Last Updated on: July 21, 2022 by Ingrid King


This post is sponsored by Care Credit

The joys of sharing life with a cat are limitless. Cats have an amazing ability to provide us with love, fun and play, while also bringing many important health benefits into our lives from relieving stress, preventing allergies, calming our nervous system and more. While these independent animals can be considered a low maintenance pet, caring for one is still a major commitment. Too often, we hear from veterinarians across the country about instances of pet parents struggling to balance the care their pet needs with what they can afford. While millions of Americans choose to share life with a pet, the true cost of ownership has historically been incredibly vague.

With this in mind, Synchrony released the findings of its first-ever “Lifetime of Care” study earlier this year as a way to inform pet parents about the true lifetime cost of pet ownership, and help them prepare for unexpected costs.

The True Cost of Caring for a Cat 

The research revealed that pet parents spend as much as $55,000 during a pet’s lifetime and that an estimated 30 million households in the US today will face an unexpected pet expense that will cause them to worry about their ability to pay for their pet’s care. This is especially true given current economic uncertainties and inflation, which can put even more stress on pet parents.

Through our Lifetime of Care research, we now know that the lifetime cost of care for cats can range from $15K-$45K, and cat owners can expect to spend between $960-$2,500 in the first year alone.

The study also uncovered that nearly half of cat parents underestimate the cost of caring for their pets. Additionally, approximately half of all pet parents who thought they were financially ready for unexpected pet expenses, were not, and would consider a financial solution dedicated to financing care for their pet.


Getting In Control of Your Budget 

For more than 20 years, CareCredit has been a valuable financing option for all types of veterinary services, treatments, and diagnostics, giving pet owners peace of mind that they are ready to care for their pets throughout their lifetime. CareCredit is recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association and is a Preferred Partner for the American Veterinary Medical Association. CareCredit is currently offered in more than 24,000 veterinary practices across the U.S.

Pet parents looking for a flexible way to pay for their animal’s care can quickly see if they prequalify for the CareCredit credit card in real time (with no impact to their credit score) and apply on any smart device, in a veterinary practice, or over the phone. A credit decision is immediate and if approved, they can use their account to pay their veterinarian immediately. Pet owners can select from short-term and long-term financing options including deferred interest if paid in full within 6,12,18 or 24 months and reduced APR with fixed monthly payments for 24, 36, 48 or 60 months. Additionally, CareCredit offers a user-friendly online calculator that makes it easy for pet owners to quickly estimate monthly payments based on available financing options. 

What About Pet Insurance?  

The truth is, four out of five pet owners will face an unexpected vet bill in their pet’s lifetime.

“With cat insurance from Pets Best, cat parents can have peace of mind knowing they’re protected, so they can focus on making the best decisions for their cat. Pets Best policyholders can select from plans that can cover accidents, illnesses or routine care, all customized to fit their pet’s needs and their budget, as well as get treatment from any veterinarian of their choice with access to easy and accurate claim processing.

Pets Best policyholders also have access to a suite of digital capabilities including a 24/7 emergency pet helpline to connect directly with veterinary professionals for pet health related questions and advice. Customers can file claims, make adjustments to a policy, add pets and access claim status and details online or through their mobile app.”

Melissa Gutierrez, SVP & General Manager at Pets Best Insurance.

We all know the old saying, “knowledge is power”. Our goal is to empower cat parents to gain a deeper understanding of what to expect financially upon bringing home a new cat. In turn, we can provide them with flexible and affordable payment solutions, including pet health insurance from Pets Best and pet care credit cards like CareCredit, that are available to help them provide a Lifetime of Care for their pet.

*FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

Image Depositphotos

4 Comments on The Importance of Being Financially Prepared to Be a Cat Parent

  1. When we first got Pono, we were not prepared for the kinds of vet bills he had. Luckily we had my mother-in-law to help cover the bills then. While at one (of the many) middle of the night emergency vet visits with him, one of the girls in the office suggested Care Credit. We have had it ever since. It really comes in handy when money is tight and there is an unexpected vert emergency.

  2. Great article, I agree, it is absolutley our responsibility to ensure we are able to handle the financial responsibility for our cats care. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read comments or heard people lashing out at vets who didn’t give them huge breaks or even FREE care! These people do not seem to understand the huge cost of running a practice, the vet has bills to pay too that nobody is giving him a break on, and yes, at the end of the day he has to show some profit and earn a living as well. And no, I’m not a vet nor do I work for one lol but I am a small busienss owner who is all too familiar with overhead!

  3. It is important these days to have pet insurance with the cost of everything skyrocketing. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation with your beautiful pet not being able to afford for its care.

  4. I used to work in the dental industry & they offered Care Credit to dental patients. It was a highly respected product & was very valuable at helping dental patients pay for their services. I knew that it was also offered to the veterinary industry & was comforted thinking that I could use it for my cats if needed.

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