How To Take Care Of Cats If You’re On A Budget?

We have five cats at home. Before we give you our tips on how we keep down the cost of feeding and maintaining 5 cats. Let us first tell you the story of how they became part of our family. The very first cat we have is Azul. He is living with us for 5 years now. My mother in-law, my wife’s mom gave him to us. He is a fully white, domestic cat.


He was followed by Yumi, a female Siamese cat. A friend gave her to us. The two cats fell in love and Yumi got pregnant twice. In her first delivery, she had 3 kittens. We had 2 of them adopted by our friends.   We named the one which was left, Adam. He is a fully black male cat.

Adam and Yumi

In Yumi’s second pregnancy, she again got 3 kittens. This time we sent only one for adoption and we keep the other 2.  We named them Yuri and Gela. Both of them are female. Gela got her color from his father, Azul. She is a also a fully white cat.

Gela Yuri

What are the tips we can give you to make the cost of keeping 5 cats within low budget?

Tips on food or feeding.

Like basic commodities, prices of cat food are also rising each year and with 5 cats on board, feeding solely with cat foods may be quite expensive and unwise.  So to avoid sending one or two of our cats for adoption, we thought of how we can minimize expenditures on cat food. Here are what we do.

First Tip

We give our cats the same food we eat the moment they can chew. If we eat chicken we give them chicken then pork if pork. This is for them not to be totally dependent on processed cat food. In cases we don’t have cat food available, our cats also enjoy sharing with our food. Just be reminded though that cats are carnivores, so they feed greatly on meat. But, our cats can eat rice mixed with fish or chicken.

Second Tip

We do not buy expensive automatic cat feeder. We created something out of our trash such as empty container of potato chips, round ice cream tub and a plastic plate. You can see in the picture below how we did it. It is very simple. We have been using this for quite some time already. We just clean the plate and replace the container of the chips when it becomes dirty. You too can also create your own feeder or you may copy samples available on the internet.

Third Tip

We do not fill up the feeder unless it is totally empty. This is to avoid overfeeding.  There are also times that we intentionally do not fill it up because we want to feed them with our leftovers.  In this way, we do not waste food, we lessen our trash and we give our cats more natural nourishment.

Fourth Tip

We do not give our cats costly treats. They are happy with a can of sardines. We believe that cats do not recognize the price they recognize the caring.

Tips on Cat’s Litter Box.

Cats are very clean animals that they don’t just sit anywhere and release their waste. Generally speaking, they can identify their litter box and sit there when nature calls.

Yumi on their litter box

First Tip

We find it not economical to buy new and expensive litter box for our cats. What we did is that we made use of our recyclables. With our old basins we were able to create a “comfort box” for our cats. . We made use of two basins, one on top to contain the litter sand and another one beneath to catch the urine. We made holes on the surface of the one on top for urine to flow.  We also made use of our old dish tray and our old roller tray. Our 5 cats have two litter boxes to share with each other.

Second Tip

We use wood litter sand instead of clay litter sand or bentonite. This is for two good reasons. One, wood litter sand is cheaper than clay. We can buy it from wood crafting shops in our area. And second wood litter sand is biodegradable and is earth friendly. Plus, the natural smell of the wood litter sand diminishes the odor of the feces and urine.

Wood litter sand

Third Tip

We mix shredded papers or cartons and crushed dried leaves to the wood litter sand to add volume and lessen spending. Because of this add-ons we only buy around 20L of wood litter sand every year.

Shredding papers or cartons is not too difficult. We use sharp scissor to cut cartons or cardboard into tiny and thinly pieces. We also include paper cups and food boxes from the food delivered to us.  For used bond papers, old utility bills and statement of accounts we shred it using our manual paper shredder.

Manual Paper Shredder

As for the leaves, we gather those falling from our small garden and collect it in a box. We let it sit under the sun until they are all fully dried up. Then we crush it by our hands wearing gloves. 

Cat Carrier Bag

Cats can be disoriented and very scared when you bring them outside your house.   They may either try to jump from you and run or hold on to you tightly with their claws wounding your skin. If you need to bring your cat outside for any reason, may it be for a vet visit or just for a stroll, you need to have a cat carrier bag. We cannot give you the price range for a cat carrier bag but most likely it is another deduction from your pocket.   

At our end, our daughter created a cat carrier bag from her brother’s old and already used bag. We use it when we bring our cat outside. See picture below.

Improvised Cat Carrier Bag

This is very easy to do. If you don’t have a bag to spare you can be creative and find out how to use old things in your house. The point is that you need not spend for a bag to bring your cat everywhere you want.

Many do not want to own a pet cat because of the hassle and the cost of keeping it. We tell you, it is such a joy to have a cat accompanying you at home. They are funny, loyal and sweet.

We hope that the tips we shared may encourage you to own a cat because caring for cats need not be expensive. What about you? What can you say? Please leave a comment about your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

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