Financial Resources for Cats

4.38/5 (91)

Caring for cats is rewarding, but it can also be expensive. If you feel like costs keep adding up, there are a lot of approaches and resources to help you fund your efforts, so you can get back to what you do best—caring for cats!

Cat Food

  • Check for surplus cat food at your local animal shelter or even at a food bank or food pantry. Some animal shelters also have pet food banks.
  • Ask your local grocery store or pet supply store to donate broken packages or dented cans. Some retailers will also donate just-out-of-date products, which remain good for a few months longer than the sell-by date.
  • Ask local veterinary clinics if they have surplus or just-out-of-date foods that they are willing to donate.
  • Hold a cat food drive. Pick a day and location and publicize your event. Try to involve clubs you belong to or your workplace. You can also see if local high schools or volunteer organizations are interested in holding a drive. Or, ask local grocery stores and pet supply shops if you could put out a bin to collect cat food donations.
  • For seniors and individuals with diminished mobility, Meals on Wheels may offer pet food services, depending on your community’s program.

Outdoor Shelters

  • Ask for scrap lumber from building supply stores or contractors. You can sometimes get this for free.
  • See if your local garden supply or feed store has surplus straw to use as insulation.
  • Look for used dog houses at garage sales or online community boards (like Craigslist). They can easily be made into cat shelters by adding a little insulation and creating a smaller door.
  • Host a shelter-building party with others in your community. This way, you can split the cost of supplies and make even more cozy cat homes.

Spay and Neuter

  • Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Network includes veterinarians with community cat experience and low-cost spay and neuter providers. Request a list of Feral Friends Network members in your area.
  • State funded spay and neuter programs. Your state may have money available for low-cost or free spay and neuter services. Eligibility requirements, like being a low-income household, and the process involved, like required copays or using vouchers, will differ depending on the specific state’s program. See our spay and neuter state fund chart.
  • Need to spay or neuter community cats as part of a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) effort? See our tips on Funding Trap-Neuter-Return below!

Veterinary Care

  • CareCredit offers a revolving line of credit for veterinary expenses.
  • Cats in Crisis provides financial and fundraising assistance to individuals and humane organizations caring for cats with chronic or emergency medical conditions.
  • Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program gives financial assistance to cat and kitten caregivers who are unable to afford veterinary services in life-threatening situations.
  • RedRover Relief provides financial and emotional support to good Samaritans, animal rescuers, and pet owners caring for animals in life-threatening situations.
  • Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Network includes feral-friendly veterinarians with community cat experience who may be able to provide low-cost veterinary services in addition to spay and neuter and vaccinations.
  • More and more low-cost, high-quality animal clinics are opening in communities every year. Many offer spay and neuter services, vaccinations, and even ongoing wellness services. Find a clinic near you by searching online using key terms like “low-cost veterinary clinics” or “spay and neuter animals clinics.” Also, local animal shelters or municipal animal services may be able to refer you to a program or affordable veterinary option.

Funding Trap-Neuter-Return

  • Set up a savings plan. You know your budget better than anyone, so decide how much money you can afford to save each month for the cost of spay and neuter services. Talk to your veterinarian to estimate what the cost will be based on the number of cats you will be helping.
  • Hold a local fundraiser. TNR benefits the whole community, so it should be a community-wide effort. Community members can support TNR through fundraising events like bake sales, garage sales, and car washes. Learn more with our Organizing and Promoting Events guide.
  • Fundraise online. You have a network of friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, and others who might be willing to help fund your TNR efforts. There are many online fundraising tools (like GoFundMe.com, Crowdrise.com, and YouCaring.com) you can use. Be sure to explain your plan to spay and neuter the cats in your community and share pictures of the cats whose lives donors will help to improve. Outline your financial goal to fund all TNR costs, and ask them for a reasonable donation. Of course, any donation is great, but it’s best to provide a specific number that you feel will help you reach your goal.
  • Work with veterinarians and spay and neuter clinics. Some veterinarians and clinics may be willing to provide spay and neuter surgeries at a lower cost because you are performing a service that helps the community. You can find low-cost spay and neuter services in your area by searching online using terms like “low-cost spay and neuter” and “spay and neuter clinics.” Also be sure to check out our Feral Friends Network for feral-friendly veterinarians in your area who may be able to help.
  • Apply for grants. Grants are gifts of money offered by organizations or other entities that are intended to be used for a specific purpose. Obtaining a grant differs depending on the grant itself, but it usually requires an application, where you’ll need to describe how you plan to use the grant and agree to report back on how it was used. There are grants specifically for spaying and neutering and Trap-Neuter-Return. Some places to seek grants are:
  • Check for a state spay and neuter fund. Your state may have a spay and neuter fund that can be used by nonprofit organizations and/or municipalities. See our Spay and Neuter Funds by State.
  • Need more advanced fundraising tips? We have resources to help organizations raise money for ongoing efforts to help cats.

Spay and Neuter Funds by State

State

Has S/N Fund?

Direct Subsidies?

Grants to Non-Profits and/or Municipalities

Low Income Targeting?

CC specifically included?

CC specifically excluded?

Alabama

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Alaska

No

Arizona

Yes

No

Yes

 

No

 

Arkansas

No

California

Yes

No

Yes

 

No

No

Colorado

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Connecticut

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Delaware

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

DC

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Florida

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Georgia

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Hawaii

No

Idaho

No

Illinois

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Indiana

No

Iowa

No

Kansas

No

Kentucky

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Louisiana

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Maine

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Maryland

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Massachusetts

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Michigan

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Minnesota

No

Mississippi

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Missouri

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Montana

No

Nebraska

No

Nevada

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

New Hampshire

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

New Jersey

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

New Mexico

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

New York

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

North Carolina

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

North Dakota

No

Ohio

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Oklahoma

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Oregon

No

Pennsylvania

No

Rhode Island

Yes

Funds go to municipal fund.

Yes

No

No

South Carolina

Yes

No

 

No

No

No

South Dakota

No

Tennessee

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Texas

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

Utah

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Vermont

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Virginia

Yes

Funds go to municipal fund.

No

No

No

Washington

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

West Virginia

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Wisconsin

No

Wyoming

No

Please rate this

Not helpful