Nearly every vet’s office has an application at the front desk for some sort of “pet insurance” health policy. We’ve noticed there are quite a few different companies which offer animal health insurance which has us wondering which might be the best one to buy. A better question, is it even worth it? After all, this is a monthly fee for a service that you may never need, or may never use up what you put into it.
We found this objective article. The author makes a very good point that it’s a good idea to create a savings account to put aside money for the feline health version of “for a rainy day.”
Next we also asked our good friend, Newton who’s one smart feline cookie to give us his purrspective, which we know is always a good one. He did some digging and not in the cat box! Interestingly, Newton tells us that: “I couldn’t find anyone recommending it (except the insurance companies). I tried to find out some background on the industry worldwide – not much out there.”
Newton’s Purrspective – Should you buy “pet insurance” for your cat’s possible health concerns?
We all know that keeping your cat healthy requires a certain level of financial commitment. However, most family budgets don’t include the costs for non-routine surgery, hospitalization for life threatening disease, or treatment by a specialist. Is health insurance for Kitty the answer?
Insurance is all about risk management. What are the chances your cat will need expensive veterinary care? Accidents can happen at any age. Senior cats are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes (treated with insulin) or chronic kidney failure (requiring fluids either at home or during hospitalization). There is no way to predict what might happen or exactly what it will cost.
What is best for you may be a combination of these ways to plan ahead:
1. pet insurance
2. savings or credit options
3. regular veterinary care to detect problems early
4. a cat safe environment
Is pet insurance worth the cost?
Those monthly payments may not seem so bad if Kitty does require expensive surgery. But everybody hopes they will never need the insurance and are often paying for peace of mind.
If you decide to buy pet insurance do the research to find a plan that is right for you. Questions to ask include:
1. What are the deductibles?
2. Are there treatment exclusions?
3. Is there a lifetime cap on benefits?
Another option is to have savings set aside for emergencies (i.e. pay yourself the insurance premium). There is also a health care credit card called Care Credit. http://www.carecredit.com/ The online application can be done at home or right in your veterinarian’s office (online or by phone). You choose the amount you need (e.g. estimated cost of procedure) and you get the decision instantly.
Potential costs can be minimized with regular exams for early disease detection. Also make your home as cat safe as possible. Eliminate poisonous plants (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/c?field_toxicity_value=02&&page=2) and dangerous toys (e.g. anything easily broken or small enough to swallow). I love my Legendary Cat Toys (http://www.catfaeries.com/toys.html) because they are large and can take a lot of rough play.
One final caution: Like most cats I can’t resist chasing yarn. It’s lots of fun until I catch it and it gets stuck to the little barbs on my tongue! Should this happen, my staff is always there to make sure I don’t swallow it. Thread is even more dangerous since it is often attached to a sewing needle. Yikes! http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/ask-a-vet-cat-swallows-needle-what-to-do
A cat safe environment is insurance everyone can afford.
On Newton’s advice to keep your cat’s home environment safe: Cat Faeries chimes in with a few favorites of our own. We’re pretty obsessively green around here as you probably have noticed from our articles!
- Keep your home free of scented/fragranced products – artificial fragrances are carcinogenic, cause respiratory distress, and brain damage in some cases. Also, scent, whether or not it smell good is very subjective – not everyone likes the same smells. People who have chemical intolerance only smell the chemicals which aren’t pretty.
- Hardwood floors or natural linoleum rather than carpet or laminate. 60 Minutes recently did an expose’ about toxic laminate from China:
- The microwave makes a good cabinet to store things! Don’t nuke your food or your cat’s food.
- Glass bowls for the cat’s food and water – never plastic. Wash them with a simple soap and water, daily.
- Filter the water that you drink and that you serve to your cat. Filter your cooking and coffee water too.
- Take your filtered water to a higher level when you Vitalize the drinking water for everyone in your home with our VitaJuwel gemstone vial/wands!
- Don’t buy furniture make from particle board. The glues and adhesives off gas and are carcinogenic. It horrifies us to see that particle board is used to build new homes, schools, and cat condos.