How Much Do Cats Cost at Petco? A Comprehensive Breakdown

Petco, a renowned pet supply retail chain, has been the destination for many pet enthusiasts looking to add a furry feline friend to their family. But how much does it really cost to adopt a cat from Petco?

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FAQs about Adopting Cats from Petco

Petco’s Unique Adoption Model

Before delving into prices, it’s essential to understand that Petco does not directly “sell” cats. Instead, they partner with local rescue and shelter organizations. The cats you see in-store are primarily from these affiliated shelters and rescues, which means adopting from Petco is essentially giving a homeless cat a second chance at a loving home.

Cost Breakdown: Adopting a Cat from Petco

Adoption Fees

While Petco itself doesn’t set the adoption fee, the rescues and shelters they collaborate with might. Prices can vary based on factors like the cat’s age, health, breed, and the specific policies of the local rescue or shelter.

Vital Care Plan

Petco’s Vital Care plan is an additional option for pet parents. Starting from $19.99 for a single cat, it offers multiple benefits, including $15 Pals Rewards every month that can be used for health and wellness purchases. If you sign up more than one cat, the price might drop slightly per feline, for example, to $17.99.

Veterinary Costs

First-time vet visits at Petco generally cost between $50-$70, excluding any treatments your pet might need. While these fees can sometimes be higher than local veterinarians, many adopters find the convenience of having vet services at the same location they adopt from beneficial.

Added Costs: Prepping for Your New Feline Friend


Cats need regular grooming, and if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, Petco offers grooming services. As with the adoption fees, the cost of grooming can vary, but expect to factor this into your budget if you intend to use these services.

Spaying or Neutering

While some cats at Petco may already be spayed or neutered, if you happen to adopt one that isn’t, you’ll need to consider this expense. While the cost can vary, some places offer cat neutering for around $95, which includes pre-operative care.

Considerations Beyond the Price Tag

Adopting a cat involves more than just an initial cost. Remember to account for food, toys, litter, and other necessities. Additionally, think about unexpected expenses such as health issues or accidents. Pet insurance, which Petco also offers, might be a worthy investment.

In Summary

While adopting a cat from Petco is a noble cause, giving a second chance to a pet in need, it is crucial to understand all associated costs. From the adoption fee set by local shelters and rescues to the ongoing expenses of pet care, being informed ensures that you can provide the best possible home for your new feline companion.

FAQs about Adopting Cats from Petco

1. Are all cats at Petco up for adoption from rescues and shelters?

Yes, Petco partners with local rescue and shelter organizations to provide adoption opportunities for cats. Rather than “selling” cats, they facilitate adoptions, giving homeless cats the chance to find loving homes.

2. What is included in the adoption fee?

While specifics can vary by location and partnering organization, the adoption fee usually covers:

  • Initial veterinary health check.
  • Basic vaccinations.
  • Microchipping in some cases.
  • Information packet for new cat parents.

Always ask your local Petco or affiliated shelter what the fee encompasses to avoid any surprises.

3. Are cats at Petco spayed or neutered before adoption?

Most cats available for adoption are already spayed or neutered. However, in instances where they aren’t, you might be required to ensure the procedure is completed post-adoption. This can sometimes be at an additional cost or at a discounted rate through affiliated veterinarians.

4. Can I return the cat if things don’t work out?

Petco understands that sometimes situations change or unforeseen challenges arise. While their primary goal is a forever home for every cat, they usually offer a grace period during which you can return the cat if necessary. Always check the adoption agreement or consult the staff for clarity.

5. What is the Petco Vital Care Plan, and is it mandatory for adoption?

The Vital Care Plan is an optional subscription service that offers benefits like regular vet checkups, discounts, and rewards. While it provides several advantages, it is not mandatory for adopting a cat from Petco.

6. Are there age restrictions for cats available for adoption?

Age varies among available cats. From kittens to senior cats, there’s a diverse range to choose from. Each age group offers its own unique experience, with kittens being more energetic and seniors often being more mellow.

7. Do the cats undergo behavioral assessments before adoption?

Most cats available for adoption at Petco have undergone some form of behavioral assessment. This is to ensure they’re a good fit for family environments and to inform potential adopters of any specific needs or tendencies.

8. Can I adopt more than one cat at a time?

Yes, there are often siblings or bonded pairs available for adoption. Adopting more than one cat can be beneficial, especially if they’re already accustomed to each other. They can provide each other with company, making the transition to a new home smoother.

9. Are there any discounts or promotions on adoption fees?

Occasionally, Petco or the affiliated rescue organizations might offer promotional events or discounts, especially during national adoption events or certain times of the year. Always inquire in-store or check Petco’s official website for any ongoing promotions.

10. How do I prepare my home for a newly adopted cat?

Preparing your home involves:

  • Setting up a litter box in a quiet spot.
  • Providing food and water dishes.
  • Offering a variety of toys for stimulation.
  • Establishing a designated resting area, like a cat bed.
  • Slowly introducing the cat to other household pets and members.

Remember, patience is key when introducing a new feline friend to your home environment.

