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The True Cost of Having a Senior Cat

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Last modified on September 29th, 2022 at 9:23 am

Cats are now classified as geriatric once they reach the age of 11, senior cats are those between the ages of 11 and 14, and super-senior cats are those that are 15 years old or older. In recent years, cats ages and life stages have been revised. Better nutrition, veterinary care, and home care have resulted in cats surviving significantly longer than they did 20 years ago.

One-Time Costs

Purchase costs are your first out-of-pocket expense, and they vary on where you obtain your cat. You could adopt from a local rescue or shelter. If you take advantage of a specific adoption campaign, the charge can be as little as $1 or as much as $250. Spay-neuter surgery, identifying microchipping, and immunizations are frequently covered by the adoption fee, all of which help with the initial expense.

Expect to pay several hundred to several thousand dollars for a pedigreed cat from a reputable breeder, if that is what you really want. There may or may not be further benefits when you get a cat. If not, you will be liable for the expense of the first vet visit, immunizations, microchipping, and spaying or neutering.

Vaccines, veterinarian checkups, and microchips

Other necessary one-time expenses include the $100 average cost of microchipping your cat in case they ever go missing and the $200 to $500 average cost of keeping them up to date on immunizations, which includes the vet visit.

You should also account for the price of a pet license, which typically costs between $10 and $180 depending on where you reside.

New cat accessories

The following items are normally necessary to make your new cat feel at home and like a member of the family:

  • Food ($10–$60), 
  • A collar ($10–$60)
  • Bed ($20–$140)
  • Water bowls (10–30 dollars)
  • Litter box($10–$80)
  • Scratching post (20–70 dollars)
  • (Up to $30) toys
  • Transport company ($20–$270)
  • Brush ($10-20)
  • ($10–$60) nail clippers

 Yearly Cat Expenses

  • Food

Cat owners often spend between $200 and $930 a year on food. Cat food prices might vary. Depending on the brand, kind of food (dry kibble versus canned, for example), and quantity of food your cat consumes, your spending will fall somewhere in this range.

  • Litter

Another necessary item for most cat owners is litter, which normally costs between $210 and 450 per year to maintain a clean and fresh kitty restroom. Cats can be fussy, so you might have to try a few different brands of litter before you find one that they’ll actually use.

  • Toys

While cats are less likely than dogs to regularly destroy their toys, it’s still crucial to keep them busy and occupied by giving them new things to play with and hunt with. Depending on how frequently you need to replace them, cat toys might cost you anywhere from $5 to $70 per year.

  • Annual checkup

Regular vet appointments are necessary for every pet parent, and the average cat owner will spend between $80-120 per visit.

  • Veterinary emergency and oral hygiene

Ideally, you won’t ever need to visit an emergency vet, but if you do, the regular fee ranges from $200 to $1500. Another cost that not all pet owners choose to incur is teeth cleaning, but if you do decide to schedule an appointment, be prepared to spend between $400 and $600.

Although it is technically an additional expense, pet insurance or cat insurance can aid in lowering these costs. It can cost between $300 and 540 dollars per year to maintain pet insurance for your feline friend.

  • Litter disposal system

Litter disposal systems are now essential for many cat owners. They cost between $20 and $30, are somewhat like to diaper pails for cat litter, and are readily available.

  • A pet rent

You’ll probably need to put down an extra pet deposit if you rent your property before bringing your cat inside. For the typical renter, this cost comes to $500–$1,000 per month.


Regardless of age, every cat needs the coziness and security of a loving home. Nothing makes a cat sadder than to continually be ignored. Cats of any age can be loved just as much as kittens. Perhaps even more, given that they are satisfied to simply unwind in your company at this time in their lives.

So why are you still waiting? A super senior living at your neighborhood shelter is desperate for nothing more than the affection of a forever home like yours.

If you have a senior cat, you must consider getting cat insurance or pet insurance policies they offer.

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