As cat owners, we know you want the very best for your pet. With the cost of living rising though, you might find money doesn’t go as far as it used to which can leave you with some tough choices to make when it comes to spending.
Any pet is going to cost money, so it’s important to know what help is available and how you can plan for the months to come.
It’s really important to have your cat neutered – it can prevent them from getting certain diseases and prevents unwanted litters of kittens (which can also be costly!). You can read more about neutering your cat on our advice pages.
If you want to get your cat neutered, but are worried about the cost, we may be able to help you. We run a financial assistance scheme as part of our neutering programme to offer free or low-cost neutering.
Unfortunately, we are unable to help with everyday veterinary costs. As a charity, our funds are limited and we have thousands of cats in our centres and branches who all need caring for.
If you are worried that your cat may be unwell but are concerned about the costs of treatment, the first step is to contact your local veterinary practice. They will be able to advise you whether your cat needs urgent attention. Have an honest conversation with your vet about what you can afford. Your vet should be able to provide you with a range of treatment options that can be tailored to your circumstances.
Don’t be tempted to try home remedies or to ask those without a veterinary qualification to help. Many human medications are not suitable for pets and some can be extremely toxic for cats. It’s very important to speak to a qualified vet before any treatment for your cat is carried out.
There are a few ways you can get help with your cat’s vet bills:
Sometimes, the only way to end a pet’s suffering is through the option of euthanasia. If you’re struggling with the thought of putting your cat to sleep, Cats Protection’s Paws to Listen service can provide a sympathetic ear at a difficult time.
And remember, please be kind to your vet! Vets will want what is best for your cat and are doing their utmost to help pets, often in difficult and demanding circumstances. Unfortunately, they are not able to offer their services for free and often have to make difficult decisions that can put a huge strain on them emotionally. Always be kind.
One of the biggest costs cat owners face is likely to be vet bills. Caring for your cat while they’re injured or unwell takes a lot of time and skill. There are a few things you can do to try and keep vet bills down, though, including:
Obviously, keeping your cat healthy can also help you to keep vet costs down! We have lots of free advice on our site about how to keep your cat healthy which you can take a look at.
Another big expense for cat owners is feeding their moggy. A healthy, balanced, complete diet is vital for a cat to keep them healthy.
If you’re struggling with cat food costs, your local food bank may have pet food donations so it is always worth asking if they can help you. Charities such as the Trussell Trust run food banks across the country, so you can search for your local food bank on their website. You may need a referral to use a food bank, so contact your local Citizens Advice or your council to talk to someone about getting a food bank referral.
Our centres are also partnering with local organisations to help cat owners during times of hardship to access food for their cat. Our Community Kitty scheme enables us to provide donated cat food to community partners tackling hunger and poverty. This is an opportunity for us to support owners who may find themselves in a position where they are concerned about having to give up their cat.
Your cat doesn’t need to eat the most expensive pet food. As long as the cat food you give them is age appropriate and is a complete cat food, it is good enough for them! They also don’t need a regular supply of treats and will still love you even without them. Find out more about what to feed your cat.
Our cats need more than food and vet visits to keep them happy. They still need to be able to play, to scratch, have access to a litter tray, somewhere warm to cuddle up at night and they’ll always need lots of love and attention from you.
These extra ‘daily’ costs of owning a cat definitely don’t have to break the bank. There are lots of ways your cat can live their best life without you feeling the pinch.
You can help keep costs down by:
We hope no one should have to give up their cat, however sometimes it might be in your cat’s best interests to do so. If you find you can no longer afford your cat’s care and are struggling, then you might be considering giving your cat away. While this is an extremely difficult decision to make, we understand that sometimes it is the best option for both you and your cat.
We are here for you. It is far better to get in touch with your local Cats Protection centre or branch than rehome your cat yourself. We may be able to discuss ways we can support you to keep your cat.
We check all our potential adopters and will make sure your cat is matched with the best family for them. While our centres and branches are quite busy at the moment, please get in touch and our team will see what they can do to help you.