After falling in love at your local animal shelter, you’re eager to adopt your very first cat. Unfortunately, your wallet isn’t quite so ready. Should you hold off on cat ownership until you have more in the bank, or can you scrape by with what you’ve got?
You should always be prepared for the responsibilities of pet ownership before adopting a cat, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune! Here are six ways you can save on the costs of cat ownership while being the best cat owner you can be.
Adopt, Don’t Shop!
Saving money starts at the beginning. By adopting a cat or kitten from Grateful Hearts Animal Rescue, you avoid the high costs of purchasing a new pet. Plus, most adoptive cats are already fixed and vaccinated, saving you money on veterinary care!
Search for Low-Cost Spaying and Neutering
Some first-time cat owners seek out their new pet. But for many others, cat ownership comes by accident! If you’ve adopted a stray cat or kitten (after looking for an owner, of course!), you’ll need to have it spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters of kittens and the problems that can come with an intact cat. For a low-cost solution, use SpayUSA’s search tool to find an affordable clinic near you.
Shop Around for Cat Care Supplies
Before bringing your new cat home, you’ll need to stock up on supplies. Basic supplies every cat needs include:
- A litter box and litter.
- Food and water bowls.
- Cat food and treats.
- Cat toys.
- Nail clippers.
You’ll also need to purchase some cleaning supplies as pet accidents do happen occasionally. Many pet owners choose to hire a professional cleaning service for carpet messes, but a simple dry cleaning could cost up to $350. Instead of paying a service, try some DIY solutions using household items like vinegar and baking soda.
Extra supplies you may want to buy include a cat bed, cat tree, or a harness and leash for taking your cat outdoors safely! No matter what’s on your pet supply shopping list, you can save money with savvy online shopping.
Save Money on Flea Prevention
Flea prevention is one cat expense that can really break the bank. Luckily, there’s an easy way to save money on trustworthy flea prevention brands like Frontline. Just look online or ask your veterinarian for coupons that you can use to save money on flea prevention when you buy directly from your vet.
Consider Pet Insurance
Is pet insurance a smart investment or a rip-off? The truth is, it depends. At an average cost of $16 a month, pet insurance is cheap for young and healthy cats. However, coverage for older pets costs more, and pre-existing conditions usually aren’t covered. If you do opt for pet insurance, look for a policy that won’t hike the premium as your pet ages and skip wellness coverage — it’s cheaper to pay routine costs out-of-pocket.
DIY Cat Claw Maintenance
Most cats don’t need much grooming other than brushing. One big exception is clipping your cat’s nails. While nail trims can be challenging, you’ll find DIY nail maintenance much easier if you start from an early age. Use treats to get your cat accustomed to having its paws handled before using pet nail clippers to trim its claws. Between trimmings, use budget-friendly scratching posts to satisfy your cat’s need to claw. Better yet, make one yourself!
You don’t need a lot of money to be a great cat owner, but you do need to be smart with the money you have! Instead of skipping important cat care, look for ways that you can save on all the things your feline friend needs. With a frugal mindset and a few savvy tricks up your sleeve, you can be the owner that your cat deserves without spending a fortune!