With the current rising cost of living crisis, everyone is struggling for extra cash. Unfortunately, this is now affecting the veterinary profession, as we see more and more people unable to pay for their animal’s treatment. 

We’ve heard a lot in the media about owners struggling to afford dog and cat food, which is an upsetting and scary thought. Unfortunately, around 7 in 10 pet owners are worried about affording food for their animals. If you’re struggling for money or receiving benefits, let’s have a look at different ways you can feed your cat which may be more budget friendly. 

Find the best, but cheapest cat food

We all want the best for our animals; whether it’s providing them with the softest bedding or the coolest new collar. The harsh reality is that a lot of people are struggling to afford basic food items for themselves, let alone their animals. So, let’s have a look at some more ‘budget friendly’ cat foods which may still offer the nutrients they require, but are a bit easier on the wallet.

Whiskas – If your cat is a fan of wet food, take a look at this 40 pouch Whiskas box retailing for around £12. That equates to 30 pence per pouch! Whiskas offers a nutritional and well-balanced meal for any cat. They also offer different diet formulations depending on age and neutered status.

Sheba – Similar to Whiskas, Sheba offers a 40-pouch box of cat food for around £12. Sheba is an overall well-balanced diet, containing essential vitamins and minerals, whilst also having a lower fat and carbohydrate content.

Purina dry – If your car prefers dry food, Purina may be a better option for you. Whilst slightly more expensive at around £20, this 6kg bag of kibble should last your cat a while. Purina is a well-known and trusted brand with a high protein and low carbohydrate value.

Shop around for the best price for your chosen food. This doesn’t have to mean travelling around to all the retailers, spending more money in the process. Keeping an eye on the prices when you are in different shops or checking online might lead to saving a few pounds.

It may take a bit of trial and error when trying to find the right food for your cat. When trying a new food brand, slowly introduce it along with their old food to minimise the risk of a gastro-intestinal upset.

Find a pet food bank

Similar to human food banks, pet food banks have been set up across the UK. The RSPCA has a locator tool that allows you to find your local food bank. High street supermarkets, as well as pet stores, have donation points where members of the public can purchase pet food on behalf of someone else.

This food is then collected by the RSPCA Pet Food Bank project and is distributed throughout the UK. In some instances, specialised food to help with ailments such as diarrhoea, allergies and urinary problems may be available, too.

Ask your veterinary practice

Always remember that your veterinary practice is there to help and advise you regarding your animals. If you’re worried about the cost of veterinary bills or food, speak with your veterinary practice to see if they offer payment plans.

Your veterinary practice may also have food that has been donated, or is about to go out of date. This food may just go to waste. So it is always worth asking if they have any food that you could utilise. Whilst it is not ideal to feed your animal food that is going out of date; it is better than the food going to waste and your animal going hungry.

Re-home your cat

Animals should always be a privilege and not a necessity. If you are really struggling to care for your animal properly, then there is no shame in admitting that you cannot provide your animal with the care that they need. 

Organisations such as the RSPCA, Cats Protection League and the Blue Cross all offer a rehoming service; allowing them to take over the care of your cat until they can find them a new home.

Whilst it may be upsetting to say goodbye to your furry friend, it is always important to put their health first and ensure that they are looked after correctly.

If possible, it may be worthwhile to rehome your cat to a friend or family member. This way, they can be looked after appropriately. And you can still receive plenty of fluffy cuddles when you need it.

Final thoughts

The cost-of-living crisis is difficult for us all and unfortunately our furry friends are also feeling the strain. If you are worried about your animal’s health, but are concerned about cost, always reach out to your veterinary practice or an animal charity.

Whether you opt for a cheaper cat food, utilise a pet food bank or decide to rehome your cat; there are always options to help give your cat the best possible life. Remember that your animal’s health should always be the priority and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Further reading: