The thing with cat parenting is that you can avoid expensive breeder costs by adopting, and you can budget carefully to minimize the monthly costs that go into the cat’s general care. However, you always have to be prepared to spend more in the event of health issues. This is especially true when it comes to the Munchkin cat.
Munchkin cats are seriously cute, and their general care isn’t excessively expensive. Their average monthly cost is between $61–$381+ per month, but the way they’re bred puts them at risk of certain health issues like osteoarthritis. Therefore, those with Munchkin cats will need to consider the possible extra costs of vet bills and pet insurance. There are also initial medical costs, like vaccinations, to consider.
In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on the average monthly cost of Munchkin cat-parenting, from the initial costs and general care to additional, unexpected costs you’ll need to factor in.
Bringing Home a New Munchkin Cat: One-Time Costs
One of the first things you’ll notice if you go to a Munchkin cat breeder is that these cats are expensive. An alternative to buying a Munchkin is to consider adopting one from a rescue organization or someone who needs to rehome their cat. Let’s explore the average costs of adoption and breeder fees.
Your best chance of getting a Munchkin cat for free is to check out online groups or websites where people advertise cats for rehoming. They’re not as easy to find as moggies, though, so your next step is to look into adoption from a rescue organization.
Adoption fees vary by shelter, location, and the age of the cat you’re adopting. Cats under 6 months old are often more expensive, whereas older cats and cats with special medical needs cost less. As an example, the Animal Humane Society’s standard adoption fees for cats and kittens range from $39 to $317.
There aren’t a huge number of Munchkins available for adoption, but we did find some, including some beautiful Munchkin mixes, waiting for a new home.
The majority of Munchkin cats we found advertised by breeders cost between $1,500 and $3,000. These cats tend to be pedigree, and some are advertised as having champion bloodlines.
The breeding of Munchkin cats is a controversial issue in the cat world, as some experts, including the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare,1 have pointed out genetic welfare issues like limb deformities, which can cause difficulties with movement.
Initial Setup and Supplies
You can budget on the cost of the initial setup and supplies like litter boxes, collars, and toys as there are plenty of inexpensive options for these items on online stores like Amazon and Chewy. However, you will need to cough up more for important initial procedures like microchipping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinations.
The list of items and services below gives examples of costs on both the lower end and higher end of the scale. For services like spaying, neutering, and vaccinations, non-profit organizations might offer these at a lower price.
List of Munchkin Cat Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and collar:||$10–$15|
|Spay/neuter:||$50 (example of non-profit organization price)–$500|
|First vaccinations (full schedule):||$100–$200|
|Heartworm and flea preventatives (pack of 6):||$50–$150|
|Cat tree (medium size, decent to high quality):||$30–$150|
|Food and water bowls (pair):||$10|
How Much Does a Munchkin Cat Cost Per Month?
On an average month, you’ll only need to refresh your stocks of cat food and cat litter, but if your Munchkin gets sick, is due a new box of heartworm and flea preventatives, or visits a groomer, the cost will go up. So, in a single month, providing your Munchkin is healthy, you’ll only need to pay for food, litter, and perhaps some new toys.
The above figures are based on the estimated monthly cost of a bag of high-quality food ($25 lower-end, $70 higher-end), four bags of standard litter ($5 each), and the price of a single flea and heartworm treatment (approximately $100 for a box of six, just over $16 for one treatment).
This estimate doesn’t include pet insurance or possible medical procedures—read on to find out more about that.
If your Munchkin cat is healthy, you won’t need to spend much on them on a monthly basis as outlined above. However, if they need an emergency vet checkup, treatment, or a trip to a professional groomer, or you sign up for pet insurance, you can expect to pay quite a bit more. Let’s explore the costs of these potential scenarios.
If you’re looking to budget, you can get a multi-pack (24 packs, 30 packs, etc.) of canned wet food from well-known brands for around $25. Higher-end brands of multi-packs of wet food cost more around the $40–$50 mark.
If you want a bag of high-quality dry food, you may pay up to $70 for a bag or even more in some cases, but you can definitely find decent dry food cheaper than this.
If you take care of your Munchkin’s coat and nails yourself, you won’t need to pay anything outside of the cost of a pair of nail clippers and a brush. However, if your cat heads to the groomer for a full bath, brush, nail trim, and eye and ear cleaning session, this could set you back up to around $100 depending on coat length.
Medications and Vet Visits
Healthy Munchkins won’t need a vet visit or any kind of medication in a single month, but if you take them for a vet checkup, this typically costs around $45–$55. If you add on vet-prescribed medications or prescription foods, this could go up into the hundreds depending on what your cat needs.
