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username1339858_
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UPDATE: Post #68 ( Haven't got a cat, on the cards for the future but not at the current moment)
Thanks to everyone for all the help.

Planning on buying a cat but realised I don't know much about how to look after one full time. Only ever looked after someones cat when they were away a few days, so cleaned the litter, fed the cat, played a bit with the cat.

I am thinking of short haired cat but not entirelysure which one. Hoping of actually getting one from the shelter.

What would be the average costs of looking after a cat?
What do I need to know before making this commitment?

I would much rather know everything I possibly can, including people's opinions on how much work they are and things to think about as I do not want to mess the cat around, giving it up in no time. I want it to be a life long thing, and if I think I cannot commit to that, I would much rather not put a cat through it
Last edited by username1339858_; 9 months ago
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username1339858_
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Or any useful websites I can turn to?
I have done google searches but there's a lot of different info
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username5173262
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Tin of cat food is like 87p - that feeds my cat for 2 days. Litter is dead cheap and lasts quite a while if you have an outdoor cat. Toys are like £1-10 depending on what you get.
Vets depends where you go, I got my first consultation free but the anti-biotics were £30... but that has been a one time charge in the past 10 years. You don't really look after them, they kinda do their own thing and on an evening they will come by you and just lie down - as they age they sleep a LOT more. Monthly / 3 monthly check-ups are the most expensive part for us, but it's nothing that steep.
You wont be able to wear any black items without having some hairs on there lol, unless you keep the cat away from the clothes and washing process but I doubt that's even do-able . You can get lint rollers from Poundland to get everything off before you go out, but accept that having some white hairs on you clothes will be a given (others don't notice anyway, all people with pets experience this) Expect to get fleas some time in the next couple of years - even if you use the flea products regularly, this just seems to be a common occurrence to every cat owner. Flea the carpets and her if you notice s/he itches often and regularly use a flea comb to make sure they are not carrying any. Some like baths, others don't. Some like collars, others don't. Some like playing with toys... again, others don't. Try see what personality your cat has and don't force them to wear a collar (especially a bell one where they can get anxious).
Sometimes they fight other cats in the garden, and depending on their personality might need you to rescue them. My 11 year old does this a lot and she isn't a fighter. If it's a girl then she might get pregnant randomly, if you choose to keep the baby then do NOT touch them for a few weeks (read online about how to look after kittens) or she will kill them. My cat killed 4 of her kittens after we touched them too early. This is because of scent.
Young cats will run around a LOT in the house when you first introduce them from the shelter / past owner. I have no idea why but this used to scare me when I was a kid. They might also pee in corners / behind chairs....
Finally, I would like to say a lot of this is daunting to read, but honestly having a cat is the best experience ever. They are adorable, little family members and although they might not like you at first, it is important to stay in the same room with it (leave for 30mins or so to give it a chance to explore) so they can know who you are.

OH and they love soft scratches (scratch the fur not their skin) around the face - this is because the scent glands are here!
I hope this is readable haha, I just typed everything I can think of down...
edit: I also tried leaving out the "personality specific" things because I know every cat is different, that's why I talk so much about costs and stuff lol - there's a lot more you will learn by experience
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physicsamor
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Please adopt from a shelter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Food and litter tray is quite affordable
Obviously vet bills for a new kitten are expensive because they require x y z vaccination and it's important to get your cat neutered. We pay also for monthly insurance but ours is like £11 a month which isn't bad and the excess is £80. You have to read the insurance policies carefully to make sure you're not being conned.

I know I said it once but please adopt from a shelter
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999tigger
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Cats protection league has so much good advice and information.


Cost hmmm maybe £5-7.50 a week?
Maybe some insurance.
Might want to get micro chipped.
Cats are very self sufficient but also very interactive and most like to be played with.

