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post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
i was thinking of insuring my cats..do anyone have any views on it ??
post #2 of 26
I've had all my cats insured since they were kittens. I think that unless you have a lot of money tucked away somewhere it's vital. I'm with petplan and have made 2 claims to date. The first was for my bridge baby, Magpie, who died last October. He had a blood clot in his neck and died a few hours after being taken to the vets. The treatment cost nearly £2000 (and was nearly more as they were going to give him an injection costing £400 per shot of which he would need several). If I hadn't had insurance a terrible evening would have been made so much worse by worry over how to pay for it all. I'd hate to be in a position that I'd have to refuse life saving treatment because I didn't have the money. Petplan paid up in full (minus excess). I've also made a claim for Jaffa when he had a dental (total cost approx £400) and again they paid up in full.
post #3 of 26

There is no way I could pay if something went wrong with Zissou, and there is also no way I could just let her die a horrible death simply cause I can't afford thousands of dollars in vet treatments, and so I have insurance.

It works differently than medical insurance for humans, but it's certainly worth it!
post #4 of 26
Insurance all the way we use Pet Plan for our girls. really has been a life saver even with our elderly girl that we adopted. she had previous conditions but we also found she had allergies that weren't listed as previous conditions. we've spent over £2000 in the last year on her treatment and trying to work out what it all was. most of it was all given back by Pet Plan.
post #5 of 26
Does anyone have any recommendations for a good pet plan here in MA?
post #6 of 26
It's typically a national thing. I like VPI and I think many other USAers do as well.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
thanks..sorry to hear about magpie..i have five cats myself, tuna,pilchard,boo,tinkerbell and my baby 2 months old angel..thanks for the advice im seriously thinking i really need it
post #8 of 26
I suspect that this board is unusually pro-insurance. To me, there is a continum of how much money and medical care people are willing to spend on their pets, and you should make different choices about insurance depending on where you are.

Willingness to spend money
1. Cats should cost me food (does not result in healthy or happy cats)
2. Cats should cost me food and occasional check-ups
3. Cats should cost me food, check-ups, and occasional emergency money
4. It doesn't matter how much it costs, my cats are getting the best care available!

I think insurance is only a good idea if you fit into the last category. Honestly, I'm more like a 3; I think, for both humans and animals, that there is such a thing as too much medical care. Pouring money and drugs into any suffering creature is just not my style.

Any kind of insurance provider is providing insurance in order to make money. A cats' health care will cost some average amount of money, and the insurance provider will charge you slightly more than that. If your cat is healthier than usual or even of average health, if you get insurance you are wasting money. This is true of human health insurance, of car insurance, life insurance, of every kind of insurance, no matter the details of how it works. Some small set of cats will have much higher health costs. These cats, statistically, are outliers, and the insurance provider uses all the extra money from healthy cats to pay for this. The reason you buy any kind of insurance is because you can't financially deal with the risk of being one of those outliers with catastrophic costs.

I take risks; I have gone long time periods without health insurance, and my cats do not have pet insurance. But, as much as I love my cats (and one of my darlings did cost me a few hundred dollars the day she died), I would euthanize a cat with a long term, costly, painful degenerative disease.
post #9 of 26
I somewhat agree with what Enuja says, and I'm probably a 3 on her list. I will not buy insurance for the cats, but part of that comes from having four spoiled house rabbits who usually aren't covered by insurance. I've learned to keep several hundred extra at minimum in my checking account, plus my normal credit card, plus the understanding that I might need to pull from savings if I have to make another trip to an emergency vet clinic. The last time it was $100 just to walk in!

Also, look into Care Credit. It's like a credit card for veterinary and medical expenses. If you meet their qualifications and follow their payback plan, they don't charge interest. I know my credit is good and I would most likely be approved. My vet has brochures in the office, and their website is here:

I seriously considered using it during that dash to the emergency vet, but the final bill ended up being less than they had originally estimated.
post #10 of 26
This is crazy. I started putting all the helpful cat insurance threads into one locatable posting and now I cannot find it upon doing a search.

Okay, here it is, I searched my own posts....duh.


That thread has a bunch of links for this issue, and links to insurance companies.
post #11 of 26
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
I think, for both humans and animals, that there is such a thing as too much medical care. Pouring money and drugs into any suffering creature is just not my style.
Sorry, but I don't understand exactly what you're saying? Are you saying that you don't need insurance because you would never be prepared to pay a lot of money for veterinary treatment for your cat? Not even if the prognosis was for the cat to go on to live a long and happy life, free from suffering? Prolonging the life of a suffering animal is something that I think most people on here would be opposed to, but before you end the suffering of any animal there are often expensive consultations and tests that need to be carried out before you can decide whether treatment is appropriate. Remember that emergency vets and pain relieving drugs cost a lot of money, and expenses can mount up very quickly. Insurance isn't necessary if you've got alternative funding for such a situation, but what everyone should make sure they avoid is a situation where their cat is in pain and they are unable to afford emergency medical care. Every cat has a right to be seen by a vet asap if it's in pain. My Magpie was only at the vets for about 5 hours and I was on the verge of asking them to put him to slelep when he died as I didn't want him to suffer any more. The treatment up til then (out of hours intensive care) ran into thousands.

