Photo: Tracy Pitts | Getty Images

What is the Annual Cost of Owning a Cat?


The average annual cost of owning a cat might surprise you. After analyzing data provided by the American Pet Products Association and breaking it down by type of pet (small dog, medium dog, large dog and cat), MoneyGeek came up with the following typical costs of owning a cat (not including emergency costs like those for illness or injury):

Food $224
Recurring medication $160
Litter $165
Toys/Treats $25
Pet insurance $175
Miscellaneous costs $30
Annual total $779

According to the analysis, it costs less to care for a cat than a medium-size dog ($894) or large dog ($1,040), but costs more to care for a cat than a small dog ($737).

Top photograph: Tracy Pitts | Getty Images

Read Next: Should I Let My Cat Outside — Ever?

7 thoughts on “What is the Annual Cost of Owning a Cat?”

  1. Thanks for the interesting information. I am curious as to what area of the USA would those figures be realistic? Also, does that include shared space costs? While I raise these questions seriously, they are also “tongue in cheek” as it would not matter what the costs were, I would do without to provide for my cats. Currently I volunteer with 3 organizations – 2 directly related to cats. I provide food for the feral cat trappers/colony care givers, and work recovery during the clinics. It would be interesting to know how those costs relate to the overall costs of pets. Would it be a reasonable presumption that people who have animals in their family also support shelters and animals care charities?

  2. You didn’t even mention a prescription diet for something like FLTUD or medication to mitigate Feline Herpesvirus as well. Try this number on for size: $2,000/annually

  3. I am wondering what kind of food that is. I spend that monthly. I do have 2 indoor cats and feed the strays outdoors also. My indoor cats get premium food but that seems low even for the cheap stuff I feed the strays.

  4. Clarence J. Feinour

    I have three cats so my cost is much higher. I also care for three feral cats but I’m happy to do so. the $175 mentioned for pet insurance sounds low. Plus the cost goes up each year as the cats grow older. The feral cats eat more then my indoor cats. I’m just glad I can manage to take care of all of them.

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