This happened when she didn’t insure our cat

This happened when she didn't insure our catShortly before Easter, we had to take our cat to the vets.

Jack Black* is three years’ old and my wife has owned him since he was a kitten.

His sister Hello Kitty** died when she was younger, so last year we bought a new kitten (Cali) as a replacement.

Unfortunately, Cali became very territorial and forced Jack out of the house and garden, where he sought refuge with a neighbour.

These living arrangements worked well for a while, but we started to notice Jack was losing weight and looking generally bedraggled, so a mission to catch him and take him for a checkup was required.

The vet quickly concluded he needed a steroid shot to calm down some skin irritation, plug-in pheromone devices to reduce the territorial behaviour of the various cats in our lives, and the usual flea treatment to help deal with a ticks he had picked up from hanging out in the woodland behind our house.

I’m pleased to report, dear reader, that Jack is doing well following this medical intervention.

Cali the kitten has let him back into the garden, and occasionally into the house too. His coat has returned to its previously glossy form and all is well in his world.

My bank balance, however, has still not fully recovered from this feline drama.

I’m a big believer in pet insurance; my wife, not so much. The cats are uninsured, our dog is insured up to and including her eyeballs.

I was reminded of this when reading new claims data from Direct Line Pet Insurance which highlights the steep cost of owning a dog.

They found the most common insurance claims for ill animals requiring veterinary treatment was over £500 on average.

According to the insurer, the most common claimed-for conditions are tumours, growths, warts and cysts, which cost an average £687.15 to treat.

Musculoskeletal disorders, which include conditions such as sprains, arthritis and conditions associated with abnormal joint development such as hip dysplasia, are some of the most expensive to treat, with an average cost of £1,233.

Other commonly claimed for conditions include gastro-intestinal disorders such as gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhoea) and pancreatitis, with an average claim of £722.27.

Injuries including wounds, cuts and lacerations cost on average £546.90.

Regardless of the condition a dog may develop, this new claims data unearths the potential costs that could mount up for dog owners.

Having to make a decision about compromising on the level of treatment available or putting a pet down because owners couldn’t afford the medical treatment is something that no-one would want to do.

Here at Informed Choice, we don’t get involved with pet insurance – other than as pet owners.

We do however believe that understanding financial risks and putting in place appropriate levels of insurance is a sensible strategy which should form part of a financial plan.

This happened when she didn't insure our cat

*We let our children name our pets.

**These pet names do not feature in any of the online passwords we use.


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About Martin Bamford

Martin Bamford is a Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional and published personal finance author. He works with elderly clients to provide advice on funding residential care fees, hosts the Informed Choice Podcast and is a keen ultra runner.
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