Is cat insurance worth it? We find out from the experts
Published on 3rd September, 2021 at 12:50 pm
Are you considering cat insurance for your feline family member? Here’s what you need to know about cover for your cat.
As pet owners, we see our furry friends as family members. As such, we want the best for them so that they live long, happy lives. While there are things we can do to ensure this – such as getting them vaccinated annually, taking them for regular check-ups and providing them with food, shelter and love – there are some things we can’t prepare for.
Cat owners will know that these curious creatures can often be even more accident-prone than their canine counterparts. That’s why Reality Access for Fedhealth members have free accident cover for their pets, valued at up to R3 000 per household per year. You’ll be reimbursed up to 100% for treatment if your cat or dog is accidentally injured.
What condition is my cat at risk of suffering from?
There are over 2.4 million domestic cats in South Africa. While these gentle animals can be great pets, they can also, on occasion, be very expensive, and most of these expenses are vet bills. Ever wondered what the true value of pet accident insurance is? Read this.
“Cats are incredibly prone to accidents due to their inquisitive nature, and roaming and hunting habits,” says veterinarian at K Ubuntu Veterinary Services, Dr Kaylee Ferreira. “They tend to climb trees, scale walls, be involved in motor vehicle accidents, fall from high places or have encounters with other animals, which can result in injuries.” Our feline friends are also frequently impacted by diseases and health conditions. These include:
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
Also known as ‘blocked cat’, this condition restricts a male cat’s ability to urinate. It can be fatal if left untreated. “Treatment can cost anything between R4 000 and R12 000 depending on the severity of the case and any unique complications,” says Dr Ferreira.
Motor vehicle accidents
“Cats often roam, and this increases their risk of being run over. These accidents often result in extensive wounds and fractures, and require intensive care and, in some cases, surgery. This can cost between R5 000 and R50 000 depending on the severity, explains Dr Ferreira.
“Some cats suffer from severe stomatitis and gingivitis. This may require routine dental care or even, in severe cases, full-mouth extractions,” says Dr Ferreira. “Dental care can range between R1 500 and R2 500, with a full-mouth extraction costing upward of R4 000.”
Many cats develop renal insufficiency as they age or due to certain genetic diseases. Blood tests, urine analysis as well as prescription diets can become very costly. A full renal test can cost between R3 000 and R4 000 with treatment or prescription food.
Is your cat a pedigree? “Most intensely bred cats and popular breeds have been exposed to a significant number of recessive genes,” cautions Dr Ferreira. “These often carry weaker genetics and predispose these cats to rare genetic conditions.”
How can I save money on vet bills?
“When accidents happen or disease sets in, they, and the associated costs, are generally unexpected,” warns Dr Ferreira. This is why getting cat insurance is a good idea. “Pet insurance offers your pet the benefit of top-notch care without the unexpected financial burden. Whether it’s accident cover or a hospital plan, the options for treatment are comprehensive and allow us to provide the highest standard of care.”
Glen Anderson, general manager of marketing & products at Dotsure, agrees that insurance for cats can be especially beneficial for animals and owners alike. “Although it’s advisable to have proper insurance in place for any pets, cats, in particular, tend to wander more frequently. This increases their potential for accidental injury or picking up illnesses from other neighbourhood creatures.”
What to consider when taking out a cat insurance plan
When it comes to determining the type of cover your cat needs, Anderson suggests that you consider where you live as the main factor. “If you are in an urban area, consider structuring your cover around accident cover. This is because it’s less likely that they will come into contact with other animals or parasites, but more likely that they will be impacted by other threats, like cars and neighbourhood dogs,” he says. “In rural areas, however, illnesses and outside threats, like ticks and snakes, also start to become potential factors to consider. We would advise more focus on illness cover in this environment.”
Pet Accident Cover is one of several benefits Reality Access for Fedhealth members get to enjoy and help save money. If your cat or dog is injured accidentally, you’ll be reimbursed up to 100%. Click here for more information on this exclusive benefit.
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