We Earn £120k, Here’s How Much We Spend On Our Cats In a Month · The Wildest

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woman hugging two cats with money in the background

Welcome to Petty Cash, a series where we find out just how much real people are spending on their pets in a month – from weekly costs and treat budgets to surprise vet visits and next-level splurges.

Pet name: Fonzie and Elf

Pet age: five and two

Pet breed: domestic shorthair cats

Location: York, UK

Household salary (per year): £120,000

Pet parent’s job/industry: Freelance writer

What’s your gotcha story?

We adopted both our kitties from Cats Protection in York, a cause I also support with monthly donations. (Not to mention RSPCA, Dogs’ Trust, Donkeys’ Trust and lots more!) I had never grown up with pets, I suspect because I was one of six kids and my parents had enough on their plates. Neither of my parents were particular animal lovers either, save for a few guinea pigs in my mum’s childhood.

As such, I always took a dim view of pet ownership. That is until my husband talked me round. He’d always had pets and begged me for a dog. I was unsure about the walkies so we compromised on a cat instead. At first I was cold and dismissive, and soon when I realised that cats aren’t in fact aloof but affectionate, I started to change my tune. The way I was then is night and day compared to the way I am now. My two boys have melted my heart and I gush at any animal I see now – with eight animal charity direct debits! Even so much as a fly I beg people not to squish. I am so glad my husband brought my fur babies into my life because I didn’t think it was possible to love this much.

How much did your pets cost?

£70 each from Cats’ Protection.

How much (roughly) did you spend on up-front costs for each pet?

Around £150, including the high-tech stuff like cat monitors because Mummy likes to know where her boys are. They don’t wear collars but they have a wifi cat flap that sends me notifications when they go in and out.

How much do you spend on pet insurance each month and what does it include?

£45 per month, including vet fees. We also pay £180 per year that covers routine vet visits and worming/flea medicines.

How much do you spend on any subscriptions for your pets each month?

£10 per month on tracking devices.

What’s the most you’ve spent on a health emergency for your pets?

£2,000. My silly boy Fonzie decided he’d eat a blade of grass and get it snuck up his nose. His breathing wasn’t right and he had to be sedated and examined. The best part is, we’re pretty sure he’d sneezed it out by the time it came to being examined. He had a little area of his leg that had been shaved and really looked like he’d been in the wars. It was upsetting but also lovely to cuddle him so much when he was in his sleepy state.

What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought for your pets?

Other than the £2,000 for Fonzie’s operation (covered by insurance, thank goodness!) we do love a bit of tech. We’re always upgrading our kitty fountains, automatic cat feeders and wifi cat flaps. I would say this sets us back around £300 per year. But I’ve also made amendments to home improvements that cost extra – for example, my neighbour wanted to install a gate between our shared alleyways. I paid an extra £200 to make sure it had sufficient space for my boys to crawl through.

What’s the most outrageous purchase you’ve made for your pets?

I am a sucker for anything I see on Instagram – pet clothes, back massagers, battery-powered fish toys. We also get them extra special treats on their birthdays including gourmet tuna and such like. I very nearly spoke to an animal communicator but was told by the vet that my Elf just “had a lot of opinions”. I suppose the most outrageous purchase is the neighbour’s gate. That and my refusal to ever move house because the boys have a great field for hunting.

Do you have any tips for saving money on your pet spending?

Try not to be fooled by the Instagram algorithm - they know what you like! Trial a few different food brands. Cats can be very fussy but this isn’t always correlative with the price. Don’t scrimp on check-ups though. I’ve known people who’ve missed dental checks and paid through the nose after their cat’s teeth got infected. Prevention is better than the cure!

Monthly spend

Week one

Purchase 1: insurance, £45

£45, Pet Plan insurance – the kitties are happy to be healthy but not happy to go to the vet.

Purchase 2: medicine, £15

£15 on  Droncit flea and worming treatment. Again, the kitties like being healthy but don’t like being in the carrier.

Purchase 3: kitty yoghurts, £25

£25 on Webbox Lick-e-Lix to help the boys take their medicines.

Purchase 4: toy, £10

£10 on a floppy fish cat toy from Amazon. Mixed reviews – Elf seems to like it more.

Purchase 5: food, £40

£40 on gourmet Sheba cat food. They are both very fussy and will only eat the best.

Week two

Purchase 1: cat treats, £20

£20 on Dreamies to incentivise the boys back in the house when it’s cold.

Purchase 2: cat food, £40

Again with the Sheba cat food. I repeat: they are both very fussy and will only eat the best.

Purchase 3: gardening equipment £40

£40 on gardening equipment to deter the boys from doing their business in my flowerbed. Almost never works! I get an ultrasonic repeller, some natural and biodegradable cat and dog scatter granules and cat scat mats from Amazon.

Week three

Purchase 1: cat scents, £20

£20 on Feliway and home perfume treatments to keep the boys behaved and the cat bin smelling fresh.

Purchase 2: nappy bags, £5

£5 on nappy bags from Amazon. We bought a nappy disposal bin for cat food wrappers!

Week four

Purchase 1: cat treats, £20

£20 on Dreamies. My cats enjoy the outdoors and getting them to come back in when it’s chilly at night can be a challenge. A challenge that I always win thanks to Dreamies.

Purchase 2: cat food, £40

£40 on gourmet Sheba cat food. Again: they are both very fussy and will only eat the best.

Purchase 3: butter, £10

£10 on Lurpak – arguably my biggest purchase given how much it’s gone up! The boys love butter and won’t get out of my way whenever I make toast. They eat more of it than I do. (NB: avoid giving too much butter as a treat for your kitty. It’s high in fat and as cats are lactose intolerant, it can sometimes make them sick!).

Purchase 4: toys £20

£20 on toys from Pets at Home. Mixed reviews from the boys.




This has been quite eye-opening! I feel like everything I spend is necessary for them. Though, like children, they invariably play with the box rather than the toy itself. The total number is definitely more than I expected and I could hold off the Instagram buying. I’ve also recently discovered that they like watching bird videos on YouTube so a that could be cost-effective and save on the toys – assuming they don’t beat my computer monitor to a pulp.

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UK Editors