How Expensive Are Cats: List of Expenses When Owning a Cat

Owning a cat costs an average of $700 annually, with more expensive breeds costing up to 10 times that amount. Out of all pet expenses incurred by American families each year, food (73%), litter (64%), and toys/leads (50%) are the most significant categories for expenditure on pets.

Initial Purchases for Your Cats


As a cat owner, it is essential to keep in mind the basics of pet care. For example, a cat needs food, water, litter, toys, and a scratching post. Spaying or neutering your pet is also beneficial – this will help reduce the number of cats that need homes. Finally, ensure you have a good home for your feline friend – one large enough for them to play and nap in and privacy when they want it.

Optional Purchases

Whenever you make a purchase, it is always worth taking the time to calculate how much money you are spending and whether any of those expenses can be eliminated or reduced. For example, in the case of pet care, neutering and spaying cats cost around $200-$500. Toys and other forms of entertainment for kittens cost around $10 per month, assuming your cat enjoys playing with toys!

Unexpected Costs

One of the unexpected costs of owning a cat is veterinarian bills, which include veterinary care, food, and toys. So it’s essential to be prepared for these costs, so you don’t end up in debt. And if you do run into financial difficulty, remember about cat food and litter. These expenses can quickly add up, so it’s essential to have a budget and stick to it.

Other Expenses to Consider

Cats are famous for their adorable feline faces and playful antics, but they also come with a few expenses you might not have considered. For example, get your furry friend regularly vaccinated against diseases like rabies and the Feline Leukemia virus (FIV).

These vaccinations can cost anywhere from $30 to $50, so getting them taken care of as soon as possible is essential. Remember that cat vaccinations also protect people and other pet animals in your home. For example, flea & tick preventatives can also be pricey and quickly add up. So make sure to get them for your cat and any other pet in your home.

Cost of Cat Ownership: Annual Expense Breakdown

Annual Medical Expenses

If you have more than one cat, annual medical expenses can quickly add up. That includes vet bills, food, litter, toys, and furniture – everything a pet requires! If your cats each need around $200 in annual expenses (which isn’t ordinary), that’s already looking at a bill of nearly $3,000 per year! And that doesn’t even include kitten costs or any significant accidents along the way.

While cats are undeniably cute and cuddly, they require some financial investment upfront to ensure they’re taken care of properly. If you can plan for these costs down the road as they come up (instead of having them pile up unexpectedly), it will be much easier on your wallet in the long run.

Dental Care

Dental care is one of the most common pet expenses. No wonder cat owners often struggle to cover costs related to dental care, as cats can eat a lot! For example, a vet insurance company study revealed that annual dental bills for cats could cost up to $1,500 (USD). That doesn’t include the cost of food or toys, which can quickly add up to $800 per year.

If you have more than one cat, their dental bills will only increase! While insurance may not be able to cover all expenses associated with pet dental care altogether, it does offer some peace of mind in case of an emergency or illness. In addition, having proper pet insurance coverage will help ensure that your cat gets the best possible medical treatment when needed.

Cat Vaccinations Cost

It is essential to vaccinate your cat at least twice a year – once when they are kittens and again when they are adults. Other vital vaccinations include Rabies, Heartworm Disease, and Distemper. The most common vaccinations your cat will need are Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Infectious Diarrhea (FIV).

Treatments for Fleas, Ticks, Worms, and Mites

There are a few things pet owners can do to keep their cats healthy and parasite-free. First, most people often use products such as Frontline or Revolution for fleas, ticks, worms, and mites. These treatments can be pretty expensive! Always read the label before applying medication to your pet, as some medicines may not be safe.

Emergency Medical Expenses

There is no doubt that cats are the perfect pet for people who love the outdoors and animals in general. They provide companionship, protection, and a sense of security – all while requiring very little care on your part. Even though owning a cat costs an average of $1,500 annually, ensuring you have enough money for emergency medical expenses cannot be stressed too much.

Cats can get sick or injured just like humans do and sometimes require expensive vet bills or surgery to fix them up. In addition, food (both kitty-specific and regular pet food), toys, litter box needs, etc., should all be accounted for in such a scenario!

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a good idea for pet owners as it can cover many costs associated with owning a cat. Some of the expenses that are typically covered by pet insurance policies include food, toys, litter, and vet bills. In the event of an unfortunate event, such as an accident or illness, having pet insurance in place will help to protect you financially.

Knowing precisely what is covered in your policy’s exclusions is essential. Also, make sure you understand how claims are handled before signing up, as this will help ease any concerns you may have about the coverage offered.

Cat Food

As cat owners, it is essential to keep in mind the amount of food your pet consumes daily. For example, the average cat eats around 2-3 cups of food daily, which amounts to $8-$10 per month. Of this, about 25% is water, and the rest is food.

As a cat owner, you spend approximately $120-$500 yearly on pet food! Furthermore, vet bills, toys, litter, etcetera. It can also add up quickly – ensuring you’re taking care of all these expenses will help save you money in the long run.

Kitty’s Litter and Supplies

Litter box and litter costs can quickly increase annually if you don’t have a system. To keep your cat healthy and litter-free, buy the right supplies and provide them with the appropriate environment. Here are some tips:

  • Get a litter box suitable for your pet’s size and temperament.
  • Choose a type of litter that best suits your pet’s needs (clumping or non-clumping) and adjust the frequency of changing it according to their peeing habits.
  • Purchase food bowls, toys, water bowls, etc., tailored specifically for cats – they will love having their own space.