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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting married in June, and fiancé & I are hoping to adopt a kitty after we move to a new town in August. We will be pretty tight financially, so I want to be sure we know we have enough to be responsible cat parents.

I know specific numbers vary by situation & location, but how much would you recommend setting aside in our monthly budget, after initial adoption costs? (We will be living in Western NC, so general pricing will probably be around average.) What's a rough estimate of what you spend per kitty a month in your home, aside from any high costs related to health problems?

There are a few more questions I have, but I'll save those for now as I don't want to ask too many at once! :p
 

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I feed a rotation of good quality grain free canned. Between the big boy and the kitten (who eats like a 200 lb lion) I spend 120-140 on food per month.

Insurance is about 15.00 per cat a month.

Litter is about 20.00 a month.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, that does help! Thank you MowMow. For one hungry kitten, would you say budgeting $50/month for quality food is too low an estimate?

What company do you use for insurance?

Thanks so much! :)
 

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It depends on where you are and what type of food is available to you, if i had to guess i would say i spend slightly less than $50 a month on my hungry 8 month old. I too rotate brands of grain-free canned foods, and i buy foods in large quantities when it is on sale and i also use a 10% off coupon that petco sends me o ce a month. One brand i feed, EVO, i get online, and since it comes in bigger 13.2oz cans, it is much cheaper per ounce than most other comperable brands. Last time i ordered it, i used a groupon for an online store(i paid $15 for a $30 coupon). I also buy the cheap, uncented non-clumping litter which runs about $3-$4 a bag. I go through maybe 3 bags a month. Now toys and treats get a little pricey, but its hard not to spoil a new kitty :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks shan841! I think it would be a good idea for us to buy the big cans and use one of those little plastic tops to keep it fresh between uses.

As for toys & treats: I bought my fiancé's little brother's new cat a toy... and I haven't even met her yet! It was too cute of a toy to pass up -- a little octopus on a 'fishing pole.' Actually, I'm tempted to keep it for our future kitty. Goodness, I should probably get an accountability partner when it comes to toys...
 

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I know you said "aside from any high costs related to health problems", but you really have to have an emergency fund, even if it's a credit card.

Cleo got sick shortly after I adopted her (was apparently sick before I adopted her).

Cali broke two toes the first Thanksgiving she was with me.

And I recently brought Cleo in for a routine procedure and just got slammed with an unexpected $1,400 vet bill.

I only bring this up because you seem to be very budget-minded, which is good, but sometimes when you have things all planned out and you think you're prepared, the universe sees that and goes "Really? Hahahaha!!"
 

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It'll really depend on what you're feeding, canned, kibble, both? And what brands/quality, as well as location being a factor in cost.

Here, the grain-free cans are about 1.70 + tax each for the smaller 6 ounce tins, cheap food is like 60 cents for a small tin. Some foods come in larger 12 ounce tins and that saves money, between 1.80-3.00 dollars a tin. Kibble ranges in price too, cheap stuff starting at like 10 dollars and quality ones closer to 25 dollars. Litter ranges in price too, getting a large bag of clumping litter at about 18 kgs, nothing fancy, can be found for maybe 15 dollars. I've never had a problem with the stuff and it lasts for ages... something fancier would be more like 20+ dollars for half the quantity. Pet insurance might be something to look into too, don't know what it would cost.

Anyway, I'd put away on a really tight budget 40 a month, but closer to 80 if you're going higher end.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
marie73, I figured someone would probably bring something like that up ;) I've started thinking about needing an emergency fund... I know hidden vet costs come with many adoptions! We're going to have a credit card for emergencies, to start out; then we'll begin an emergency fund ASAP!

What happened to poor Cleo that racked up that bill? Would you definitely recommend pet insurance? I've only done some preliminary research, but saw the point brought up that even taking a foreign object out of a cat's stomach / intestine can easily cost a couple thousand. However, the same article pointed out that you could spend thousands over a pet's lifetime, when most pet owners have to pay less than that out-of-pocket when it comes down to it. But I know crap happens, especially when you can least afford it!
 

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I feed frankenprey raw, and for one of the adult cats it is about $13 a month for food, $4 for litter. For my kittens it is $25 a month for food, and then $4 for litter. Then of course toys, treats (freeze dried meat), and "other" is about another $4 for each cat/kitten.

