You're thinking about becoming a pet owner and getting a cat. Whether you're adopting an older cat or getting a new kitten, you're curious about what medical bills you may have to cover when you bring your new cat home.
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By finding out about the vet bills, you'll be able to determine if getting a cat is the right decision at this time. The following are the medical bills you can expect when you have a cat, along with options for paying for these bills.
Spaying or neutering a cat
Typically, when you adopt a cat, the shelter will spay or neuter them. But if this isn't the case — or you're adopting a new kitten — then you'll need to cover the costs of spaying and neutering. Neutering a cat costs $200 at the veterinarian while spaying a cat at the vet is going to run you $300 to $500 since it's a more complicated procedure.
You're going to need to get your cat vaccinated when they're a kitten as well as on a regular booster schedule as they get older. Cat vaccinations can range from $10 to $100.
It's a good idea to take your cat to the veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up. This wellness visit will cost around $45 and $55 depending on where you live, and the costs could be higher if your vet determines that they need to run tests on your cat or do blood work.
You should brush your cat's teeth at home ideally every day. And once a year, you need to take them in for routine teeth cleaning at the veterinarian. The average cost is between $50 and $300, but it could cost much more depending on where you live and if your cat has further issues with their teeth.
You may discover that your cat is having skin issues or other allergic reactions to their food or surroundings. Along with changing up their food or making adjustments in your home, you may need to get an allergy test for them. The average cost for allergy test vet bills is $195 to $300 for a skin test and $80 to $200 for a blood test.
Treatment for unforeseen illnesses
Some cats get sick early on in life, while others only experience medical issues as they start to get older. Cats can get a number of different diseases and will need medical treatment for them. It's hard to predict how much this treatment will cost, which is why it's important to keep an emergency fund for it just in case.
Getting pet insurance for your cat
Pet insurance for your cat is going to cost around $400 per year on average, but your premium is going to vary based on where you live, the age and breed of your cat, and the insurance policy that you buy. Typically, it's a good idea to get insurance if you think your cat is going to have some major health issues or they're getting older. You will save money once you hit your yearly deductibles, which will come in handy if they need surgery or treatment for certain types of diseases.
Otherwise, if you don't purchase pet insurance and you're struggling to pay your vet bills, you could pay out of pocket, use a credit card to cover the costs, and ask your vet if they have financial assistance or would be willing to work with you on a payment plan.
Saving on your medical bills
There are some ways to save on medical bills. Of course, it's important to feed your cat high-quality food and make sure they get exercise every day by playing with them and brushing their teeth daily. Take them in for routine wellness check-ups so you can treat problems before they become too serious, and compare the costs of different vets in your area. If you go through a shelter or take advantage of low-cost spaying and neutering days at the local veterinarian's office, you may be able to get away with a cheaper bill when you need to spay or neuter your cat as well.
Medical bills for cats include the cost of spaying and neutering, dental work, allergy tests, vaccinations, and more. You may be able to save on your bills with pet insurance that emphasizes your cat's health. Then, you can rest assured that they're going to stay as healthy as possible, and hopefully be with you for years to come.