Saving money is a personal passion of mine. I refuse to spend full price on anything if I can help it, and I am a coupon queen. This money saving passion also translates into cat care.
Of course I want to provide Percy, William, and Oli with the best life possible, but there are ways to give our cats the world without it breaking the bank.
As we learned last week in my blog post on budgeting for a cat, our furry friends can get pretty expensive. From bags of litter every week to expensive cat trees, the costs can add up.
As part of my Feline Financial series, I will be bringing you money saving tips on all aspects of cat care. This week, I’ve got a few general tips on saving money on litter, cat food, and toys.
Saving Money on Cat Litter
In terms of monthly expenses, cat litter is one of the most expensive, usually running at least $20 per container.
Buy Litter in Bulk
One of the easiest ways to cut down on the cost is buying in bulk. My boyfriend and I buy our cat litter from Costco. At around $14 for a 50 lb bag, it’s a good option and lasts us a while. There are also options at pet stores like Petco that let you bring your own container and fill it with litter.
Consider Alternative to Clay Litter
Clay litter is the most popular kind of litter found in stores, but there are other kinds of litter that can be cheaper. Wood pellets are a cheaper alternative, as well as shredding newspaper.
I’ve also heard that you can use pine pellet horse bedding as cat litter. It’s the same as pine cat pellets, except considerably cheaper. Just be sure that you get pine pellets that are natural, chemical-free, and safe for animals.
Don’t Waste Your Litter
When you’re scooping your litter box, you may be throwing away more litter than necessary, leading you to more trips to the store.
Some scoopers are made with very small holes, leaving a lot of unused litter left in the scoop. Make sure your scooper has big enough holes that all of the loose litter can fall through.
You can also add baking soda to your litter. A lot of litter will stick to the bottom of the litter box, making it a waste. Using baking soda will prevent the litter from sticking, as well as reduce the odor (a much cheaper alternative to scented litter!).
How to Save Money on Cat Food
Next to cat litter, cat food makes up the biggest chunk of your monthly expensive. Depending on the kind of food you choose to buy, you could be looking at another $50 bucks every month if you don’t know any cheaper alternatives.
No More Free-Feeding
A lot of pet owners will just pour food into a bowl as they notice it getting low, making sure there is always food available. Not only is this costing your more money, but it can also lead to overweight cats, an increasing health problem.
By giving your cat portioned food at specific times, you can make your bags of food last longer and contribute to a healthy lifestyle for your pet.
Make Your Own Food
There are a ton of recipes online for making your own cat food! Things like chicken and tuna make wonderful meals for your cats, and you can diy your own treats as well. Just as weekly meal prepping your own food will save you money in the long run, so will mealprepping your cats food!
Here is a great list of cat food recipes to try out!
Ask the Vet for Food Samples
When I was in and out of the vet office with Oli, the vet gave me several free cans of the food they had been feeding her when she stayed overnight. I mentioned how much she liked that food at a later appointment, and they gave me even more cans!
Vet offices are filled with food samples they are given by whatever food companies are partnering with the vet office. At your next vet appointment, it couldn’t hurt to ask for a few samples to try.
Choose the Best Cat Food Value — Not the Cheapest
It may be tempting to buy the cheapest available food, but this could be costing you money in the long run. Cheaper food usually (not always!) means ingredient byproducts and other fillers that aren’t good for your cats. This could lead to health problems and expensive vet bills later on.
Look for the highest nutritional content for the cheapest price and buy in bulk! Bulk food will always give you more for your money.
Saving Money on Cat Toys and Furniture
Everyone knows that cats always prefer the box the toy came in over the actual toy, so oftentimes store bought toys can be a waste of money. You want to know what Percy’s favorite toy is? Paper grocery bags.
Cheap and Easy DIYs
Household items like toilet paper rolls or bottle caps make great play toys. William’s favorite thing in the world, no matter how many toys we buy him, are regular, craft store pipe cleaners that have been twisted around our finger.
Wooden dowels and felt can be used to make your own cat wands. Simply cut the felt into strips and attach them to the end of a wooden down with hot glue. To make it look a bit cuter, you can wrap washi or fabric tape around the wooden dowel.
I will be doing a full blog post later in this series on ways to make cat toys out of things you already have in your home, so keep an eye out for that!
There are also so many tutorials online of ways to make your own cat furniture out of nothing but wood and carpet samples, or even just cardboard boxes.
What are some money saving hacks you’ve found for your taking care of your cats?