There is a whole list of things that we buy outside of pet shops, which work just as well, and are more economical. Here is a laundry list of kitty supplies that can be bought outside pet shops:
- Litter pan liners: These are plastic sheets/bags that can be used to line the bottom of a litter box (with or without a tray). An example is here; this one costs $7 for 12 pieces. We bought ours from SKP Packaging. This one is a 22inch square plastic sheet, the kind that you can find in takeaway tze char boxes. The size fits our PeeWee litter box perfectly. It costs $7.50 for 5pounds worth for this size, which is the biggest. 5pounds of these plastic sheets roughly a few hundred pieces worth.
- Wet wipes: Useful for in-between baths, there is a large variety of non-pet wet wipes in the market. I specifically use Pigeon disinfectant wet wipes (blue packaging, 60pieces for $3.50), which is safe for use on baby teethers and toys, which means it’s safe for pets when they lick themselves. Plus it kills germs, and is cheaper than the pet store variety, which costs $20.42 for 40 wipes.
- Powder: We use powder on our cats sometimes, in between baths, especially when we suspect they might have fleas. For this we buy Prickly Heat powder, which comes in a large can for about $3. Aswat recommended to us as he uses it for his pets.
- Cat-friendly plants: We have 2 plants that are not pet store purchases, both of which are from Shop and Save. This one, of which we don’t know the name of except that it is not poisonous, costs $6. Pandan costs $0.30 a bunch, here are two bunches shown in a vase, where I am waiting for the roots to sprout before transplanting it into soil.
- Collar jewellery: Well, not jewellery as such, this one is a charm, the kind found on charm bracelets. It comes with a clasp that can be hooked on anything. This one found on Scooter costs only $1.90 in the shape of a letter S from Takashimaya Level 1.
- Collar bells: When a bell comes loose and goes missing, we now know that our local hardware store sells them for only $0.35, instead of $1.50-$2 for the kinds that are usually sold at pet stores.
- Food!: of course, this is pre-prepared food, not like canned food that is easy and balanced in nutrition. However, fresh food can be added to the cats’ diet, and is cheaper than canned food. More on that here. Canned tuna costs about $2.20, and minced chicken at $0.89 per 100gm from Giant.
- Toys: these can be virtually free. I make cat toys from things around the house like old socks, unused bolster case strings, cloth, cardboard boxes, bubble tea straws, small plastic bags, rice (to make noise-makers or beanbags), leaves from our plant, hand towels, buttons. All you need is a needle and thread, scotch-tape or glue, and maybe a rubber band or two.
- Bedding and pillows: I use old pillow cases, and stuff them with seat cushions which originally cost me $1.90 each from ValueBuy. Slinky and Sayang both love my handmade pillows and spend lots of time snoozing in their baskets lined with their pillows.
Hope this list helps you with economical ideas for your cat!