We love our pets and always want the best for them. We donâ€™t usually worry too much about the cost of owning a cat because, well, theyâ€™re worth it. But if we arenâ€™t careful we can end up spending more than we need to. Do you know how much you spend on your Cat each month or every year?
Wouldnâ€™t it be nice to save some money here and there? If your expenses are becoming a financial strain on your pocket book, here is a helpful collection of money saving tips for Cat owners. Itâ€™s amazing how things can add up when you donâ€™t keep track of the expenses of owning a cat. We recently started keeping track of what we bought for our Cat and we wished we had done it a long time ago.
The current state of the economy basically forced us to look more closely at what we were spending on our cats. It was more than we realized so we started looking for ways to help us save some money on regular cat supplies and other expenses such as shots, Vet visits, toys and other essentials.
By shopping smarter, we hoped it would cut down on the expense of owning three cats without lowering the quality of life they currently enjoy. The money we save could help send them on a Cat Cruise, or more realistically, buy them something fun like a Cat Tree.
Our first idea was to search for better deals on the supplies we currently buy. We could have saved some money by moving to cheaper quality products for food, treats and litter but we knew it wouldnâ€™t be good for our cats and might end up costing us more in the long run.
We started by making a list of our expenses to see where we could save money or eliminate costs altogether. If youâ€™re planning to buy or adopt a cat or kitten this list could help you manage your expenses from day one.
List of Expenses for Cat Supplies
- Cat Food
- Cat Treats
- Cat Litter
- Vet Visits
- Cat Supplies
- Pet Insurance
- Litter Supplies
- Cat Supplies
- Cat Toys
Cat Food and Cat Litter are our regular monthly items. Looking for better prices and specials in the stores would help us save some money for these items. Cat treats and cat toys were things we could cut back on too. We could buy them only when on sale and try to limit the amount. We also looked for ideas on making our own cat toys.
Our Vet visits were kept to a minimum and we only took a trip to the Vet when absolutely necessary. We tried some of the ideas listed below to save on meds and vaccinations.
We couldnâ€™t change our Pet Insurance but we decided to take at look at the policy to see if there was any way we could save some money.
Cat Supplies were things like beds, mats, scratch posts, furniture, litter scoops, etc. These were items that we could get only when they went on sale or simply eliminate all together unless we absolutely needed them.
After a quick review of our shopping habits we started looking around for some more ideas to help save money on our Cat supplies. We made a list of the best ideas and decided to share them with you.
Money Saving Ideas for Cat Owners
Comparison Shop Pet Stores in Your Area
Find the stores in your area selling your pet supplies. Look for pet superstores, super markets, pet stores, warehouses and large pet supply stores. Around us we have Pet Smart, Pet Valu, Loblaws, Costco, PJâ€™s, and a few smaller grocery stores.
Once we had the regular prices of our favorite Cat supplies in each store we were able to see the best places to shop and find deals when any of our products went on sale.
Search for Coupons Online
Visit the Deals Search Engine powered by Google and search for â€˜pet food couponsâ€™ to see what coupons are available. You can also search using the name of your favorite pet store followed by the word â€˜couponsâ€™, â€˜saleâ€™ or â€˜dealsâ€™. You can also try the name of a particular item. For example â€˜Purina Couponsâ€™ or â€˜Science Diet couponsâ€™. The Deals Search Engine looks in a huge collection of Deal and Coupon web sites and finds the latest deals and coupons.
Cut out Coupons from Newspaper flyers
Coupon shopping is a great way to save some money. Look for coupons for your favorite pet supplies in the sale flyers that come in your newspaper. There are also a number of helpful Coupon sites on the web that will email coupons to you. There is a full list of Deal and Coupon Web Sites here.
Join an email newsletter
Go to the web site of your favorite pet store and join their email newsletter. Youâ€™ll get all the latest sales and coupons via email and save money when your favorite products go on sale.
Here are a few you can get started with:
Pet Smart – http://help.petsmart.com/subscribe/
Petco – look for ‘Sign up for emails’ at the bottom of the left sidebar – http://www.petco.com/
1-800-pet meds – Look for the ‘Instant 5% off email’ at the top of the right sidebar – http://www.1800petmeds.com
Buy your cat supplies at the same time
Some stores, and online stores will offer a discount on purchases over a certain amount such as PetSmartâ€™s free shipping when you spend over $50. on your pet supplies. Other deals offer free shipping when you shop online and spend over a certain amount. Try to make all your purchases at the same time and take advantage of these deals.
Differ your purchases
Credit cards are great when you make them work for you. If you have a large purchase to make and have the cash available, use your credit card and pay the money when the bill comes in. Youâ€™ll put off paying for your purchase for up to 30 days and make a little more interest by keeping the money in your bank account. Some cards may also offer a further discount. If they have a points or rewards program you benefit even more by using your card. Just be sure to have the money ready when you finally get your credit card statement or youâ€™ll get hit with paying a high interest rate on your card.
