How My Stupid Cat Has Cost Me $5,500 Over Three Years

Pets provide us with much-needed companionship, cuddles, and photos to illustrate Consumerist posts with. But they’re not cheap to have around. Food, toys, litter, collars, leashes, routine vet care…those are all of the things you consider and budget for when you start cruising Petfinder to look for a new buddy. Only there are larger expenses that are large, sudden, and impossible to plan for. After one illness, having a pet could cost as much as a decent used car. That’s what happened to Carolyn Kylstra, whose cat Hooligan (great name) has cost her $5,550 over three years. That’s an average of $150/month…money that could go far in an otherwise frugal lifestyle.

She wrote about her experience with Hooligan for The Billfold, making an itemized list of the cat’s medical expenses. Normal cat expenses, like food and scratching posts, came to only about $1,000.

Hooligan’s medical-related expenses: August 2009 – Current

• First-year vet checkup and vaccination rounds: $200
• Ear mites: $50 for meds
• Intestinal worms: $50 for meds
• Vet visit to figure out why his hair was falling out in nasty clumps: $200
• Ringworm: $50 for meds
• Anti-fungal medication for my boyfriend, who got ringworm from the cat: $10
• Neutered: $250
• Emergency vet visit because my roommate thought he had eaten a couple of her Adderall pills (yes, true story, and no, he had not): $200
• Urinary blockage 1: $500 for catheterization
• Urinary blockage 2: $500 for catheterization
• Urinary blockage 3: $1500 for overnight stay and catheterization
• Fancy dancy C/D or S/O prescription-only cat food to prevent future urinary blockages: $40/month x 16 months (and counting!) = $640 (and counting!)
• Vet visit because he was pooping blood: $200 for x-rays and TWO enemas
‚Ä¢ Vet visit because he was pooping blood again:$150 to diagnose the problem as “stress”
‚Ä¢ Pills for “stress”: $50

Now, the title of this post isn’t quite right. It’s obvious that Kylstra is quite fond of her cat, since you don’t drop that kind of money on a pet that you don’t like. But Hooligan’s health woes serve as an important reminder to those who are currently (or might soon be) owned by a domestic animal: Scary emergencies happen, and pet health insurance or dedicated savings account just for medical emergencies can help make them less financially painful, if not less stressful.

Regrets of a Cat Owner [The Billfold]

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  1. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Vet’s can vary WIDELY in costs. When you aren’t facing an emergency shop around (reading reviews too).

    I suspect most of those services can be found at half those costs.

    • kc2idf says:

      I own (am owned by?) five cats. Here are some things I have learned; your mileage may vary.

      Shop around for meds and the C/D food (My cats are on C/D, also). We end up getting the food from one vet and their flea treatment from another.

      Feed your cat some wet food a one or two times a week. This will help keep him/her regular and thereby reduce the pooping of blood incidents. It can also provide a great deal of entertainment when they come running at the sound of the can opening.

      Once in a while, get a can of tuna packed in oil. The oil will add to their regularity and will also make their fur shiny.

      You can buy a certificate from Friends of Animals to get your pets spayed/neutered for a lot less than $250. You do have to find a participating vet, but it wasn’t hard in our case; your mileage may vary.

      That’s about all I can think of for the moment.

      • DarthCoven says:

        +1 for the Friends of Animals certificate. Keep in mind it only covers the actual spay or neuter and will not cover any post fixing meds or supplies they might prescribe.

      • Jerem43 says:

        The friends of animal certificate saved my wife and my wallets big time. Our adopted stray calico, Momma, came preloaded with kittens. Once they were spawned, the little buggers decided to stay due to one reason or another. 4 spays and 2 neuters cost us just over $300 for the five of them versus over $1500 if we didn’t have the FoA certificates.

        • Jerem43 says:

          Sorry, the six of them. One of the boys was adopted out, so we still have five of the fuzz balls.