So that would make it $21 a month for one of my adult cats, or $33 for one of the kittens.

If I were feeding canned instead, for me it would be $45 for an adult, $90 for a kitten, if I were to feed high quality, grain free food.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Carmel! I've been reading the threads and some articles and I think we will want to feed quality canned food as much as possible. Definitely no Meow Mix unless something really unforeseeably bad happens, haha!

I think I want to try the "Smart Cat" litter box, which just uses safflower seeds (SMART CAT BOX.com) Ecologically AND economically friendly :) Let's hope our kitty will be able to adjust to it... but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, and I'm sure I'll be here asking for you all's help!
 

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It's a personal choice on pet insurance, sometimes they cover things, other times they won't, and once it's a preexisting condition they may not cover at all, making them dead useless. Plus you still have to front the full bill at first I believe and then wait for them to give you back the majority of what you've paid, and with that in mind we opted to not get insurance; if we already have the money then why bother, if something goes wrong we'll pay for it, a gamble, but I'd rather set some money aside monthly that I have access to than give it to an insurance company that may not be that helpful.
 

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What happened to poor Cleo that racked up that bill?
It was supposed to be a routine dental cleaning, the estimate was $300-$500. Long story, but I'm switching vets now, which will shock some people here because they know how much I loved my vet.

I don't know what to say about insurance. I've never had it for my girls, but there were times I wish I did. When I did consider it, it was a lot for four cats.
 

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furryfriends251, I just looked up some stuff about frankenraw. I don't know that feeding frankenraw 100% of the time would work for our lifestyle, but maybe a half or fourth of the time? Is it all right to feed some raw and some canned?
 

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Ugh, sounds like pet insurance is a bigger pain than human health insurance, especially having to pay up front... I'm with you Carmel, maybe it's just a better idea to have an emergency fund / plan.
 

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I buy dry food only due to finances and I search the clearance shelf for good buys at Pet Supplies Plus for food that they have that will expire in 2-3 months. I have a VERY low income as I am disabled so I have to do that so I can feed her healthy food at a good price. This month I have spent $10 for her food. I also bought next months for $10 too. Right now she is eating Felidae Cat and Kitten food.
I use Fresh Step Clumping litter and I spend around $8 a month for it (smells good too).
 

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I'm still paying off debts from my divorce (thanks, butthead) so I can't afford to pad an account for emergencies and I got rid of all my credit cards so I have pet insurance just to ease my mind and back up in case anything happens.

Honestly though, if I could afford it I would just pad a savings account set up for their emergencies and leave it there rather than pay for insurance.
 

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If you budgeted 1 dollar per day for feeding basic wet foods, and 20 dollars per month in litter you should be just fine.

Higher end grain free wet foods will cost you about $2.00 per day, up to $3.00 per day.
 

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You're really smart to ask that question. I don't think the costs are that bad, but it's always good to know what you're getting into before you adopt a kitty.

I buy Murphy the canned food at Trader Joe's, which is only 69 cents a can. So I'd say my budget goes like this:

$22.00 Trader Joe's food
$11.00 Half a bag of Wellness dry
$22.00 Two boxes of S*Wheat Scoop litter
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$55.00 Monthly cost

Of course, this doesn't include any of the fun things like treats or toys. I've already spent $125 at the vet this year for a perfectly healthy cat -- one visit for an exam and rabies shot, and a second visit for a fecal test. Hopefully that'll do it for the year, but I did spend about $600 last year on a dental procedure for him.
 

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furryfriends251, I just looked up some stuff about frankenraw. I don't know that feeding frankenraw 100% of the time would work for our lifestyle, but maybe a half or fourth of the time? Is it all right to feed some raw and some canned?
Yes, you can feed some raw and some canned, actually a lot of people do that. Just make sure to not feed dry 12 hours prior to feeding raw and it will be all good:grin: Of course you want to make sure the raw is balanced, the raw forum on here would be a great place to post if you want to know all what to feed.

I do half canned/half raw for 5 of my barn cats. I'm not there to feed them in the morning, so someone else feeds them some canned. In the evening, they get raw.
 

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I would like to second October's comment. It's very smart of you to research this and look into it all BEFORE you get your kitty.

So many people adopt them and struggle with how to afford feeding and worse yet, have to put off vet care.
 
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