Join an Affiliate Program
Find a store with an affiliate program. If you have a website, join the program and buy through the ads placed on your web site. Youâ€™ll save on any specials and discounts. Youâ€™ll also get money back in your affiliate commissions. The affiliate program will also keep you informed via email of any sales and promotions currently available.
Work at a Pet Store
Get a Job at a pet store or in the pet industry. If youâ€™re a cat owner looking for a job, a pet store or a Veterinarian would be a great place to work. You would earn money and be eligible for company discounts on pet products. Just be careful not to buy over your budget. It can become tempting to buy more than you need when you are getting an employee discount so make sure you keep track of the total cost of things.
Join a points program
Find out which stores have a rewards program or a points card that will help you save money when buying things for your cat. PetSmart has a rewards program that is free and easy to join and helps you save money on sales in the store.
Get your Vetâ€™s advice on Cat Food
Talk to your vet about the best foods and treats to feed your cat so you can stay away from the trendy, expensive cat food. Your vet will also steer you away from any junk food which can save you from any health care costs. A Vetâ€™s list of the right foods and treats for your cat will save you time and money when shopping for deals. Cheap cat food has very little nutritional value and your cats need to eat more of it for enough nutrition. Quality Cat food contains ingredients that are easier for your cat to metabolize and they donâ€™t need to eat as much to receive their daily nutrition.
More dry food and less wet food
Feed your cats dry food and save the wet food as a treat every once in a while. You can also add a bit of water to their dry food to provide more liquid in their meal without feeding them canned wet food. Dry food is generally healthier for your cat and can be less expensive in the long run.
Manage cat food portions
Feed your cat the right amount to maintain their health. Feeding your cat too much can lead to obesity and further health issues which cost money to treat. Read the recommended amount on the package or consult your vet. Use a measuring cup so you know your cat is getting the right amount. Purina has a great guide to help you understand your Catâ€™s body condition. http://www.purina.com/cats/health/BodyCondition.aspx
Buy in Bulk
Buy your Cat Food, cat litter and cat treats in bulk. Buying the largest bag available in the Cat food you buy will always save you more money in the long run. Look in your local price club such as Costco to see what bulk savings they might offer. You wonâ€™t have to go shopping as often with bulk purchases although youâ€™ll need to keep track of your supplies and stock up before you run out.
Make your own Cat Food
Search for healthy cat food recipes online that are inexpensive to make and are as good, or healthier than the cat food you buy at the store. Making food for your cat in large batches and freezing some if you need to can help save money on your cat food bill.
Set a Budget
Set your self a budget for each month and for the entire year. Make a list of the Cat product you buy and their relative costs and keep track of what you buy. If you are good with finding sales and collecting coupons youâ€™ll be able to see your savings based on your set budget.
Put uneaten food away
Put away any uneaten food. Leaving uneaten wet food out is a waste. If you put it away for the next day itâ€™ll stay fresh, wont be eaten by other cats (if your cat eats outside) and save you money.
Home Care for your Cat
Provide regular home care for your cat. Instead of going to the vets for some basic things try doing them at home. This includes things such as brushing teeth, cleaning ears, trimming nails, bathing and brushing.
Keep regular Vet Visits
Visit your vet for regular check-ups. If your cat is doing well, a regular check-up will keep them that way. Postponing your visits could cost you more in the long-run if your cat becomes sick.
Know what shots your cat needs
Be sure you only get the shots your cat needs for the year and donâ€™t spend any extra money on unnecessary shots. Talk to your vet about the shots your cat must get.
Exercise keeps the vet away
Another way to keep the Vet away is to make sure your cat has regular daily exercise. A couch-potatoe lifestyle can lead to more health problems for your cat resulting in more vet bills. Indoor cats are less active. Providing toys that encourage jumping and running and furniture they can climb on will help them get the exercise they need.
Pet Insurance – Insure your cat
Consider investing in pet insurance for your cat. A good policy will cover all regular visits and yearly shots. Compare a few different policies and see if one will fit into your budget. Anything under $10. a month maybe worth it especially if you need something to cover you in case of an emergency.
Find a vet you can afford
Shop around for a Vet you can afford. If youâ€™re on a tight budget a Vet that works on a sliding scale would help with any financial limitations. An even cheaper route might be to look for veterinary programs in local universities that are seeing patients. Once you find a vet, stay with them and develop a good relationship instead of moving from Vet to Vet searching for the best price.
