Feline Finance

Cats have nine lives but to make these last as long as possible, your cat will need regular preventative health care and we recommend some provision for injury or illness should it occur

There was a time, not that long ago, when an ‘old’ cat was 13 or 14 years. Now it is common place to see sprightly, athletic cats that are 18, 19 and even 20 years old. The reasons for this are two-fold; fantastic homecare and improved nutrition along with top quality veterinary care. Cats born in the last ten years have been born into a period of exciting advances in our veterinary knowledge, diagnostics and skills. We can diagnose more subtle problems earlier, meaning quicker interventions and better outcomes.

Health Plans

Kittens are adorable. For them to grow into healthy cats, they need age-appropriate nutrition, continuous and effective flea and worm control, vaccination, microchipping and neutering.  For a London kitten the approximate cost for this first year of life is between £600 and £1000. These costs are not reclaimable from your insurance company as they are not an illness nor injury-related.

An excellent way to help you budget and manage your finances is to become a member of our Feline Fine Health Plan. Our plans not only enable you to spread the cost of your kitten or cat’s preventative health care over the year but they also come with significant additional in-practice benefits and service discounts. A healthcare plan isn’t a substitute for insurance but if fills the gap where insurance won’t go!

What could it cost?

Cats are sentient, living beings that will get sick or injured at some point as they tick off their nine lives, just like we do.  However, there is no NHS for our feline friends. It is all private and private health care costs money. Some typical costs of treatment are set out below:

 

Condition

Diagnosis and initial treatment   

Ongoing treatment

Repair of a fractured limb

£1500-£3500

 

Heart condition

£1500

£1000/year

Inflammatory bowel disease   

£1500-£3500

£1000/year

Chronic kidney disease

£1000

£800/year

Acute Kidney Failure

£1500

£800/year

Allergic skin disease

£1000

£800/year

Diabetes

£650-£1000

£1000/year

Hyperthyroidism

£300-£2000

Depends

Dentistry

£650-1800

£650-£1000/every 3-5 years  

 
Teeth problems are the most common disease of adult cats. Studies have found signs of dental disease in up to 70% of cats over 5 years of age. This is a problem you are almost certainly going to encounter with your cat at some point despite what you feed. Diagnosis requires general anaesthesia and dental x-rays to determine the appropriate treatment. Have you thought how will you manage the not insignificant costs associated with this?  

How can I budget?  

Insurance

This is something we can’t emphasise enough to our clients.  We insure our car, house and contents without batting an eyelid and we will seldom, if ever, claim on these. For some reason, we as a nation still to tend to baulk at insuring our pets.

Vets don’t recommend insurance so we can do unnecessary procedures. Nor do we see it as artistic licence to charge our clients more. It is quite the opposite. When illness or injury strikes, you will have significant treatment options available to you and we don’t want you to have to choose between your finances and your cat’s care. It is a truly painful dilemma that we see all too often.  And that's the reason why we recommend insurance.

There is wide variety of policies and providers available. You will need to do your research for one that suits you and your circumstances best. Whichever you choose, we encourage you to take a life-long policy that will cover your cat as they get older for dental disease and ongoing chronic conditions. Premiums vary depending on where you live and what breed your cat is. We recommend Petplan Insurance.

0% Finance

A common concept with dentists that is becoming more popular in veterinary practices is access to a 0% interest loan with repayment over 12 months. If you can't easily find large sums of money in one go at the start of treatment, perhaps you can afford to spread the payments over the year. If you don't have insurance but want the treatment to start without delay, this could be an option for you. It is not a replacement for insurance but is a great facility. We are very happy to have partnered with Care Free Credit to provide this service to eligible registered clients.

Regular Savings

Put money aside each month for future vet bills. This may work if you are disciplined enough to do it regularly and the amount you are squirreling away is a reasonable sum. The major pitfall of this approach is if, heaven forbid, something serious happens to your cat when they are only young and these funds are rapidly depleted.  Your cat may be left with a chronic condition,  you are unlikely to make that money up and no insurance company will insure your cat for this condition going forward.

The best advice we can give you is prepare for the worse and expect the best. This will put your wallet in a position of strength and importantly your cat’s health and wellbeing will not be compromised.