Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ready, Steady, Go Frugal Cat!

Hello Bloggers and Blog readers!

It is Daughter here with a blog post about what we need for the kittens we are getting tomorrow. And whether we have done it frugally.  

We are now ready as we have got everything we need such as kitten food etc. And we have mostly done it frugally. 

Here is a list of the things we got and how much it has cost us.  

Nana got us the cat bed so 
i don't know how much it was. 
£3.02  for kitten dry food

£3.00  for 5 food bowls (one not pictured) 
from a charity shop and a pet shop
Cat litter - free as we got this off a friend 
whose cats don't use it. 
£3.00 kitten wet food.

Litter tray - it was free as we got it on Freecycle.

Scratch post - Oh dear £14 
but we are going to make a second one
for upstairs. 
£ 0.00 i don't know how much they really were 
as they were me and brothers
when we were little.

So that was all the prices for the things we need for the kittens and i am sure there will be plenty of pictures of the kittens growing and most probably when they are cats too.

Have you got any tips for caring for kittens and cats on a budget? What do you feed your cats and where is the best place to buy cat food? We have been told that it is best to buy a good quality cat food and a good quality anti-flea treatment that may cost more but save money in vet bills in the long term. Would you agree? Do you have pet insurance? Do you pay for every vaccination going or do you believe in building up your cat's immunity? And what is the greenest way to look after cats?

I would love to know what you think!

Thanks for reading xx


  1. Well... I'm sure that I'm a tad bit extreme in this department, but I never skimp when it comes to feeding my cats. I think this may be why every stray in the neighborhood eventually ends up on my doorstep. Apparently there's a big neon sign over my house visible only to those of the feline persuasion which reads "The sucker lives here! Seriously, this woman will feed you $2/can premium cat food and you'll rule the roost!"

    Anyhow, I only feed my cats premium cat foods like Wellness, Innova, Precise, Weruva, Fussie Cat or Natural Balance. I even consider stuff like Iams or Science Diet to be junk food - and they only get dry food if one of them is sick and won't eat the canned food. I realize not everyone has the financial means to do this, but my cats are my babies and I just want to do the best I can for them.

    That being said, my mother had the completely opposite take on it and always fed her cats cheap dry food (Purina or Friskies), and all of her cats outlived mine!

    Anyhow, my philosophy on vaccinations is to get them a complete round when they're kittens and then maybe one booster shot later in life - but I don't do the yearly vaccines. Of course, my cats all live indoors where they're not exposed to much. I might rethink that strategy if they got to go outside.

    And, in true crazy cat lady form, I do have pet health insurance. For years I thought I was sorta crazy with this one, but now I'm in the position where I've got two cats with serious health problems and the insurance is really a godsend. It allows me to make decisions based on what's best for them, rather than on how much it's gonna cost.

    Anyhow, enjoy your kittens and take lots of pictures! It's amazing how fast they grow up!

  2. Toys; the best kitten toy is a ball of paper scrunched up, a paper bag, a cardboard box as it is or with holes cut in it. Mine also like a long furry tail on a fishing rod sort of toy; something you can direct and move in different ways.
    Beds. In my experience, cats don't use cat beds unless they are somewhere quiet and out of the way; my current cat sleeps on a windowsill bed, on the beds and at night on the sofa or armchairs where it smells of us.
    Food. Good quality food is an investment in their health. Most vets recommend some dry food and some wet. Just now I am looking after a neighbour's cats. They are extremely fussy because she gives in and tries something else if they so much as hesitate to eat! Basically, one is grossly overfed; they will eat if they are hungry. In the past week they have scoffed everything because I'm not there to give them something else every five minutes. You can bulk buy cat food online - viovet, chemist direct for example. Look at cost per kg and factor in delivery; some deliver free if you spend enough.
    Worming. This is important; all sorts of damage can result internally if worms go untreated. Worm your cats, especially if they hunt because they are more likely to pick up worms. You can get wormers online from chemist direct, viovet, animeddirect, petremedies. I have used all these and some do free delivery. Consult vet first and ask receptionist for prices.
    Flea treatment: try as above. Consult vet first; get prices from reception. Some need a prescription, so ask what the vet charges for that. I have found that it is cheaper to buy online and pay for the prescription, but as my vet does buy 6 get 2 free twice a year it's not much cheaper to go online, When the kitten bites or scratches, blow in its face or say "A-A-A!" in a sharp, "oh no you don't!" sort of way. It's very effective to say that when they go somewhere they shouldn't like worktops. Although, my present cat is a sweet angel who listens to me and does as he's told, one of my past cats was a devil in feline form, the naughtiest cat in the world, despite my efforts. I did adore that boy, though! He was allowed out but not all day; indoor cats give rise to the saying that the devil makes work for idle paws; cats that spend alot of time indoors need more stimulation.
    Have fun. Remember; dogs have owners, cats have staff!

  3. I can't wait to see pictures. My vet advised us to give our cats several different kinds of food when they are little (but all kitten), so they will get used to different textures and flavors. That way if they need a special food later, they will eat it. Cats can be fussy with their food and get used to only one kind. I had one cat that would only eat dry food of a certain shape. One of my cats has health concerns and is on a special diet. After looking online and at the vets office, I found the cheapest price at Petsmart that carries prescription foods along with the others. But, I had to show a prescription from the vet to buy it.

