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The Cost of Pet Care is Often Underestimated

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According to a new study by Synchrony, parent company of CareCredit and Pets Best Pet Insurance, nearly half of pet owners underestimate the lifetime cost of care for their pet. The study was based on findings from 1,200 pet owners and 100 veterinarians.

For cats, the lifetime financial breakdown (over 15 years) was as follows:


(15 years): $15,055 to $45,790

Annually: $960 to $2,486

Monthly: $84 to $254

Annual Spending for Cats

Food: $351 to $584

Health expenses: $374 to $965

Treats, toys, supplies and grooming: $169 to $698

Other: $66 to $239

About the Author

Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown

Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 20 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry. She is contributing writer for National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness: The Veterinarian’s Approach to At-Home Animal Care (April 2019) and author of the book It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: Making Sense of Animal Phrases (Lumina Press, 2006). Jackie is a regular contributor to pet and veterinary industry media and is the former editor of numerous pet magazines, including Dog World, Natural Dog, Puppies 101, Kittens 101 and the Popular Cats Series. Prior to starting her career in publishing, Jackie spent eight years working in veterinary hospitals where she assisted veterinarians as they treated dogs, cats, rabbits, pocket pets, reptiles, birds and one memorable lion cub. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons and miniature poodle Jäger. Reach her at

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