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Cats make great pets and whilst the cost of owning a cat is generally cheaper than owning a dog, there are significant costs involved in cat ownership. 

There’s no doubt that having a feline family member is worth it, but healthy cats require quality food, vaccinations, checkups, desexing surgery, intestinal worming, flea and tick prevention, grooming products and that’s just the basics.  Add an emergency surgery into the equation and suddenly that “free” kitten isn’t free anymore.

So, how much will your pet cost you over its lifetime?

In the first year of your kitten’s life, there will be a lot of initial expenses to cover.

Purchase price – This cost can be anything from $0 for to $1500 depending on where you get your pet from and what breed they are. Rescue cats on average cost $100 to $250, whilst top bred Burmese cats can cost over $1000.

First year vet expenses – These expenses will include microchipping, vaccinations, desexing, intestinal worming and flea and tick control. On average, costs will be $1000 plus for preventative veterinary care in the first year of your kittens life.

Accessories – These expenses generally include bedding, cat carriers, scratching posts, bowls for food and water, litter and trays, grooming supplies, collars and toys etc. On average, costs will be $250 plus in the first year whilst your kitten grows.

Food – Feeding good quality food is important. On average, feeding a good quality dry food for the first year of your kitten’s life will cost over $500.

Ongoing expenses

The RSPCA estimates that the cost of caring for our feline family members costs approximately $880 per year for basic care such as food, preventative health care, grooming etc. When we factor in the extra unexpected veterinary care that may be needed if your cat gets sick or injured, this annual cost will be much higher.

The cost of owning Professor Kang for his entire life

Professor Kang is my cute and cuddly ragdoll cross. He’s 11 years old and just a little spoiled. Here’s an estimate of how much he will cost over his entire life.

The first year

Item Cost (approx.)
Purchase Cost $500
Initial Course of Vaccinations $380
Intestinal Worming $155
Microchipping $68
Desexing $180
Flea & Tick Control $210
Food $530
Accessories $250
Total Estimated Cost in First Year $2273

Average Annual Costs

Item Cost (approx.)
Vet care – includes vaccinations, annual health check, worming, flea & tick control $470
Food $480
Accessories $100
Dental Care – Bi Annual Scale and Polish $425 ($850 per procedure)
Total Estimated Cost per year $1475

Using the above figures, the total estimated lifetime cost for “Professor Kang” would $22,923 and that’s just for his basic needs. He’s more than worth it!

It’s extremely important for potential cat owners to consider the costs involved in owning a cat through their 9 lives before you introduce a new furry family member into your household.

ining your cat up to our free Platinum Paws Club will give you access to some great benefits and discounts to help you keep your pet healthy. It’s also definitely worth considering pet insurance for those unexpected veterinary expenses that might arise during your cat’s lifetime.

For more information about our platinum paws club and pet insurance, see our website at or call us on 4032 9999


Cairns Veterinary Clinic is proud to have been caring for Cairns furry family members since 1966. With 2 convenient locations, Pease Street and Norman Street, Gordonvale, our clinics are staffed by a great team of hard working and dedicated veterinary professionals who treat your pets as if they are their own.   With a vet available 24/7 365 days per year, we are always here when you need us. Contact our friendly staff for all your pet’s healthcare needs.