How to Plan Ahead for Your Cat’s Medical Care

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This is a sponsored post by veterinarian Elizabeth Arguelles, owner of Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza. She writes weekly on Reston Now.

Many cat parents don’t expect that their cats will get sick. As a result, they often don’t put aside money for the day when their beloved pet develops a life-threatening disease, has an accident, or ingests something toxic.

The subsequent trip to an emergency veterinary care hospital can drop a sudden and unexpected bill exceeding $2,000 on parents who are already worried about their cat’s health.

When cat owners cannot afford the costs of potentially life-saving treatments, most veterinary clinics will try their best to offer subsidized care. But they cannot treat patients for free, and they may be unable to help if a financial solution is not found. As a cat parent, you never want to be in a situation like this. Having to decide whether you have enough money to save your cat is a choice no one would ever want to make.

So how can you ensure that you never find yourself in such a situation? By getting pet insurance for your feline friends.

Just like its human equivalent, pet insurance can help pay for the often massive medical expenses resulting from your cat’s medical conditions. The big difference is that while your employer often provides your plan as part of your benefits, you will need to purchase pet insurance yourself from one of the many companies that offer plans.

How does pet insurance work? As with human insurance, different plans offer a different range of benefits. For example, one provider, Pets Best, has three options that cover between $5000 and $20,000 in annual medical expenses. Another, Pet Plan, offers to cover kennels and boarding if you opt for their Silver and Gold packages. Obviously, the premiums vary depending on the level of coverage, additional benefits included, and the annual deductible (which you can usually set).

Unfortunately, there are some limits to what pet insurance will cover. Most plans do not cover routine checkups and vaccinations. More importantly, the costs of treating preexisting conditions are not generally reimbursed. As a result, it is extremely important to look into insuring your cats from an early age – before they develop any potential medical issues. Finally, double check to make sure that the pet insurance company offering the plan you choose does not have per-condition limits. Those ceilings are frequently too low to cover the costs of treatment in Northern Virginia.

Don’t let those restrictions deter you, though. Getting pet insurance is still in your and your cat’s best interest. Though you will hopefully never need it, you will be glad you bought it if the worst should happen.

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