      • Richardsonke says:

        I’ve found that the cheapest place to get Hill’s Prescription Diet C/D (our cats are on it too) is actually Petsmart (about $50 for a 17lb bag). You have the have a prescription for it though. Get the prescription from you vet, then take it to the Banfield sign-in desk and they’ll print you a Banfield prescription with a special number on it that the checkout registers need. One prescription and you’re good from that point on (just check out at the regular checkout)! You can also use general Petsmart coupons on it (like $5 off $25, etc).

  2. MNGirl says:

    I understand that prices vary from location, but those prices seem high! I got my cat all her shots, dewormed, fixed, and nails clipped for $60 and my local vet. The same vet clips my dogs nails for $2, tested them for heart worm, and gave them there shots for $20.

    • DarthCoven says:

      Are you in a rural area? In NYC, most vets will run between $200 and $300 for the fixing alone, depending on whether it is a male or female pet (females being more expensive as it is a more difficult surgery). It really all depends how much your vet is paying in rent each month.

      • MNGirl says:

        Yes, I am in a somewhat rural area. My cat is a female even! i could never live in the city! lol

      • sponica says:

        or do what I do, and get cats that are already “altered”…I adopted my cat during adopt a shelter cat month and since he was fixed by his last owner, he was much cheaper…and they had waived a bunch of the shelter fees so I think I only paid for the vaccinations he got when he came in. AND I got a free vet visit within 8 weeks…

        • DarthCoven says:

          One of our cats, a grey male DSH, was a stray that followed my wife’s coworker home. He must have been only 2 or 3 months old. He hung out at the vet clinic my wife works at for a few weeks to clear up some skin issues and then we took him home and got him fixed a few months later. The other was a “pet store defect”. She’s a Snowshoe (think Siamese with a white mask and paws) that got a bad ear infection as a very young kitten that wound up doing some neurological damage. She has trouble holding her head and eyes steady and seems to get dizzy easily. The pet store my wife’s boss works with would not have been able to sell her, so instead of sending her off to a shelter which would have likely put her down we agreed to take her. We brought her home as a young kitten as well and got her spayed when she was of age. Getting them already altered is great, and it’s fantastic that you took in older cats because they need homes as well. We just got really lucky to come across two great kittens (well, one slightly damaged) in the span of a year.

    • juggler314 says:

      Depends where you are – while living in manhattan we had to bring our dog in – initial vet fee (higher than a subsequent visit), fecal sample, blood test and fluids (administered during the visit). Came to >$500 – same thing in upstate NY…probably $200.

  3. tkates says:

    Pet insurance doesn’t cover that much, and it only pays you back after you’ve shelled out on your pet. You’d be better off putting the insurance payments into a savings account.

    • corridor7f says:

      Agreed. I’ve heard horror stories of years of premiums paid and then an illness hit and.. oop – sorry, that’s not covered.

      A savings plan is a much better idea. I’ve added kitty-costs into my 3 months of emergency expenses saved.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        We do the same thing. We have a dedicated saving’s account with ING for our animals. We just put away around $40/month into it. It also helps that veterinary care is way cheaper here than where the OP lives.

      • chefboyardee says:

        Sadly, that’s what happens if you pick a bad insurance plan. There ARE good ones out there. I recommend everyone go with PetsBest, started by the founder of VPI who left when they got too “insurancey”. Every single thing I’ve submitted, they’ve covered, including a powder that my GSD needs every day with her food to the tune of about $150/month. They’ve paid 80% of that since she was diagnosed and will cover it until she’s passed on. For $35 a month, that is WELL worth it for me. YMMV of course.

      • Jillia says:

        Petplan Insurance is a good one too. #1 rated. They cover ALL accidents, injuries, illnesses and even hereditary conditions for the life of the pet. Dog breaks his leg? Covered. Take out a policy and your cat gets diabetes? Covered for life. So long as there were no symptoms showing prior to the policy. NO insurance company covers pre-existing conditions.

