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What Costs are Associated with a New Kitten?

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Young Black Cat
Photographer: Mark Marek

The decision to get a new pet shouldn't be taken lightly and you need to ensure that you have considered all the financial costs.

There is the initial cost of purchasing a kitten or leaving a donation with a rescue centre, their initial vaccinations as well as the costs of various equipment they will need. Outlined below are the costs associated with getting a new kitten and what he will need during his first year.

Food - You will need to decide what type of food to feed your cat as there are many different types and brands available. Your local supermarket and pet shop will stock a range of cat and kitten foods and treats and as a guide prices can be:
£4 for 12 x 100g individually wrapped sachets
£5.20 for a 2 kg bag of complete cat food
£1 - 2 for a bag of cat treats
90p for a bottle of cat milk

Bowls - You will need a separate water and food bowl for your cat and you will find plastic, stainless steel and ceramic bowls available of the market. You can get a basic stainless steel dish from as little as 80p.

Litter Tray - There are a wide variety of litter trays on the market from a basic plastic tray to automatic self-cleaning litter boxes. When you first get your new kitten a basic plastic litter tray will suffice, although as your cat gets older you may want to invest in a hooded litter box. You can expect to pay:
Basic Litter Tray - £2 - £7
Hooded Cat Box - £15 - £50
Self-Cleaning Tray - From £90

Litter & Accessories - You will need to provide your cat with litter for his litter tray. Good quality litter should readily absorb liquid, prevent odours and be fine enough for your cat to rake. Accessories that are useful to help keep the litter tray hygienic are a litter scoop, tray liners and a cat friendly disinfectant for cleaning. Prices vary but as a guide:
Litter - £6 for 10 litres
Scoops - £1
Liners - £2 for a pack of 12

Bed - A nice soft bed for your cat will give him somewhere warm and cozy to sleep. There are a huge range of cats beds on the market with a wide variety of prices, but you should be able to get a nice bed spending between £7 and £20.

Toys - Some toys for you new kitten or cat will help to keep him active and entertained. You can pick up basic toys from as little as £2

Scratching Post - A scratching post is vital if you want to prevent your furniture, soft furnishings and carpet from being shredded! It will also help keep your cat's claws in good shape. A basic scratcher is priced around £7

Grooming Products - Grooming your cat helps you both bond as well as keeping his coat clean, tangle-free and healthy. You can buy a cat brush from as little as £3

Collar - When your kitten reaches 6 months old it is advisable to get him a collar and tag so he can be easily identified if he gets lost. Make sure the collar has a quick release buckle in case he becomes snagged on something. Expect to pay around £4 for a collar and £1 - 2 for an ID tag.

Pet Carrier
- A pet carrier is not an essential thing to have when you first get a kitten, although they are useful for when you have to take your cat to the vet and/or the cattery. You can purchase a carrier suitable for your cat from around £15 - £20

Cat Flap - When your kitten grows you may decide to let him out doors and a cat flap is ideal to let him freely come and go from your house. There are lots to choose from and they range in design from a basic swing flap to a magnetically controlled or microchip controlled access door. They range in price from £12 for a basic design to £100 for something more advanced.

Flea & Tick Treatments - Your cat will need treated if he gets fleas and/or ticks. You can buy flea collars, sprays, drops and tablets to get rid of and prevent infestations. Prices start from around £3. Consult your vet about the most appropriate form of treatment.

Worming Treatments - Your cat will need regular treatment against worms. You can purchase worming tablets from around £3. Consult your vet about the most appropriate form of treatment.

Neutering - Unless you plan to breed from your cat, you should seriously consider getting them neutered. As well as the benefits of having your cat neutered, there are many homeless and unwanted cats out there. It is advisable to consult your vet for costs.

Insurance - Insuring your cat is not essential but it is a worthwhile investment. An unexpected accident or illness can lead to very large vet bills and you will have peace of mind if your cat is covered. It is advisable to shop around for a plan that suits your budget. An approximate guide price would be a premium of £50 per year, but please note this is only a guide as premiums will vary depending on the age and breed of cat and where you live.

Microchipping - Microchipping your cat will help him be identified if he is lost and someone hands him in at a police station or rescue centre. A chip shouldn't be a substitute for a collar and tag, it is an extra way to identify your cat if his collar becomes lost. Your vet will be able to do the chipping and can advise you on the costs.

Please Note
: This article is to give you an idea on the costs involved in getting a kitten. The prices are based on well known brand names and are a guide only.

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