If you decide to share your life with a cat, that will be the moment when you are in for a life changing experience.
You will be surrounded by a tender, cuddly, adventurous companion who can bring you company, play with you, and keep you on your toes.
That also means that you must take on extra responsibilities. We will show you what is in store for you below.
- No more spontaneous holidays: You are now responsible for your feline.
- High veterinary costs: Routine treatments, chronic diseases, and emergencies can rip a hole in your budget. The costs are difficult to budget in advance.
- Destroyed Furniture: Torn wallpaper, scratched furniture, and damaged curtains.
- More cleaning effort: Your cat leaves traces on your furnishings and clothes.
- Ongoing costs for nutrition, entertainment, and care: You should not underestimate the running costs for cat food, cat litter, toys, and scratch-proof furniture.
Spontaneous Holidays No Longer Exist
You can no longer disappear short-term over the weekend or jet into your well-deserved annual holiday for three weeks.
Do not worry: You need not give up your holidays completely. But you must prepare to bring along your cat.
There are cat hotels for emergencies. Some shelters also offer temporary accommodation for guest animals.
But for your cat, any serious change might bring with it extra stress. They do not understand why you are suddenly giving them away.
It is best to ask someone to take care of your cat while you are out and about. If you cannot find anyone in your family and friends to do this favor, you can hire a professional cat sitter. Ask your local shelter or the veterinarian!
High Veterinary Costs
A good cat-care includes occasionally bringing your cat to the vet. Your cat needs vaccinations and regular check-ups.
The standard must-haves are an immunization against cat disease and rabies. Vaccinations are recommended to be administered every three years.
Useful Tip: If you do not want to have your cat vaccinated unnecessarily, have a vaccine quick test done. Then you will find out whether a new vaccination is necessary or not.
Intending to keep your cat exclusively at home? For stay-at-home situations, a one-time basic immunization against cat disease is usually sufficient. Rabies vaccination is not necessary. Above all else, please consult your vet beforehand.
Regular check-ups help you keep an eye on the health of your cat. Once or twice a year, you should bring them to the veterinarian for early detection of diseases.
If your cats become chronically ill during their lifetime, permanent medical care may be needed. Common cat diseases include diabetes, chronic renal failure (CNI) and thyroid malfunction.
In addition, there are minor and major emergencies that require a visit to the vet (or ask a vet online):
- Colds: Your cat may catch a cold in autumn and winter. It will need antibiotics, painkillers, and fever suppressors. In most cases, at least two veterinary visits are expected: treatment and follow-up.
- Accidents at home: There are several dangerous items within your four walls, such as knives, swallow-able objects, or poisonous plants. When playing, cats can encounter any of these at any time.
- Toothache: If your cat refuses to eat and even its favorite food does not interest her, she probably has a toothache. Dental treatments usually entail anesthesia, in which teeth are pulled and tartar is removed. That will eat into your wallet.
- Worms and parasites: Do your cat suddenly have smelly diarrhea or vomit? There may be intestinal parasites behind this. Put a glove over your hand and obtain a sample of fresh feces from your cat. A feces examination at the vet will reveal whether de-worming is necessary.
- Accidents outside of home: Car accidents, poisonings, injuries caused by neighbor’s pets, are some of your concerns.
Calculation of Veterinary Costs
It is not easy to calculate the costs in advance, because not all vets have flat rates. But we can still give you some pointers:
In some countries, veterinarians are paid according to guidelines from bodies such as Vets' Fee Regulations (GOT). You pay either the single, double, or triple fee rate.
This depends on how complicated the treatment of your cat is and how much time the veterinarian needs for medical care.
Castration is a routine operation for veterinarians. Therefore, the simple fee rate is usually charged for this operation.
Raising Money for Vet Costs
Frequent visits to vets can quickly become a cost trap. In preparation for an emergency, you can do two things:
- Keep aside a monthly fixed amount for treatment costs. Then you will have some buffer to play with when your cat needs to visit the vet.
- Take a cat health insurance. Most insurers offer different packages, from basic to comfort (where they cover almost everything). Think about which package you are comfortable with.
Kittens are playful, daring, and they love to discover the world in all their senses. Young kittens still have a lot to learn.
For example, they must learn that they are not allowed to bring down your wallpaper and that armchairs, sofas, and beds are off-limits for clawing.
Expect that your kitten will tend to scratch your favorite armchair and climb your curtains. Therefore, provide them with some scratching and climbing toys to play with.
Do you have houseplants? It is best to secure them with flowerpot grilles.
Otherwise, your home will soon turn into an archaeological site: kittens love to dig fragrant-fresh earth!
Another danger is that they do their nature calls directly in the flowerpot. Their urine will kill most types of indoor plants.
Young cats need a lot of love and patience. It takes time for them to understand what they can do and what they are not allowed to do.
Sofa sleeves, couch sleeves, and blankets help to protect your furniture. Leather materials are not generally recommended as claws can tear through it like cotton.
If you pick an adult cat or even a senior cat, you probably will not have these problems (to a certain extent). Older cats are quieter. But that does not mean your furniture is completely safe!
More Cleaning Effort
More effort is needed to you clean your home, if you choose to share your life with cats.
No matter how many times you brush them, they will never stop shedding. You will find hair in your bed, pillows, furniture, and even your clothes.
Chores for the Cat Owner
Cat toilet cleaning: You should clean the cat toilet at least once a day. Cats like to have it clean.
Eliminating cat litter: Cat paws are a good magnet for sand, especially when cats play in sandboxes. That means you must perform more sweeping to keep your home clean.
Keep bowls clean: Food and water bowls should be thoroughly cleaned after each meal.
Vacuuming: To get furniture, floors, and scratch trees free of hair, regular suction helps. With a bag-less vacuum cleaner you save the follow-up costs for bags.
Costs of Nutrition, Entertainment, and Care
When you adopt cats, it means buying cat food regularly. You will be amazed how many different brands and varieties there are.
From cheap supermarket food to high-priced premium brands that you only get from specialist retailers, everything is there.
With cat litter you are also spoilt for choice. There are countless variants.
Useful Tip: Feed your cats with high-quality wet food. The meat content should be at least 70%. Make sure that there are no sugars, preservatives, coloring, flavorings, and cereals.
None of this is needed by your cat to stay healthy. The higher the quality of the food, the better it will be for its health. A high-quality diet helps you save on veterinary costs.
Lastly, you should make sure that no perfume or baby powder scent are used on cats. For human noses, both may be quite pleasant. For cats, it can lead to allergies.