Take your time choosing and make sure its spayed . neutered etc.

https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/getting-a-cat
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maxiecatlea
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If you get a cat, don't let it outside until you've had it neutered... just don't 🙄

I recommend indoor cats, personally. They live longer and are generally healthier, though a catio enclosure isn't an option for everyone and cats do enjoy outside time. I wouldn't recommend getting a cat unless you're settled somewhere and not at uni (I mention this as it's a student site) as otherwise you'll need to work out things like pet sitters for the times you want to be away.

I have two indoor cats, they cost me approximately £20 a month in food and litter. Litter will be cheaper if you have an outdoor cat as you'll use less of it. Vaccinations are needed annually if your cat goes outside and the cost of those vary greatly between vets.

If you have any specific questions or want info from a genuine cat expert then please feel free to message me.
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username1339858_
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So what about training the cat to use the litter tray, or to scratch the scratch posts etc and not things that should not be scratched?

(Original post by 2_versions)
Tin of cat food is like 87p - that feeds my cat for 2 days. Litter is dead cheap and lasts quite a while if you have an outdoor cat. Toys are like £1-10 depending on what you get.
Vets depends where you go, I got my first consultation free but the anti-biotics were £30... but that has been a one time charge in the past 10 years. You don't really look after them, they kinda do their own thing and on an evening they will come by you and just lie down - as they age they sleep a LOT more. Monthly / 3 monthly check-ups are the most expensive part for us, but it's nothing that steep.
You wont be able to wear any black items without having some hairs on there lol, unless you keep the cat away from the clothes and washing process but I doubt that's even do-able . You can get lint rollers from Poundland to get everything off before you go out, but accept that having some white hairs on you clothes will be a given (others don't notice anyway, all people with pets experience this) Expect to get fleas some time in the next couple of years - even if you use the flea products regularly, this just seems to be a common occurrence to every cat owner. Flea the carpets and her if you notice s/he itches often and regularly use a flea comb to make sure they are not carrying any. Some like baths, others don't. Some like collars, others don't. Some like playing with toys... again, others don't. Try see what personality your cat has and don't force them to wear a collar (especially a bell one where they can get anxious).
Sometimes they fight other cats in the garden, and depending on their personality might need you to rescue them. My 11 year old does this a lot and she isn't a fighter. If it's a girl then she might get pregnant randomly, if you choose to keep the baby then do NOT touch them for a few weeks (read online about how to look after kittens) or she will kill them. My cat killed 4 of her kittens after we touched them too early. This is because of scent.
Young cats will run around a LOT in the house when you first introduce them from the shelter / past owner. I have no idea why but this used to scare me when I was a kid. They might also pee in corners / behind chairs....
Finally, I would like to say a lot of this is daunting to read, but honestly having a cat is the best experience ever. They are adorable, little family members and although they might not like you at first, it is important to stay in the same room with it (leave for 30mins or so to give it a chance to explore) so they can know who you are.

OH and they love soft scratches (scratch the fur not their skin) around the face - this is because the scent glands are here!
I hope this is readable haha, I just typed everything I can think of down...
edit: I also tried leaving out the "personality specific" things because I know every cat is different, that's why I talk so much about costs and stuff lol - there's a lot more you will learn by experience
This is very useful.
So vet visits are not actually pricey? I was always under the assumtion that it would be costly

(Original post by physicsamor)
Please adopt from a shelter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Food and litter tray is quite affordable
Obviously vet bills for a new kitten are expensive because they require x y z vaccination and it's important to get your cat neutered. We pay also for monthly insurance but ours is like £11 a month which isn't bad and the excess is £80. You have to read the insurance policies carefully to make sure you're not being conned.

I know I said it once but please adopt from a shelter
Definitely something I want to do. I would prefer a cat from the shelter.

Insurance, for what exactly?

(Original post by 999tigger)
Cats protection league has so much good advice and information.


Cost hmmm maybe £5-7.50 a week?
Maybe some insurance.
Might want to get micro chipped.
Cats are very self sufficient but also very interactive and most like to be played with.

