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Home > Cats > How Much Does It Cost to Own a Cat in Australia in 2024?

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Cat in Australia in 2024?

owner with her cat at home

The cost of owning a cat goes far beyond the upfront costs of the cat and all of your necessary supplies. Pet ownership is only getting more and more expensive as time goes on. So, how much does it currently cost to own a cat in the land down under? Well, it varies. We’re here to give you a well-rounded estimate of the average cost and price ranges related to cat ownership, though. Read along to learn more.

divider-cat Bringing Home a New Cat: One-Time Costs

When first deciding to add a new four-legged family member to your home, you have to consider all the upfront costs. Not only will you be responsible for the cost of your new kitty, but you will have to buy quite a few supplies to get you started. From beds to toys, to litter boxes and other supplies, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.

tabby cat sleeping on owner's lap
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Free

It’s not uncommon to come across a cat free of charge. Australia is known for being overrun by stray and feral cats and there’s nothing wrong with taking in a stray that is in desperate need of a loving home. Aside from finding a stray, you could even acquire a new cat or kitten through a family member or friend.

Keep in mind that free of charge doesn’t mean free overall, as there are plenty of expenses you’ll need to foot when acquiring a cat free of charge. You’ll have to get them up to date on vaccinations, microchipped, spayed or neutered, and more.

Adoption

  • $100–$300 AUD

According to recent statistics, the most common way for a household to obtain a new cat was through adoption. Over 27% of new cat owners in the country adopted directly from animal shelters.

Adoption is a highly rewarding experience for all involved. Not only does it save your cat’s life, but it helps alleviate the stress on the shelters and allows more animals to be saved.

Adoption also helps save you money in the long run. Adopted cats will come spayed or neutered and in some cases, may even be up to date on regular veterinary care. These procedures are included along with the adoption fee, so you really can’t go wrong if you choose this route.

cat snuggling with owner
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Breeder

  • $300–$2,000 AUD

Obtaining a kitten or cat directly from a breeder is the most expensive route. Breeder costs vary according to the breed, geographical location, health guarantees, breeding rights, and more.

Finding a reputable breeder is key. It’s important to get your new cat or kitten from a breeder that is knowledgeable and puts the health and welfare of the animals as a top priority. There are resources available in Australia to help potential pet owners locate responsible breeders that meet the needed criteria.

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Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $130–$500 AUD

Initial setup and supply costs will naturally vary depending on the price range of each item in question. You can opt for more cost-friendly supplies, or you can go all out and get more expensive items.

This is a matter of personal preference and budget. The costs we’ve provided are a rough estimate, so there’s plenty of wiggle room here.

Certain supplies are going to be necessary right from the get-go, such as food, bowls, litter box, and litter box supplies, while others can be obtained as you go. Here’s a quick breakdown of the initial supplies and costs of owning a cat:

cat sleeping in owner's arms
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List of Cat Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar $15-$30 AUD
Spay/Neuter $115-$300 AUD
X-Ray Cost $250-$300 AUD
Ultrasound Cost $300–$500 AUD
Microchip $60-$80 AUD
Teeth Cleaning $1100-$1200 AUD
Cat Bed $30-$70 AUD
Nail Clippers $7-$15 AUD
Brush $7- $60 USD
Litter Box $30-$100 AUD
Litter Scoop $7-$30 AUD
Toys $30-$60 AUD
Carrier $30-$90 AUD
Food and Water Bowls $15-$45 AUD

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How Much Does a Cat Cost Per Month?

Recurring monthly costs may be few and far between but there will certainly be regular costs per month that come along with owning a cat.

The cost of food is the most typical monthly expense along with litter and any other litter box or cleaning supplies but you should also consider whether you plan on obtaining pet insurance, which has a monthly premium involved.

You also never know what is going to pop up each month, some months may just be your typical costs of food and pet insurance (if you have it) while others may include veterinary exams, additional monthly preventative care costs, and more.

cat sleeping on owner's lap
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Health Care

  • $0–$250 AUD per month

Health care is expensive whether you are a human or a domesticated animal. In an ideal world, you’d never have to spend any monthly cost on health care, but that’s not always the case. Some cats may require regular prescription medication or other ongoing treatments for any health ailments they may have.

You also have to consider that your cat may require extra supplementation to keep them as healthy as possible. For those interested in pet health insurance plans, you should factor in the monthly premium cost, should you elect to pay each month.

Food

  • $30–$100 AUD per month

There’s no way around it, you will need to buy cat food regularly. On average, most Australians spend at least $30 per month on cat food alone. Of course, cat food costs have a wide range depending on the brand, quality, and food type.

You should consider your budget and take a good look at the different food options on the market. Cats should be fed a high-quality diet that is rich in protein. It’s a good idea to chat with your veterinarian about your cat’s diet and the most ideal food to offer them.

Cat eating from a ceramic bowl
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Grooming

  • $0–$100 AUD per month

Grooming won’t always be a necessity outside of the home but some owners do elect to have their cats groomed regularly. This can help reduce excess shedding and prevent unwanted tangles and mats in long-haired cats.

