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Cat food and veterinary costs in Singapore


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#1 massrapidtransit

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Hi everyone! I need some suggestions for good cat food. My friends and I will be taking over responsibilities of caring for the school cats, and I have been asked to draw up a plan about how much money is needed for the year (ie. for food and veterinary costs). Right now the cats are fed a kind of canned cat food with a "Burp" on it. I'm not sure what brand it is, but the hamster food equivalent seems to be kind of lousy and filled with sunflower seeds, so the cat food may not be that great either. I hope that when we take over we will be able to improve the lives of the school cats, so are there any better brands of cat food that are available in Singapore? :)
Also, how much money is needed for an average trip to the vet? Perhaps for a checkup with no operation, and what about sterilisation? (One of the school cats has yet to be sterilised.)
We certainly will be doing more research about cat care, but this is rather urgent as we need to submit the plan by this week, so I came here for help. Thank you and I appreciate your help!

Edit: I googled Burp! cat food and it appears that it is maunfactured by PLC and there are negative reviews on many forums about it containing a lot of tuna and jelly etc. So it probably wouldn't be a good idea. :P

Edited by massrapidtransit, 06 February 2012 - 05:38 PM.





#2 tkdg3r

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:41 PM

Is there a vet that your school used to send the other cats for sterilisation or one that's near your school? You could call the clinic to ask for an approximate price. Costs would vary depending on the gender of the cat and if it's in heat (for females). I heard it's about $80 for a male and $100- $100+ for females. Different clinics charge different miscellaneous costs. Some might bill you for stitching or anesthesia and some don't so it would be wise to find out first before you draw up the plan in case it comes up to much more than what you budgeted for.

Consultations are usually about $30-$40 also dependent on the clinic. You should schedule for an annual checkup for all the cats and semi-annual ones for those above 7 years. Also vaccinations if they haven't had any done or if there are kittens. Kittens have to complete their kitty jabs (about 2-3). After that it's recommended to have booster shots only once every 3-4 years after the cat has had the initial kitty shots, not once a year like most vets might pressure you to do.

So for veterinary costs wise you'd need to find out:

- Which cats haven't had their annual/semi-annual checkups done already this year

- Which kittens (if any) have not had their vaccinations done yet and which cats are due to have their booster shots this year

- What gender is the cat that requires sterilisation

- If possible, budget for an emergency vet fund in case any of the cats fall ill

I'd personally recommend feeding fresh/raw foods for a healthier diet but seeing as these are school cats I doubt you'd be given a freezer/fridge to store the food. When deciding on the food brand, look at the ingredient list. Get one that lists lots of meats as the first few ingredients. Those that contain things like flour and jelly are a waste of money even if they are cheap because they're only used to fill up the can and nutritionally it's useless to the cat.

I've heard that one should avoid feeding seafood to cats as they tend to have more allergies towards seafood and chicken is a better choice. That's what I've heard as I'm not a cat owner so it may or may not be accurate. The better brands are Wellness and Orijen but being premium, they are much more pricier than other brands so I don't know if they'd fit in the budget your school is looking at. But these would be excellent choices if you could get them.

#3 tkdg3r

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:46 PM

Taste of the wild and Natural Balance seem like good mid-range choices too.

#4 massrapidtransit

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:09 PM

Thanks for the reply. Actually the school cats aren't exactly domesticated cats or officially acknowledged, they're kind of half-feral but still depend on us for food. For sterilisation I found that Cat Welfare Society offers sterilisation for male cats (the one that needs is it male) for $25-$35 or something like that. There are no kittens.

I feel terrible because I know that the cats aren't as properly cared for as we'd like them to be, and only one of them has any sort of vaccination because she used to be a domestic cat. As far as I know, the rest have not had any vaccination or annual check-ups. One of the older cats seem to be rather poorly lately but the teachers have refused to send him to the vet, saying that it's a part of the natural ageing process. My friends and I will try to organise fundraising to keep at least $200 in an emergency vet fund at all times and I hope that we will be able to bring them to the vet if they need it.

