Keeping Your Cat Healthy on a Budget

An orange cat staring straight ahead.

Cats have been endearing themselves to humans since the earliest days of mankind. If you’ve fallen under the spell of a charming feline, we want to help you keep your furry friend - and your wallet - healthy and happy.

This post assumes you already have an adult indoor cat. Kittens and cats that spend time outdoors come with unique health challenges. For that reason, we’re going to focus on caring for an adult indoor cat and cover three areas where you can save some cash - food and litter, vet care, and entertainment.

Food and Litter

We lumped food and litter together since one creates the need for the other! Looking at food first, if you’re on a budget, dry food is generally less expensive than canned food. That said, if your cat doesn’t drink a lot of water, they might benefit from the extra moisture in wet food. Just like in humans, proper hydration keeps kidneys functioning properly.

When it’s time to buy, coupons are a tried-and-true method of reining in costs. You can do an Internet search for cat food coupons or go directly to the manufacturer’s site to see what discounts they can offer. It’s also worth looking into autoship programs through retailers like Chewy.

Whatever brand you buy, be mindful of how much you feed your cat. The recommended daily amounts on the bag or can should be viewed as guidelines not gospel. A less active cat is easily overfed, and while the Internet is filled with what cat people call chonks and they look adorable, obesity leads to all kinds of severe health problems including kidney disease and diabetes. Both are bad for your cat and your wallet because of the vet care that comes with treating these conditions.

We’ll wrap up this section with a few ways to save on litter. Couponing, of course, is near the top of the list. If you think outside the (litter) box, you could save some dollars by shopping at your local farm and feed supply store. The litter they sell is often made from eco-friendly resources like pine and corn. This type of litter can be up to 50% less expensive than clay and silica. If you try the natural litters and your cat’s just not into it, you may have to resort to the more traditional litter types. But here’s a great secret for saving on litter of any kind: use less of it! Using less means scooping more. But that’s ok, because a clean litter box contributes to the overall health of your pet.

Vet Care

That old expression, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” sure holds true in the feline world. Regular vet checkups are crucial to keeping your cat healthy. Kidney disease is very common in cats, especially those seven and older. Although there is no cure, when caught early, it can be treated to slow the progression, giving you more time with your precious pet. Regular checkups can also reveal dental problems, which again, are best treated sooner rather than later.

Regular vet checks and any follow-up care and treatment can add up quickly. For these reasons, it's worth checking into pet insurance. Read the policy carefully, though, to make sure it’s providing value for those premiums. There are tons of companies offering pet insurance. To help find the best policy easily, PSECU members can call PSECU Protect, LLC.*

Entertainment

Play time is important for your indoor cat’s overall well-being. Stimulating your cat’s natural hunting instincts helps with their mental health, as does giving them room to climb and explore. Daily play also helps prevent the onset of chonk-dom!

Pet stores are more than happy to offer cat toys and furniture…at a pretty penny. You can save significant money by making your own. Especially with DIY furniture, you can see substantial savings. Just make sure you’re making things that are safe for your kitty. This article is just one of many that has some great ideas for wallet-friendly - and safe - toys and climbing furniture.

Although we’ve offered up ideas for how to save money on caring for your kitty, you’re still going to have to make purchases. Paying with a credit card that offers cash rewards, like our Founder’s Rewards Card, makes sense. Not a member? Join today and apply for the card in one application.

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*Not all products, coverages and discounts are available in every state. Restrictions, exclusions, limits and conditions apply. 

 Insurance products are offered by PSECU Protect, LLC an affiliate of Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU). Available insurance products are not deposits of Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union and are not protected by any type of deposit insurance, are not obligations of or guaranteed by Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union or its affiliates, and may be subject to risk. Insurance products are not insured or guaranteed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or any other agency of the United States. Any insurance required as a condition of the extension of credit by Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union need not be purchased from our Agency, PSECU Protect, LLC, but may, without affecting the approval of the application for an extension of credit, be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the customer's choice. 

The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.