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Spreadsheet Ranger

The costs associated with owning a pet

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Posted (edited)

I've been tracking the amount of money I spend on my cats for the past 3 or so years now and thought it might make for a cool thread.


  1. Do any of you own pets?
  2. Do you budget for your pets?
  3. How much do you spend on your pet(s) in a month?


We have 3 cats (Lilly, Meow Meow and Bubbles (Full name Hollywood Luxury Bubbles)) initially I fed them Hills and Royal Canin and mainly wet food, but that got terribly expensive really quick. I found what appears to be great dry food at Spar, it's their home brand called Pro Balance Cat Food.


The Pro Balance (Spar depending) costs R77 for a 2KG bag compared to Hills Cat Food which is R229 for a 2Kg bag and there was a time I fed them Acana which was around R450 for a 1.8Kg bag. Then I would feed some meat whenever we braai so won't add that to the calculation. 


The cat litter we got a great deal on through the years. We use bentonite (none lethal type) which is clamping, but it's used in construction so it's cheap as in we pay roughly R130 for a 25Kg bag which lasts 2 months between the three cat litter boxes we have. If it was not for this I do not think I would have been able to afford cats considering the traditional cat litter costs around R170 for 3Kg and it and I will probably need 3 to 4 bags a month.


What does a cat cost per month:

  • Pro Balance Cat Food R77 per bag x 2.5 ( we normally use two, but have used 3 some months).
  • Cat Litter Bentonite 25Kg bag R130 x 1 (we try to buy one each month to be safe because it's not available when it is the rainy season (no construction sites)).
  • Pro-Balance Cat Food Pouches R7.49 x 6 (Wet food as a treat, normally buy each cat one every now and again).

Total cost per month: R367.44

Total cost per cat per month: R122.48


Other cat expenses we had:

  • Meow Meow had to be taken to the vet for an emergency which ended up costing R400.
  • Bubbles and Meow Meow are neutered which was R550 each (R1100 total).
  • Lily is still a kitten. but she will also be neutered and it will be R550 as well.
  • We had a company design a custom cat jungle for them which cost us R7004 (but worth every penny, will post pictures).
  • Cat litter boxes x 4 which were R50 each (R200 total).
  • Cat poop scoopers x 2 which were R25 each (R50 total).
  • Bought Lily for R100 when she was a puny little kitten (less than a month old).
  • Cat carriers x 2 for R300 each (R600 total), great tip: go to Plastic World, the pet shops are overpriced.
  • Drinkwell water fountain (they loved it) which was R674.
  • Drinking bowls, stainless steel x 3 which were R80 each (R240 total).
  • Cat leashes/harnesses to walk them with like in the movies x 2 at R80 a pop (R160 total).

Total cat expenses: R11 078


Our cats' costs R4 409.28 per year which comes down to R1 469.76 per cat per year. This is just living costs, it excludes toys and travel and vet visits.


I thought as a hypothetical I would like to see if I can afford to feed my cats the ideal nutritional diet that I would want which would consist of Hills or Royal Canin using the above portions it would mean that I need to spend R774 per month or R258 per cat. That is an increase of 71.23% in my spending which means I need to increase my monthly budget for the cats by R406.56 which is possible but will be cutting it very close.


I mean if I invest the difference or put the difference in a Tymebank goalsave account at 10% I would have R31 745.17 after 5 years. Suddenly that Hills diet looks a lot more expensive.


Now for the fun bits



Bubbles (very christmassy)



Meow Meow





Edited by Spreadsheet Ranger
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We had a cat but found it a new home (a proper cat lady). He was bored, couldn't really go outside and tore birds apart in the home every other day. Wife's allergies didn't help either... but I kinda miss the guy 😕


Anyway, I've been wanting to get a small dog to double as an alarm but the thought of cleaning up the lawn, booking him into a kennel every time we go away for more than two days and the potential noise/complaints from neighbours in the estate just puts me off. Can get a "quiet" dog like an Italian Greyhound but... meh.


So no pets for me. It silently kills me inside because I grew up in a house with many many dogs 😢

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