As cat parents, you’re well aware of how expensive it can be to care for your beloved furry ones. From cat food to kitty litter to vet bills to toys, it all adds up very quickly. Time banking — a bartering type system where goods and services are exchanged without any cash — is a fun way to combine resources with fellow cat parents and save some cash. Here are some ways you can create a “catmunity” among fellow cat folks:
Build Your Catmunity.
Going out of town and need a cat sitter? Could use a helping pair of hands to help you build a cat play space? You can make the first move and reach out to fellow cat owners, cat aunts and uncles who live near you to create a community of sorts. You can keep in touch informally through a Facebook group or through an email chain. Just make sure everyone in the group has each other’s contact info.
Host a Swap.
Accidentally ordered the wrong type of cat food online and don’t know what to do with it? Just adopted a few kittens and could use some soft blankets? Hosting a swap at a park or someone’s house where you can exchange items you no longer need for stuff you can use reduces waste and saves you money at the same time.
Organize a Workshop.
Very likely, fellow cat parents will have some level know-how or experience they would like to share. You can organize a workshop on topics such as caring for a foster cat, homemade cat treats, or on what household plants are safe for your cat to be around. Don’t be shy about asking someone outside your group such as a vet, a pet shop employee, or someone from a local cat rescue to see if they would be interested in giving a short talk. You might be able to get some useful expert advice and referrals.
Keep an Inventory of Sharables.
From power drills for building to extra rolls of sisal rope, keep a list of items that fellow cat time bank members are willing to share or loan out. This can easily be done through a shared Excel sheet on Google Drive or on Dropbox. That way people can update it themselves hassle-free.
Host a Fundraiser.
If there’s a cause you care deeply about, you can join forces and organize a fundraiser. It can anywhere from donating money to your favorite cat non-profit or helping pay for a cat pal’s costly surgery. It doesn’t have to be a huge gala; a micro fundraiser such as a cat party where people can purchase chips for $5 and place it in a jar that represents the charity of their choice. You will be able to raise more funds than trying to go it alone.
With a little bit of resourcefulness and like-minded cat parents, you can create your own time bank to help you save on your cat. When we have each other’s back, we can do a lot more with what we have.