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Resource Guide: Raise a Cat on a Budget


Having a cat can add a priceless experience of love and companionship to your life. Unfortunately, pet care costs will still add up to thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your furry friend. Your number one tool to save money will be proper planning and preventative care.

Use these tips to save money now and in the future on food, litter, vet bills and more.

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General Tips For Cat Owners

  • Cat Care Essentials: From The Human Society, this article gives you the bare bones basics you’ll need to pay for your cat to have a comfortable, healthy life.
  • 9 Costs Cat Owners Budget for: Make sure to budget for your increased first year costs. Then check out the annual costs broken down by food, litter, and more.
  • How Much Per Year?: This article gives you a realistic idea of how much you’ll have to pay each year toward caring for your cat.

Cat Food and Litter

  • Save on Cat Food: Find coupons, look for rebates and sign up for rewards points to save money on cat food.
  • Buying Expensive Cat Food Cheaper?: You might be better off getting the more expensive brands of cat food. Read this article to find out more.

Toys & Comfort

  • DIY Kitty Condo: Learn how to make your own kitty condo tower and scratching post to save hundreds of dollars.
  • How to Make Cat Toys: Some of these projects can be great fun for the kids. Save money by making your own cat toys from household objects.
  • 6 Easy Cat Toys You Can Make: Here are some simple toys you can make to avoid the frustration of paying for toys your cat never uses.

Vet Expenses

  • How to Save on Vet Bills: Focus on prevention to save on medical expenses, but once you’re at the vet, arm yourself with these tips to reduce the bill.
  • 10 Easy Ways to Save at the Vet: These tips help you save money by asking for multi-pet discounts or offering your skills to the vet’s office.

Final Tips for Saving on Your Feline Friend

By paying a little more now, you can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the future. Make sure you get proper veterinary care at annual exams to catch health problems early enough for cheaper treatment options. Your cat will appreciate this, too, since he or she won’t be left to suffer silently until the problem is severe and expensive to treat.

Save where you can. By growing and drying your own catnip, you can make very cheap cat toys. You’ll also want to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on carpeted cat condos and window seats that your cat may not even use. Instead, make something with items you have around the house or ask family and friends for spare wood, old ladders and other materials to create your own cat-friendly environment.

Check the price of food per serving. Sometimes the foods that look more expensive per pound are actually cheaper. The quality ingredients will fill up your cat’s belly with less food. Plus, cheap foods that contain nothing but fillers might be damaging to your cat’s health, which can cost more in the long run. Remember that wet food is an important part of a cat’s diet. It can help prevent urinary tract infections. In place of canned wet food, you can use cheaper cans of tuna or create your own wet food from remnants from your local butcher.

Consider low-cost spay and neuter clinics. You’ll sometimes see sign-ups for these clinics at your local vet’s office, pet supply store or animal shelter. These events run for a time at a discounted price to help the community control the unwanted pet population. There are also low-cost vaccination clinics several times a year in most communities.

Look into pet insurance, but be sure to look carefully at the fine print. Not all pet insurance policies are created equally, especially if your cat already has a history of health problems. Know that not everything may be covered, and your co-pays and deductibles will add to the cost of the insurance, too.

Keep an emergency fund. Try your best to keep a separate pet emergency fund. These expensive medical bills can hit when you least expect it, so having some money set aside will keep your mind at ease. If you’re having trouble paying the full amount, ask if you can arrange monthly payments or help the vet’s office with painting, cleaning, and other tasks.

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About Johnson Hur

After having graduated with a degree in Finance and working for a Fortune 500 company for several years, Johnson decided to follow his passion by embarking on a path to the digital world. He has over 8 years of experience with large companies setting marketing strategy.

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