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Pet insurance?

(17 Posts)
Garageflower172 Thu 13-Dec-18 14:13:16

I've just adopted 3 cats, and while I love them dearly, there is a limit to how much I would fork out for them. They aren't my children after all. Instead of paying £35 a month to an insurance company, I'm saving the money instead and will pay what I can afford at the time, should anything happen. Everything routine (worming, de-fleaing etc) I would have to pay for anyway as the excesses are around £75 per policy. Thoughts?

AlpacaLypse Thu 13-Dec-18 14:16:39

I have never insured my cats over the years, instead I budget for annual vet fees and a bit extra just in case they manage to hurt themselves or develop an illness.

I am lucky in that current AlpacaCat is a wuss and never leaves the house and garden.

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Dec-18 14:19:17

Depends. Could you spend hundreds if you have to? We didn’t get our first cats insured. Both DH and I worked full time. We had no kids and have savings. Our younger cats are insured now as we have kids and I don’t work so not masses of savings.
When you take on animals you commit to doing the best for them. You can’t just refuse treatment or PTS because you can’t pay.

Garageflower172 Thu 13-Dec-18 14:29:20

I can see what you are saying Wolfiefan, but to be honest I really do believe that vets go too far sometimes. What about trauma caused by intervention? I know I'm in a minority, but I watch that Supervet bloke on the telly and 90% of the time, I'm thinking "spare the poor beast!". I have savings to pay, but would definitely opt for euthaniasia if a) the treatment was too invasive, or b) too expensive.
Having watched my mum die in extreme pain over the course of 3 months, we (including her) would all have happily opted for a quick and painless ending. Just because you can save a life, doesn't mean you should do so at all costs.

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Dec-18 14:32:57

I don’t believe you should do a treatment just because it’s possible. I think the welfare of the animal should be paramount.
We had an elderly cat. She developed a thyroid issue. One option was a gruelling three month treatment where she would have to stay away from home and in isolation. That wasn’t in her best interest. So we gave her medication. But it cost over £60 a month. On the medication she was perfectly happy. I couldn’t have PTS because it was too expensive.
Hope that makes sense!

DramaAlpaca Thu 13-Dec-18 14:37:00

I don't have pet insurance. I would be able to use savings if necessary, and have done so in the past. Pet insurance isn't so much of a thing in the country I live in anyway. And I agree with you OP on euthanasia if the treatment is too invasive. I wouldn't put a pet through traumatic treatment that may not work anyway. And I agree with you about Supervet too, in many of the cases anyway.

Garageflower172 Thu 13-Dec-18 14:37:56

Yes - that makes sense, Wolfiefan. You were obviously very attached to her... I do get it, and it sounds like you absolutely made the best choice for your cat and your family. I honestly don't know what I would do in that situation, I mean - that's more per month than I spend on my kids out of school activities. There has to be a limit, surely? What would I have done 30 years ago before pet insurance? Would they have advised putting her down?

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Dec-18 14:40:01

I think it’s part of the responsibility you take on for a pet to do what’s best for them. I would refuse any treatment not in their best interest but I couldn’t refuse treatment just because it costs too much. It’s part of the reason we have a limited number of pets! grin

GhostSauce Thu 13-Dec-18 14:41:46

I'd never be without insurance. Our cat has cost over £5k for various injuries and illnesses in the last 2 years. If we didn't have insurance he'd be dead, and would have suffered a great deal beforehand.

girlinleeds Thu 13-Dec-18 14:47:28

I was thinking of cancelling our pet insurance but then our cat was diagnosed with heart issues, the last year she was alive her vets bill was £4500 she was happy and comfortable but the cost of the drugs was shocking. Other cat cost over £300 to treat severe conjunctivitis that wouldn't shift. There all house cats but you never know what is going to happen.

Garageflower172 Thu 13-Dec-18 14:54:44

Think it is very subjective - and insurance is a gamble. I was definitely going to get insurance before I realised how much the excesses were - seems pointless to pay that amount monthly when I'm going to have to pay for most routine things anyway. I'm taking a punt on them not having a serious long lasting condition. If they one of them did fall ill I would have to weigh the costs/benefits up very carefully. I would do what I could, but there are limits, and yes - one of those limits would have to be financial given that I haven't got insurance.

maerd Thu 13-Dec-18 14:55:31

We don’t insure our cat or dogs, but we do have the finances available if they were to have a major illness. A few years ago we spent around £10k on a 4 year old dog who fell ill suddenly and he ended up passing away anyway, but even then we worked out we would have spent way more than that over the years on insurance for all our pets. We would be spending upwards of £100 per month just to insure the dogs and yet in the last six years, we’ve not spent a single penny on them other than routine stuff. We wouldn’t get insurance for our 13 year old cat I don’t think!

MistleKitten Thu 13-Dec-18 15:22:28

It costs me currently £8.50 to insure each of my cats per month, my excess is £60.

My youngest cat recently developed cystitis. It can be very serious in cats, it can prevent them peeing which can causes death in as little as 48 hours. There was no blood in the litter trays, we have other cats so couldn't tell when he last peed, and he was still his normal self. Thankfully I had caught it really early by chance as I noticed some dried blood around his genitals whilst he was enjoying a belly rub. It could have been days before he started displaying symptoms and an expensive trip to the emergency vet, especially as he cleaned the dried blood out of his fluff before he saw the vet so I wouldn't have necessarily noticed that a few hours later on the same day. I had to take him to the vet twice and treatment came in under my excess.

Perhaps some of you are right and my insurance is a waste of money because I've paid £100 in insurance on top of his vets bills this year, but I'd rather pay £100 and not need it than save £100 and be forced to put my cat to sleep or let him suffer for a perfectly treatable infection because he hid it well and ended up needing emergency treatment costing several hundred or even thousands.

I also find it comforting that my insurance pays out for several other scenarios including emergency board if I end up in hospital, a reward to offer should a cat go missing, and help with costs covering euthanasia, cremation should the worst happen. I can even claim back the money the cat cost to buy (which isn't worth it I supposed unless you have an expensive pedigree cat).

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Dec-18 15:36:35

I would say it’s very unfair to make decisions purely based on cost. You can afford to do so. You choose not to. But you would PTS instead of paying? That’s awful. Fine to do it if treatment isn’t in the best interest of the pet but to have multiple pets and say if it’s too costly they will be euthanised? That’s bordering on downright cruel and unreasonable.
You always have to pay the routine stuff. Some vets allow you to pay that monthly. Our dog is insured. She cost over £800 for a simple ear infection. Would you really pts a much loved pet when the condition can be treated just because you’d rather not spend the money?

MistleKitten Thu 13-Dec-18 17:40:27

You can call me cruel and unreasonable all you want to but you have no idea of my financial situation. I simply couldn't afford to pay an £800 vets bill for an ear infection. I worked out the costs of litter, food, insurance, worming, fleaing etc before getting my cats to ensure I would be able to afford them. In the short term I would be better off not paying insurance, but I don't have savings and I'm not in a position to take out a loan or a credit card. £800 for me is the equivalent of 2 months rent, or 5 weeks wages. This is why I have insurance. It would kill me to have to make the choice between putting my family on the street or putting a pet to sleep because it's cheaper than treating a simple infection.

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Dec-18 19:37:51

Maybe three cats wasn’t the wisest choice then.

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Dec-18 19:40:20

Argh! @Mistlekitten I’ve now got you muddled up with the OP. I certainly didn’t call you cruel and unreasonable. Sorry.
The OP has three cats. Could insure but CBA and would PTS if bills got too high. That’s cruel and unreasonable.
Hope that makes sense. And apologies.

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