Should I Buy or Adopt a Cat to Save a Little Money?

Do you want to have a cat as a pet but worry about the upfront expense of purchasing one? Cats that are traditionally for sale in pet shops are often more expensive. Although some rare breeds may be available, you could end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars when you choose to buy a cat.

So, should you buy or adopt a cat?

If you decide to adopt a cat, you are saving an animal in need of a home while saving money simultaneously. While adoption fees do exist, the fees are often way more affordable than the cost of purchasing a cat at a pet shop. If you want to know if you should buy or adopt a cat, you should certainly consider adoption.

a beautiful white and light-brown cat with a cardboard sign that reads adopt me

The Types of Expenses You Can Expect When Adopting a Cat

Most animal shelters offer cat adoptions to the public. The cost of the cat adoption varies from one shelter to the next and will depend on several factors, including the age of the cat that you are thinking about adopting. It is important to know that some shelters will waive the adoption fees for special occasions to increase the chances of helping shelter animals get adopted out to loving families. If you truly want to save a great amount of money on a cat that is up-to-date on its shots and is spayed or neutered, you could always go to the shelter when the fee is waived for cats and start looking at the different four-legged friends that are available for adoption.

Kittens are often more expensive because they are still young and easier to train when need be. Shelters may charge around $100 for a kitten adoption, $30 for cats that are older than six months, and $10 or less for cats that are over the age of seven because they are considered senior cats. The senior cats often have a difficult time getting adopted because people tend to want to adopt younger animals. However, cats can live incredibly long lives, so there is nothing wrong with adopting a loveable senior cat to save money and still have an amazing four-legged friend at home.

a veterinary holding a cat on a table with a stethoscope on the cat's belly

Several services are provided to cats and are included in the adoption fee. These services include spaying or neutering the cat, deworming, vaccinating, and a cardboard carrier that you can use to leave the shelter with your animal. Some shelters include the microchip for free while other shelters charge a small fee of less than $15 for microchip services. If you want to make sure your pet makes its way back to you if it ever gets lost, having the microchip is important and is worth the extra few dollars. When trying to determine if you should buy or adopt a cat, consider these costs. If you were buying a cat, you would need to pay for these services on your own.

Why Is It Better to Adopt a Cat Instead of Buying One?

a woman holding a kitten wrapped in a blanket in her left shoulder with love

Adopting a cat is better than buying one because you are saving an animal’s life. Plenty of people wonder if they should buy or adopt a cat. These people will usually choose adoption. shelters are full of different animals, including hundreds of cats and dogs that desperately need a home. These animals may have been surrendered by their owners because the owners were moving and could not bring pets with them or because the owners felt they were unable to continue to provide care. Some of these animals have been abandoned and are lonely, sad, and truly in need of some extra love from a caring family. When you decide to adopt, you are changing a cat’s life for the better by bringing the animal into your home and taking care of it. You will also save money because the adoption fees cost much less than you would be expected to pay when buying a cat from a pet store.

What Is the Best Age to Adopt a Cat?

If you are going to adopt a cat, you might want to know what is the best age for adoption. It all truly depends on your living situation. If you have young children in the home, consider adopting a cat that is at least two years of age or older. These cats may be more behaved and relaxed than kittens. However, you can adopt a cat at any age that you might prefer. Senior cats are among some of the most loveable animals you will find. If you want to have a cat that is much more relaxed, consider adopting one that is at least seven years old. Each cat will have its own personality, so it is a good idea to visit the shelter and interact with these animals to see how they will act when they meet you.

How Soon Will I Need to Spend Money on an Adopted Cat?

a list of types of expenses related to adopting a cat pet

When you adopt a cat, you will need to spend money on it right away because you will need to purchase some essentials that your cat needs. You should buy the following items for the cat before bringing the animal home with you:

  • Litter box
  • Scented or unscented litter (it is a matter of preference)
  • Food and water bowl
  • Cat bed
  • Scratching post
  • Small toys
  • Cat food
  • Cat treats

Not all of these items are must-haves right away. You can always hold off on purchasing small toys and treats. However, you will need to have both wet and dry food available for the cat to consume. You should have a bowl for the food and a bowl for the water, along with a bed for your cat to rest on when it is napping. Having a scratching post is ideal because cats often have the urge to scratch, especially when their nails are growing.

You can find most or even all of these items at affordable rates at places like Wal-Mart and Target. Sometimes it is better to shop for cat items at Wal-Mart instead of pet stores because the prices are often higher at a lot of the different pet stores. You can also shop around online at sites like to see what kinds of deals you can get. If you are all about saving money, it certainly helps to make some price comparisons before you buy the essentials for your new cat.

How to Budget for Your Cat Each Month and Spend a Reasonable Amount on Food and Litter

Fitting your cat’s necessities into the budget is not too difficult. Cats are often less expensive than dogs and other animals because they typically do not eat as much. The items that you will need to purchase regularly each month include cans of wet foot, bags of dry food, and litter. Determine how much litter your cat is going through on a monthly basis. Once you know how much cat litter gets used in a month’s span, you can figure out how to save money on the litter you need. For example, places like Dollar General and Family Dollar often provide consumers with digital coupons on cat food, litter, and treats. By using coupons, you can save several dollars each time you need to purchase food, litter, or some special treats for the cat to enjoy as a reward for good behavior. You can also visit the manufacturer websites of companies that produce and sell cat litter and cat food to obtain printable coupons that you can use in any store that you prefer visiting, such as Target, Wal-Mart, or even Kohl’s.

If you would like to have a cat as a pet, there are some things you need to know. Adopting a cat is better than buying one because you are saving an animal’s life and saving money at the same time. There are convenient and simple ways to budget for your cat’s necessities, including food and litter for the litter box. If you are ready to bring a cat into your home and you want to know if you should buy or adopt a cat, plan a visit to the local shelter to find out more about the cat adoption process.