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Besides visiting family this weekend (which was a blast!), we also went to Virginia to adopt a new member of our family – our new kitten.

We've been looking to get another cat for a bit, but I wanted to make sure that our toddler could handle it. We also wanted to get a kitten comfortable around kids and other animals.

We've only had him for a couple of days, but we love him.

Right now we're trying to get him situated in his new place and slowly introduce him to our older cat (codenamed Butterball).

I've written that owning a pet is a responsibility and that means making sure you have the financial means to take care of your pets

Having a pet is not cheap, so if your family wants a pet, but doesn't have some savings stashed please wait a bit longer. Adding a pet increases your chances of having an unexpected bill come up.

The Costs of Adopting a Cat

Since I know there are many families looking at getting pets, I wanted to share some of the numbers behind our cat adoption.

Even though we adopted through the Peninsula SPCA, picking up our little furry buddy did cost us a bit.

With everything, it came out to $100 and it included his shots, Frontline treatment, getting neutered, microchip implant, and a local vet visit for the first 10 days of his adoption.

My buddy was his foster mom and he had received medical care so he is has a clean bill of health.

She had filled us in about the cat and over the course of his foster care she sent pictures. She took him to the vet to get him neutered and we picked him up when it was over.

If you're looking to adopt, please check with your local SPCA as they can have some very reasonable fees.

As we found out this weekend, sometimes you can even get a bonus gift for picking up a pet.

Thanks to the Happy Tails program, we got 2 tickets to Busch Gardens to use this season. Score!

How Much to Budget for Cat Care

I'm basing some of the estimates for this new cat on the expenses we've had with our older cat. 

Our older cat has 2 scheduled visits a year with the vet because of the prescription he has to have filled, but our new kitten should only have a check up annually.

Here's what I think Cookie will cost in 2013.

  • Cat Food: $125
  • Litter: $170
  • Vet Visits: $150
  • Toys:$20
  • Treats: $30

I typically use Amazon's subscribe and save option to get our recurring pet expenses covered.

In addition to the above costs, we also have a litter box, collar, and scratching post for him. That means we should budget about $40/month for him.

By the way, if you're think about picking up a pet, the ASPCA has a great source of various animals' costs.

Thoughts on Becoming a Pet Owner

How many of you own a pet? How long have you had your furry friend? Looking back at the past year, how much did your pet cost you? How do you budget for their care?

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

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  1. Kitty PoP costs us about $20/month, with the exception of the first 6 months we had him when he was about $40/month. He needed 2 vet visits the first year for extra shots, and also needed a flea treatment as he came home from the shelter with fleas. Startup costs =) But since then he’s been very good about staying on budget!