11. Do I get post-adoption support?

Yes, Petco provides post-adoption support. This might include advice on cat care, food recommendations, training tips, and access to in-store events or workshops. Their commitment extends beyond just the point of adoption, ensuring the well-being of both the cat and the adopter.

12. Can I meet the cat before finalizing the adoption?

Certainly! Most Petco stores encourage a meet-and-greet session. This ensures you and the cat are a good match. You can observe the cat’s behavior, interact with them, and ask the staff any specific questions about the cat’s personality or habits.

13. Are there any ongoing commitments after adoption?

While there aren’t binding commitments, adopters are morally and legally obligated to provide proper care. This includes regular vet check-ups, ensuring the cat’s well-being, and not abandoning or neglecting the cat. It’s about committing to the cat’s lifetime of care.

14. How are cats cared for at Petco before adoption?

Cats in Petco are typically cared for by both store employees and affiliated shelter staff. They’re given daily food and water, regular litter box cleaning, and necessary medical attention. Moreover, interaction with humans and, at times, other cats ensures they remain social.

15. What if I have allergies?

If you’re allergic but keen on adopting, consider spending time with cats in-store to gauge your reactions. Some cats are labeled hypoallergenic, but it’s important to remember that no cat is 100% allergen-free. Frequent cleaning, using air purifiers, and opting for short-haired breeds might reduce allergen levels.

16. Do Petco cats come with a health guarantee?

While there’s no absolute “guarantee,” adopted cats typically undergo a health check before becoming available. Some shelters also provide a short health coverage period post-adoption. However, new owners should schedule a vet visit shortly after adoption to ensure their new feline friend is in prime health.

17. What’s the process if the cat falls sick shortly after adoption?

Petco’s partnering shelters often provide guidance on this. Many offer a window during which they’ll cover or assist with medical costs if the illness was pre-existing. Always clarify this aspect before finalizing your adoption.

18. Are there resources for first-time cat owners?

Yes! Petco offers a variety of resources. There are in-store workshops, online articles, and experts available to guide first-time cat parents. Everything from litter training to dietary needs can be addressed, ensuring you’re well-equipped to care for your new pet.

19. Can I adopt a cat as a gift for someone else?

While the intention might be kind-hearted, it’s crucial to remember that pet adoption is a serious commitment. It’s generally discouraged to adopt pets as surprises. If you’re keen, consider involving the recipient in the adoption process to ensure they’re ready for the responsibility.

20. How does Petco address the potential overpopulation issue?

By collaborating with shelters and rescues, Petco facilitates the adoption of cats instead of selling them. Additionally, they promote and sometimes mandate the spaying/neutering of cats, helping to curb overpopulation. Their commitment is not just to individual cats but also to the broader well-being of the feline community.

21. What post-adoption support does Petco provide?

After adopting, Petco remains a hub of resources. They offer product discounts to help with initial set-up and often collaborate with vet clinics to provide wellness checks. Plus, their in-store experts can offer advice on everything from behavior challenges to nutrition.

22. Are there age restrictions to adopt a cat from Petco?

Generally, adopters should be 18 years or older. However, partnering shelters might have specific age-related policies, so it’s best to check directly with them. While young enthusiasts are appreciated, the legal agreement needs an adult’s commitment.

23. How are potential adopters screened?

Petco and its affiliated shelters are committed to the well-being of the cats. Potential adopters typically undergo an interview process. Questions might address living conditions, previous pet ownership, and reasons for adopting. The aim is to ensure a stable, loving home for every cat.

24. Can I adopt if I live in an apartment or rented space?

Absolutely! However, it’s vital to ensure your rental agreement permits pets. Some shelters may request proof, like a lease agreement or a letter from the landlord, confirming that cats are allowed.

25. Do all Petco stores have the same adoption policies?

Not necessarily. While Petco has overarching guidelines, the specifics of adoption can differ based on the partnering shelter or rescue. Always clarify details with the particular Petco store or its associated shelter.

26. What if I have other pets at home?

Having other pets doesn’t disqualify you from adopting. However, it’s crucial to consider introductions and the integration process. Petco staff and shelter partners can provide guidance on introducing a new cat to resident pets, ensuring a smooth transition.

27. How does Petco ensure the cats’ mental well-being before adoption?

Cats at Petco are given toys, interaction, and stimulation to cater to their mental health. Regular human contact and, at times, play with other cats, helps them remain engaged and reduces stress.

28. What should I do if the adopted cat doesn’t settle in my home?

Adopting a cat is a significant commitment, but sometimes unforeseen challenges arise. If issues persist, consider reaching out to Petco or the shelter from which the cat was adopted. They can provide resources, counseling, or, in rare situations, discuss the possibility of returning the cat.

29. Are there any special discounts or events I should be aware of?

Petco often holds adoption events, sometimes offering reduced adoption fees or special packages for new adopters. It’s a great idea to stay updated with your local store’s events calendar or join their mailing list.

30. Can I volunteer or help with the adoption process at Petco?

Many Petco locations welcome volunteers to help care for the cats or assist during adoption events. If you’re passionate about helping but aren’t ready to adopt, volunteering can be a rewarding way to contribute.

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