Ask your vet about shot clinics or check the Humane Society. When itâ€™s time for your cat to get their shots a shot clinic can save you money. You can check online at luvmypet.com for any clinics scheduled in your area. You can potentially save hundreds of dollars. luvmypet.com provides shots for pets for under $50. from licensed Veterinarians with no office fees. http://clinics.luvmypet.com/clinic_search.php
Become a do-it-yourself Vet
If you administer vaccinations and medical treatments yourself you could save a good amount of money. If youâ€™re a multi-cat home you could save yourself a fortune. Visit your vet for more information. Ask them if you can order what you need and do everything at home.
Free samples of Meds
Before paying for medication ask your Vet if they have any free samples. Vets receive free samples from drug companies and may be willing to provide them for your cat a little or no cost.
Buy your Cat Meds Online
Shop online for your pet meds and save lots of money. There are usually free shipping specials on orders over a certain amount and the prices can be lower than what you would normally pay at a pet store. We save a few dollars each year buying from sites like Pet Care Choice and PetCareRX.
Shop Online for your Cat supplies
Try shopping online for all your pet supplies instead of going to a pet store. Youâ€™ll save time by shopping online. Youâ€™ll also save some gas since you wonâ€™t need to drive anywhere as you would with a Brick and Mortar store. Cat and Pet products tend to be cheaper online and the selection is greater than a store as there is no limit to the number of products an online store can display.
Cheaper Meds at the Pharmacy
If youâ€™re buying your catâ€™s medication from a pharmacy. Shopping around can dig up some good deals plus save you some money, especially if your cat is on chronic meds.
Only buy Vet recommended Flea products
If your cat has fleas, donâ€™t use anything that is not recommended by your vet. Cheaper flea products can be quite toxic and can harm your cat. A cheaper flea product can cost you money in vet bills later on.
Cat proof your house
Become aware of the common household dangers for cats. Some house plants are toxic to cats and some foods or food scraps should not be given to your cat. Knowing how to protect your cat can save you lots of money in vet bills.
Consider owning an indoor Cat
An outdoor cat is more susceptible to accidents and is exposed to more illnesses. Consider having an indoor cat to help keep your medical expenses at a minimum.
Save your furniture from Catâ€™s claws
Place a couple of scratch posts around your place to keep your cat from ripping up your furniture. Reupholstering your furniture can be expensive and easily avoided by having something else your cat can dig its claws into. Placing one scratch post where they eat and another where they sleep should work fine.
Hand-me-down Cat toys
Take a look around your house for things you can use as cat toys. A stuffed toy our kids grew out of became a fun toy for our cats. Youâ€™ll save money by using some inexpensive things you can find around the house for your cat to play with.
Cat clothes and costumes are not necessary
Cats donâ€™t need to wear clothing and costumes. As cute as they look in them youâ€™re better off saving your money for other things that will be more beneficial to your cat.
Cheaper Cat litter
Spend some time researching an alternative cat litter that costs less. Keeping your catâ€™s litter box full can get expensive. Whatever you switch to, make sure itâ€™s safe for your cat. You should be able to make a gradual change without your cat noticing.
Home brewed litter
Buy a less expensive cat litter and add your own baking soda to the mix for odor control. The main ingredient in some of the more expensive cat litters is baking soda. Making your own takes little effort and can save you money.
If you have an outdoor cat youâ€™ll need to license them. Your cat will get their own tag once you have licensed them. Their tag is all they need to wear and you donâ€™t need to spend extra money on any personalized tags.
Make a Cat Bed
Make a bed for your cat instead of buying one. We threw a blanket and a couple of stuffed toys on an old IKEA chair for our catâ€™s main bed. The footstool was included too. An old cushion, blanket or piece of furniture can make an ideal bed that your cat will love without costing you anything.
Be an informed shopper
Check online for reviews on any new cat products youâ€™re planning to buy. The best way to search for a review is to add the words â€˜reviewâ€™ or â€˜product reviewâ€™ after the name of the product in the Shopping search engine powered by Google. A good review can help you decide whether a product is worth buying or not as well as direct you away from poor quality products and towards products that offer good value for your money.
Buy used Cat supplies
When youâ€™re thinking of buying something new for your Cat try looking for a used item to help save some money. Some good places to look are garage sales, sidewalk sales, thrift stores and flea markets. Check online at a few buy and sell and auction sites such as Craigslist.com, kijiji.com and ebay.com.
Your local paperâ€™s classified section is another place worth checking. Also, look through any postings in your Vets office for people selling pet items. The bulletin board in your local grocery store is another great place to look.
Ask your Vet where the deals are
Your vet is another source for information on places to save money on your cat supplies. Talk to your Vet to see if they can suggest any stores that will help you get some good prices on your pet supplies.
Adopt a Cat
Adopting a Cat can be a great way to get started on the right foot and save some money. Most adoption plans will help with the initial expenses such as food, vaccination, spaying and neutering and supplies.
We hope you found these ideas helpful in saving you money on your Cat supplies. Feel free to add your own money saving tips in the comments below.