Take your time choosing and make sure its spayed . neutered etc.

https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/getting-a-cat
Wil definitely look at the site.
I will take my time choosing

(Original post by maxiecatlea)
If you get a cat, don't let it outside until you've had it neutered... just don't 🙄

I recommend indoor cats, personally. They live longer and are generally healthier, though a catio enclosure isn't an option for everyone and cats do enjoy outside time. I wouldn't recommend getting a cat unless you're settled somewhere and not at uni (I mention this as it's a student site) as otherwise you'll need to work out things like pet sitters for the times you want to be away.

I have two indoor cats, they cost me approximately £20 a month in food and litter. Litter will be cheaper if you have an outdoor cat as you'll use less of it. Vaccinations are needed annually if your cat goes outside and the cost of those vary greatly between vets.

If you have any specific questions or want info from a genuine cat expert then please feel free to message me.
I think I would want an indoor cat more. An outdoor cat would need to go out and would worry me a lot.
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Theloniouss
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You don't need a litter tray if you have an outdoor cat (and from experience cats seem to like the outdoors). Food is very cheap and going to the vet is rarely necessary - We usually go maybe once or twice a year for our two cats. If you get them from a shelter they often come chipped, neutered and with all their vaccinations which can make it a lot cheaper.
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username5173262
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Vets: no not unless there's something wrong with the cat. The medicines and stuff are expensive but if you get her the regular checkups it's not very expensive. We used to get her checked every month but now we get her done every 3. It's about 25 I think?

Training: we used to put her in the tray a lot when she would wake up. She also had lots of paper near her bed and if she started 'going' then we would bring the tray over and pick her up and put her in. Everytime she used to go on her own she would be given those treat sticks, kinda like training a dog to sit, you reward them and guide them - no punishments. Once they pee/poo there on their own once that's usually a click in their understanding. They like to cover it up too, so they will usually just go to where they can do that (the tray). After a month they are usually trained, but of course don't be surprised if you see them do it elsewhere when stressed for the first few months especially bonfire night
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ELK?
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Helpful Vancoover Vet is a great youtube channel with lots of useful information on how to take care of cats, especially if they're older or ill but just general advice too.
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Well it depends on whether its an outdoor cat or an indoor one.
Indoor cats tend to live longer and you dont have to bring them to the vet as often ( there are lots of nasty things outside that your cat can pick up ). We have 2 indoor cats.

You should get a fish based diet, as lots of cats have a chicken or beef allergy which is unknown until they have a flare up and become sick. Its best to just stick with fish. Depending on where you live it might be hard to find fish based food, so it might cost more.

We spend about $10 a week on cat litter and probably $5 a week on cat food? Then you need toys, a brush, food and water dishes, a liter box, scratching post, and vet bills. Minus the vet bills, that all will probably cost you $50-ish.
Definitely get them spayed/neutered, even if they are an indoor cat. Also get them chipped, and you need to take them to the vet when they are a kitten to get their shots and everything.

You should get two cats if you are not home all day. Cats are very social creatures and they love to play with other kittens, and they live longer with a friend.
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I wish
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physicsamor
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basically it's if something ever happened to the cat that would require medical treatment. If you are having an indoor cat the chances of something happening are much much smaller. For example our first cat got hit by a car and we didn't have insurance it was £800 in treatment trying to save her life. Our current cat once got stung by a wasp and we needed to pay for the antibiotics and injection thingy but the insurance covered some of that. If it was my house i would not let the cat go outside but I live with my family and the decision isn't mine. Indoor cats still thrive and live good lives.
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username1339858_
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
You don't need a litter tray if you have an outdoor cat (and from experience cats seem to like the outdoors). Food is very cheap and going to the vet is rarely necessary - We usually go maybe once or twice a year for our two cats. If you get them from a shelter they often come chipped, neutered and with all their vaccinations which can make it a lot cheaper.
I would prefer an indoor cat, we currently have no garden. I would very much like to get a cat from the shelter, so that would make it cheaper, but I've been keeping an eye out close by and the ones which I would want are reserved. I personally want a short hair compared to long hair, and I'm hoping my partner and I don't have pet allergy. Neither of us have had a pet before, nor our families so it is something new for us.