    Something that will save you money will be brushing your cat's teeth. Later on when they need them cleaned, that will be quite expensive. They have to be cleaned so they won't decay to the point of infection or needing to be pulled. That can cause of sorts of added health problems. Regular brushing (there are various ways you can do this) will prevent many tooth problems just as it does in people. Start when they are young, so they will get used to it.

    As for indoor cats needed more stimulation, Attila is right. However, since you have two of them, they will provide a lot entertainment for each other. The other thing is to make sure they have easy access to a window they can look out. My cats don't go outside but they do have several places they can watch the bugs, birds, and squirrels through a window.

    Have fun. You will figure a lot of this out as you go along.

  4. We've got 3 cats who luckily aren't at all fussy about what they eat. (I think it's a family trait- nor are the children or the the dogs...)
    They have mostly dry food, which I struggle with a bit because I don't like the animal testing that (all) the big companies do but I can't afford the small companies who use free range meat, etc.
    I give them left over (plainly) cooked meat as an extra, or sometimes some tinned pilchards, which they love! They will also steal and eat cucumber, sweetcorn, courgette and squash! Squash seeds are supposed to be a natural wormer, so that's not such a bad thing, I suppose.

    I let them out during the day but try to keep them in at night, including dawn and dusk, partly so they're safe and partly because cats are crepuscular (I love that word!) and catch most of their prey during twilight. (My 2 youngest cats catch far too many birds, despite that and collars with up to 4 bells on!! My daughter and I are wondering if we can make Morris Dancer-type bells for their legs!)

    I agree with the comment about the best toy being a piece of scrunched up paper. I've bought toys in the past and they tend to get ignored like the fluffy radiator hammocks I bought. They'd rather sleep on the washing on top of the radiators. We are going to make pompoms to tie onto the fingers of an old glove though- I think they might like that. They do like catmint too (some cats don't). If you know anybody with a plant you could dry it and make catnip mice for their Christmas present!

    Have fun!

  5. Can't wait to see some pics of your new arrivals. I agree with what the others are saying about feeding, toys etc. I would highly recommend pet insurance my two cars have had a total vet bill of nearly £3500 in the last 12 months! Thank goodness they were insured as we would have really struggled. One has an ongoing medical problem which costs £200-300 a year but he then got a thorn in his eye which required specialist treatment and cost £2000. Having the insurance mention that his eye was saved. The other had an argument with a car coating £1200. So I think they have got there money's worth. Shop around when choosing your policy as there is a lot of variation some only cover a condition for a year others offer 'for life'. I choose one of the more expensive policies but my vet does direct claims so I don't have to pay anything except the excess and they sort it all out. The other thing to remember if you take out insurance is that mist policies require yearly vaccinations or they won't cover you. Enjoy your new furry friends!

  6. Sorry about all the spelling mistakes in my last post silly predictive text on my iPhone!

  7. How exciting to get new kittens! I agree with others above who recommend buying them different kinds of dry cat food. My vet said they would get "addicted" if they were accustomed to only one brand. I buy a different brand of supermarket dry food every time I run out. My two are very healthy and will eat anything! The vet also recommended they get no more than a tablespoon of "people food" in addition to their cat food each day. Mine had all their vaccinations and de-worming for the first year, including rabies shots. They did annual check-ups for the next 2 years. After that, just occasionally. Eventually they will need their teeth checked. Finally, I hope you will put collars and tags on them so that if they stray far, someone can phone you. Enjoy your kitties!

  8. dont forget neutering-more kittens=more of everything! worming and flea treatments get good ones like frontline and drontal but buy online to save.Read up on bells-many consider them cruel but keeping them in at night is an excellent idea then you are not faced with dead/half dead things in a morning.Microchipping is a must in my view as all vets and rescues scan cats brought in so you have a higher chance of geting them back should they wander or get in the back of a lorry and end up in france!Good luck and enjoy them xxx

  9. I only treat my cat for fleas when he has them - rather than give him a regular dosage and this seems to be working - he has had fleas far less often recently. I'm also going to investigate some alternative flea treatments such as apple cider vinegar. We don't have pet insurance but lots of people recommend it and I suppose we are just counting on being lucky. I didn't realise that they didn't have to have a yearly booster to their vaccines - we have done so far.

  10. My local vet runs a scheme where you pay a sum of money up front (it was £60) and the cat gets free vaccinations for the rest of its life. For me, this was money well spent as they are quite expensive. I wouldn't skip the vaccinations as I once had a cat who got cat flu despite being vaccinated and we almost lost him. My vet says that the vaccination lasts 12 months and then the immunity wanes fairly quickly. I asked him about this as I had read before about vaccinations not being needed annually.

    I also got our cats microchipped as we once had an elderly neighbour who insisted the cat was hers... Long sad story but if my name is against the microchip number, then it is MY cat.

    I also agree about varying the cat food. Check the Felix/Whiskas/James Wellbeloved websites as some of them will give you a sample pack free.

  11. I don't have any advice, but I can't wait to see some photos - I love kittens :)

  12. If you are one of those who want to provide your cat with cat food is pretty good quality at a price that is not too expensive, you can choose best cat food to your cat.

  13. The consultation fee of the vet is high enough and above that the treatment cost and medication can become a real worrisome equation. This Is Pet