Pets

Cheapest way to own a cat?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 20th, 2020 12:48 am
Tags:
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 15, 2012
645 posts
364 upvotes
Toronto

Cheapest way to own a cat?

I’m just doing some research to see what are ways to cut down on cost of owning a cat.

I saw some people goes to Home Depot and get saww dust as cat litter.

Diu cardboard toys

As for everything else maybe y’all experts can pitch in!
Also any recommendations for a vet in north York area one that’s not going to over charge for spraying and vaccinations
18 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 22, 2005
19991 posts
5369 upvotes
Good Morning
Owning 2 is cheaper then one.

Medical procedures won't ever be cheap, the only place is Toronto Humane Society where they subsidize the pricing but there is a long waiting line, and they've also currently in dire need of financial help and donations.

With pets, you can't really cheap out. You have to cheap out on yourself first lol.
Deal Fanatic
May 1, 2012
9602 posts
8941 upvotes
Markham
Cat litter from Costco
Cat food from TLC
Litter box from the Dollar Store
Toys from the Dollar Store

Spaying/Vaccinations go to the Toronto Humane Society
Vet care go to the Toronto Humane Society
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
5358 posts
2367 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Cheapest way? Have someone else's cat over as a casual part-time owner (or rather, employee/servant).
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Deal Addict
Dec 23, 2015
1326 posts
1800 upvotes
thriftshopper wrote: Cheapest way? Have someone else's cat over as a casual part-time owner (or rather, employee/servant).
Offer a free cat sitting service. Can one really "own" a cat anyway ?
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
5358 posts
2367 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
6060842 wrote: Offer a free cat sitting service.
That's a way. Can even get free housing thrown in.
Can one really "own" a cat anyway ?
Those who know know that a cat owns you.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Penalty Box
Jul 13, 2012
7243 posts
969 upvotes
Ottawa
For a litter box, I'd recommend an enclosed one. There's a standard brown/beige two-piecer that you can get at Loblaws, Walmart, Canadian Tire, etc..
I started by leaving it with the top off in the middle of the room. Over the course of a few days, I slowly moved it to where I wanted it to be, then put the cover on (with the "door" detached), then eventually put the door on while demonstrating to my cat that if you push it, it opens.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2013
1362 posts
1184 upvotes
Toronto
Please don't have any pet if you are going to cheap out.
Being cheap is not the same as being frugal and providing good care for the animal.

Can you handle an out of the blue 5K vet bill? 10K?
A pet is not the same thing as a car that you can just take to the scrapper.
....
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 30, 2005
3122 posts
851 upvotes
Mars
I consider myself a hardcore RFDer, and yes, call me cheap, but I don't go cheap on my pets. I'm not saying that I will buy fancy costumes for my pets - no, save that money, put the money in good use - better food, better litter, better anything that conducive to their health, something makes them happy, not something you take pics and upload to instagram.

one of my cats cost me nearly $4000 for surgery 8 years ago and he is 20 years old now, I have never regret a penny that have spent on him, sure i have been ripped off by vets - they all do, but as long as they can treat my cats well, I will suck it up.
Penalty Box
Jul 13, 2012
7243 posts
969 upvotes
Ottawa
forgetpwd wrote: I consider myself a hardcore RFDer, and yes, call me cheap, but I don't go cheap on my pets. I'm not saying that I will buy fancy costumes for my pets - no, save that money, put the money in good use - better food, better litter, better anything that conducive to their health, something makes them happy, not something you take pics and upload to instagram.

one of my cats cost me nearly $4000 for surgery 8 years ago and he is 20 years old now, I have never regret a penny that have spent on him, sure i have been ripped off by vets - they all do, but as long as they can treat my cats well, I will suck it up.
Well, for the litter/litter box it doesn't really matter to the cat. It's up to you whether you're willing to spend extra for extra "features" (lightweight litter, self-cleaning box, etc..).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 30, 2005
3122 posts
851 upvotes
Mars
ConsoleWatcher wrote: Well, for the litter/litter box it doesn't really matter to the cat. It's up to you whether you're willing to spend extra for extra "features" (lightweight litter, self-cleaning box, etc..).
litter box, maybe, litter does make some difference on cats, and on owners too, some just way too dusty, just to mention one of disadvantages
Jr. Member
Apr 30, 2020
107 posts
87 upvotes
Vancouver
owning a cat doesn't have to be expensive, but it can be.