(Original post by 2_versions)
Vets: no not unless there's something wrong with the cat. The medicines and stuff are expensive but if you get her the regular checkups it's not very expensive. We used to get her checked every month but now we get her done every 3. It's about 25 I think?

Training: we used to put her in the tray a lot when she would wake up. She also had lots of paper near her bed and if she started 'going' then we would bring the tray over and pick her up and put her in. Everytime she used to go on her own she would be given those treat sticks, kinda like training a dog to sit, you reward them and guide them - no punishments. Once they pee/poo there on their own once that's usually a click in their understanding. They like to cover it up too, so they will usually just go to where they can do that (the tray). After a month they are usually trained, but of course don't be surprised if you see them do it elsewhere when stressed for the first few months especially bonfire night
Oddly, I know how to train a dog.
Yes, bonfire night would be a scary one for pets. How would you go about comforting the cat when she/he is stressed?

(Original post by ELK?)
Helpful Vancoover Vet is a great youtube channel with lots of useful information on how to take care of cats, especially if they're older or ill but just general advice too.
I will check that youtube channel out. I do watch crazykittenlady, don't know if you've seen her youtube channel?

(Original post by LovelyMrFox)
Well it depends on whether its an outdoor cat or an indoor one.
Indoor cats tend to live longer and you dont have to bring them to the vet as often ( there are lots of nasty things outside that your cat can pick up ). We have 2 indoor cats.

You should get a fish based diet, as lots of cats have a chicken or beef allergy which is unknown until they have a flare up and become sick. Its best to just stick with fish. Depending on where you live it might be hard to find fish based food, so it might cost more.

We spend about $10 a week on cat litter and probably $5 a week on cat food? Then you need toys, a brush, food and water dishes, a liter box, scratching post, and vet bills. Minus the vet bills, that all will probably cost you $50-ish.
Definitely get them spayed/neutered, even if they are an indoor cat. Also get them chipped, and you need to take them to the vet when they are a kitten to get their shots and everything.

You should get two cats if you are not home all day. Cats are very social creatures and they love to play with other kittens, and they live longer with a friend.
I would prefer to get an indoor cat. I would be worried if I had an outdoor cat whenever the cat would go out. So lucky, 2!
I think it should be decent to find fish based around here. I will check out stores close by to see. I didn't know cats had allergy to chicken bases. A friend used to feed her cat chicken sometimes ... so I thought all cats should be okay with that.
I am mostly home, save a few hours in the evening and maybe one or two in the morning. Two cats would be a bit much rn, seeing as I've never had a pet before. If all goes well, and we think the cat would like it, we might consider getting the cat a companion. It all depends ofc.

(Original post by Legomenon)
I wish
You wish to have a cat or wish I get a cat?

