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Advice needed on long term finances for first cat

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Tom Addison, Oct 8, 2019.


  1. Tom Addison

    Tom Addison PetForums Newbie

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    Hello

    I have been looking to get a cat for a few months. I was originally only going to get one at the most, I am low income, and do not want to stretch my budget. However i keep on getting offered 2 cats, and presently i have been offered 2 healthy 1 year old tabby sisters . . . spayed and up to date with vaccinations.

    I was very close to saying yes to them, but i need to re-examine the financial side of it. The owner told me that they were spending £28 per month on flea and worming medicine, which i was shocked at. However i have just spoken to my sister who pays £125 / year with vet for a yearly vaccination, flea and worming medicine package.

    I would like to get the cats insured. Doing a search on one of the price comparison i think i could do it for around £100 each, which is fine. It is really the long term cost that i am worried about. I have been told that cat insurance will increase with age. Any advice / examples of this would be great. I've even read they are hard to insure after just 6 or 7 years. I think this aspect could be the main stumbling block

    I know there are other expenses, food, litter (though i think they should be ok to go without litter tray in long term), etc.

    The PDSA page is saying aprox £70 / month per cat. Is that a fair number?
     
  2. Orla

    Orla PetForums Senior

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    First things first, they will always need a litter tray, for overnight and if it is miserable and they don’t feel like going outside, even if you do choose to allow them outdoor access during the day. The insurance you should choose is a lifetime cover for the maximum amount you can afford the premiums for. There are various threads on this, but advice is generally to use a provider such as Petplan, rather than just to pick the cheapest quote initially, as these cheaper policies tend to be a false economy.

    Vets4pets do a vacs4life offer which is usually around 100 after the initial vaccinations have been done. This is a one off payment and is often the most cost efficient way of doing things. I’m not sure if these will be open to you if the cats didn’t have their initial jabs with V4P though. It could be worth calling to enquire.

    You can use companies like zooplus and fetch to order decent food and litter in bulk to bring the cost down and flea treatments are often on offer through Fetch.

    have you factored in micro chipping if they aren’t already.
     
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  3. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Isn't that a lot?

    Not a cat owner but a dog owner I use to use advantage for fleas for my dogs, which costs approximately £11 a month, tended to shop around. Then worming was about the same. Dogs generally are wormed every 3 months can be monthly.. Depends what you are worming for.
    Am sure someone will recommend cat protocol and the difference between outside, inside cats if there is a difference.
     
  4. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    This is for two young adult cats (they are still growing to some extent)

    I don't flea and worm regularly but if I did it would cost me less than £10 a month buying over the counter products online.
    For food it costs me approx £60 a month. I could easily spend less but not compromise on quality but I choose to feed quite expensive stuff for their daily 'snack' which really increases things.
    I've not worked out how long my litter lasts but maybe around £15 a month for completely indoor cats.

    Mine aren't insured but yes the premiums and excess tends to go up as they age. Some will increase premiums after claims but not all, petplan makes a point of stating they don't. Its also common once they reach a certain age, usually around 9/10, you have to pay excess + 20% of any claims made.
     
  5. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Thank you.. That confirms my thoughts too.
     
  6. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    I presume that would be for prescription stuff or even over the counter but bought from the vet.
    Just looked where I usually buy from and advantage would be £5 a month for two and drontal wormer £4 every three months.

    I'd say even this is expensive if it only includes these things.
     
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  7. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    I don't treat for fleas or worms every month, I'm more inclined to do it in the summer months when fleas will be more prevalent. If you would be using PDSA or RSPCA vets then costs will be much lower but, if not, don't buy anything from vets, it is almost double the price of getting it from a pet pharmacy. If you need medication for the cats, vets will give you a prescription for about £12, then you can buy it a lot cheaper at a pharmacy.

    With regard to insurance, have a good look around various companies and find what suits your budget and be aware that some insurance companies don't cover dental problems so you would then have to pay yourself which, as I know by recent experience, can be very expensive. There won't be a problem insuring them as they get older if you've had insurance all their lives but, as has been said, the premiums do hike up quite a lot then and don't forget with every claim you have to pay an excess which can be quite a lot when they are older.

    Are the cats you're interested in microchipped? If not, that's another expense though you can find it can be done pretty cheaply as Cats Protection and others have offers.

    There are some essentials you must have like at least two litter trays indoors for two cats as they can't be expected to wait until you can let them outside.
     
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  8. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    I think around £70/80 per month, per cat, all in, is a realistic estimate.

    I keep detailed accounts of what I'm spending and it's a real eye opener when you include everything such as travel costs to the vet, cleaning materials, cat toys and so on - they may all be minimal costs but they are costs and they do add up.

    You can't put a price on the pleasure they bring of course but if you're concerned about cost you have to be realistic.
     
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  9. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Does this apply if the primary vax have been done elsewhere (as in the case of these two cats)? Two of mine are registered there, both had prrimary vax elsewhere and in neither case did they mention/suggest the vax4life; I assumed that it was because these had already been done elsewhere (but not sure).
     
  10. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    I keep meaning to do this for everything. I do ask for a paper copy of all vet bills already.
     
