Before getting a cat, it would be wise to understand some of the expenses. One of those expenses is the cost of cat food.
How much does cat food cost per month? Most people report paying an average of $30 per month for cat food. How much you pay per month depends on the brand, but it ranges from $10 to $70 per month. Going with medium to high-priced cat food will have greater health benefits to your cat in the long run.
Understanding the cost per month is one thing, but let’s have a look at why you might want to pay more per month for the higher-end brands over the cheap cat foods. Keep in mind, expensive doesn’t always mean healthy, so you need to do your research.
Cheap Cat Food vs Expensive Cat Food
Over the long term, very cheap cat food will lead to health problems later for your cat. Cheap cat food can eventually cause feline diabetes, constipation and cancer. Another thing that they can cause is known as crystals, which is the same as kidney stones but for cats.
More expensive cat food costs more because they use more meat in the food and fewer fillers. In most cases, a more expensive cat food equates to higher quality ingredients, which will be healthier for your little friend. It may cost more per month, but you won’t have to visit the vet as often for health problems with him.
Along with the disadvantage of the cost of cat food, you may want to click here to learn more about the top five disadvantages of having a cat. This can help you to determine if getting a cat is the right choice for you.
How to Find Healthy Cat Food
First, don’t think of byproducts as necessarily bad in cat food. A lot of misguided cat owners think of it as bad, but it isn’t. When we say byproducts, we refer to ground-up animal carcasses like the bones, neck, intestines and feet.
In fact, byproducts in cat food have more nutrients than straight meat, according to Joseph Wakshlag.
Think of the cat’s age, also. For example, kittens need docosahexaenoic acid for brain and eye development, but adult cats may benefit more from fats. Look for cat food made for his specific age. You have different age-appropriate foods such as kitten food, adult cat food and senior cat food.
Kitten food usually costs more per month, but it has the nutrients that he needs.
Beware of simply going for the most expensive cat food as well because of how a strong marketing budget can help the brand to sell more and charge more. If they make the byproduct claim that theirs comes without them, beware as well. This is more of a marketing gimmick than being healthy for your cat.
In general, you may want to stay away from exceptionally cheap cat foods, but the medium to higher price range is usually okay.
Wet Cat Food vs Dry Cat Food
You will almost always pay more for wet cat food. To give you an example, a 14-pound bag of kitten food may cost $14 and last a month, but wet cat food can cost up to $34 for a 24 pack. If you feed your cat twice a day, that gives you 12 days’ worth of food, which will cost you around $70 per month.
Wet cat food provides your cat with a source of water, and he may not need to drink as much water this way. You may find wet cat food more beneficial for overweight cats, those with constipation or those with urinary tract disease.
Dry cat food, on the other hand, has an advantage in that you can provide him with calories. This may help a thin cat better than wet food because of the higher volume that he can eat. You can also put dry food in a food puzzle to keep his brain working and have some fun with him. It encourages him to use his sight, smell, taste and touch.
What Else Can You Expect to Buy for Your Cat
We highlighted what you can expect to pay for cat food per month, but you have other expenses that you may have to pay as well. You can also expect to pay for kitty litter ($9 to $39 per month). Outside of that, cats are pretty low maintenance, and they don’t require much beyond that for monthly expenses.
You may want to trim his nails every 10 days to two weeks. Otherwise, when your cat climbs on you, you will feel his claws. While you can do this on your own, it can be dangerous to your cat if you trim them too close. He could bleed out. Hiring a cat groomer to do it costs $10 to $15. Done every two weeks, this costs $20 to $30 per month.
Expect to pay between $10 to $70 for cat food per month. This depends on the brand, but it also depends on the number of cats. In many cases with dry food, cats won’t cost too much more than what they did before. It may cost slightly more but nothing unbearable.