The cost of caring

Responsible pet ownership - The cost of caring

We recently had a visit from a British lady who was looking to adopt a cat. She had lost a cat to old age a few years ago and a day or so before her visit to our Cat Rescue Centre, she had accepted a cat “given” to her by a friend and wanted a companion for it.

We had a walk around the rescue centre, talking about the cats available for adoption and their stories. The discussion was drawn towards our need to ask for a donation for each adoption, when she was told that it was 125€ she literally shouted ‘HOW MUCH!!” I haven’t got that amount of money to spend on a cat.

As always, I simply retorted, how much do you think it costs to care?

In any case, she left without adopting but it made me think that perhaps people are not aware of the costs involved to properly care for a cat and why this needs to be done.

  • Testing - Any cat over 6 months of age has a blood test to see if they are harbouring any contagious and fatal cat viruses. 30€ or to you as an individual 50€

  • Sterilisation - ALL cats and kittens over 2 months of age will be sterilised. Up to 85€, or to you as an individual up to 200€. Don’t be fooled by some vets who will give you a much lower quote, only to then add on the cost of anesthesia, painkiller, anti-biotics etc (I would hate to go to a vet who sterilises a cat without these!)

  • Vaccination is a means of protecting your cat against some of the most serious cat diseases, by giving a primary course of 2 injections (primo vaccination) then «topping up” the cover with yearly boosters (rappels). In a rescue centre situation we are sometimes obliged to do many more vaccinations pushing our costs to more that 70€ per cat. No vaccine provides 100% protection, but they enable your cat to fight the infections more effectively. 50€(normally) or to you as an individual 100€

  • Identification As any good charity organisation will tell you, identification of a cat by microchip provides invaluable protection. Legal Obligations: The law in France was created to protect cats. Identification of cats is mandatory. There are also moral obligations for the protection of the cat, as a gesture of respect and responsibility you should give your cat an identity. Normally, a cat lives within its territory, but this could include a wide area that overlaps and mixes with other cat populations. Cats seen roaming freely can be the object of organised capture programmes, for neutering and, sometimes, euthanasia. If the cat is lucky, this euthanasia will be carried out by a qualified vet, if not the cat will most likely be shot or killed in any other manner the Maire of the village concerned sees fit, in some cases they are just battered to death! It is possible that your cat can also be wrongly picked up and presumed lost or abandoned and then rehomed by a ‘well-meaning’ third party without your knowledge, or taken to the fouriere (local pound) where, if not claimed will be put to sleep after 8 days!
    Identification is invaluable for medical purposes. Identified cats will most likely follow regular health checks.40€ or to you as an individual 50€

  • Parasite treatment, a parasitic infection in cats is a common problem that every cat owner has to face at some point in time. From causing serious illnesses even death, to being just a minor pest, parasites in cats may either affect externally, in the form of fleas and ticks, or may cause gastrointestinal parasitism. In fact intestinal parasites affect a majority of kittens shortly after birth. 8€ or to you as an individual??? We were recently shown a bill from a local vet who had charged over 150€ for flea and worm treatment for an adult cat and a kitten. This included just under 100€ consultation!

More information about these subjects plus many others can be found on Chats du Quercy website,

Do the maths! To us, as a cat charity, the cost of these acts total up to 235€, this is without paying for other essential running costs such as food, litter, veterinary visits, advertising, publicity, cleaning products, etc etc.

To you as an individual it can cost 450€ WITHOUT adding on consultation fees!

Still think 125€ to adopt a cat is a lot? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to do it cheaper whilst maintaining the high standards necessary to care correctly and responsibly.

follow the link Barbara and type in your department number, it should throw up some associations that you can contact to help you.

The most important is to have the sterilised, cats can reproduce from as young as 4 months of age, so I guess you've got your work cut out. Whilst they are being Sterilised, best to have them microchipped to protect them and obviously keep up the de-fleaing and worming treatment.

Not sure what to look for Lynn;

ANY around Bergerac or LIBOURNE.

We just have bought a trap and then I will purchase the puce and worming pipette.

Thank you for your help.

Hi Barbara, have you tried to contact any associations near to you to get help for the kittens in your barn? There must be a mother too that needs catching. Most SPA's will help with sterilisation especially when they realise that the kittens can stay in place. You'll not doubt need a trap or two to catch them.

Have a look here to find an association that may help

Best of luck

Just taken our five best friends to Maragretta for their yearly jab and all is well on the puce front.

Pujol is over her bladder prob....she developed an addiction to roast chicken and stealing butter.

Titto likes whatever meat I cook even with the garlic and sauce flavoured with mushrooms and shallots.