  4. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    OPs expenses seem higher than average but not outrageous. My dog tore her ACL and it cost $1600 for knee surgery plus money for x-rays, medications, follow ups etc. This was all after shopping around and getting different opinions from different surgeons. Pets, like kids, are expensive and you should only have either of them if you can afford them.

    • French_Toast says:

      It’s a lot cheaper if you’re willing to accept that they’re easy to replace.

      …pets, not children.

      • Major Tom Coming Home says:

        Some race car driver actually did have their dog cloned, and it cost them about $20,000.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “It’s a lot cheaper if you’re willing to accept that they’re easy to replace.”

        I think many people have a difficult time coming to terms with this. As hard as it is, I’ve found that prior to bringing home an animal, it’s good to have an honest discussion with all members of the family about this subject. It’s easier to come up with a maximum dollar amount in mind before you’re at the vet’s office and have a kid crying because her dog is sick. It’s also especially good to have the dollar amount in mind before going on vacation and leaving your animals with a friend.

        I know several people who routinely dump thousands of dollars into their dying cats or dogs, at the same neglecting their own health. For some reason, it’s easier to justify spending $1,000 on their 15 year old cat, than $100 to go to the doctor themselves.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      We had the same problem with one of our dogs. Our regular vet suggested taking him to another vet who did that kind surgery and was inexpensive but was not board certified. BIG mistake! We wound up going to a verterinary surgeon to repair the first surgery and effectively doubled the cost. Lesson learned.

    • iesika says:

      Oh the ACL… My lab went through that one. My dad calls her “The Six Thousand Dollar Dog” now (between that and the time an alligator tried to eat her, the total is is pretty close to that).

  5. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Yes, Laura, the title of the post isn’t quite right. It’s unfortunate the cat has chronic health problems and that Carolyn regrets ever getting the cat. BUT… if you accept the responsibility of caring for an animal, you should be prepared to deal with health problems even if the cost is “More than a cable/HBO/high-speed Internet bundle!” Boo-hoo.

    I wonder what’s going to happen to the cat whe Carolyn eventually decides a Comcast account is more to her liking than her pet. I suspect the cat would be better off with another owner.

    • daemonaquila says:

      This, this, this! If you get an animal, expect vet bills. Funny, it’s like having a baby – living things will get sick or injured, and you have to take care of them for the rest of their lives (or at least until the human animal turns 18 and you kick it out of the house legally). If you aren’t willing to commit to an animal the way you’d commit to your own infant (assuming you roll that way and don’t think animals are cooler than kids), then don’t get a critter.

  6. r-nice says:

    Sounds like it’s time to get rid of that cat.

  7. Foot_Note says:

    my vet said for “modified cats” esp males, using a low ash? foodage will keep urinal tract infections down? so far no problems

    • vorpalette says:

      Yep. ALL cats should be fed better food; read the ingredients list and you’d be surprised how many fillers and non-digestible products they put in there–pot ash, ground up feathers and bones, grains that cats can’t digest. Get a meat-based, grain-free food like Wellness (there are other brands, too, but Wellness is what we use). It’s way more expensive than the shit you can buy at the grocery store ($22 for a 6lb. bag), but it’s so much better for your cat’s health. Our boy cat had crystals and urinary problems at the shelter, so they put him on special food, and we switched him to Halo and then Wellness, and he hasn’t had any problems.

      • Foot_Note says:

        well he was a inner city doc before moving to the burbs, so the inner city peoples more often used the cheaper foodage, vs the burbs.. in his experience

      • kobresia says:

        Even Kirkland cat food is far superior to almost anything $cience Diet makes, which I’m guessing is the source of that prescription-only stuff since it sounds like their naming convention. Cats don’t even eat all that much, it doesn’t make sense to feed them poor quality food, especially if it’s overpriced low quality food. It’s the difference between spending $2/week on cat chow or spending $3-4/week.

