Um, let’s just ignore the advice of that last post, ok?
I don’t know of a link to a site that outlines the cost of keeping a pet, sorry.
Cost will depend on what you are looking for. Most pets adopted from a shelter will be neutered or spayed already. They will probably have been tested for feline AIDS and leukemia, been given at least one vaccine, and have been dewormed. Kittens, however, need more than one set of shots, so you will have to follow up on this with your veterinarian. They also should have their stool checked several times and be dewormed at least one more time. Vaccination protocol for kittens includes 3 upper respiratory vaccines, 2 feline leukemia vaccines, and one rabies vaccine, so you will have to visit your vet several times until your kitten is 4 months old. Optional vaccines to inquire about are feline bordatella and FIP. If claws are an issue, you will have to consider the cost of having the cat declawed. Now if you adopt an older cat, they only need vaccines once a year and you could find one that has already been declawed. Besides vaccines, other things you will need from the vet is flea control, and depending on where you live, heartworm prevention. Hopefully you will not have to visit your vet but once a year for vaccines and routine health checks, but even just the basics can be costly. An annual exam with vaccines, fecal check, and rabies tags, can be about 80 bucks (this is just an estimate based on the clinics I have worked in, in my state, in my town.) Flea control, for a 4 month supply, about 30 bucks, and heartworm prevention, for a 6 month supply, also about 30 bucks.
Other things you will need for your pet: toys, litter, litter pan, food. Now, someone has already mentioned you can go to the grocery store and buy a huge bag of food for very little money, but as a vet tech, I have a slightly different opinion on this, and you should bring this up with your regular vet at your first visit. I am big fan of the “premium” pet foods, such as Iams, Eukanuba, and Science Diet. It can be expensive, a 10 pound bag is about 15 bucks, but I think it is worth the cost. These foods are made with better ingredients, which means your cat will have to eat less to get the nutrition it needs. Eating less makes the food last longer. Eating less means less litterbox cleaning. A kitten should be on a food specifically for kittens up to one year of age. After that they can go on a regular active adult diet. If you must go with a grocery store brand of food, go with Purina.
Please also keep in mind that even the best cared for pets can get sick or injured. Think about what you would do financially if something were to happen to your pet. Say, for example, your cat just doesn’t seem to be acting right. You take your cat to the vet, and depending on what is going on, there may be bloodwork and other diagnostic tests needed. This is expensive. Are you prepared for that? You accidentally drop something on your cat and break her leg. It is the middle of the night and you have to take her to the emergency room. They don’t have a payment plan, payment up front only. Are you prepared? Setting aside a little money every week for things such as this is a good idea. Hopefully by the time something like this DOES happen, you’ll have some money you can use. Also, check into pet insurance. Hardly ANYONE has it but I think it is a great idea.
Keeping a pet healthy and happy is a huge responsibility. It is also a LIFETIME responsibility. It is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Pets are a priviledge, not a right. They are not disposable. You have already shown that you are a responsible person because you are looking into cost BEFORE you adopt. I hope that you are able to fit a little bundle of fur into your budget. My pets are my best friends, and the love they give me is worth any price in my book. Let me know how things go, and if you have any questions for me, feel free to post here or to e-mail me.
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.–Coleridge