Grooming costs will vary depending on what you elect to have done. Not only can you have your cat’s coat brushed and cut but you can also elect to have their nails trimmed, bathed, and more.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $30–$250 AUD per month

Veterinary visits are typical semi-annually to annually rather than monthly. Some cats may require more frequent veterinary visits though, and this will depend on their health condition.

All cats will require monthly parasite prevention and some cats may require monthly prescriptions or supplements, so these costs should be considered.

jealous cat being possessive of its owner
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Pet Insurance

$20–$70 AUD per month

With the growing costs of veterinary care, many pet owners are opting to have that extra security by paying a monthly premium to have pet insurance. There are plenty of different companies to choose from and a variety of policies and coverage plans.

This is something you will want to shop around for. You can easily find a plan that works for you, but we recommend thoroughly reading through what each company offers and obtaining personal quotes.

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Environment Maintenance

$45–$90 AUD per month

Each month you will need to replace certain essential items. You will need to factor in the cost of litter, litter box liners, deodorizers, and other cleaning supplies. Prices will vary depending on your personal preferences for these items but the table below gives an average monthly cost for these items.

Litter $45/month
Litter Box Liners $15/month
Deodorizers $7/month
Cleaning Supplies $7/month
cat playing with owner
Image by: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Entertainment

  • $0–$75 AUD per month

Cats are going to require some exercise and mental stimulation so you will need to provide them with ways to entertain themselves. Entertainment isn’t typically a recurring monthly cost, though you may find yourself regularly replacing toys or cardboard scratchers.

Entertainment includes cat towers, scratching posts, tunnels, and a variety of toys. Some of these are large, one-time purchases while others will need regular to semi-regular replacing. On average, you likely won’t spend more than $75 per month on entertainment.

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Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Cat in Australia

  • $75–$650 AUD per month

As you can see, the total monthly cost of owning a cat in Australia varies. We have based these figures on bare minimum monthly costs versus the most high-priced, all-inclusive costs per month regarding health care, insurance, and high-end supplies.

Each cat owner will have their own budget and preferences that will play a major role in how much the monthly expenditure adds up.

cat owner belly rubbing her cat
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Additional Costs to Factor In

There are plenty of extra costs to factor in when you own a cat and the prices will vary accordingly. Here are some of the extras you should keep in mind:

  • Registration Fees- It is typically mandatory to register companion animals in Australia. You will need to check about the territorial requirements by reaching out to your local government or visiting their website.
  • Emergency Care- You never know when an emergency is going to pop up and these care costs can get quite expensive. This is why a lot of pet owners opt for pet insurance. Whether you have insurance or not, it’s a good idea to keep a rainy day fund set back for emergencies.
  • Pet Sitter or Boarding- If you ever need to travel for work or go on holiday, you may need to pay for a pet sitter or boarding costs if you don’t have any friends or family to help care for your cat.
  • Household Damage- It’s not a secret that cats have claws and those claws have the potential to cause some serious damage. Whether it be curtains, carpet, furniture, or other household items, there’s always a chance you may have to replace something at some point. 

Owning a Cat On a Budget

Yes, owning a pet can get quite expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do so on a budget. If you are looking for a more wallet-friendly way to own a cat, consider the following:

  • Adoption- Saves on upfront costs of the cat in comparison to purchasing from a breeder. It also saves on medical costs like spaying or neutering, microchipping, and even vaccinations.
  • Food- You should shop around for high-quality food that gives you good value for your money. You don’t want to skimp on the quality of the food for the cheapest option, as low-quality foods can cause more expensive health issues down the line.
  • Litter- There’s no shortage of available cat litter brands, types, and textures on the market and they come in a wide price range. Find a litter that suits your budget and needs.
  • Veterinary Care- It’s no secret that veterinary care costs can be outrageous. If you are on a strict budget, shop around for the most cost-friendly veterinary office or get in touch with the local humane society for information on low-cost care.
  • Learn to Groom- If you own a cat that needs grooming regularly, learn how to do it yourself so that you aren’t paying to have them professionally groomed so often. If you can master grooming, all you need is the upfront cost of the supplies.
cropped female owner hugging her black and white cat
Image Credit: Jack Plant, Unsplash

Saving Money on Cat Care

There are a few ways you can look into saving money on your cat’s care. Couponing may seem like an exhausting task but with all the apps available at the tips of your fingers, it’s not such a chore anymore.

Keep an eye out for clippable coupons related to cat food, litter, or other supplies. Also, look for cash-back deals on certain apps. Scour the current sales that are happening at your local retail and pet stores to get the best price and remember to sign up for rewards at stores that offer them.

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Conclusion

According to recent studies, the average cat owner in Australia will spend about $2074 per year to own a single cat, which averages out at about $172 per month. The upfront costs can vary significantly when you are first bringing home your cat and all the necessities but it’s the recurring costs that are the most important. You want to ensure this is an expense you can handle. If it is, you can rest assured your precious feline companion will be well worth it.


Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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