        • vorpalette says:

          Cats eat even less when you feed them higher quality food. Denser packed nutrients with no fillers = fills the cat up faster = they eat less. Our 15lbs. cats both only eat a couple of mouthfuls at a time, a few times a day (although they’re still fat, sadly, even on diet food).

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I went to grain-free and Pig stopped throwing up all over the patio. We were doing some hippie brand and now I give her Taste of the Wild venison flavor. I think she prefers the Blue wet food she gets a bit of a couple times a week. Tough toots; I can’t afford to feed her Blue all the time!

    • who? says:

      I had male cats with the same problem. Switching to good quality wet food saved them from a long lifetime of science diet yuk. Not sure whether it saved me any money or not, I never tried to calculate. At that point, it was more about giving them something healthy that they liked, rather than saving a few cents a day on food.

    • Benny Gesserit says:

      I was thinking the same thing – if the vet had mentioned it after the first urinary blockage, there might not have been a recurrance.

      Our “Max” completely freaking fell in love with our grocery store’s name-brand low ash catfood – ESPECIALLY the Liver flavour.

  8. Gorbachev says:

    Just wait until the furball gets near the end his life and gets sick with something really nasty like feline cancer. You’ll pay $5,500 in a month (if you choose to).

  9. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Wow, veterinary care is way cheaper where I live.

    It’s definitely worth shopping around for the non-emergency care. Most areas have spay/neuter clinics that can neuter a male cat for $50 – $100. Many veterinarians also offer shot clinics once a month, which works out to be significantly cheaper than a regular office visit.

    In a way, we treat our animals like our car or house. We have a dedicated saving’s account, where we sock away a little bit of money each month to cover emergencies, and expected expenses. From everything I’ve seen, pet health insurance is generally a poor value.

  10. Mike says:

    $300 to repair convertible roof from 17lb cat walking up and down rear window…

  11. phil says:

    Another item to remember: Pet medicine doses are based on weight – which varies more widely than human weight does. We didn’t fully realize this impact until we got some medicine for our St. Bernard – and discovered that the largest dose available was still too small for her. We had to get two different doses that added up to correct amount for her weight.

    • who? says:

      omg yes. Giant dogs are wonderful, but don’t even *think* of getting a giant dog if you care about costs. We’ve loved every Great Dane we’ve had, and wouldn’t consider any other breed, but the cost of vet visits, meds, food, beds, toys, and even collars is much higher than for a smaller dog. And with a long haired breed like a St. Bernard, every bath is going to take a full bottle of shampoo.

  12. legolex says:

    That really sucks, and I’d like to give my fellow cat-owner advice from my experience and I’m NOT being preachy or self righteous (seriously!)

    -Look into a better quality dry food like Blue Buffalo or Wellness
    -It seems like your cat may have chronic UTIs, look at pricing for a water fountain for your cat. (my male cat is also susceptible to UTIs and this has helped significantly). Also what will help is providing wet food either exclusively or a few times throughout the week. Wet food is very moist and will help keep his moisture up. I feed my cats Wellness wet food a few times a week, they love it.
    -Look into the litter you have your cat using. High Perfume Litter (like Tidy Cat and Arm & Hammer) can cause UTIs and other health issues. I use Precious Cat which is found in 40lb bags at PetSmart for around $16, it’s perfume free but has amazing odor control and clumping power when you scoop daily or a couple times a day.

    Yes, the cost of providing better quality food and litter and investing in a water fountain is a little more money for your weekly expenses but it beats having that $200-$400 vet bill when shit hits the fan.

    • sweaterhogans says:

      I was really resistant to better quality food for a while (mostly because I was too cheap). But after my older cat started getting gum problems and my younger one started having poo problems, I bit the bullet and switched. I wanted to do mostly wet food, but the younger one will only eat dry so I give them Blue Buffalo dry and Weruva wet. After a week, my skepticism went right out the window. They now have really soft, shiny coats, rarely vomit anymore, and have more energy.

