Monday, July 10, 2006

How much have I spent on my pets? Part 2 - The cat

I have got a giant cat. Well, not maybe record-breaking, but he is 14lbs without much fat on him. We named him Fingolfin (a distant relative of Aragorn, from Lord of the Rings) as that was a marked improvement over Shadow, which is what the shelter had called him. (He's black and white.) Right off the bat, kitty cost $55 at the shelter. That's another reason I'm glad I talked Boyfriend into getting an older cat instead of a kitten - kittens were $95. (Public service announcement: If you are going to adopt a cat, go for a two to five year old cat instead of a kitten. They'll already have established personalities, probably be housebroken, definitely spayed, maybe declawed, and they aren't adopted as quickly as kittens. Basically every healthy kitten is going to be adopted, but many older cats have this one shot out on the adoption floor before they get put down.)

Anyway. Finny was a "special needs" cat because he needed a dental cleaning ($150, since he had to be knocked out and all that) and then of course his booster shots ($30). The vet thought there was something wrong with him since his weight was about 10lbs at the first vet visit, but his intake card at the shelter said 13.5lbs. Two weeks after adoption, he was back up to 13.5 - apparently he just didn't eat the whole time he was there. Another vet visit because Boyfriend and I are nervous kitty parents and he had a cough. ($15.) Startup costs for the cat - litter box, hidey hole, water dish, clumping litter, toys, etc - $50. (We had all this in the trunk before we even went to the shelter. See the obsessive planning?) Eventually we also bought him one of those constantly running water dishes (for $20 online, instead of $40 in store) and it's been pretty much just food and litter ever since. He eats Purina Indoor Cat food, and we use the cheap Target non-clumping litter now. We pretty much haven't bought him any more treats since we first got him, but I've got coupons so we won't actually have to spend any more money on them.

Non-recurring costs
Shelter fees - $55
Startup - $50
Treats and extra toys - $15
Dental cleaning - $150
Booster shots - $30
Vet visit - $15

Recurring costs
Food - $5 a month
Litter and box liners - $4 a month
Booster shots - $30 per year

We got the cat last July, and he's due for his shots soon, so I'll include that in the total.

Non recurring costs - $315
Recurring costs for 12 months = $138
Total cost for cat so far = $453, or $37.75 per month


Chris said...

I would give anything to spend that much on our animals. This morning, Reno (puppy) went to day care, which costs $180 monthly. She goes 3 days a week each month. Since she is a puppy, she can not be kept in her cage all day every day, so for now, we (I) will have to deal with the expense.

Kira said...

I think owning a doggy daycare would be an awesome job. I think you are doing a great thing for your dog, there are way too many people who just lock their dogs in the basement all day or something.

frygga said...

Penny, that is not that much money. I adopted a neighborhood stray who had gum disease, needed several teeth pulled due to infection, plus worming and the rest of the usual--that was an initial $500 five years ago. But he's needed the cleaning every year since--he's prone to gum disease, and he just won't floss daily no matter how much I nag him, you know? It's the way it is. Probably somewhat genetic. Yes, the cleanings are expensive. (I haven't counted cost of food, but I do make a point of buying the better stuff, ie, NOT carby/grain-containing stuff but high in meat/fish and secondarily some veggies, which is what he needs as an evolved carnivore.) But he's 14 now and otherwise is quite healthy. Personally, it's so worth it, because he's a wonderful, quirky, talky, affectionate person who fills up my life. Think of the cost as cheaper than psychotherapy.