There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as a free kitten. Whilst you think you may have saved a few dollars on the purchase price of your new kitten believe me when I say that there is nothing cheap about the first year of pet ownership!
It is this first year of their life that can be the most expensive when it comes to basic requirements. Whilst my eyes are well and truly open to the cost of pet care I'm reminded daily that not everyone is so aware of the cost of a new furchild.
A new kitten is potentially (and hopefully) a 20 year commitment. This gorgeous fluffy new kitten is going to be with you for a long time and they are going to rely on you to provide for them, love them and look after them. Don't be mistaken, they will repay you every single cent. They will convert those dollars into unconditional love, friendship, companionship and better health (for you).
So, what is the real cost of your free kitten?
I feel like this should be broken down into a few categories to make it clear what you will need in order to provide this new furchild with everything he/she deserves.
Day to Day requirements:
As you can see veterinary care and basic requirements on a year to year basis add up quickly. And this doesn't include the usual first time "cat owner" purchases you will need to make such as litter trays, scratching poles, beds, collar and name tag, food and water bowls, toys, tooth brushes and the list goes on.
These are the basic costs if you are fortunate enough that your kitten/cat doesn't get sick. I would also factor in the cost of a teeth clean every two years (approximately $200-300) each. Once your cat become a senior citizen of the pet world you will need to be doing more regular check ups and monitoring blood tests so roughly you'll need to double your expenses.
So, remember a kitten is a lifetime commitment. They can live upwards of 20 years - you need to be aware that if your situation changes they will be relying on you to find pet suitable housing, continue to love and care for them. Not just dump them in a shelter when it no longer suits you to have a cat.