      • sponica says:

        my cats are picky eaters….whenever I attempt to switch them to a meat based food I get this look of “that’s not food”. wet cat food they only lick the gravy. so they’re eating Iams Weight Management (which actually did help el fatso lose a pound or two).

        we actually use gerber baby food for their wet food. i think it’s 89 cents a jar, split between 3 cats. It’s chock full of protein and fat and their fur is silky smooth.

    • GovernmentCheese says:

      My two cats exclusively ate Merrick canned food, which is human-grade, but my boy became very susceptible to UTIs anyway. Now prescription cat food is all they get. Whatever keeps them healthy is fine by me.

      A sure-fire way to keep cats free from parasites like ear mites is to keep them indoors all the time. Indoor cats live longer, healthier lives.

      • Tenacity says:

        My outdoor cat only went to the vet once, to get fixed, and she lived 17 years. My sister’s outdoor cat, same story–17 years. We live on a big farm, btw. My coddled indoor boy just turned 15. We’ll see which works better.

  13. DoraAreGames says:

    Our cat, Herbie, was diagnosed with heart failure and kidney problems last year. The first, biggest expense in a single go was the emergency visit to the cardiologist who diagnosed and treated him (wonderful lady, and the vet who referred me refused to charge me, which is why he is now my permanent vet despite a half hour drive), and that was around $800.00. He has monthly (sometimes BImonthly, depending on the buildup) abdominocentisis procedures at the vet that come to about $200.00 apiece, and gets ten pills a day combined with fish oil and some special powder that works out to another $200.00 a month. This is on top of his food, which basically at this point is whatever he’ll eat and is low in sodium, which tends to be the pricier stuff.

    Don’t regret it at all. I count us lucky as having been able to afford it all and keep him so happy and comfortable for almost a year after we were initially told he would only live a few months. He’s the best cat, and we don’t have (or want) kids, so I figure it’s just our responsibility as pet owners to do as much as we conceivably can. I remember as a little kid my mom had to put a few cats to sleep because we couldn’t afford expensive recurring treatments for health problems, so for me it’s a relief this time around to be able to do something. Our vet is great and frequently undercharges us (the difference between a minor and a major abdominocentisis is pretty big) and gives us free refills whenever they can. We suspect it’s getting down to the wire for Herbie, (I’m actually taking him in in a half hour because we think he might be impacted) but we don’t regret a minute or a dollar of it.

    • kylie says:

      Thanks for posting that about Herbie. He sounds like an awesome guy. I hope he continues to do well.

  14. Bativac says:

    A friend of mine has a cat he ended up with when his wife (who “rescued” the stray) ran off on him and left the cat behind. He never wanted the animal to begin with, but he feels a sense of duty to take care of it – and has run up hundreds of dollars in vet bills to treat things (recurring “lip” infection, tests for glandular problems, etc). This is an older cat, though relatively healthy otherwise (in other words, not really a candidate for euthanasia). He worries about the stress it would put on the cat to turn it over to a rescue shelter or another family (if that were possible given its age and health issues).

    I guess the point is – sometimes you’re stuck. Don’t have pets unless you can afford it, yeah, but sometimes you end up in these positions that you never really wanted to be in.

  15. captadam says:

    Cats are little entropy machines, roaming around the house and causing disorder wherever they go.

    • DarthCoven says:

      I’m going to borrow this line when talking about my little demon spawn. This was brilliant!

  16. FedoraFetish says:

    Sorry, but I’ve got zero sympathy for the OP. Unless you need a pet for something useful, like a disability assistance animal, which there’s no indication of that in the article, then you should have considered that having the pet is 100% optional, and medical care is expensive and animals can get sick just as easily as humans. If her complaint were unfair business practices by her vet then I might feel for her, but not for her paying routine expenses that she should have thought about in advance.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      Wow, you really have a hard time with comprehension now don’t you?

