The True Cost of Having a Cat

The True Cost of Having a Cat

Cats are the second most popular pets in America after dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. More than 30 million households have at least one. (These are the states with the most cats as pets.)

While cats may not be as high maintenance as dogs – they don’t need to be walked, for example, and are generally more self-sufficient – they do have to be fed and cared for, and are prone to certain medical conditions.

Unless you’re going for a rare trophy breed, cats are generally inexpensive to buy – and the opportunities to get a kitten for free are multitude. Acquiring the animal is just the beginning, however. To determine the true cost of owning a cat, 24/7 Tempo reviewed How Much Does It Cost To Own A Cat In 2022 on the cat information platform All About Cats. 

Costs are broken down into three categories: one-time expenses, annual expenses, and potential medical expenses. Depending on the cat’s needs, the annual cost can range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand or more. 

One-time expenses, some of which are optional, include collars, clippers, and carriers, which range in price from $3 (for a basic collar) to $200 (for a high-end carrier). Annual expenses range more widely. For example, you can feed a cat for less than $100 a year or you can spend more than $2,500. 

Pet insurance is optional and you could pay hundreds of dollars in premiums every year without ever having to make a claim. However, some people take the view that it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. 

The bills can really stack up when it comes to medical expenses, which makes insurance look like an attractive option. Depending on the cat’s condition, treatment can cost many thousands of dollars. However, prevention is always better than cure and some of the costs under the previous headings, including vaccinations and tick and worm treatments, should help keep down the medical bills. (These are the most common health problems in cats and how they are treated.)

Source: sdominick / iStock via Getty Images

ID Tag and collar
> Cost: $15

Source: Bill Oxford / E+ via Getty Images

> Cost: $145

Source: AnnaStills / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $100 – $250

Source: Kateryna Kukota / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $250-$500

Source: FatCamera / E+ via Getty Images

> Cost: $45-$55

Source: Nils Jacobi / iStock via Getty Images

Teeth cleaning
> Cost: $150-$300

Source: WesAbrams / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $30

Source: Hasret Sonmez / iStock via Getty Images

Cat tree
> Cost: $75

Source: EkaterinaZakharova / iStock via Getty Images

Nail clipper
> Cost: $7

Source: MilenaKatzer / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $8

Source: BiancaGrueneberg / iStock via Getty Images

Litter box
> Cost: $25

Source: CasarsaGuru / iStock via Getty Images

Litter scoop
> Cost: $10

Source: Zarifa / iStock via Getty Images

Scratching post
> Cost: $30

Source: frantic00 / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $40

Source: Iuliia Alekseeva / iStock via Getty Images

Food and water bowls
> Cost: $10

Source: Vasyl Dolmatov / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $40-$55 per visit

Source: Webkatrin001 / iStock via Getty Images

Dental care
> Cost: $0-$500 per year

Source: dima_sidelnikov / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $0-$50 per year

Source: chendongshan / iStock via Getty Images

Treatments (fleas, ticks, worms, mites)
> Cost: $0-$60 per year

Source: South_agency / E+ via Getty Images

Pet insurance
> Cost: $0-$583 per year

Source: vladans / iStock via Getty Images

> Cost: $90-$2,520 per year

Source: BiancaGrueneberg / iStock via Getty Images

Bathroom supplies
> Cost: $72-$240 per year

Source: Wildroze / E+ via Getty Images

Fun and games
> Cost: $0-$200 per year

Source: Kateryna Kukota / iStock via Getty Images

Urethral blockage
> Average cost: $1,239

Source: oxico / iStock via Getty Images

> Average cost: $1,984

Source: 2002lubava1981 / iStock via Getty Images

Ingested hairpin
> Average cost: $2,964

Source: Savusia Konstantin / iStock via Getty Images

Hit by a vehicle
> Average cost: $3,717

Source: herlein / iStock via Getty Images

Acute liver failure
> Average cost: $5,453

Source: Alikaj2582 / iStock via Getty Images

> Average cost: $8,294

Source: Kryssia Campos / Moment via Getty Images

> Average cost: $5,351

Source: borchee / iStock via Getty Images

> Average cost: $5,805

Source: Bilanol / iStock via Getty Images

Hip dysplasia
> Average cost: $7,815

Source: pyotr021 / iStock via Getty Images

> Average cost: $10,496

To top