The real cost of your “free” kitten

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.

Veterinary care:


The real cost of your free kitten


Day to Day requirements:


Annual cost of your free kitten


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.


1 Response

  1. Amy

    Oh my! This article is perfectly timed for me. Just yesterday on a Buy Swap Sell group someone was advertising a kitten for free. I am happy to say that there were a fair few comments asking about microchip etc. And some people asking if it was a joke since the way the post was written was like the kitten was an old handbag or something 🙁

    I like how you have said that they will repay you with every cent though 🙂 It is true pets are worth every penny but I hate it when people are naive to think that they can just pop a ‘free’ kitten in their home and expect it isn’t going to effect them financially!

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