended up with a sofa that ended up very damaged! My fault I know, so please don’t make that mistake.

You could get a basic scratching post or you could buy a big cat tree with multiple scratching posts but let’s say you just go for the basic option

Average cost – £25 ($35)

Cat bed

Your cat will need a nice warm bed to sleep on but in my experience, they may not always use it.

My two cats have a bed but they much prefer my bed or the sofa, sometimes they sleep in their designated bed but it’s very rare. Nevertheless, a safe bed where they can relax and unwind is still a good idea before bringing the kitty home.

Average cost – £20 ($27)


So many choices to even give an average spend here but it’s always a good idea to get a few cat toys such as feather teasers, catnip-filled toys, and some electronic interactive toys.

I have written a blog post on some of the best cat toys in the UK, so please take a look and see what you think.

To get started with some basics though you may wish to spend around £50 ($68)

Cat Collar

A collar is a good idea with cats if they ever escape or if you let them out and they don’t come back or get lost. An easy break-away collar is a must in case your cat gets caught on a tree or fence and please include their name and your telephone number so if anyone does find your cat then they can contact you so you can be reunited with your little bundle of joy.

Average cost – £8 ($11)

Cat brush

So all cats need to be brushed regularly to prevent hairballs and to try to stop the amount of hair that can accumulate on your carpet.

Brushing your cat is also bonding time with your little fur babies, some cats like it more than others but my two enjoy the time I spend grooming them.

Average cost – £8 ($11)

Money put aside for vet costs

So this is the one which can cost a lot of money, not only do your cats need their injections especially if outdoor cats but they may need the vets when you least expect it.

My Lenny needed the vets for a burned paw when the kitchen hob was accidentally not covered after cooking and it wasn’t cheap!

It is a good idea to keep aside some money but like me, if you don’t have money set aside a credit card with a nice big limit on is always a good idea in case of emergencies.

The average amount to put aside – £1000 ($1375)

A supply of food

Whatever food you choose to buy is up to you. You may wish to buy wet food or dry but I would recommend having a month’s supply before you bring the kitty home.

Have a read of my post which looks at the different types of cat food and the three main feeding methods.

Average cost – £40 (55)

Total Average cost (excluding emergency vet fund) – £380 ($520)

So there you go, this should give you all you need to make sure Kitty is happy when they arrive at home.

I am sure you may spend even more than this if you want to spoil your cat’s like us crazy cat people like to do.

What do I need to buy every month for my cat?

  • Food, dry or wet, or a combination
  • Treats
  • Cat litter
  • Pet insurance
I might cost you some money every month but I promise I will be worth it.

These items are your monthly staples, the cost of these can vary so much. Insurance is not a necessity but can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Rather than paying for full insurance, you may want to consider a cash plan type of assurance. Check out Eusoh, you pay for your vet bills and send in your receipt easily on the app and the plan will then refund you. It is a community-based plan where everyone pays into a pot and then when you need to claim, you just send in your receipts! – It is so much better than insurance in my opinion.

Check Eusoh out here!

Poll results – Average Monthly spending when you have a cat

So I didn’t do my poll in this but I collaborated information from various forum’s online and worked out percentages, the results are below.

I looked at the answers from 27 people on how much they spend on their cat per month, please note this is per cat and you will spend more if you get two cats.

Out of the 27 people who answered

33% of people spent £25-£40 ($34-$55)

33% of people also spent £41-£60 ($56-$82)

15% of people spent £61-£80 ($83-$110)

15% of people spent £81-£100 ($111-$137)

4% of people spent £101-£112 ($138 -$154)

The Average spend was £56 ($79) per month

Conclusion – How much does a cat cost to look after?

So as you can see from the data above, owning a cat is not cheap. I hope this article gives you an idea of how much you may have to spend. There is so much to consider and I want your cat to have a happy healthy life, which I am sure you will provide.

You can use this information to decide how many cats you want to adopt. You may also find one of my other blog posts helpful if you are thinking about whether you should adopt one or two cats.

As always take of yourself and your little fur babies

Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)


Mark loves Cats, he is the Daddy to two little cats who you will see throughout his blog. He has a passion for Cat care and enjoys everything cat-related. You could call him the crazy cat man.

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