  11. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    @Tom Addison:
    I have had two cats with vets4pets for 6 years and just today (so I'm guessing it's new as they never mentioned before) I received an email informing me that I could have a ''complete protection plan for Gloria and Hamlet'' which gives a 20% price reduction on the necessaries, presumably payable by DD over the year; this sounds something like what your sister has for hers? Full details are on vets4pets website apparently. As you have mentioned, insurance is a must (one of mine has been to the vet 16 times since February:Jawdrop so yes, make sure you have it). I think you are very sensible to get some idea of costs before committing yourself. Let us know how it goes.
     
  12. LJC675

    LJC675 PetForums VIP

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    Yes, you can join vac for life at any time. Suter and Kalex had their initial injections elsewhere. The only thing to be aware of which is a slight rip off is that you can only join within 30 days of their vaccination, so for example if they are due for a booster, you can't go onto the scheme now. You have to pay for these boosters and then join the scheme at that point (or within the next 30 days), then all remaining boosters are covered for the £99
     
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  13. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    Great advice here! I’m just so happy that someone has actually given serious consideration to their finances before they jump in and adopt a cat that they end up not being able to afford! It’s always the cat that suffers the consequences in these cases.
    Well done to the OP! :)
     
  14. Tom Addison

    Tom Addison PetForums Newbie

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    thanks all for the replies, only had time to quickly skim at the moment, will take a proper look tomorrow and write more.
    thanks Soozi, yes i am sure it is the cats who suffer from bad planning so i want to get it right
     
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  15. Tom Addison

    Tom Addison PetForums Newbie

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    Orla - really good advice. I'll search the threads for more info on insurance. I am sure that when we had cats as a kid after they grew up we did not have a litter tray, but was a while ago. Not sure if they are chipped will ask
    lullabydream - yes, having researched they have been paying silly money
    Arny - thankyou, the litter price is usefull, a bit more than i'd thought, i'd look to buy in bulk
    Charity - good shout on the dental aspect with the insurance, will keep my eye out for that.
    gskinner123 - £70 / month was also what I saw mentioned on a website when i was researching. IF it's that much it could be too much for 2. I'm sure it does all add up. Yes things like travel cost to the vet. I don't have a car, but we have a "cat taxi" service to the vet here, but that would add another £10 per visit
    Calvine - how much was the complete protection plan? I presume that for a lot of those visits to the vet you end up paying for them because of the excess? Or if it is for the same problem is it all added up into one cost?

    Just regarding litter. I have had a cat flap fitted. At the moment the owners have a covered litter tray that they keep outside. If they now have full access to the outside all the time (assuming they take to the cat flap), would i be in a position to stop using litter trays altogether?
     
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  16. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Have a look at this link that was compiled by a mem,ber a few years back , it explains "pet insurance" very well.............http://www.petinsurancecompare.co.uk/

    As for an indoor litter tray it is not advisable to remove an indoor tray as cats should never be forced to go outdoors They may never use it or very rarely use it but I'm sure you would rather they had access to one than if for what ever reason they didn't make it outside in time .
    It also helps to prevent soiling in neighbours gardens which understandably doesn't go down well .
     
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  17. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    You'd need one as an emergency/bad weather etc. I feed 2 for a friend and they are outdoors; but when the builders were in and the back door inaccessible we locked them in his bedroom - he borrowed a couple of my trays.

    I only got the email regarding this yesterday, have not checked on their website. I think a few vets do this now.
     
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  18. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    Up until last year all my previous cats had 24/7 access to outside and still had one tray for just in case. They never used it till they reached mid-late teens and didn't want to go out so much.
     
  19. Orla

    Orla PetForums Senior

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    If they mainly use outdoors, you won’t have to factor much cost in for litter so it is worth having a tray indoors just to give them the option in colder times and at night. Also around bonfire night! If you use a decent clumping litter such as oko, you might find you pretty much never have to change it! Certainly in summer, my two maybe use it a handful of times over the entire period, so it’s fine just to scoop the clumps!
     
  20. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

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    An indoor litter tray is essential. Holly prefers to toilet outside (especially poo), but will use the litter tray at night or if the weather is bad.

    At first, they will be some expense, in that you'll need toys, a litter tray, a bed or blanket etc, but you can get these fairly cheap if you shop around.
    I don't always flea and worm my Holly every month (I forget), but it does need doing. Worming tablets cost around £5 or so for two tablets, which will last a few months. Advantage Flea spot-on is the best (apparently), and you usually get 4 in a pack, for about £10. Again, that will last you a few months.

    I would say this was absolute max. I thought it was a bit high, at first, but it does mount up. I spend about £30 to £40 on food, as I buy her quality raw meat (with supplement), then there is insurance and vaccinations. Most insurances also have an excess as well. So most months won't be that expensive, par se, but then if you spread out the cost of vaccines and vets visits, it mounts up at certain times. Plus, if you need to go away for a couple of nights, or on holiday, there is cattery or pet sitter costs.
    Two cats literally cause twice the expense. And will cost more as they get older.

    I would say that it's good that the OP is considering costs, but cats pay back in love and are worth it, as long as you can afford it.
     
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