Cutting the cost of kitty
Britain is renowned as a nation of animal-lovers but, in these cash-strapped times, there are fears this could change as households tighten the purse strings to cope with the credit crunch.
General costs such as cat food, toys and litter, along with potentially expensive vet fees, can make owning a pet seem pricey but Cats Protection’s Swansea and District branch is offering some top tips on how to cut down the cost of caring for your feline friend.
Get a cat from a rescue centre rather than buying an expensive pedigree or getting a kitten from a private home. Cats Protection felines have been health checked, had at least one dose of vaccination, been neutered (if old enough), treated for parasites and will have been microchipped. All of this would cost considerably more than the adoption fee we ask, which is £30 for a kitten which hasn’t been neutered and £40 for an adult cat that will have been neutered.
Take out pet insurance. One of the simplest ways for a cat owner to manage unwelcome costs is by taking out insurance which could save hundreds of pounds in the long run. Cats Protection Swansea and District branch provides four weeks’ free insurance with Petplan when adopting a cat or kitten.
Keep vaccinations up to date and regularly treat for fleas and worms. Not doing so could prove a false economy when your cat’s health suffers.
Get your cat neutered as it reduces the risk of cats fighting, roaming and passing on disease through bites, saliva and sexual contact. Vouchers are available for those on benefits.
Take time to look at your cat’s environment from their perspective to reduce the risk of stress related disease –
such as obesity, skin disease, lower urinary tract disease, inflammatory bowel disease – which may otherwise require
trips to the vet. For example separate your cat’s food and water bowls to encourage him to drink more. Put a litter
tray in a quiet, private location away from food and water, which your cat can access with ease. Make sure your cat has somewhere to hide when he’s feeling anxious without being disturbed or overlooked, particularly by other cats. For cats living in multi cat households, try to identify those which are in the same social group, they often sleep touching each other and groom each other. Ensure there are sufficient separate resources for each different social group.
Make appropriate and inexpensive toys to allow your cat daily opportunities to exhibit his natural hunting behaviour. For ideas visit the Cats for Kids section on Cats Protection’s website at www.cats.org.uk
Make a safe and appropriate scratching post using the back of hessian-backed carpet fixed onto a wooden frame and secured to the wall.
Form a cat-sitting circle, as the cost of getting someone in to feed your pet while away can be very expensive. Instead, find friends and neighbours who also have pets and can help each other out.
Our next homing day is on Sunday 22 November at Kenwood Kennels and Cattery, Llanmorlais. Between 10am and 4pm.
Our branch calendar featured in the last issue of TheBAY magazine is now available to buy for £5 from Kenwood Kennels, Gower Veterinary Surgery, Upper Killay, Gibson and Jones Veterinary Surgery, Gowerton and St James Veterinary Group, Sketty.
Also at our charity shop 85, Brynymor Road, Brynmill.
If you are interested in giving one of our rescue cats or kittens a safe, loving home please ring our helpline 0845 217 9648 and leave your details or contact us via our website – www.cats.org.uk/swansea.
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