First of all, I would like to mention this right from the start: The Stray Cats And Feral Cats are NOT THE SAME type of cats!
The primary difference is that Stray Cats have left the human environment and may have lost interest in human companionship, but are still open to it, and The Feral Cats never experienced human companionship and are not that eager to start any friendships.
Because the author of this article is a die hard kitty fan, and has successfully adopted, raised and re-homed a few rescued cats, you can be sure that it will be a straight to the point advice that you are about to receive.
In this article I will be concentrating on financial aspects of adopting a new cat. And since my whole life is now dedicated to saving the stray cats, it is assumed that the cats I will be talking about were not purchased from a breeder, a pet store, or even from the shelter etc. I am concentrating on the stray cats and stray cats only. You know, those kitties on the street, that have been wondering around long enough to forget their relationship with humans, yet still crave the shelter and company. Please, understand that stray cats and feral cats are not the same.
Though, of course, the circumstances may vary, and situations and cats are different. I have been tweaking this for a while and came up with more or less general costs, tailored to the average situation. The calculator will only add the minimum costs.
- Veterinary expenses
Regardless of the situation, the vet appointment must be scheduled as soon as you decide you will provide shelter (even temporary) in your house. This becomes crucially important if you have younger children or any other pets.
The average “Health Check Intake” varies in cost from $ 35.00 to $ 145.00 (totally depends on your location). This Intake appointment will not include any vaccines or meds. Try to set an appointment with a regular vet, not the emergency clinic. Their rates are, typically, higher.
It is pretty much inevitable that you will have to get your new find vaccinated right away. If your new baby is a kitten, be pretty much 99% prepared to also get the anti-mites and fleas treatments. This will all cost you between $ 45.00 and $ 200.00 on your first appointment. The mite treatments must be repeated a month later. So, imminent, a second appointment for vaccines will add another $ 45.00 to $ 200.00
Consider yourself very lucky if your new find is spayed or neutered. Because otherwise, you will have to pick up the following costs:
Neutering: $ 50.00 – $ 100.00 Spaying: $ 100.00 – $ 200.00
If it is determined that you kitty will need any medication, be prepared to fork out anything between $ 50.00 and $ 300.00
So, we are looking at approximately $ 225.00 – $ 275.00 for starters.
Just because the kitty was found on the street, does not mean that they should be eating the human dinner scraps. There is a ton of human food that is just plain harmful to the felines.
Purina® Fancy Feast® Gourmet Cat Food Variety Pack 12-85g Cans (affiliate link)
If you are on a tight budget, any supermarket cat food deal will do. Do not shop in the convenience stores/gas stations, unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes the single can of food costs twice as much at the convenience store/gas station vs. supermarket/food store.
Since the kitty is new to you (especially, if it is a small kitten), you will have to try both types of food – dry and wet. Wet food is much more expensive. Choose wisely. Please, check the expiry date if buying in a convenience store/gas station.
Average cost of combined wet and dry food per week for a kitten: $ 10.00 Try to get the kitty used to the fact that the wet food is a treat as soon as possible. So, the first 3 months will cost you between $ 100.00 and $ 200.00, depending on the size, medical condition and the age of your cat.
Litter and Litter box. An absolute must, unless you planning on having your kitty use the enclosed outdoors area. But if you have an old plastic container, you can use it for a box for the first time. If the edges are too tall, the plastic can be easily cut with a knife or scissors. If you do decide to buy a box, places like Wallmart will have them for much cheaper than a specialty pet store. Remember, that the cat needs to do its business. Yes, it does smell. But buying a fancy self-cleaning box is really not that necessary. Just scoop on time. $ 5.00 – $ 10.00
To save money on litter, shop for the scoop ble type. Just don’t be lazy! $ 9.00 – $ 12.00 per bag (some last up to a month)
Toys. Cats can amuse themselves with pretty much anything if in playful mode. Don’t go too much overboard. Limit yourself to $ 20.00 in new toys. That’s plenty.
Honestly, I can not really think about too much to add here. Any food container will do as dishes. The only item I would insist on, is a pet fountain. Your kitty needs plenty of clean, fresh water. Approximate cost varies. between $ 19.00 and $ 45.00 (plus you will need the replaceable filters here and there).
As far as the fancy dishes, beds, etc… It is really up to you. They are not a necessity.
So, approximately, the budget for the first 3 months will be starting at $ 300.00
Regardless of what you decision is – save that cat! Even if you can not afford it yourself, there are fosters, no kill shelters and other ways available. Please, do not leave the kitty to die on the street.