For me, the 'Magpie rule' has become my rule of thumb. Imagine you come home from work to find your cat lying on the floor paralysed and in pain. The regular vets is closed but it's clear the cat needs to be seen by an emergency vet now. Not the next day when you've managed to raise funds, but immediately. And in that situation there's not a lot of time to ring around and find the cheapest emergency vet. That's what I make sure I can afford and that's why I have insurance. I'd also, personally, hate to have to have one of my cats put to sleep because I couldn't afford necessary treatment that could save their life. To me, it's not about how much anyone is prepared to pay on treating their pet, but the right of that pet to emergency medical care should they need it. I won't take risks with the health of my cats.
post #12 of 26
The sorts of things covered by health insurance for pets includes being hit by a car and needing a bone set, as minor as a leg or tail. Should we just have them put down for having a broken bone? I don't believe that pets are expendable, and I love my Zissou. I want to ensure that she can get the care she needs when she needs it. Now, if I made a nice salary and could afford to pay out-of-pocket for a couple thousand in medical expenses for her, maybe I wouldn't get insurance. Since I can't, it would be irresponsible to not have provided for her. Stick around the forums longer, and read a few heartbreaking posts with pictures of cats with eyes of the verge of popping from infection, or about cats vomiting blood, or abcesses the size of grapefruits, all posts ending with "but I can't afford a vet, is there anything else I can do?" Those are the sorts of reasons I have for having insurance.

I value my cat more than I value 122$ a year. And I don't believe that's unreasonable in the slightest.

Being able to care for her in an emergency is not the same as dragging out her life while she has a terminal disease.
post #13 of 26
I was a bit nervous about responding in this thread because I feared the exact response I got.

The response I got was that if you aren't willing to 1) pay for pet insurance and 2) give your pet ever single medically possible treatment, then you are a cruel and immoral person. I don't buy that, and I don't think that's what this board should be telling the OP.

Yes, deciding whether to get pet insurance IS deciding how much money you are willing to spend on your cat. It is important to make this choice before you are in an emergency, so you have the money you are willing to spend and so you don't spend money you aren't willing to spend. I am sure that, for most people on this board, pet insurance is the best choice.

The fact that I don't have pet insurance does not turn my happy, healthy cats into terrorized and miserable cats. The fact that I have not spent money on my husband's health insurance does not make him a domestically abused spouse, either.
post #14 of 26
Not having health insurance for a human can be absolutely disastrous. It was to my family. I'm in no way exagerrating, not having health insurance sent my family from being upper-middle-class to both below poverty level and also subject to a lawsuit from a family member. For an illness that struck out of the blue, with no warning, and nearly killed my mother when I was nine. That is obviously a different topic, and if you and your husband are fine with that risk, that's your business.

But as for a cat... I personally also believe that there is a limit to how much medical care you can get for your cat. That limit is when you and the cat would both be homeless and without food for the foreseeable future, or when the cats quality of life is nonexistent and shows no hope of getting better. The first one, I avoid by having pet insurance, and the second is a seperate debate.

But what you seem to be saying is that if your cat's medical issue will cost much more than an average check-up, you have no responsibility to do so. Since this is a cat welfare board, and not a human economics board, I don't know how much agreement you'll get out of anyone. What is best for the cat, and what is best for your pocketbook, are not always the same thing.

Do you even know how much pet insurance costs? For a single, young cat, it is around 100- 150$ Small trade-off, I'd say.

The reason most of us are advising for pet insurance is because that amount of money is nothing compared to what can happen for a relatively minor health problem, or accident. And we'd hate to see someone lose a pet they loved for financial reasons.
post #15 of 26
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
The response I got was that if you aren't willing to 1) pay for pet insurance and 2) give your pet ever single medically possible treatment, then you are a cruel and immoral person.
I don't think anyone's said or implied that. Enuja. I certainly didn't mean to give that impression. Nobody has said you should give your pet every possible treatment in every circumstance. But sometimes the first line of treatment - stabilising the pet's condition before you can assess the extent of injuries/illness - is what costs a lot of money. The point I was trying to make was that by deciding in advance a limit as to how much you will pay for veterinary treatment, what will happen if immediate, emergency care and assessment of the problem takes you over that amount? Will you have your cat put to sleep before you've even assessed the extent of the problem and whether it's curable?
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
the thing is at the end of the day if anything was to happen to one of my cats *god forbid* im sure i would find the money some how,even if it ment borrowing..but another thought was maybe opening a separate bank account and putting aside a bit each month just incase..i just wanted to know if there was hidden advantages in having insurance
post #17 of 26
Originally Posted by animal View Post
another thought was maybe opening a separate bank account and putting aside a bit each month just incase..i just wanted to know if there was hidden advantages in having insurance
An advantage of insurance to me is it's a savings plan I can't dip into when I see a pair of shoes I like!