diy cat toys are just as good as store bought.. your cat won't care at all and will enjoy either or just the same.
do buy a cat tree or some sort of cat furniture though.. you could also buy good condition used to save money. cat's like to get up high, you could install a few cat shelves for cheap.
a basic litter bin costs $20, buy wood pellets not kitty litter, a bag costs $7 and lasts at least a month for a single cat.
cat food is the most expensive part.. i've heard repeatedly that the most important is feeding your cat wet food.
on the cheap end you could probably feed your cat for $1 per day on wet food (friskies), or $2 (fancy feast). if you go up to the mid grade quality stuff then its $3+ per day.

So lets say you spend $200 to get all the basics... carrier, litter bin, furniture..
then after that you'd just need about $7 for litter and $60 for food per month..
still not dirt cheap but that's about what you could expect to pay in general.
then there is pet insurance or some sort of contingency fund in case the cat gets sick..

if you adopt from the spca or some rescue organization then it might cost you around $200 for the adoption, but it will also include the neuter/spay which if you do separately, costs more than the whole adoption.
i think for $100 per month, you can take care of one cat comfortably with decent food and put aside at least $20 per month in case something happens some day, or get the pet insurance.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3385 posts
635 upvotes
OP, please do not get a cat, particularly in these times. I don't know what your reasoning is for wanting the cheapest way to own a cat - whether there are money issues, you just want to be a "real RFDer" or you just want to have a cat without the costs that come with owing a pet.

Owning a pet is expensive, much more so it seems these days. Pet Insurance is expensive (we had it). We were "employees" or "personal servants" to our recently passed dog and wouldn't have had it any other way. We really miss him.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
5358 posts
2367 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Blanche123 wrote: We were "employees" or "personal servants" to our recently passed dog and wouldn't have had it any other way.
Nah, you own a dog (condolences on the dog, my sister keeps the ashes of her late Chow and he's been dead much longer than he was alive). The cat definitely owns you.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3385 posts
635 upvotes
thriftshopper wrote: Nah, you own a dog (condolences on the dog, my sister keeps the ashes of her late Chow and he's been dead much longer than he was alive). The cat definitely owns you.
thrftshopper - Normally I would definitely agree with you, except our breed of dog was very cat-like - and we have had cats. Actually many people where one wants a dog and another wants a cat get our type of dog and both were happy. Our vet and also our dog boarder mentioned that we were all there to serve our dog - and of course it was part of his charm! We really miss him. Thank you for your condolences.

We don't keep our dog's ashes (I don't want mine kept either) - but it is the memories that you have and make you laugh. I know that your sister despite her Chow being gone longer than he was alive, will feel his loss forever.

I know a woman who really misses her bunny rabbit who died 45 years ago. Pets really do become part of our lives.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
5358 posts
2367 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Blanche123 wrote: thrftshopper - Normally I would definitely agree with you, except our breed of dog was very cat-like - and we have had cats. Actually many people where one wants a dog and another wants a cat get our type of dog and both were happy.
Just curious as to what breed it was. We have Ragdoll cats who are said to be the most dog-like (though they're still predators). My wife went to visit her brother and nephew and the cats (one more than the other) have been moping in her absence, to the point of not coming for their regular treats.
We don't keep our dog's ashes (I don't want mine kept either) - but it is the memories that you have and make you laugh. I know that your sister despite her Chow being gone longer than he was alive, will feel his loss forever.
She's healthy enough mentally not to be mourning her dog in perpetuity. Given her husband and her a lot more freedom to travel. This COVID stretch since earlier this year is about 3-4x longer than any period they've been in country since the dog passed!
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 9, 2006
11910 posts
2431 upvotes
coriolis wrote: Owning 2 is cheaper then one.
Come on, you know that's not true. The time and effort required is minimal for 2 cats vs 1 and some costs don't increase by much, but food and vet costs are double.... Although... 2 cats trend to keep each other company rather than being destructive. So in that case maybe if you're the type that has full grain leather sofas, priceless rugs, and like to leave crystal glasses near the edge of tables, then 2 cats a will likely cost less than 1 lonely destructive cat.

