How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Cat?

Cats make wonderful pets. They are furry and adorable when they are kittens and they grow to become beloved members of the family. There are millions of cats in the world and so many of them are in need of a good and loving home. There are some expenses involved in becoming a cat owner though. When you choose to adopt a cat there are usually associated fees. Even if you are given a cat for free, there are going to be expenses that you should be prepared for. Here is what it costs to adopt a cat, and what you need to plan ahead for.

Adoption fees

The fees for adopting a cat can range from $15 up to $200. In general, kittens cost between $100 to $200 depending on the breed and how much the shelter has invested in the animal, but it also depends on which organization you go through. Although some private citizens may offer kittens for free adoption, most rescue shelters do charge a fee to help sustain their rescue efforts.

It costs money to purchase feed and to have the felines checked out by a veterinarian and almost all shelters and pet rescues make sure that the cats they help received a check-up, their first series of vaccinations, worming, and any other necessary medical care while the cat is under their supervision. Most shelters such as the Humane Society either perform spay and neuter services or require a new owner to complete this process as a term of the adoption agreement. This is to prevent the overpopulation of cats without homes running the streets.

The range of services included in the adoption fee

Each shelter or pet rescue offers its own fee schedule so you’re going to encounter a variety of different charges with each one that you investigate. When we looked into it we found that most provide some basic services for the fees over $100 that are charged Here are the most common inclusions:

Medical examination by a qualified veterinarian, spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, treatment for fleas and worming, and FeLV testing. Some also extend this to include microchipping and registration fees, additional treatments as required, a post-adoption medical exam, a sample bag of nutritious cat food, and a cat/kitten care handbook.

Although not all shelters provide all of these services, there are a lot of them that do. This helps to ensure that the cat that you adopt has been thoroughly screened with any medical issues either resolved or identified so you will know if there are any ongoing conditions that will require additional care.

The Animal Humane Society

The Animal Humane Society has a fee scale for cats and kittens that ranges between $34 to $276. In addition to the other services listed, this also includes free medications for the first 2 weeks if needed, a free collar and ID tag with replacement tags for life, a 60-day return period, and 30 days of pet insurance through PetFirst. This gives you an idea of what to expect for the basic fees just to become a cat owner.

Initial supplies for a new cat

Cats are like any other pet and they will need to have a nice place to sleep, preferably their own bed, and toys to play with for entertainment. The initial supplies include a litter box with kitty litter. This gives your new cat a place to go to the bathroom and to cover his/her waste. It’s important to them to be able to do this so make sure you buy plenty of litter so you can keep the box cleaned as needed. You’ll also want to have a scoop that makes it handier and more sanitary to clean, and box liners prevent leaks from going through.

You’ll also want to pick up at least one scratching post. Cats instinctually scratch to sharpen their claws. You’re not going to be able to stop this behavior so it’s best to provide a post so you can train your cat to use it instead of your couch or curtains. Your cat will also need some type of food and water bowls. They make basic food and water dishes that are very inexpensive to purchase, or you can upgrade and go with the more expensive self-filling feeders. This is a personal choice. You’ll also need to have a pet taxi or crate to carry your cat to and from medical appointments.

Other supplies for your cat

It’s important to have toys for your cat to play with. Cats are playful creatures by nature. If you keep him or her supplied with interesting toys the cat is less likely to get into mischief by chewing or clawing the things lying around in your house. Cats are going to play so give them their own toys to keep your things safer. You will also need to have products to control flea infestations such as a flea collar or flea shampoo/powder, and a pet comb for brushing your cat’s fur. This can help cut down on the number of furballs that he hacks up.

Health and nutrition

Plan on putting cat food in the budget. Don’t go with the cheapest brand, but instead, buy a nutritious blend that is created for the health and nutritional needs of your cat with wholesome ingredients. You may also want to purchase pet health insurance. You can find some plans for around $30 per month. This helps to lessen the expense of vet checkups and any bigger expenses down the road if your cat becomes sick or injured. Vet bills are expenses that you may also encounter, depending on the health of your cat. Vaccinations, boosters, and wellness checkups are a part of the responsibility of being a cat owner.

Final thoughts

It’s important to make some budget allowances if you plan to adopt a cat. This is a commitment that will endure for the lifespan of your kitty, and it includes an initial layout of cash with ongoing monthly expenses. Owning a cat isn’t necessarily expensive unless an emergency occurs, but there are things that you need to plan ahead for.

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