Having a furry companion can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, but it’s important to understand the cost and the level of care that pets will need over a lifetime. Just Cats Clinic wants to help demystify veterinary costs and give you the tools you need to prepare for the future.

When compared with the steadily increasing cost of human medicine, the cost of veterinary care has increased very little over the past twenty years. Unlike human doctors, your veterinarian is trained as your pet’s general physician, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, and even on occasion, a psychiatrist. Your veterinary bill is reflective of the cost to maintain the facilities, equipment, support personnel, and the continuing education that is needed to meet the exceptional standards set for veterinary medicine today.

At times it can certainly feel like you are paying as much, if not more, for your pet’s healthcare than you are your own, but odds are you have adequate health insurance that offsets the cost. When you add up the cost of your deductibles, insurance premiums, and pharmaceutical drugs, there’s no comparison to the much lower veterinary costs.

The American Animal Hospital Association or AAHA and Just Cats Clinic encourage each family to sit down and access their financial situation prior to getting a new furry family member. Unexpected vet costs can happen quickly and without warning. Some families chose separate savings account, credit cards, medical payment cards like Care Credit, or pet insurance.

Pet insurance is the best way to protect yourself and your cat from unexpected medical charges. Even Dr. Elizabeth and several Just Cats Clinic staff members have pet insurance! Many plans offer flexible monthly premiums and a wide variety of coverage from emergencies to basic routine care. Each company and plan offer different types of coverage and prices, so Just Cats Clinic encourages owners to do their own research to see what policy works best for them.

Some things to remember as you research different policies and plans:
Make sure to note what each policy covers and how much it covers. Does it include preventative care like vaccinations?
Make sure to note what it does NOT cover. Some policies do not cover preventative care and many exclude hereditary or pre-existing conditions.
Make sure you understand what your co-pay or deductible will be.
Make sure to ask whether or not you have to see a veterinarian in network or if you can see anyone you choose. A lot of policies allow you to see a vet of your choice, but it’s best to be sure you have all the facts.

While Just Cats Clinic does not endorse any pet insurance company in particular, we do have some recommendations based on personal experience, client feedback and research:

PetPlan http://www.gopetplan.com/
Pets Best http://www.petsbest.com/

We strongly encourage all of our clients to plan ahead for unexpected medical expenses. Whether you explore veterinary pet insurance, start a savings account for your cat, or have a special credit card for medical needs, the best advice is to plan ahead so you can help your cat enjoy a long, happy, healthy life!