Here's my take on where you can cut corners with cats.

No:
Food - The worse you do on this, the higher the vet bills may end up being.

Yes:
Cat bed - Don't even buy one. The entire house is their bed. They'll sleep everywhere, but the cat bed.
Cat tree - Cats love to be elevated. It gives them a safe haven as they can't get stepped on and they can see the entire room. Build one yourself. It's much easier than you think and material is mostly free. You probably know of someone or you yourself has scrap carpet and wood. If not, you can even re-use old Ikea furniture, glue some carpet on there and wrap some sisal rope around some of the legs.
Cat toys - Cats do love laser pointers and those fishing line toys, but they also love boxes. My cats love water bottle caps. They will actually play fetch with them. Most cats love catnip, but wait until they are a little older. Kittens tend not to care as much for it than adults cats.
Cat litter - Yes sawdust is a valid alternative to traditional kitty litter. If you got a cheap source then go for it. You may want to get some sort of deodorizer like baking soda as saw dust isn't the best at covering the smell.
Spay/neuter - OSPCA. There was an independent organization that offered spay and neutering for super cheap. OSPCA took it over, but fortunately they still operate at a low cost. Only $75... but they do have a long wait list and it's kinda far (Stouffville or Barrie). They also have a mobile service for people in the city of Toronto, but with COVID and all, not sure if that's still running.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 22, 2005
19991 posts
5369 upvotes
Good Morning
joeyjoejoe wrote: Come on, you know that's not true. The time and effort required is minimal for 2 cats vs 1 and some costs don't increase by much, but food and vet costs are double.... Although... 2 cats trend to keep each other company rather than being destructive. So in that case maybe if you're the type that has full grain leather sofas, priceless rugs, and like to leave crystal glasses near the edge of tables, then 2 cats a will likely cost less than 1 lonely destructive cat.

Here's my take on where you can cut corners with cats.

No:
Food - The worse you do on this, the higher the vet bills may end up being.

Yes:
Cat bed - Don't even buy one. The entire house is their bed. They'll sleep everywhere, but the cat bed.
Cat tree - Cats love to be elevated. It gives them a safe haven as they can't get stepped on and they can see the entire room. Build one yourself. It's much easier than you think and material is mostly free. You probably know of someone or you yourself has scrap carpet and wood. If not, you can even re-use old Ikea furniture, glue some carpet on there and wrap some sisal rope around some of the legs.
Cat toys - Cats do love laser pointers and those fishing line toys, but they also love boxes. My cats love water bottle caps. They will actually play fetch with them. Most cats love catnip, but wait until they are a little older. Kittens tend not to care as much for it than adults cats.
Cat litter - Yes sawdust is a valid alternative to traditional kitty litter. If you got a cheap source then go for it. You may want to get some sort of deodorizer like baking soda as saw dust isn't the best at covering the smell.
Spay/neuter - OSPCA. There was an independent organization that offered spay and neutering for super cheap. OSPCA took it over, but fortunately they still operate at a low cost. Only $75... but they do have a long wait list and it's kinda far (Stouffville or Barrie). They also have a mobile service for people in the city of Toronto, but with COVID and all, not sure if that's still running.
You're not wrong that I may be exaggerating but I definitely included potential damage costs when the single cat is bored out of their mind and decides zoomies on the countertop or using up their energy by scratching and biting the sofa.

Top