Woman holding Siamese catCats can make great pets for the right people and are one of the favorite pets in America today. While the cost of owning a cat is much less than that of a dog, there is still a significant cost and is most likely much more than the average pet owner thinks.
We may argue, "I love my pets and cost is not a consideration so what does it matter?" The reality is cost does matter and directly influences both the type and quality of care that an animal will receive. Every day I see animals that are denied basic levels of care and veterinary treatment because of the failure of the owner to recognize that pets cost money. No pet should suffer as a result of poor financial planning and lack of commitment of their owner. High veterinarian costs are often blamed for the lack of care, but in reality, medical care is a necessary expense and is often a small part of the total cost of owning a pet. Owning a cat is not a right but a privilege and by recognizing that pets can cost a lot of money, it will help us to be more prepared and provide better care to these animals.
Cats are different than dogs in the sense that they can lead a semi-wild life and cost the owner virtually nothing. There are tens of thousands of these 'pets' living on the farms and the back streets of America's cities. These animals are often infested with parasites and deadly viral diseases and survive by hunting which takes a tremendous toll on wildlife. Their quality of life is very poor and most do not live more than a few years. Everyone knows of these cats and their 'owners' and I do not consider their quality of care to be adequate enough to even consider it here. The following chart lists the cost of owning a cat from three perspectives: the lowest cost of adequate care, the high-end cost of care, and the cost of care for my own cats. In addition to listing the cost of owning a cat for the more expensive first year, the cost for owning the cat for the remaining 13 years is broken down as an average yearly cost and then totaled at the end showing how much it will cost to own a cat for 14 years.