Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes talking to me knows I love cats, especially my girl Cassie (pictured in this post!). They’ve always been a big part of my life, and to me the emotional payoff makes almost any cost a great deal. That being said, I was curious how much I actually spend.
Food is usually the biggest cost for cats in the UK, and the prices can vary drastically. Whilst diet can vary a bit between cats, there’s usually a routine already worked out. For example, Cassie has 2x pouches a day, and biscuits whenever the bowl is getting empty. She’s slightly above average size for a cat (due to genes, not diet!), so these prices will be a tiny bit higher than average.
It’s worth pointing out that the more expensive food is noticably higher quality, and cats can get more nutrients from it, ultimately eating less and being healthier. As such, comparing by weight isn’t necessarily helpful, and reviews are a better way to find value for money.
My cat is quite picky, and only likes seafood in gravy. Through trial and error I discovered that the only brand she eats more than a few bites of is Felix’s “As Good As It Looks”, the more expensive variant, so that’s what she gets!
I generally buy multiple months of pouches at once from Amazon whenever it’s on sale. Looking now, her food is currently £10.75 for 4kg (40 x 100g). There is also a 15% discount for using Subscribe & Save, taking the total to £36.55 for 160 pouches / 16kg. That’s £2.28/kg or 22.8p/pouch.
2 pouches a day gives us a total of £0.45/day for her wet food.
A 6kg bag of Purina One lasts about 2.5 months. The price of this varies quite a bit, but I stock up when it is on sale at around £16.99 a bag (or £2.83/kg).
A large bag lasting 2.5 months (75 days) gives us a total of £0.23/day for her dry food.
I generally buy Cassie simple treats like Temptations, and she gets through a £1 bag around every 2 weeks. This would be around £0.07/day.
Total for food: £0.45 + £0.23 + £0.07 = £0.75/day
This is by far the most subjective category, since a cat will be about as happy with a few spare boxes and string versus a variety of expensive toys!
I tend to buy Cassie a new toy every month or so, varying from £0.50 to £5. If we assume the average is £3, that gives us £36/yr.
Total for toys: £0.10/day.
I use Frontline’s flea protection drops every month, and they seem to work pretty well. The price of these varies, and is currently £20.19. With an additional subscribe and save discount, this comes to £18.17 for 6 months, again coming to £0.10/day.
Whilst you absolutely should get your cat vaccinated every year, I admit I often forget. Cassie has very little if any interaction with other cats, so I don’t feel too guilty with doing it every 2 years or so. This costs around £60, or £0.08/day.
Insuring your cat’s health is a pretty good financial choice, since vet bills for an accident can run into the thousands. I pay £5.26/month for Animal Friends’ “Super” policy, and the cover includes funding for printing missing cat posters, payments if a holiday has to be cancelled due to pet illness, and other benefits. This works out to £0.17/day.
Total for healthcare: £0.10 + £0.10 + £0.17 = £0.37/day
If we add food (£0.75), toys (£0.10), and healthcare (£0.37) together, we end up with £1.22/day to feed a cat the best food possible, look after her medically, insure her, and make sure she regularly has new toys.
Whilst it would be extremely easy to cut any of these costs by at least half, and get the cost under £0.50/day, would it be worth it? I justify the cost as me being responsible for my cat’s entire life, and paying a little bit extra to make her life significantly better just… seems to make sense.
In conclusion, paying £1.22 a day to have a furry companion and keep your house pest-free seems like a pretty good deal!