In extreme cases, surgeries and treatments for some conditions, like cancer, can even cost thousands of dollars, which leads us to our next factor to consider—pet insurance.
We got some quotes for a 5-year-old Munchkin cat with a few well-known insurance providers and found that the cost of pet insurance typically ranges from $20 to $30 for this kind of cat.
Bear in mind that pet insurance costs vary depending on your location and your cat’s age. The $0 figure above refers to those who don’t sign up for pet insurance.
In addition to replacing litter, you might opt for some extras that also need to be replaced monthly. Extras might be items like deodorizing granules that you mix in with your cat’s litter or litter box liners to make cleaning easier.
|Roll/box of litter box liners:||$3–$5 month|
|Box of litter box deodorizer:||$3–$5 month|
|Basic cardboard scratcher:||$5–$10 month|
If you’re good at DIY and make your own cat toys or you’ve already got some durable ones that your cat doesn’t tire of, there’s no reason you can’t entertain your cat for free. However, if toys need replacing or you subscribe to a monthly toy box subscription service, you might pay around $25 per month.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Munchkin Cat
The lower of the above two figures includes the basic food, litter, flea and heartworm, and environmental maintenance costs. The higher figure is based on the costs of more expensive food formulas, emergency vet checkups and potential treatments and medications, and extras like pet insurance, trips to the groomer, and pricier environmental maintenance and entertainment items.
The ‘+’ refers to the potential costs involved in the unfortunate event that you might need to pay for expensive surgeries or other treatments.
Additional Costs to Factor In
If you go on vacation and don’t plan to take your cat with you, you’ll need to arrange for them to stay with someone or have someone come to your home to check on and feed them while you’re away. Pet-sitters and boarders charge different amounts depending on where they are and their experience level.
In some cases, you may need to replace items in your home (like furniture or breakables) if they’ve fallen victim to your cat’s scratching, swatting, or jumping urges. Another factor to consider is behavioral training. If you’d like for a professional trainer to work with your Munchkin, this can be quite expensive.
Owning a Munchkin Cat on a Budget
There is no way to get around the fact that parenting a cat will set you back at least a bit on a monthly basis, even if just for the bare necessities, but there are ways to give your wallet a break and spend less money. Here are our top tips for parenting a cat on a budget:
Look for Cheaper Food/Buy in Bulk
Not every high-quality, premium dry cat food brand costs a fortune. Purina, for example, is worth checking out if you’re on a budget—though their formulas don’t exactly cost pennies, they’re often more reasonably priced than most of their competitors. Go for a big bag that will last a long time, as this is one of the best ways to save money on cat food.
Buying in bulk is a good idea—we found big multipacks of wet food that could last for a month at affordable prices online.
If being able to provide for your cat is causing you a lot of worries, you might want to consider checking out local pet food banks. Many animal organizations run these kinds of food banks to give owners experiencing tough times financially a helping hand.
Make Your Own Toys
Instead of buying new toys, why not have a go at making some out of what you’ve got at home? Old t-shirts are great for this, as you can use them to cut out wiggly strips to chase.
Other ideas include making pom poms and wand chasers out of whatever you can hold, some elastic, and material that dangles off the end. Some cats will be more than happy to bat a toilet roll around.
Make a Cardboard Box Bed
If your cat’s bed is looking a bit worse for wear but you (understandably) don’t want to pay the prices stores ask for a new one, crack out that cardboard box you were planning to throw away, and recycle it into a bed. All you need to do is make it cozy with an old towel, blanket, or item of clothing.
If you can’t bear the way the box looks in your home, consider jazzing it up with some paint or decorations.
Saving Money on Munchkin Health Care
You can save money on general care by grooming your cat yourself (brushing, nail trimming, ear checks, etc.) instead of going to a groomer.
If your Munchkin cat needs to see a vet but you’re worried about the cost, one idea is to reach out to non-profit organizations or charities, as these sometimes offer vet care at a reduced price or can at least point you in the right direction.
Other options include reaching out to veterinary schools, contacting shelters and rescue groups (some may have community vet care help in place), checking out vet clinics in less expensive areas, or talking to your current vet about your concerns. Your vet may be able to work out a payment plan for you, so you don’t need to pay everything upfront.
To recap, the initial cost of a Munchkin cat ranges from free (rehoming) to upwards of $1,500 (breeder), and the initial setup costs (supplies, vaccinations, etc.) range from around $300 to $1,250. After that, monthly costs tend to range from between $70 and $450+.
The monthly cost is heightened by extras like toy box subscriptions, maintenance supplies, and pet insurance, or if your Munchkin needs veterinary attention.
Featured Image Credit: Sviatoslav_Shevchenko, Shutterstock