If you happen to be a cat owner, we have some fantastic news for you. The results are in and, according to a Nationwide survey, having a cat is far cheaper than having a dog. In fact, the research found that it cost about half the price to look after a feline for a year than it did a dog. Well, now you have yet another reason to be an official ‘cat person’ rather than those weird ‘dog people’. Pfft.
But wait, there’s more! We already know that having a cat is more economical than a dog, but can you save yourself even more pennies? After all, what with pet insurance, food, and vet’s bills, there’s still a whole load of money you need to spend on these little creatures. All that fluffy cuteness comes with a big price tag at times and you may need to cut back.
Luckily, there are a whole load of ways in which you can save money on your pet expenses and, of course, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got all the tips and tricks you could possibly need. Here’s how to make sure that your cat doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. You’re welcome.
1. Get your pet from a shelter
If you’re just about to get a cat, there’s one thing that you really ought to know. Buying a kitty online is so not the way forward. Sure, you may have seen a whole load of deals before now, but they might be too good to be true. If you’re looking on the likes of Gumtree for a pet, you could easily get ripped off. What’s more, you don’t know where you’re buying the cat from in the first place. Oh no, it’s far better (and cheaper!) to get a cat from a shelter where you know everything is legit.
There are two main reasons that you should get your cat from a shelter. For one thing, you will be ‘rescuing’ a pet that would otherwise not have a home. You can give yourself a big old pat on the back for that one right now. The other reason is that it’s likely to be cheaper to get your pet from a centre. Yes, you may have to pay a small fee (the cost usually goes towards vet’s bills and keeping the shelter up and running), but it will be worth it. You won’t get ripped off and you will know all about your pet’s history too.
Check out RSPCA shelters here
2. Compare your pet insurance fees
Of course, you never want to think of your pet getting sick. Still, you should consider getting pet insurance all the same. The truth of the matter is that vets charge a small fortune for everything from medication to operations. The very minute that you get a cat, it’s well worth getting some pet insurance. That way, you can be sure that you can cover the cost of any unexpected vet visits.
Don’t just go with the very first deal that you see online. As with all forms of insurance, it’s likely to be cheaper if you look at some comparison sites first. Make sure that you check out the terms of the deal before you go for it. Sometimes, you will find that the monthly fee is small but the excess is so massive that the insurance is hardly worthwhile at all. Eek!
Check out Compare the Market here | Consider self-insurance
3. Cook your own pet food
One of the major expenses when you have a cat is, of course, pet food. Most of the mainstream brands tend to charge a load for their products since they assume that you don’t have any other option than to buy it. But you do!
You can make your own cat food easily and quickly at home. If you’re hoping to save yourself some cash on the cost of your kitty, this is a great way forward. One of the easiest recipes includes mince meat, rice, and gravy. You just need to brown off the meat, add some rice, and gravy and then leave the mixture to cool. If you keep the food in the fridge, you should be able to use it for an entire week. If you spot some reduced meat in the supermarkets, this could be a great way to use it up. Easy!
4. Or just buy your food in bulk
Of course, most people don’t have the time to make their own cat food on a weekly basis. If you’re still buying your food from the supermarket, though, you could well be wasting your hard earned cash more than you know! Buying this kind of thing in bulk is honestly the best way forward. Since cat food tends to be dried or canned, you will find that it has a seriously long shelf-life. What that realistically means is that you can keep it at home for months on end without it going off. Result! Check out some deals online now.
Buy cat food in bulk online
5. Use wood pellets instead of cat litter
Cat litter is surprisingly expensive. This is one of the great shocks that all cat owners get when they first bring their kitty home. When you head to the store to get litter for the tray, you won’t believe how much it can cost. Some brands charge around £6 for a small bag of stuff, which is really kind of over the top! All those bags soon add up and you can quickly spend a load on litter. Yikes.
One thing that you may want to consider instead is whether you can use wood pellets rather than traditional litter. You can buy these things in bulk online, which means that you can easily save money. Failing that, it’s worth checking out Gumtree to see if anyone in your area is giving away these pellets or the like. You might just be in for a nice little surprise.
6. Don’t overfeed your cat!
We’ve already talked about the fact that cat food can be seriously costly, but there’s something else that you ought to consider. You see, you could very easily be overfeeding your pet more than you know. Most of us basically have no clue how much we should be feeding our animals on a daily or weekly basis.
Overfeeding your cat can be awful for its health as well as expensive. Much of the time, the packaging of the cat food will have some guidance on how much you should feed your pet. Try to stick to the recommended amount and you should have no problem.
7. Don’t bother with a cattery, get a sitter
When you head away on your jollies, one of the most annoying ‘extra’ expenses has to be the cost of the cattery. Some of these places are uber expensive, which means that you have to add a little extra onto the cost of your holiday. If you didn’t quite budget for it, this nasty shock can turn out to be a real annoyance.
Luckily for you, there is another way. You can actually get a sitter to look after both your house and your pet for you. Now, some of these places do charge a setup fee, but after that, you can get sitters for free. All you need to do is create an advert, including pictures of your home and the dates you’ll be away, and then people can contact you. Of course, you should check out each user’s review before you choose a sitter.
Check out Trusted Sitters online
8. Don’t waste your cash on expensive toys
Cats are simple creatures at the best of times. While you’re wasting all of your money on things like expensive scratching posts and fancy balls, cats tend to prefer simple pleasures. A ball of string or just the inside of a loo roll will make for a perfect play thing. It’s well worth trying a few different things out ahead of time to see what your cat likes. This handy tip will save you a load of money!
9. Invest in a vet payment plan
In the first year of having a cat, you will find that there are a whole lot of expenses. From vaccinations to neutering, it seems that there is just no end to all the things that you end up having to spend your cash on. When you first sign-up to the vets, you should check out whether they have a payment plan or scheme you can join.
Often, vets will offer a monthly subscription deal to help you cover the cost of your cat related fees. For example, you may have to pay around £10 per month, but you will find that the plan covers things like injections and flea treatments. Talk to your vet about this and see what they have on offer. We’re sure that you won’t regret it!
10. Keep your kitty healthy!
Finally, one of the best ways to save money on your cat is to make sure that you keep them happy and healthy in general. This should be a rule that you live by on a daily basis anyhow and so it’s no extra hassle. Keep an eye on your cat at all times and make sure that they are as fit as can be! The moment that you notice anything odd, take your cat to the vets ASAP. The sooner you catch underlying conditions, the better it will be for your bank account and your cat.