Ginger and Dusty have prawn treats and rush over to the shopping bags to make sure that they are

not forgotten.

They never are forgotten.

New collars every couple of months as they loose them.

Lots of the best litter stuff puchased for their sat night /sun time in

because the chasse is out in all its glory. We keep them in away from harms


wood chippings and lavender been informed.............

Ah and because this hotel has got star rating we have new kids on the block in

the barn.

Kittens whom, of course we are feeding....ferile...

Will need to take them to Maragretta somehow.....and

need to claim child support from the French??

WHAT to do....

No question mark.

Thank you Paul, unfortunately we have numerous contat each day from people who have taken on a cat, not realised the costs, normally the cat has had at least one litter of kittens by this stage too and so it goes on!!

It is not legally possible for associations her to employ a vet Maria, also as you probably know, social charges means that to employ one person at SMIC rates would cost us about 23000€ per year.

Most UK charities live on legacies, another no no in France, inheritance law is changing but slowly and at the moment to leave money to anyone but your family is virtually impossible.

AI appreciate your sentiment Richard, but as I think someone has said already, it is not possible to compare prices here with those in the Uk.

The ordre of veterinaires here are like a protection racket and vets can get (and have done on our behalf!) into a lot of trouble for charging low rates.

In the UK Microcchipping isn't obligatory, even though they'd love it to be and in the UK Microchipping and Vaccinations cost less than 5€ each because Rescue centre professionals can do them, here they are vet actes only.

We are in constant contact with Cat Protection and the Dogs Trust, and they are amazed at the prices we have to pay.

It is a shame but a harsh reality for us and those that have or are thinking of adopting a pet.

Prices for dogs are much higher too


I hate to say this Lynn but it does sound a bit pricey by the standards of the UK. The Celia Hammond animal trust in the UK is a charity that sepcialises in ensuring that cats are neutered. It is their mission statement to act as a rescue home and promote the idea of having cats (in particular) neutered. Of course they are a charity (but by the sounds of it so are you). If you go to the frequently asked questions section of their web site you will see that cats which they re-home they do not charge the owner (but as I recall they make a suggested donation to them of £20 or £30). Their price list for carrying out neutering / vaccinations is to be found here and it is rather cheaper than your list:

I suppose what they have done is found a group of vets who agree with their ethos and are prepared to devote some of their time to the cause. It is a charity that seems to have expanded well since I have known of it. Perhaps English vets are more charitable than French ones....?


message for Lynn re the cat....bravo and well said.Unfortunately many people in France expect something for nothing and unfortunately this often applies to the English.

Not just french people Regina, as you can see, this was an english lady, and irrespeonsible pet ownership unfortunately doesn't have a nationality!

There are unfortunately a lot of those people out there searching for a “free” cat! Our French neighbour is one of them. She gets her pets from “Le Bon Coin”, never from the SPA because she doesn’t want to pay. Apparently free kittens from “Le Bon Coin” go very quickly.

She lost her first cat (an unneutered tom) half a year ago when he wandered off in search of a female in heat.

The following cat ended up in our garden and since I didn’t know our neighbour at that time and I couldn’t keep the cat, I took her to our SPA. No chip, no tattoo! As always, I asked them to call me if nobody was claiming her.

The neighbour appeared at our gate the following day and was enraged when she heard that I had taken the cat to the SPA. And no, chipping is too expensive! Of course the cat is not vaccinated and sterilized and will probably also wander off when she comes in heat. And then the next cat from “Le Bon Coin” will follow…

When I told her that she was irresponsible, she became angry. There is still a lot of education to be done about responsible pet ownership in this country!

Me too Valerie ;) x

Great wake up call, Lynn. So often I see the "free to a good home" ads and wonder whether that's the end of any investment and they're then left unsterilised (so more 'give away' kittens), unchipped so lost and never retrieved or unfortunately too many times left suffering from untreated infections.

Damaris, you are a lady after my own heart - I've been in that situation before. Luckily I like pasta.

Superbe - thank you!!

yes Hannah did pinch some of mine at lunchtime and promptly ran off behind the chair to stop Figaro getting a look in.

By the way, the watches arrived this morning - thanks. I'm wearing one now :)

My 17 year old would happily live on pasta if he could Damaris, but joking aside, I never fail to be taken aback by the ignorance of these costs - all of the cats (and dogs) that we see advertised 'free to a good home' - there's no such thing!

Well said Lynn. Thankfully my Mother helps me out with the costs for my three but it certainly isn't cheap. There are months that I have lived on pasta and toast so that the cats have everything they need and quite frankly that seems perfectly normal to me!