If you're considering bringing a new cat into your home, whether it's a kitten or a slightly older feline companion, there are several initial costs you should be aware of to ensure your new furry friend has a comfortable and happy life. Here's a breakdown of the initial expenses associated with new cat ownership:
Initial cost of purchase:
The cost of acquiring a cat can vary widely depending on whether you adopt from an animal shelter, purchase a purebred kitten from a breeder, or find one through online listings or word of mouth.
Purebred kittens from reputable breeders can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the breed's popularity and rarity. Currently, cat breeds that are quite popular in Australia, such as Ragdolls or Burmese or Siamese, can cost on average around $1,200 up to $1,500. However, less rare or standard coloured cats may be available much more cheaply, sometimes under $150.
Your new cat will require vaccinations to protect against common diseases like feline distemper (panleukopenia), calicivirus, and viral rhinotracheitis (herpes virus). Kittens typically need three sets of vaccinations, with the first round administered at six to eight weeks old. Booster vaccinations are necessary and are typically given at 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks. Budget around $80 to $120 for each booster dose.
Microchipping: Microchipping is mandatory in many Australian states and may cost between $50 and $80. Many kittens are already microchipped by responsible breeders before being sold.
Desexing: Desexing your cat is recommended for all pets not intended for breeding. Most cats should be desexed between six and eight months of age, with costs ranging from $250 to $500, with spaying being slightly more expensive than neutering.
Council registration fees: Registering your cat with your local council is mandatory in some states and territories, but not all. Regulations vary between local council districts. Registration fees vary by council, ranging from $0 to $150 per year. Discounts are usually offered for desexed and microchipped cats.
Initial cat supplies: These are the essential items you'll need right away for your new kitten or cat upon their arrival:
- Cat bed: $15 – $45
- Food and water bowls: $10 – $20
- Collar (for outdoor cats): $5 – $10
- Litter box: $10 – $20
- Cat litter: $10 – $20 a bag
- Cat carrier or crate: $25 – $50
- Cat toys and scratching post: $10 – $80
- Cat food: $10 – $20
- Brush for grooming: $10 – $20
These initial costs are crucial to ensure your new cat's comfort, safety and well-being as they settle into their new home.