(Original post by physicsamor)
Soulful Twist basically it's if something ever happened to the cat that would require medical treatment. If you are having an indoor cat the chances of something happening are much much smaller. For example our first cat got hit by a car and we didn't have insurance it was £800 in treatment trying to save her life. Our current cat once got stung by a wasp and we needed to pay for the antibiotics and injection thingy but the insurance covered some of that. If it was my house i would not let the cat go outside but I live with my family and the decision isn't mine. Indoor cats still thrive and live good lives.
So say for example, the cat went out and was hurt, it would cost 1 grand for the treatment, and you never had insurance... if you do not pay the 1 grand, the cat would be left to die in that state?
What happens to cats that do die, where do they get buried if you don't have a garden? I have no clue, I would have to check that up, it is a sad thought though :/
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username5173262
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We keep the TV on upstairs (where she hides) so she has some noise to calm her down and help her sleep. There are also some products like Feliway which is a shoots the same pheromones a cat marks its territory with to make them feel safe.
When a cat dies you can take them to the vet who will cremate them. I'm not sure if you are allowed to keep any ashes after. You can only legally bury them if you own the house. Fortunately I only had to learn this from a temporary illness
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It's****ingWOODY
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Make sure to keep them indoors. Other than that, just let them do their thing. They'll seek out what they deem to be the safest place in the house and hide out there. Just leave them to it really, if you start getting up in their safe space they'll feel like it's less safe as it's easily invaded. You can do your bit by closing your windows and curtains to help eliminate noise and flashing.
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Foxehh
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Good choice
Youd think it would be easy to find, but its a nightmare Its fine for a bit of chicken every now and again of course ( my kitten loves it ), but giving them a fully chicken or beef based diet isnt the absolute best.
Chicken and beef is okay for some cats of course, so if its hard to find fish you can settle for it, it wont be the end of the world
As long as your cat has someone to play with ( 2 legged or 4 legged ), they should be happy.
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I have an indoor cat, a bengal. I would say she costs around £80-£100 a month to maintain. Thats £40 a month for insurance and £10 for pet plan with the vet. £50 on food and treats, the occasional toy. Grooming once a month, too. She's on 100% raw food diet, hence the 'expensive' food bill.
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DimNut
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Indoor cats need much more stimulation and play as they are not able to do normal cat stuff outside. Please do check out Cat's Protection advice first, not only does kitteh need their food, stimuation (another cat), human company, indoor litter and trays but also a fund of money for vet fees if something does go wrong physically.

I am a cat owner of three indoor cats and vet fees can be substanial. They are indoor because of disability, age etc but if I had the choice, I would provide them with a safe outdoor environment preferably an enclosed garden where they can interact with nature as they should. At the moment I cannot.
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username1339858_
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(Original post by 2_versions)
We keep the TV on upstairs (where she hides) so she has some noise to calm her down and help her sleep. There are also some products like Feliway which is a shoots the same pheromones a cat marks its territory with to make them feel safe.
When a cat dies you can take them to the vet who will cremate them. I'm not sure if you are allowed to keep any ashes after. You can only legally bury them if you own the house. Fortunately I only had to learn this from a temporary illness
Yes, I have heard of Feliway.
Thanks very much. Might tag you if I have any other questions

(Original post by It's****ingWOODY)
Make sure to keep them indoors. Other than that, just let them do their thing. They'll seek out what they deem to be the safest place in the house and hide out there. Just leave them to it really, if you start getting up in their safe space they'll feel like it's less safe as it's easily invaded. You can do your bit by closing your windows and curtains to help eliminate noise and flashing.
Lol I mistakenly thought they would want to be cuddled.

(Original post by LovelyMrFox)
Good choice
Youd think it would be easy to find, but its a nightmare Its fine for a bit of chicken every now and again of course ( my kitten loves it ), but giving them a fully chicken or beef based diet isnt the absolute best.
Chicken and beef is okay for some cats of course, so if its hard to find fish you can settle for it, it wont be the end of the world
As long as your cat has someone to play with ( 2 legged or 4 legged ), they should be happy.
As long as it is not full chicken based, I got it.

(Original post by Anonymous)
I have an indoor cat, a bengal. I would say she costs around £80-£100 a month to maintain. Thats £40 a month for insurance and £10 for pet plan with the vet. £50 on food and treats, the occasional toy. Grooming once a month, too. She's on 100% raw food diet, hence the 'expensive' food bill.
Yes special diets would be more expensive. Any reason why your cat is on 100% raw food diet?

(Original post by DimNut)
Indoor cats need much more stimulation and play as they are not able to do normal cat stuff outside. Please do check out Cat's Protection advice first, not only does kitteh need their food, stimuation (another cat), human company, indoor litter and trays but also a fund of money for vet fees if something does go wrong physically.

I am a cat owner of three indoor cats and vet fees can be substanial. They are indoor because of disability, age etc but if I had the choice, I would provide them with a safe outdoor environment preferably an enclosed garden where they can interact with nature as they should. At the moment I cannot.
That's nice that you hope to make them a safe outdoor space.
I have been reading Cat's protection advice. I know cats in general have different personalities so who you are with them would differ
Why are vet fees so high?
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