The Economics of Being Treated Like a Cat

March 26, 2012 in Editorial

Ed Byrne has pointed out that stray cats are treated far better than stray humans. We feed cats, give them a home, and take them to the vet. But how much would it cost to treat stray humans in the same way we treat stray cats? Centives decided to find out.

The quick answer is: £599.35 or $949.79 a month depending on which side of the pond you’re on.

Centives began by considering food. The cost of feeding a human is conservatively estimated to be around £50.00 a month, if the person is frugal with their money.

We then looked at housing expenses. Cats normally have to share their living space with other animals and humans, so privacy wasn’t the main concern when looking at the cost of taking care of a stray human. By looking at one and two bedroom apartment prices and doing a sneaky bit of algebra, Centives found that shared space in a house costs £770 a month.

But cats aren’t generally given free reign of a house for an entire day. Most cats sleep outside, so Centives modified the price to throw our human out for 1/3rd of the day, reducing the rental expenses to £513 a month.

Centives then contacted the BUPA for an estimate of how much it would cost for a month of comprehensive care. They replied with a figure of £46.35.

And what cat owner would be so heartless as to leave it at home with nothing to play with? You could buy your human a jingling ball and a fluffy mouse, but they probably wouldn’t be as crazy about them. Instead a new Xbox game a month seems like a reasonable substitute. That’ll cost you £35.

Finally, being a cat is a rather embarrassing experience and there’s only so many times that you can be called Cuddly Little Mr Tiddlesworth before you have a mental breakdown. So we’ve added the cost of a monthly counselling session from Hillside Counsellors at £45.

End cost of keeping a human in as good a condition as a cat for a month? £599.35, or about US$949.79 a month at today’s exchange rates. Which is about the same as keeping 11 cats.

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