      Well, let me explain then. The point of the article isn’t about giving sympathy to this owner- she obviously loves her animal, and willingly pays to make sure it receives the care it needs.

      The point is how much an animal can cost over time… they aren’t just loveable, cuddly wuddly cweatures for our amusement and that you should consider these “unforeseen” circumstances before getting one.

      Verucalise, OUT.

      • mehitabel says:

        >you really have a hard time with comprehension

        among other things.

      • daemonaquila says:

        Perhaps you have the problem with comprehension. The title of the post on TheBillfold.com is “Regrets of a Cat Owner.” The OP writes ” In fact, my personal limit has always been that I won‚Äôt spend over $2,000 at a time on Hooligan‚Äôs vet bills‚Äîanything more than that, and the little mongrel is going to go hang out on the proverbial farm.”

        So, she cares about Hooligan, but only so much. There are lots of articles out there about the cost of veterinary care and other animal-related expenses. The idiots who don’t get the point that critters cost money don’t read these articles, and mostly they wouldn’t care even if they did. The OP sure didn’t when she got Hooligan. No sympathy for the OP, who missed a no-brainer years ago, and whose “educational” article will probably do as much good as the many she clearly didn’t read.

  17. tinmanx says:

    Wow, vets are cheap compared to people doctors. If this was with people doctors and meds, it’d be like $15K (if not $150K) a month. Maybe I can go to the vet instead.

    • yankinwaoz says:

      True..
      I once saw my vet when I needed my leg stitched up one time when I had no med insurance and no job. I went over there after he closed shop, brought a six pack of good beer, and he stitched me up beautifully. Of course he was also a really cool guy and a friend on mine, so that helped.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      They definitely are way cheaper. An office visit for my dog is $40, while the same thing costs $82.50 for a human.

      • sponica says:

        well the preventative check-up is now free for humans…but I still wish the people doctor had the hours that the animal doctor does. if the people doctor was open til 7, I’d never have to use sick time for a physical

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          It’s not free, it’s no cost-share.

          • sponica says:

            eh, it’s free(ish), I’m not opening my wallet once a year to go to the docs…and that’s really all I care about.

            i still think people doctors should have better hours. at least my practice has a dedicated urgent car for patients, so if we do need to get in after hours or on saturdays, we can.

  18. Talmonis says:

    It’s disconcerting the amount of hatred for the OP and cats in general. I love my two boys, and would do anything I could afford to keep them healthy and happy (and, judging by the constant buzzing noises and headbutting, I’m going to guess that I’m doing well). Though, thus far in our 3 and 1/2 years there has only been one sick visit, which cost me $150 for an overnight stay, medicine & “fluid drip”. Small towns ftw.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t think anyone hates the OP or cats. I think a lot of people here love cats, actually. I think the problem is that the OP is coming off as a whiner when part of pet ownership is the fact that they’ll most likely cost you thousands of dollars throughout their life and good pet owners accept this and understand it. If I run through my pet bills throughout the last few years, I think maybe I crack $1,000 (and that probably includes the treatments I have had to get, like replacing all the band-aids and neosporin after the furball went on some kind of bender and used me as a scratching post of seething hate and anger).

      • sponica says:

        A good vet is like a good mechanic, they give you option A and option B.

        My first dog hurt his leg somehow, the choice was expensive surgery (which might not save the leg and could result in amputation) or wrap up the leg for a couple weeks, see if scar tissue grows, if it doesn’t, leg gets amputated. Parents chose wrapping up the leg, scar tissue grew, dog kept leg.

        Our current dog has a metabolic disorder. Vet said they could do expensive surgery to remove the growth or we could give the dog melatonin to help with his most annoying symptom (excessive urination). 3 years later, dog still has disorder but symptoms are masked.

