Many of us are living on tight budget these days, but that doesn’t mean our cats have to be denied great care. Often, finding the best deal can be a matter of knowing where to look and thinking creatively. If you’re on a limited budget, strive to live more frugally, or simply want to have more option, consider these 9 budget friendly tips that’ll keep both your wallet and your cat happy.
1. Look for discounted care
Many animal welfare organizations offer free, discounted, or sliding scale services. The Humane Society, for instance, has locations all around the country and has a discounted spay/neuter program. I’ve seen a lot of great and surprising discounted care options, from free dental exams to $5 nail trims to sliding scale surgical procedures. Contact your local shelters, veterinary clinics, and animal welfare organizations to learn more about what kinds of programs are available in your community. You may be surprised!
Having trouble affording preventative or emergency care for your cat? Check out this great article from the Humane Society for options, sorted by state: Are Your Having Trouble Affording Your Pet?
If you’ve got some free time and you’re creative, going the DIY route is often much cheaper than store bought items, particularly when you’re considering furniture like cat trees or perches. Here are a few of our favorite articles to get you started:
3. Learn good grooming habits
Taking your cat to the groomer can be stressful for your cat but also hard on your wallet. Learning how to properly clip nails or how to give a stress-free bath takes a bit of learning and practice, but can save you loads in the long run. Plus, your cat will be happier if she gets to stay home. Here are some grooming tips:
4. Buy in bulk
If possible, get into the habit of buying your cat’s food in bulk. Take a look at the large bag of your preferred brand next time you’re in the store– you may be surprised to find that the 15 pound bag isn’t that much more expensive than the 5 pound bag you usually buy.
5. Buy secondhand
Your not the only person whose cat has rejected countless products. Checking your local thrift store, Craigslist, or buy/sell Facebook page is a great way to spend a lot less on new or barely used items. Of course, you’ll have to pay close attention to the condition, quality, and cleanliness of the product. Any used items should be thoroughly cleaned before bringing them into your home in order to avoid exposing your cat to to issues like communicable diseases, fleas, etc.
6. Compare prices
Whether you’re seeking reasonably priced veterinary care, food, or a new cat bed, you can save a lot by shopping around and comparing prices.
7. Keep an eye on sales
You may already be in the habit of looking for sales or clipping coupons for your favorite foods or products. Put your cat’s favorite products on your sale radar too! Pet supply stores and grocery stores often run sales or coupons in their flyer.
8. Get more out of your litter
Litter can be expensive, and the litter box isn’t something you can neglect. An untidy box isn’t just stinky.. it can cause your cat to do her business elsewhere. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your litter:
9. Use what you have
At the end of the day, your cat doesn’t know or care whether you spent $50 on something or re-purposed something you already had, as long as it gets the job done. Cant afford a perch? Clear off a section of your bookshelf! Can’t invest in fancy cat-specific bowls for your cat’s food and water? Use a couple extra cereal bowls! Look around your home and see what you can re-purpose for your cat. You may be surprised at what you’ll find when you look at your home from your cat’s perspective.