Owning a pet is great for your health, but it can be tough on your bank balance. Here’s which pet is easier on your pocketbook:

  • First up: The cost of buying a pet. You can shell out thousands for a purebred dog or cat, but you’ll save money - and a life - by adopting an animal from a shelter. The fee usually covers the first shots, plus spaying or neutering. It’ll cost you about $100 for a cat, and about $150 for a medium-size dog.

  • When you get your pet home, you’ll need: Toys and equipment. Again, you’ll have to spend a little more on a dog because they require things like leashes and crates.

  • Pet cost #3: Food. Joseph Wakshlag is a professor of clinical nutrition at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. And he says that feeding a dog or a cat dry food costs about the same. So, provided you don’t have a large dog that needs extra food - or an animal with special dietary needs - this one’s a tie.

  • Of course: Your pet’s meals cost you, both coming and going. Cat owners spend about $8 a week on litter. So, dogs have a leg up here.

  • And this last pet-related cost has TRIPLED in the last 30 years: Healthcare. Indoor cats have the advantage because they don’t need emergency care as often from fights or car accidents. But even if a cat spends time outdoors, it’ll cost a little less. According to Consumer Reports, the average routine veterinary visit is $100 for a dog, and $90 for a cat. The winner? Dollar for dollar, felines are cheaper to own than canines. But either way, you come out the winner. A Cambridge University study found that owning a pet reduces your chances of having a heart attack, developing Alzheimer’s, and even catching colds or getting headaches.