Is Fancy Feast a good brand for cats? It seems easily available and hopefully within our budget (we don't know how much we can have yet). I found this website with a list of their food and the ingredients. (http://www.fancyfeast.com/wet-cat-food/classic/) Are they generally alright? If seafood isn't very good I'll pick the ones without it.

One more thing: What about dry food? I read that dry food is strongly discouraged and have little nutritional value, but now the situation is that the cats are fed canned food in the morning and dried food in the evenings due to budget constraints. Is there any dried cat food that is the "lesser of two evils" then?

#5 tkdg3r

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:46 PM

From what I know, dry food is discouraged because they are too high in carbs and lack any moisture. Cats have a low thirst drive and get most of their moisture from their food. If fed on dry food they would have to consume more water to make up for the lack of it but due to their low thirst drive they won't consume as much as they should and that leads to chronic dehydration.

I guess since they won't be completely on dry food it's not too bad although I'd still try for a completely wet diet. A local private cat shelter recommends this brand as a cost-effective quality dry food. http://www.thewaterdish.com.sg/best-sellers-front/solid-gold-indigo-moon.html

Fancy Feast is considered to be among the lower quality foods. Usually those brands sold in supermarkets should be avoided.

The price for a can is about $1.30 based on thewaterdish's site. And it's a pretty small can. Only 85g. For that kind of price you can get better quality foods like
Nutripe 185g @ $2.50. Slightly cheaper even in fact. http://www.thewaterdish.com.sg/all-products/cat-store/nutripe-green-tripe-dog-1.html
Addiction Feline Brushtail and Vegetables Entree 185g @ $2.90 http://www.thewaterdish.com.sg/addiction-feline-brushtail-and-vegetables-entree-185gm.html

Buying in bulk will further lower the cost: $57.20 for 24 x 185g Nutripe cans http://www.thewaterdish.com.sg/nutripe-terakihi-with-green-tripe-canned-cat-food.html

#6 tkdg3r

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:25 PM

There are several other websites or shops that offer lower prices at approx $2.10 per nutripe can so I feel this could fit into your school's budget better.

#7 massrapidtransit

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:41 PM

Thank you so much for the help! :hug: I read about the Indigo Moon dry cat food, I shall try to get that plus the Nutripe cans then.

Edit: Sorry, about how much dried cat food does a single cat eat in one meal? I know it's difficult to estimate, but I have to calculate the cost and I have no idea how much a cat eats.

Edited by massrapidtransit, 08 February 2012 - 05:23 PM.


#8 Furkies

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:03 PM

MRT!
I buy Taste of the Wild for my cats from my friend @ 15lb. Self collect - $65.70, Delivery - $79.30.
Sadly, my friend only sell to close friends so I might be able to get them for you at such affordable prices.
For my 3 cats though, it takes a month to finish a bag of it (So it can be expensive considering how many strays you might have to feed!)

While I agree that dry kibbles can be bad for cats in long term, but for strays, they consider themselves lucky as long as there are food available. I have a cat with high thirst drive, but does not like canned food, homecooked food or even raw. She only prefers the kibbles, so I am thankful she at least love drinking (But because I am using a DogIt water fountain, which keeps water constant and cool, fresh and tasty, my dogs and cats love drinking!)

Edited by Yanglicious, 12 February 2012 - 11:05 PM.


#9 massrapidtransit

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:27 PM

Hey Yang! :) Thanks so much for the suggestions, but Indigo Moon is about the same price, so I shan't trouble you. I really haven't confirmed what I need to buy though, the problem is with the canned food as it's the more expensive one. The teachers are encouraging us to get sponsorship from PLC (since it's free and all) but the food is really bad quality. I'd personally rather we organise a fundraising or try to get money from the school, but well, not everyone else thinks the same way so we might end up trying to get sponsorship.

How often do you feed your cats kibble a day? Once? At this rate I might have to source for another cheaper brand of kibble... :(

#10 Furkies

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:07 PM

I know it's a terrible mindset of mine; But I don't feed my strays the "better qualities" too... Mainly because I have too many strays to feed and I can't afford, and let's not forget the fact that strays are a contented lots and having enough foods for survival is more important.