Cat care on a budget
Our member Blue Cross has put together money-saving tips for cat owners to help you keep your pet happy and healthy while keeping more cash in your pocket.
You’ve probably already sought advice and looked at how to save money this year (we might even be telling you things you already know), but it never hurts to get advice. Speak to charities, your vet, friends, and family so that you’re informed on keeping your cat happy and healthy when money is tight.
Cheap cat food
With so many different brands and types of cat food on the market, the choice can seem overwhelming, and you may feel pressure to feed your cat a premium diet. While there are many pricey packets on the shelves promising premier health for your cat, any tin, tray or pouch marked ‘complete’ will give your cat the nutrition they need.
By law, pet food manufactures can only use the term ‘complete’ if the food in the container gives a nutritionally complete balanced diet for the species it is made for. So feeding your cat supermarket own-brand food will ensure your cat has all the nutrients they need to stay healthy, even if the packaging is plain.
If you’re changing the brand or type of food you feed your cat, do this gradually over a few days to avoid any tummy upsets. We recommend the below as a guide, but if your cat is fussy about food, or prone to stomach problems, change the food more gradually over a week:
- Day one: A quarter of the new food with three-quarters of their old food
- Day two: Half the new food, with half the old food
- Day three: Three-quarters of the new food, with a quarter of the old food
- Day four: All the new food
Try soaking dry food to help them adjust from moist to dry food. If your cat is turning their nose up at their new food, warming it up a bit may also entice them to try it.
Buy in bulk. Though it may cost you more money upfront, buying in bulk is a lot cheaper than buying as and when you need it – and don’t forget to check the sales and reduced section too.
What if I only have a bit of cat food left?
If you only have a small amount of cat food to last a few days, spread the cat food out across the whole period and bulk it out with cooked veg or rice. This ensures your cat has some balanced food each day. It’s not ideal so isn’t a good idea long term, but we understand feeding your pet this way isn’t a decision you’d choose to make and sometimes needs must. Your cat’s health won’t suffer being fed in this way for a short time.
Cats need to eat meat, so make sure they have some animal protein such as cooked meat or fish every day. Don’t give them salty, spicy or fatty food, or bones. If you’re struggling to buy pet food, Blue Cross’ pet food banks could help, and if there isn’t one near you, try other pet or food bank charities.