        When one of my sister’s cats got sick and wouldn’t eat, the vet recommended baby food. It’s easy to digest and is packed with protein and fat. We still give the cats baby food. Three of them split a jar almost every morning. It makes their fur silky smooth…

  19. scoosdad says:

    Yet the ‘smarter cousins’ at Consumer Report have repeatedly said that pet insurance is a bad deal.

    In most situations there are too many exclusions and exceptions and deductions and caps to make it very useful in a situation like Carolyn experienced. And the onus for completing the paperwork and filing for claims is on the pet owner. Most vets won’t do that for you, and you usually have to badger them to give you adequate paperwork in order to support an insurance claim. My own experience bears that out. What I received from the vet at the end of treatment was a bill produced by the same software that’s used by a lot of practices, and that was never good enough for the insurance claim it always seemed.

  20. DarthCoven says:

    If you’re worried about vet expenses either move to a small town or marry a vet tech. Option B has made caring for the quadrupeds in our household much less expensive. Discounted vet care ftw!

  21. galligator says:

    I blame the OP

  22. Lendon85 says:

    So she has spent $2500 on catherization plus extra for the prescription food for the urinary blockage issue…I had a cat with that same condition and my vet recommended a surgery that could alleviate the problem and he wouldn’t have to be on that expensive prescription food for the rest of his life. She would have saved a lot of money if she had done that after the first symptoms had occured. The surgery cost a little over $700 11 years ago, and it was well worth it in the long run.

  23. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Wow those costs seem so high! I live in a rural area, and my vet charges a lot less. When I took my two current female cats in to be spayed, he gave me a “buy one, get one @ 50% off” deal as he already had all the equipment out for one, so he did them both at the same time. The last time the dog was there for a checkup and shots it cost around $50.

    And cats can be expensive. One cat is now insulin dependent diabetic, and her sister developed “chin acne”. I just discovered the acne situation this week. Cleaning up the mess on her chin wasn’t fun for either of us. Thankfully it appears to be healing. And she hasn’t killed me in my sleep, so that’s a bonus.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      They aren’t that high if you’re in a city, I don’t think. My vet charged $165 for neutering because the furball stayed overnight.

  24. mehitabel says:

    Did she really have to neuter the boyfriend just because he got ringworm?

    • Captain Walker says:

      If she knew how he got the ringworm from the cat, she’d do more than neuter him.

      Get a new cat.

  25. mehitabel says:

    I spent $10K on my dog’s medical problems in the last 6 months of his life. While I wasn’t entirely happy with the care he received, I would have spent $10K more to get him another year or two. His picture with his happy, sunshiny smile is right next to my monitor, and every time I look at it my heart hurts.

  26. Andreth says:

    I have to disclose that I work in a veterinary clinic. I apologize for the rant.

    Urinary blockages (caused by crystals or stones) are life threatening emergencies. It’s an awful thing, but there are a lot of things that can help (such as that prescription food, which comes in wet or dry but should be wet food for a cat with issues like these). I wonder if that third stay involved surgery to remove stones, which would explain the overnight stay and the higher cost.

    Where I am, those costs are low. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The routine costs seem average to high, but the emergency costs seem low.

    I understand the frustration, but consider the costs of comparable procedures in people. I get it, it’s a pet, it’s a luxury and they’re not people. That said, it’s not like the medicine is necessarily easier just because they’re small. Vets can’t ask their patients what’s wrong, so they have to rely on diagnostics and observations from owners. Smaller patients mean more intricate work. Veterinary school is competitive and not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination.

    A good vet should present you with all your medical options and help you make the decisions. I know how many estimates I work up every day to try to fit the best care to a client’s budget. I know that the veterinarians I work with are constantly working to try to balance the best possible care for their patient with the most cost effective option for their client.

