Costs for pet health care, food and other supplies continue to increase just as human health care and food costs are rising. There’s plenty of advice out there on how to save on pet care expenses. Suggestions range from price-shopping for a vet to foregoing veterinary care altogether in favor of at-home “medical” care, purchasing vaccines online and administering them yourself, and buying the cheapest food. All of this advice couldn’t be more wrong, and will most likely put your cat’s health at risk.
The following tips can help you save on cat care expenses without compromising your cat’s health:
Regular veterinary exams should be a priority
Cats are masters at masking illness. The sooner a problem is detected, the less expensive it will be to address. Cats should see a veterinarian once a year at a minimum; cats seven or older should be seen twice a year. Be open with your vet if money is an issue. Your vet may be able to offer treatment options that are within your budget, or help you develop a payment plan.
Don’t choose your vet based on price
While price is certainly one consideration, it shouldn’t be the only one, and it should most definitely not be the most important one when choosing your pet’s family doctor.
Consider getting pet insurance
Could you affordan unexpected $1000 or $2000 for a medical emergency, or even more for a chronic serious illness? If your answer is no, pet insurance may be a viable option for you. Some plans also cover routine wellness care.
Feed a species appropriate, high quality diet
Nutrition is the foundation of health. A grain-free canned or raw diet is the optimal diet for cats. For more on what to feed your cats, browse the Feline Nutrition section on this site, and find my recommendations here.
Help your cat maintain a health weight
A staggering 53% of America’s cats are considered overweight or obese. Obesity leads to serious, not to mention costly, health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, joint problems and and torn or strained ligaments, heart and respiratory problems, gastro-interstinal and digestive problems, a compromised immune system, and increased risk during anesthesia and surgery.
Help your cat maintain good dental health
Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in cats. Seventy to ninety percent of cats have some level of dental disease. If left untreated, it can lead to health problems for your cat, ranging from bad breath, dental pain and loose teeth to systemic illnesses that can be life-threatening. Learn how to brush your cat’s teeth. It’s not nearly as challenging as it sounds.
Minimize exposure to environmental toxins
Many health problems are caused by day-to-day exposure to toxic substances such as chemicals and other molecules that are foreign to the body. These toxins accumulate in the body over a period of time, often over many years. For more informatio non how to limit exposure to these substances, read Detox Your Cat.
Have you found a way to save on cat care expenses? Please share it in a comment.