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How to Adopt a Cat (On the Cheap)

My cat adoption story is a bit different from most. Because I was already fostering Ursula, and I had fostered before, I didn’t have to pay anything to keep her. Otherwise she would not have been a cheap baby.

In honor of National Adopt a Cat Month, I figured I would share how to adopt a cat, the Stingy, Thrifty, Broke way.

Step 1: Shop Around

By shop around, I don’t mean go to a bunch of shelters or adoption events. Because I guarantee you will fall in love with a cute little kitten right away.

So by shop around, I really mean call around. Look around on the internet. Start with animal shelters. Call all the local shelters that you are willing to drive to. Find out how much adoption fees are. Sometimes fees are different for cats and kittens. Usually with shelters, the fee is pretty cheap, between $20-$50. Something to be aware of is most shelters require you to get the cat fixed. They will charge you a bit extra and then return it once you have proof of the surgery.

The other option is through a rescue. A great place to check out rescues is with Petfinder. I love this website. I’ve gotten a couple of animals this way. You can search for a specific breed, age, sex, ect. And most rescues post their prices on the site.¬†There are two downsides though. The first is that not all prices will be posted, so you may have to call anyways. The second is that not all the animals that are available have been posted and sometimes an animal who is no longer available is still listed as available.

Step 2: Call the Local Vets

Depending on where you get your kitty, you may need to get it updated on shots, get fixed, ect. Vets can range wildly in price. I got Ursula declawed so she wouldn’t hurt the dogs when they played. She had a nasty habit of latching on our little dog and letting her drag her around.

Anyways, when I called around, prices were crazy. Some wanted $400 before meds, some were $200 after meds. I ended up finding a place that did it for a little over $100. The place seemed super sketchy, but Ursula healed so quick, it was amazing.

Make sure you know where you will be taking your kitty before adopting it. It will make life easier.

Need a gift for a cat lover? Check out this great gift guide!

Step 3: Buy Your Supplies

I did have a cat before Ursula. His name was Hamlet. He was a surprise Christmas present from my big brother. Like 20 minutes before I was supposed to get him, we stopped at Meijer and had to pick up everything we would need. We bought litter, litter box, food, toys, ect. All at full price.

How to Adopt a Cat (On the Cheap)

When I look back now, it kills me a little inside. When you first start truly considering adopting any animal, you should start stalking the sales. Or dumpsters. Or both, like I do. Otherwise pets can cost a crap ton of money.

Step 4: Find the Free Stuff

There is so much free stuff out there for cats. Food, toys, treats, ect. I’ve listed a few of my favorite sites below. But don’t think that they are the only ones available. There is always something new on the internet.

I Crave Freebies

Freaky Freddies

I Love Free Things 

Sweet Free Stuff


Step 5: Adopt!

Now that you’ve done your research, finished your shopping (inside or backdoor), you are ready to adopt! Time to fall in love, adopt, and realize that you are no longer in control of your own life because the cat you adopted is now the proud owner of a new human.

How to Adopt a Cat (On the Cheap)

Read this before you buy your next cat toy!

How to Adopt a Cat (On the Cheap)

I know, I didn’t need to post TWO pictures of Ursula. But I am her human, and she made me. Plus, look how cute she is!

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