How much will a kitten cost?

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PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones shares the estimated costs of keeping a kitten.

PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones says: Taking on a kitten involves a number of commitments, one of which is the cost involved. While love and cuddles are free, it's also important to make sure you can afford to give your kitten the things they need. PDSA found that the majority of owners vastly underestimated the lifetime cost of owning a cat - in fact a third of owners guessed it would cost less than £1,000 over their entire lifetime, whereas the actual figure is closer to £17,000!

So what are the key costs involved, and are there any ways you can save money without affecting your kitten's health or happiness?

The initial costs of getting a kitten are about £500, although this depends on the cost of the kitten itself. This cost includes resources such as beds, litter tray, food bowls, scratching posts, toys and a cat carrier, as well as first vaccinations, microchipping, neutering etc. By far the biggest ongoing cost is food - an average-sized cat will cost around £490 a year to feed, depending on what type of food you buy. If you choose to buy treats this could also add another £100 a year to your costs. Buying in bulk online could save you money, but order a small amount first to make sure your kitten likes the food, otherwise you could end up out of pocket!

Remember you will also need to budget for regular veterinary care, such as flea and worming treatments, and we also recommend taking out pet insurance to cover any additional veterinary costs. This will all come to around £135 a year but will depend on insurance premiums. Litter comes to around £150 annually, plus you will also need to replace things such as toys, bowls and beds periodically. Don't forget to factor in grooming and dental care costs, and also holiday care for when you go away.

All in all, it will cost around £1,500 a year to keep your kitten, but we know our little bundles of fluff are worth every penny!