You Will NEVER Eat Cat Food In Retirement

The single biggest retirement myth in existence has to be: you better save or you will end up being poor and eating cat food in retirement.  I seen it referenced so many times in books or the media that it sort of makes me crazy. So of course I read that and think…oh come on, no really does that do they? I eat well fairly easily on a $300/month budget for a family of four.   Even a fixed income senior can’t be that bad off, right?

Since I don’t own a cat, I had to do some research.  So skimming a few websites for prices on canned cat food I found prices ranged from $0.59 to $1.59 per 3 oz (or 85 gram) can.  So let’s give our mythical cat food eating seniors the benefit of the doubt and go with the lowest price.  So that would translate into $0.69/100 grams or $6.90/kg.  Now I’m not a huge meat eater, but to me that even sounds like a high price for protein.

So I pick up this weeks grocery store flyer and pull out the following prices (I didn’t even comparison shop on these):

  • Hotdogs, $4.18/kg
  • Pork side ribs, $4.14/kg
  • Chicken drumsticks or thighs, $6.13/kg
  • Pork shoulder blade steak, $6.57/kg

Hmm, so in reality a senior would be better off eating: hotdogs, pork side ribs and even chicken drumsticks than cat food.  Heck, even a pork shoulder steak is a good option. Oh, yes and lets not forget that is assuming they are eating a lot of meat, when in fact going just meatless once a week would drop their spending by a lot.  Oh, the joys and frugal nature of eating some beans…once in a while.

So in conclusion, rest easy: you will NEVER eat cat food in retirement.  It costs too much!  In fact only a bloody idiot would even consider eating canned cat food in retirement.  So next time someone rolls out that silly little myth, feel free to call: bullsh!t.

17 thoughts on “You Will NEVER Eat Cat Food In Retirement”

  1. I will never eat cat food in retirement but I won’t have much meat either. Meat is not a big part of my life now because of the price and my protein comes from other sources such as beans, yogurt and protein powder when it goes on sale at Costco.

  2. in other words we spend more on the meat we feed out pets than the meat we eat ourselves? Wow, I think your readers might just start downgrading their pest to hotdogs and pork chops. 😀

  3. LOL. I sometimes give my dog hotdogs for a treat. He loves them. At the end of summer, you can get huge packages of them for dirt cheap. Prior to his passing, my 18 y.o. cat mostly got canned tuna, salmon and sardines to keep his appetite and weight up. I wasn’t considering the cost, but it was probably cheaper than cat food.

  4. My retirement food budget is at minimum $500/month for two….and I would go higher.
    Almost paleo now, no legumes, grains, dairy (I cheat a little with dairy)…my body is loving me again. My wheat and gluten allergies (that developed in adulthood) caused so much irritation and years of tears….
    That being said it’s an expensive diet, well for me anyways…meat has to be top notch, grain fed and antibiotic free, hormone free. Don’t care, I am worth it!! I grow a lot of veggies so that is good. the dairy cheat is whey isolate protein powder–my lunch shake with kale and pineapple…
    Cat food, not a friggin chance! I even make my own dog biscuits with sweet potatoes and ground beef.

  5. >in other words we spend more on the meat
    >we feed out pets than the meat we eat ourselves?

    LOL. Our afghan hound wasn’t SUPPOSED to get the pork chop… he just helped himself when we weren’t looking. Same thing with the 2 lb block of cheddar, except when he couldn’t hold it in his mouth and it hit the floor with a thunk, the jig was up.

    He had no shame when it came to stealing food. He’d politely wait to see if someone would tell him it was off limits, but if no one noticed after 10-20 seconds, then it must have been his.

  6. @Me,

    Thanks…damn my slow fingers in the morning. I typed that wrong and never noticed. Thanks…I fixed it.


  7. @Elizabeth,

    In a nut shell, yes the senior’s cat may be eating better than they are…perhaps the solution is skip the pet and buy yourself the odd steak. *grin*


  8. I think that you are comparing apples to oranges here. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the matter. I’m not a pet owner, but isn’t the cat food you are looking at ready to eat? Should you be looking at preccoked roasts and deli meats? Hot dogs, I’ll give you, but often there’s not a lot of meat in those things. Who would feed a dog to a cat anyways? 🙂
    Great article Tim!

  9. Hi! You feed your family of 4 on $300 per month?! How do you do that? I am pretty astute with the flyers and specials but I usually find my weekly budget for 3 (and sometimes 4) hovering between $200-$275 per week. We rarely eat processed food preferring to make it from scratch. We eat meat-based meals on average 4-5 times a week.
    I am not skeptical of your claims, but I sure wonder how you do it.It seems to me food has always seemed more expensive in Alberta that here in Quebec.
    What am I missing?

  10. @Andrew,

    $200/week…so that’s like $800/month. What are you eating? Seriously. I can’t comprehend spending that much on food (no offense, it just hard for me to understand). To help you out I’m provide the following points: 1) my wife runs a daycare, so the business pays for her lunch during the week, 2) we try to mostly eat what is in season for fruit and veggies, 3) my meat portions are often half sized compared to most people, 4) I cook around what we have more than what I feel like eating so we don’t throw much out, 5) we pantry shop so I bulk up on staples when they are cheap, 6) we will buy in bulk for some ingredients, 7) we limit our special items to only a few a month (ie: I would buy seafood or ham or steak in a given month, but NEVER all three). Anyways, I hope the helps sort it out…feel free to search the blog for other food posts which may help you figure it out.


Comments are closed.