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Aug
11
2011

Frugal Cat Care

My children and I have recently had the joy of being adopted by the kitten you see above. We have named it Nails since it would always chew on the nails in the front yard. (Nails was a stray). We have chosen to allow Nails into our home recently.

As you know pets are not a cheap thing to have around. They need shots, regular vet visits, food, water, etc. Since I am EXTREMELY frugal I started searching for ways that a NEW pet owner and couponer can save money and still have the needed items for a pet. My problem was I had given away all of my pet food coupons so I was starting out with NO coupons.

The first thing I needed was cat litter. I started searching the internet for printable cat litter coupons and I can across one that was still active:

Tidy Cat $1/1 ANY one, ANY size cat litter  <—a small bag was $1.97 at Wal-Mart so this was not that bad.

I then needed cat food and cat treats. I found these coupons:

$3 off ANY one, ANY size Purina Pro Plan Cat Food (Excluding trial and UTH varieties) and Buy One Get One FREE Purina Pro Plan Wet Food

I was then able to purchase a small litter box, food bowl, flea color and a little toy for the cat for very inexpensive.  My total investment in a new pet was less than $10.  Not bad.

Since I am a responsible pet owner I have also called the local Humane Society and have scheduled an appointment to get my cat its shots, rabies shot and fixed.  It is only going to cost me $40 for all that at the Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic.

The bottom line is you can adopt a pet and not spend an arm and a leg caring for it.  If the kitten was very expensive we would not have been able to allow it to adopt us.  We are now keeping our eyes open for pet food coupons since I know with coupons we can get free or cheap cat food and treats!

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About the Author

has written 1755 posts on ConsumerQueen.com.

Karen is a ConsumerQueen.com Princess and is our Frugal Expert! Karen also works on CQ Charity Events and administrative details. Karen also writes for MetroFamily.com.

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  • hannah August 11, 2011, 10:46 AM

    That’s great you were able to adopt it for so cheap! We adopted our cat from a local shelter and it cost about $100 or so. This didn’t include shots, and she ended up getting pretty sick so we had to spend more money on her; but now she’s a happy, healthy kitty and we just love her!

    One really important thing I would like to mention and would LOVE if you would note for your readers: Do not feed your cat the cheapest food to save on costs. Cheap food is like feeding your cat junk food – they will not get the proper nutrients.
    Also, do NOT keep switching up the brands you buy, based on sales or coupons. I used to do this until our vet told us that shelter cats are always sick because the brand of food is constantly changing and this is extremely hard on their digestive systems.
    Find a good quality, reasonably priced brand and stick with it, coupons or not. Your cat will thank you for it!
    ( I use Purina One, as it is a decent brand, average price, frequently has coupons, and often on sale)
    Have fun with your adorable kitten!
    P.S. kittens love playing with aluminum foil balls. Just take a small piece of foil and crumple it up into as smooth a ball as possible. It jumps and skitters across the kitchen floor awesomely!

    Reply
    • Princess Karen August 11, 2011, 12:20 PM

      Nails will play with anything at this point. My youngest son (3) has been pushing his little cars on the carpet and Nails is attacking them. Nails has some kitty toys also. Aluminum foil is not recommended for kittens since they bite some and chew and they can get bits and pieces of aluminum foil in their belly and it will make them sick.

      Reply
  • Leslie August 11, 2011, 10:57 AM

    I am so happy to see you adopted that beautiful little baby. I have 4 cats myself and am always looking for coupons to help lower the costs. They are worth every penny! :)

    Reply
  • Jeanie August 11, 2011, 11:01 AM

    Thanks for this article. I am going to be getting a kitten soon and glad to know there are corners to cut in getting started.

    Reply
  • Anne August 11, 2011, 11:13 AM

    Congrats on the new addition to your home! You can also get coupons for free cat food (Fancy Feast and Friskies) by using your points over at Recyclebank.

    Reply
    • Princess Karen August 11, 2011, 12:18 PM

      Thanks…I just checked Recyclebank for some coupons and they have a Buy 2 Get 1 FREE coupon for 50 points!

      Reply
  • patricia roper August 11, 2011, 11:23 AM

    your cat is beautiful. i love the coloring! i have both a cat and dog. we also have a low cost place that fixed them both and shots very cheap. the list is long but if you get on it when you get the animal it works well. congrats on your new baby!

    Reply
  • paula August 11, 2011, 12:01 PM

    One important thing to remember is that feeding Nails the cheapest cat food is not always the best long term bargain. Cheap foods filled with by-products can actually lead to large vet bills later in life. I learned from harsh experience. If the ingredient list says “by-product” that means things like roadkill thrown in a vat with collars left on. There are foods which are a little more expensive for which coupons are also available that can save you thousands down the road. Good luck with your new kitty!

    Reply
    • Princess Karen August 11, 2011, 12:17 PM

      My sister in law works for a Vet’s office in another state so I will be checking with her on what is the best brand. I grew up always having cats so I know some good brands already.

      Reply
  • williamsmommyof5 August 11, 2011, 1:31 PM

    This is great. I was looking into a cat for my kids, our local SPCA is offering FREE adoptions, including shots for cats aged 3 or older that are already fixed. So based on your calculations we are looking at a new pet for 10 bucks! Sounds great to me :)

    Reply
  • Laura August 11, 2011, 5:53 PM

    I agree w/ the above posters about not getting the cheapest food with by-products and not switching out the food based on price as it is very difficult for the cat’s digestive system. If you buy the higher quality food, the cat will have less waste also. At best, do it over a wk’s time or so. The same is true for litter. Cats don’t like change and there is a risk with changing litter that the cat will not use the litterbox because of it. If you have to change litter brands, mix the two brands first and do it gradually. Just a tip. I have 3 cats and my oldest is 15 yrs old. Love my fur babies and have spent a lot of money on them even though I am frugal in most other areas of my life!

    Reply
  • Kristin @ KlingtoCash August 11, 2011, 8:26 PM

    Congrats on your new pet! We love our cats and while they are not the most frugal beings in the world, we’ve done very well. We buy most of our litter and cat food at BJ’s wholesale club since they take coupons. It costs us about $20 a month for litter and food for four cats. We also found a vet that provides discounts for multiple pets. His prices were very reasonable, but the discounts really help.

    Reply
  • ally August 11, 2011, 10:12 PM

    Right now Petsmart is offering a rebate on cat litter.

    Buy $25 or more in Exquisicat Litter, get a $25 Petsmart GIFT CARD by mail. Limit 2 per household. I am a faithful arm and hammer litter user, but I tried the Exquisicat litter and it works just fine and has good odor control. The rebate form is in front of the litter. The 40# box is 13.99 and sometimes on sale for 11.99 which is a great price for quality litter, rebate or not.

    The bad thing about buying cheap litter is that it often doesn’t have any odor control and doesn’t clump well so small pieces are left behind. That’s how you can tell if someone has a cat the second you walk in the door.

    Hope this helps. Litter coupons/rebates are VERY FEW and FAR BETWEEN!

    Reply

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