As a cat owner, there is probably nothing you wouldn’t do for your feline friend when it sick or injured. Imagine when it does happen. As you rush your cat to the veterinarian, you give no thought to the cost; but, when the vet turns to you to inform you your cat needs a $2,000 surgery, you panic because you don’t have $2,000 lying around. Not willing to have to face that possibility, more cat owners are turning to pet insurance for peace-of-mind. The question for many cat owners is whether pet insurance actually makes good financial sense.
How Much Does Health Care for Cats Cost?
Some cats can go their whole lives without needing any medical treatment beyond a periodic wellness exam. Depending on where you live, wellness exams can cost between $50 and $150, which is well within most cat owners’ budgets. However, an accident or illness resulting in an emergency visit to the vet can easily run as high as $2,000 depending on the severity of the problem. With the advances in veterinary medicine, more can be done to treat cats with serious medical conditions, such as cancer or kidney failure. Advanced treatments can run well into the thousands of dollars.
What Cat Owners Say They Pay for Care and Insurance
According to a survey conducted by LendEDU, more than 80% of cat owners reported spending between $0 and $300 per year in vet charges. About 16% spend between $300 and $800 a year. Less than 2% spend between $800 and $1,000 per year and just over 1% spends more than $1,000. Cat owners anticipate spending more than $300 a year in vet expenses may want to consider pet insurance. Of the cat owners who do buy pet insurance, more than 70% say they spend between $0 and $300 a year for their insurance.
Certainly, if you anticipate spending more, upwards of $800 or $1,000 a year, pet insurance would be a must. Some cat owners spend upwards of $1,000 or more for pet insurance and, as you might guess, more than 90% say that it’s worth it.
Of the 80% or so of cat owners who don’t have pet insurance, more than half say it is because they think it is too expensive, even though providers like Healthy Paws average between only $15 and $35 a month. A quarter say they have never heard of it. A third say they are considering buying pet insurance in the future, while nearly half say they are unsure.
If you are considering purchasing pet insurance it is important to consider all of the pros and cons of pet insurance, just as you would with any big decision.
Pet Insurance Pros
- For younger pets, basic coverage is typically cost-effective, costing as little as $15 or less each month.
- Pet insurance provides the peace-of-mind that, if the moment of need ever comes, you will be financially prepared to cover it.
- There is a wide variety of treatment plans offered by a number of pet insurers, so you are sure to find a plan that makes sense for your pet’s needs that is within your budget.
Pet insurance Cons
- Pet insurance can get very expensive for older cats.
- Most insurers won’t cover pre-existing or congenital conditions.
- There is a chance you will spend more money on insurance than on veterinary care over your cat’s lifetime.
For most cat owners, buying pet insurance is an emotional consideration. No one wants to imagine leaving their cat to die on the surgery table because they can’t afford the treatment. But, for many it is also a financial consideration.
It’s possible to pay 12 to 15 years of insurance premiums and only use a fraction of that for vet costs. A vast majority – 70% – of cat owners essentially say that it is still worth it, much like paying for homeowner’s insurance and never having to use it – the peace-of-mind is always priceless.
This is a guest post by Lauren Davidson, cat-enthusiast and aspiring freelance journalist.
If you’re curious about pet insurance, head on over to Healthy Paws and get a free premium quote.