A lot of people do just put some money aside each month, and provided you can get a fair bit put away quickly and have the self discipline not to use it for anything else, that is a good idea. And you'd get interest on it. The downside is that it can take a long time to put away a couple of thousand pounds (at least it would for me), which is the amount I'd want in a savings account before I could relax and feel ready for most emergencies. To date I've received more money from my insurance company than I've paid in, but that's just due to Magpie's payout.
post #18 of 26
Yea, as soon as you open a policy you have coverage. With a bank account, for one thing you have a bunch of money set aside for something, and a few thousand dollars are tied up waiting for your cat to have an illness or injury. Whereas with insurance, you can continue using all your money in more productive ways, and only need that money if something really happens.

I suppose if you have tha cash to do a savings account with a few thousand dollars, and never touch it except for the cats, then go for it.
post #19 of 26
but dont you have to pay upfront then wait to be reimbursed??
So someone with bad credit, and cant get a credit card, wont have a way to pay for it in the beginnning??

Just a thought thats all
post #20 of 26
Originally Posted by alliread View Post
but dont you have to pay upfront then wait to be reimbursed??
Over here that totally depends on individual vets. My vets do require payment upfront as they have had problems with direct payments from insurance companies in the past. I use my credit card. Some will require payment upfront for smaller amounts but will deal directly with the insurance company for larger amounts. It's something you'd have to check with the insurance company and discuss with your vet.
post #21 of 26
I don't have insurance for my cats, but I do put £20 into a high interest savings account each week.

As I'm good at saving and my cats are all young, I feel this will cover things for now! I am certainly not ruling insurance out for the future, but for now, things are working well!
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
i just thought the saving thing was a good idea although if anything was to happen now i wouldnt be covered,like u say..my cats are fairly young yet,the oldest being 4 years..i think im going to look into insurance just to see the cost plus there maybe a discount for having five cats lol..i have had cats in the past and ive been very lucky as in one lived till she was nearly 17 and her health was great till she sadly died of old age but things do happen and its a scarey thought i wouldnt have enough money to pay the costs..so insurance is still a thought
post #23 of 26
When I first got cats, I didn't think I could get insurance due to taking on oldies - and every single one has cost me hundreds of pounds, which I have had to pay for with the credit card or overdraft. When I eventually found out I Could get oldies insured, it wasn't worth it for Snowy as she already had a liver condition, and Ginger had only cost me three dentals (by which point he had no teeth left!!). I finally opted to get PEbbles insured last August (the vet thought she had kidney probs) and they have paid over £500 for her - I know that there was at least one route where her nose was concerned that my vet wouldnt have told me about if she hadn't been insured, and a couple of the other things she had done the vet said 'as she is insured we can do this' - she was told that insured or not, I Wanted them doing. I know that my vet wouldn't want me to spend large amounts of money if it wouldn't ultimately benefit the cat, and she knows I am not the kind of person who would keep having treatment just to prolong their life when they have an incurable disease, and I have seen neighbours do it to the detriment of the animal, so I do agree that there can be too much medical care. I have since got Ginger insured (not taken out at the same time as PEbbles, as his was too pricey), and Molly has been insured (even though I haven't fully adopted her). The three of them cost me under £25 a month, and they are 11, 13 and nearly 15, so there is a good chance they will have some health issues in the future. My vets insist on being paid up front and then you claim the money back, so for a large amount, there could be a prob (mine dotn allow monthly payments either)
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
yes, my vet too wants the money on call..ive always had enough but never had any serious illness..the most its cost me is about 35 pounds when my eldest had a steriod injection, for an unknown illness *so the vet said*..but thinking ahead if anything serious was to happen *god forbid*..id be on the bum for money as i dont earn that much..im really thinking that insurance would be best even though my cats are only 4,3,2,1 and 3 months..i know in my heart of hearts if something came up id use the money in my bank to pay for it
post #25 of 26
Mine will deal directly with the insurance company, but my old vet would not deal with the same insurance company. Its completely up to the vet.

I pay $41 CDN for my four for emergency insurance
post #26 of 26
I'm not able to recommend VPI. They delayed responding to my first claim for a month. (they say it takes them thirty days to even consider it.) Then they asked for the cat's complete medical records. Then they sent out a denial claming they didn't receive the records THE DAY AFTER they admitted they received them since the time frame had expired! Never mind that they were the ones that caused the delay!. I got to speak to a manager instead of the prattling drone who was telling me to take a jump and forget about the claim; the manager said I'd hear from them again in 12 days.
Times' up.

I would recommend any other company over this one. They do not deliver.
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