It is no secret that health care in the US is more expensive than almost anywhere else in the world. However, what you might not know is that the cost of taking your cat to the vet is extremely expensive as well. Vet bills keep on increasing as the cost of medications and equipment rises, as well as due to opportunism by some vets who know that pet owners will do anything for their pets’ health.
But how much can you expect to pay when you take your cat to the vet? Of course, it depends what, if anything, is the problem. According to Lemonade, these are the most significant costs to consider upon a visit to the vet. Keep in mind that costs vary depending on your location and your pet’s specific situation.
New kittens have their own specific one-off expenses. These include vaccinations, as well as spaying and neutering.
Vaccinations for rabies, FVRCP, and feline leukemia are lifesaving. While you will pay up to $50 a dose, and they each require multiple doses, the money spent is well worth it..
Not everyone neuters or spays their kittens, but there is good reason to do so. Female cats can disappear for a time when they are in heat, and male cats can wonder when they sense a cat in heat nearby. For female cats, the interest of male cats can, unfortunately, be very harmful in a physical sense. So, even if you do not mind your cat having a litter of kittens, leaving it up to fate is dangerous.
Spaying or neutering your kitten can cost as little as $50 but can go up to $200.
When it comes to vet visits for adult cats, there are a number of possible factors at play. Routine visits to give your cat a checkup will cost around $50. There are a number of other regular tests and treatments your cat will need.
A common ear infection will require a diagnostic exam and medication, which will cost around $120 to $150. Monthly flea control medication will cost you about $10-$15 a month. Annual fecal exams to check for parasites can cost you $25-$50.
If your cat has had undiagnosed parasites for a few months, treatment can cost $400-$1,000.
It is when something goes wrong that your vet bills will skyrocket. An emergency exam will cost up to $200. Urgent diagnostic testing can cost as “little” as $200 and as much as $4,000! If your cat needs overnight hospitalization, you will pay at least $600 per night and potentially much more.
These costs don’t include the cost of the actual treatment, which varies widely depending on the actual condition. If your cat has an illness that requires long-term treatment or surgery, you will end up paying thousands of dollars.
We have our own health insurance because we know that affording urgent medical care is difficult or impossible without it. However, for some reason, many people neglect to get pet insurance. This is not because their pets’ lives are not important to them – when push comes to shove they will pay anything to keep their pets alive.
For some, the idea of pet insurance seems indulgent. People are wary of anthropomorphising their pets. However, pet insurance is not for your pet. They will get the treatment one way or the other. It is to help you out financially.
Even if your cat lives a long life with no major health conditions, pet insurance is worth it for the occasions on which they do get sick or need dental care. But if you do have to bring your cat in with a serious illness or after a bad accident, pet insurance can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars. You won’t have to go into debt just to cover vet bills, and certainly won’t have to make the choice between money you don’t have and your cat’s life.
While pet insurance doesn’t cover everything, vet bills are unfortunately only increasing in the US. It is unlikely that we will see them decrease or even stabilise. Pet insurance is a great way to stay afloat no matter what your cat goes through.