Ever wonder how much it costs to adopt a cat?
Well, lucky for you, I adopted a four month old kitten exactly half a year ago. Even luckier, I tend to have some OCD money-blogger tendencies, which for better or worse, means that I can’t help but track every penny I spend.
So when The Money Meow joined the family, I got to tracking!
With lessons learned from when I tracked exactly how much it costs to adopt a dog, I’ve now got a pretty definitive list on every expense any aspiring pet owners can expect. Enjoy!
How much does it cost to adopt a cat?
On average, the fee to adopt a cat is anywhere from $15 to $300. You should also budget an additional $300 to $1,000+ for other necessary expenses, like food, litter, toys, supplies, and vet visits during the first few months.
With that generic answer out of the way, let’s get specific!
In my case, adopting a cat from a shelter cost me a total of $1,663 during the first six months of ownership!
Let’s break it down:
Initial Adoption Fees – $303
Okay, we didn’t actually get The Money Meow in a delivery box.
We picked him up from a regular old cat adoption shelter, who charged us an adoption fee of $268 after taxes. I’m also including a $35 initial visit to the vet for a routine checkup, where Lady Money Wizard and I held our breaths and hoped all was well underneath the proverbial hood.
Food – $136
Unlike The Money Pup, who would (and has) eaten a shoe, Cats can be finicky about the type of food they like.
So this process involved buying a whole bunch of different types of dry and wet foods, and again holding our breath to see which one The Money Meow would take an interest in. (I’m quickly learning cats can be a little high maintenance.)
Luckily for us, his initial favorites were on the cheaper side. Nevermind the huge curveball he threw us after a emergency vet visit a couple months later, but we’ll get that…
Supplies – $316
At a minimum, you’ll need a cat carrier and litter box for your new feline.
Admittedly, we splurged a bit on this category. Why? Well, you should see the litterboxes they make these days!
The Money Meow’s litterbox is one of the automatic types. 5 minutes after each trip to the bathroom, that little mechanical robot automatically gets to work scooping and cleaning his box.
The amount of time and annoyance this has saved us is huge. Since I’m a huge fan of anything that buys time or eliminates a chore, it was a no-brainer. (Especially since research proves that over time, the pain-removing splurges outperform the pleasure-adding ones. At least when it comes to lasting happiness.)
Here’s The Money Meow’s exact model of automatic litter box, which I highly recommend.
Of course, we also added a nifty custom embroidered collar with our phone number on it. Even after just a week or two, we couldn’t bear the thought of losing the new guy!
And lastly, every good cat deserves a comfy bed, right??
Toys – $105
Per usual, we got carried away in spoiling our guy. But hey, it’s fun to watch him lose his mind over these shiny sparkle balls!
The surprise favorite is this cat scratch lounger though. I was super skeptical about it, since it literally looks like nothing more than a cardboard box slapped together. But for whatever reason, The Money Meow can’t resist hopping in and spending all day sprawled inside.
Another surprise favorite is this piano wire toy. Which again looks like something I could have made with some scrap trash, but The Money Meow can’t resist. What’s cool about this one is that you can attach it to the wall, so he can keep himself entertained for hours.
And if you want to get fancy with it, the Smarty Cat brand makes a bunch of awesome automatic cat toys, many of which are Money Meow approved.
Unplanned Costs – $682
After month three, we noticed The Money Meow going to the bathroom a ton, and brought him to the vet. Of course, an emergency visit is never cheap ($450) but it was a good call. After a urine analysis ($83) we learned that he needed some prescription food moving forward ($130 for an 3-4 month supply) and one of these calming collars for when we traveled.
It’s always something!
And while not everyone will see expenses like this, I definitely think it’s smart to include a budget for the unplanned costs. Sometimes the only thing you can expect is the unexpected!
Avoidable Travel Costs – $120
Again, not something everyone will incur. But before adopting a cat, it’s definitely worth considering your game plan if you ever go out of town.
For us, with a new cat adapting to a new home, we decided a pet sitter on Rover would be a good call. I was imagining coming home to a torn up house, potted plants and dinner plates shattered everywhere. Paranoia? Maybe. But in my defense, I’ve seen how wild an excited Money Meow can get!
Our Rover sitter charges around $20 a day. So this is definitely a variable cost depending on how much we travel.
So, exactly how much does it cost to adopt a cat from a shelter? 6 months later
So there you have it. For just a little over a grand, you too can have a little kitten terrorizing your home!
I kid, I kid. Obviously, these little furballs bring quite a bit of joy into our lives.
I mean, how can ya put a price on this gift??
Hope you found this helpful!
Edit – I just remembered… for some reason, everyone seems to wonder how much it costs to adopt a cat specifically from Petco or Petsmart. So, by popular demand…
How much does it cost to adopt a cat from PetSmart?
That depends. Petsmart actually coordinates their adoptions with local adoption agencies, so your exact adoption fee may vary depending on the fees charged by those agencies.
That means cat adoption fees from Petsmart can range anywhere from $50 to $200+.
For example, here are some fee tables from a few local agencies that partner with Petsmart:
From there, you should also budget for the costs of food, supplies, vet visits, etc. In my case, that totaled about $1,000 bucks.
How much does it cost to adopt a cat from Petco?
Same story as Petsmart. Petco partners with local adoption agencies, so you can expect the cost to equal anywhere from $50 to $200, plus about $1,000 for the first few months of food, toys, supplies, and vet visits.
If you enjoyed this post, can you do me a favor?
Cost of ownership is one of the most common reasons cats are given up to shelters every year. If you think my OCD adoption cost journal would help potential pet owners plan for the costs, help spread the word by sharing this post!
The three million cats in shelters will thank you!