Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Cat food on a tight budget

The cost of keeping a pet can be very expensive, very very expensive if you want to feed them some of the more costly foods on the market. People who can afford to buy pedigree cats and dogs might not be bothered about how much cash they part with when it comes to choosing which gourmet food to serve up. Animals with dodgy tums might need specialist food which can work out to be quite expensive. My cats are bog standard moggies, and get the run of the mill bog standard food. I would not be able to afford fancy food for a fancy cat.
Like my own food, I also shop around when buying for my cats. They are quite happy with Felix and Whiskas, my seventeen year old Bugsy has had a lifetime on Felix, and is still plodding around the house and garden in his own sweet way. He has only had two visits to the vet in his lifetime, he has been a very healthy cat, so he has done ok on Felix.
Today I have been out and stocked up, this little haul cost £74. I went online this morning and checked out where the special offers were. Pets At Home have Felix pouches on at £2.50 a box of 12. Sainsbury's has this on at £3 a box, in Tesco it's £3.68. I got the Whiskas pouches from Tesco at £2.50 a box. In Sainsbury's it's 2 for £6, in Pets At Home it's £3.69. The Whiskas dry 2kg bags were £3.50 from Tesco. At Pets At Home it's £5.49, and at Sainsbury's it's £4.49. So no contest.  
Other supermarkets within my town were checked. I never pay full price for cat food. The special offers rotate around all the supermarkets in turn, so I stock up when I can get it. This will last me a while, but when it starts getting low I will check prices again, and find the offers.

The cat litter I am getting from Poundstretcher at the moment. This is a cheap clumping clay based one at £1 for a 10kg bag. It's a bit of a mixture when you open it, sometimes a bit dusty but I can put up with it. It's the cheapest one I can find, it's a bit like the supermarkets own brand which Tesco sell at £1.55. I have four litter boxes dotted about the house, two upstairs and two downstairs. They are just starting to use them again now the weather is cold and wet. I am sometimes woken up in the night by the pong of a freshly dropped poo which they haven't bothered to cover up. Yuk. Sweet little darlings, ha ha. I have to get up and move it.

This is Mayze's preferred place to eat. Every time she hears me moving about in the kitchen she dashes in at 100 mph and dives onto the window sill. Her saucer is always there, ready for whatever morsel I might put onto it. She won't eat wet cat food, has the dry Whiskas from the bowl on the floor, and sometimes gets a little treat of cooked ham on her saucer.

I did spend a little bit of money on my own food today. I was a bit early for the third markdown on the yellow stickers at Tesco, but I got a few with a second markdown, which was still a good saving.

I've just done the draw for the make it yourself shopping bag. Ten names went into it. I did the eeny meeny miney mo thing, and Debbie in Canada was the name to come out tops. So, Debbie, if you send me your name and address either email, or in a comment which I won't publish, I will get it off to you pronto. You mentioned something about putting a logo on it, best to do that before you sew the two sides together. Well done, and thanks to everyone for taking part.

It's very windy tonight, but I am snug and well wrapped up. No heating on yet, just the fleecy dressing gown over the top of my clothes. Hope you are snug where you are.
Toodle pip.


  1. Hi Ilona!
    Your cats are lovely. My cat is 16 and she has always had the pouches. However about 7 weeks ago, I switched to the tins- they are cheaper per 100g. Then a month ago I went the whole frugal hog and bought the morrisons own brand tins-£1.87 for 6. She eats them, no problem! I was surprised as she won't eat the asda own brand ones!

    1. I wish my cats would eat tinned food, they eat the first portion then won't touch the rest. I end up throwing it away.

  2. We're snug in the evenings with crocheted blankets on top of us. Our puss cats eat Felix and Whiskas too and, like you, I shop around for the best price.
    Love from Mum

  3. Hello Ilona,
    I only feed my garden birds but a sack of peanuts costs nearly £50.00 but I do have the hession sack to make rag rugs with, Love the blog and follow each day.
    Dianne - Hereford

  4. My puss eats whiskas and friskies and seems satisfied. Old puss, who had to be put down a cople of months ago at age 14, developed diabetes at 12 and had to have insulin and a special diet food. What really gets my back up though is the vet bills. They are a disgrace in this country. A lot of people don't bother taking the cat in and shoot it instead when it gets ill. Just not right. Pam

  5. Our cat, she adopted us, she was living in the greenhouse when we moved in to our present address 2 1/2 years ago, and after about 3 weeks decide we were harmless and came to the window cill then through the window. Still an outside cat, now comes in every morning for milk and biccies, spends the day in the house in winter, then asks to go out at night.

    Only buy biccies, it presents us with mice, small birds and even the occasional rabbit, then eats them, every bit of them.. So we think it's quite capable of catching its own protein. It gets the occasional trimmings, fat, bones etc from our dinner, which it eats no problem.

    Last week Morrisons had a load of trays of liver, 9p each, so I got one to make pate (Mrs won't eat offal) and tried giving the cat some off-cuts. It loved it, ate the lot in one go and looked for more. So next time there's sany 9p offal, I'll get some and freeze it in cat-size portions, a treat for it and probably just as good as cat food.

  6. Hello Ilona,
    Years ago with our first cat I would buy tins. Don't remember pouches being available then.
    Our second cat had pouches, as has our third one. However in recent times I've gone ack to tins, so much cheaper. I can't think why I didn't work it out before. A bit complacent, getting used to always having the pouches. Jeffery doesn't seem to mind though, so that's okay!
    Best wishes (Angela) Devon

  7. Hi Ilona a little off subject but I thought you and your readers would be interested in this great site, not much happening in the UK at the moment but surely it should "Grow"!!!!
    Check my local area by comparison :)

    1. Thank you for that Paul. Not sure if it would take off here. We have allotment holders that swap their veg, or give it to their neighbours. To do this on a national level would be impossible. I can't see enough people joining the site to make it work.

  8. I don't know if you have wood pellet heaters in the UK, but here the pellets are bought by the ton, are very cheap, and my friend with this system gives me a bag to use for litter every couple of months. The animal shelters here use them, too.

  9. Sounds like good savings all around even for the cats, good for you.
    Congrats to Debbie!

  10. We also use tins, usually from Lidl or Aldi, and I buy boxes of dry cat food in several varieties from Lidl at 99p/kg the last time I bought it - I tend to buy half a dozen at a time. Our cat has had Felix pouches and absolutely loves them, but they are too expensive for me to use long term, as the cheap offers are not accessible for us - we don't have a Pets At Home that we pass very often, for example.

  11. Debbie, you will love your bag. The checkout guy knows I use Ilona's bag for soy milk and chilled goods!
    We have to get specialist food for our bunch....a diabetic girl needs special food...the guy with heart disease needs special food...the guy with allergies needs special food etc etc. We use a corn and vegetable fibre litter because we have two asthamatics who need dust free litter. 13 cats AIN'T cheap!!
    Jane x

    1. Jane you have a heart of gold, bless you for taking care of your cats.


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