Wednesday 25 February 2009

The Price of Keeping a Cat

Astonishing, the cost of keeping cats in India. What, though, is the price of keeping a cat? It depends where you are and what your expectations are (and the cat's expectations too!). In the UK you can buy a box of 12 sachets of decent cat food at a local supermarket for about £4-50p. It would be cheaper at a big supermarket. It is estimated that with all bills taken into account, it costs about £10,000 over the lifetime of the cat on average in western countries (see Pet Care Costs). But here is the astonishing thing; in India there is a fine upstanding lady who has a husband, 2 children (who might work though), and 15, yes 15 cats, all rescue cats who she adores and she looks after them all including the people (!) on 80 rupees per day, which converts to 1.106275 British pounds or 1.60432 U.S. dollars.

Now lets look at that a bit. Lets say that of that approximate £1 she has, say, 30p left over after providing for the people in her family. 30p to feed 15 cats. 30p might buy one sachet of cheap cat food in the UK or a cheap can of cat food. My Timmy a stray boy cat consumes about 4-5 sachets a day (I need a mortgage to feed him) alone. You can see the enormous difference.

In short this tells of the huge divide in India and the UK, for example. But what is also stark is that there are still people in the United States and other countries (but I cite the US as a relatively rich society) who abandon their cats on the pretext that they cannot afford them because of financial constraints brought about because of the credit crunch (see cats as a disposable item). Surely it is a question of priorities. Budgets can manage to include the cat if people want them to. But when people think of cutting costs in the household budget the cat comes into the equation when it positively should not. Cats are taken on for their lifetime. These people are not committed to their cats and commitment is required. Caveat: there will, of course, be genuine cases so I must not generalize but I make my point nonetheless.

The price of keeping a cat is, most often, not the reason for giving up a cat. It is more about the psychology of keeping a cat. Incidentally, the woman concerned, mentioned above lives in Gujarat’s Porbandar city, which is here:

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The Price of Keeping a Cat to They Wanted Their Cat Back

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