How much does a cat cost?
Free to a good home ...
How many times have you seen that sign 'Kittens - Free to a Good Home'? Have you been moved to pick up a little unwanted kitten? I don't want to spoil the chances of adoption for some tiny waif, I just ask you to consider a few facts first.
If you're thinking of getting a cat this year,have a long hard look at your finances.While you're about it, have a good look at your motives too.
Why do you want a cat?
The Cost of a Cat
The Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) estimates that the average cat in Australia costs about $1000 a year.
Factor in a lifespan of 15 years or more, total pet costs can equate between $15 000 - $20,000. And that's the basic maintenance costs, not such things as pet accessories, gourmet food or emergency Veterinary care.
For the equivalent in American dollars add 5%
The Cost of Food
Food costs are the most obvious. You can't feed a cat on kitchen scraps.
Note to vegetarians
If you're a vegetarian, please don't try to turn your cat into one.
We are carnivores, meat-eaters, and more to the point, we are obligate carnivores. We get our energy and nutrient requirements from a diet of meat and really can't digest vegetables.
The best food for us is a mixture over the week of fresh meat, dried kibble and canned cat food.
Five Cat Food Recipes
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How much is Cat Food?
A cat will cost you a lot of money each week in cat food. have a look at the supermarket prices for dry and wet cat food. Estimate one can of food and a cup of dried kibble a day. Can you afford that on your grocery Bill?
The Cost to Neuter a Cat
Now, you have to add up how much it will cost you to have the cat desexed. It's cheaper to have a tomcat 'fixed' than a female cat, which only makes sense when you consider the surgery involved.
Prices differ depending upon where you live and what Veterinary Surgeon you choose., Ask around your local area.
One female cat, having 3 litters a year with 6 kittens per litter can have over 20,000 descendants in one year alone!.
A neutered tomcat is healthier. We're also quiet and calm, gentle and affectionate. I've never looked back from my own little nip 'n' tuck.
Prevent a Litter - Fix Your Critter
Cats have kittens before you can turn around!
I don't know how people can forget that cats have kittens. The kittens end up drowned in a bucket (sorry to tell you that) or on Death Row.
Where can I get a cat?
If you live near me, you can get a cat (or a dog if you're so inclined) from the Lort Smith Animal Hospital.
At any time of year, the hospital has a large number of unwanted animals but, in the couple of months after Christmas, abandoned cats pack the place to the rafters.
I thank the Lort Smith Animal Hospital
Lort Smith was established in 1935 by Louisa Lort Smith, a passionate animal welfare campaigner, to promote and improve the welfare of animals and provide veterinary care for the animals of people "of limited means.".
I think the woman who feeds me is classified as "of limited means" (probably because of her advanced age), in any case she got a reduction in my own vet bills and still hasn't paid them all.
Every year thousands of animals are put down and dumped at shelters because their owners can't afford to keep them.
So please, if you're toying with the idea of getting a cute kitten, can you afford the costs? Do you have the time to properly look after a cat for the next 15 years?
If you're not sure you can afford the cost then don't get a cat!
What did you think?
How much did you think a cat would cost you?
Big, small or in-between, all pawprints are welcome. Leave your comment too - and you don't even have to be a cat