    When patients need something their owners cannot afford though, we’re suddenly horrible money grubbing people in their owner’s eyes. Won’t we help the animals?! Do people walk into your office on a daily basis and ask you to do your job for free? Because that’s the reality in veterinary medicine. A lot of people compare to their own medical costs (somehow always leaving out the cost of insurance), so they think that if a visit is more than a $20 copay and $5 for medications we’re trying to rip them off. But unlike physicians, veterinarians don’t have someone else paying them the difference after the clients leave.

    • kylie says:

      Well said. +2

    • tkates says:

      My cat Sammi had some ongoing symptoms that were of great concern. When I told my vet that money was a concern, he was able to explain the costs and various success rates of different treatments. I really appreciated that he worked with me there.

      Unfortunately, I had to put Sammi down at an emergency clinic because prolonging her life with a battery of medications and treatments would have cost me $3,000 for only 6 more months of life. Not only were the costs a problem, but the treatments would have seriously stressed her (and me) out.

  27. IGetsAnOpinion says:

    Just be glad you don’t own 4 ferrets that require an exotics vet and 1 routine surgery can easily cost over $1500. Once they are 4+ years old surgeries like that are common. I was just at the vet last week with 3 of them for routine stuff, and it cost me about $500. I was saying to another ferret owner, I could have bought a house with the amount of money I’ve spend on them over the past 17 years I’ve owned ferrets!

  28. tungstencoil says:

    Two pieces of advice for pet owners:

    First, set a limit *when the pet is healthy*. With my hounds, I have a limit that I will spend before deciding it’s too much money, and I decided it when I wasn’t under emotional duress due to an emergency. It helps me avoid second-guessing my decisions.

    Second, recognize vets are in business. The first thing I ask a vet when they recommend something is what happens next:

    I’ve had countless recommendations for blood tests, only to find after questioning that the course of treatment would be antibiotics regardless of what the test shows… just give the hound the antibiotics and save me $400, thanks!

    Also have had recommendations for expensive medical treatments that don’t improve the statistical outcome (I have greyhounds and have lost several to osteosarcoma). Sure, my dog isn’t a statistic, but $8K worth the amputation/radiation/drugs is so unlikely to add even more than 6 months to their life, let alone cure them, that it just doesn’t make sense.

    A decent vet will actually support you in this – my vet used to say, “Yeah, but most people want to know” but now knows me well enough. I once fired a vet who insisted on a blood test to determine something after I asked about the possible courses of action (identifying specifically which tick disease a hound had), and then admitted that no matter what she would have prescribed the same antibiotic no matter what.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That’s definitely great advice. I completely agree about determining a threshold when the animal is healthy and not during a somewhat emotional vet visit.

      There are also situations where testing is more expensive than the treatment. It’s usually just cheaper to preventatively deworm and animal than to test for worms.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      This. This. This. when it comes to pets, we get so emotional that we don’t always consider their quality of life, how long the treatment will give them, and whether we can even afford the care if it reaches an exorbitant level. I find the idea that people should not own a pet unless they can afford a $10,000 lifesaving procedure to be asinine. I see nothing wrong with setting reasonable limits on how much you are willing to spend on a pet. People have had dogs and cats forever without being expected to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to save them at any cost. This spending thousands on pets is a relatively new phenomenon. when I was a child, if an animal was terribly ill, the vet would have you keep them comfortable until they passed or it was time to put them down.

    • Kestris says:

      When the cancer came back in my late Akita, two years after the removal of the first tumor, we opted not to put her through another surgery- the first time it was benign, the chances of it being benign the second time were slim- that we’d make her as comfortable as we could for however long we had left.

      She gave us another 1.5 years before she decided it was time. 14.5 yrs is old for an Akita, so it may very well have been old age that got her before the cancer did.

      If she had been half that age when the cancer showed up a second time, then yes, I’d likely have spent whatever it took to help her.

  29. impatientgirl says:

    My vet doesn’t charge that much. I’m in a big city where there seems to be more pets than vet clinics because they’re always busy. I have to question where this cat is living to get ear mites, worms, ringworm, and need antifungals. Also what he was eating to start with.

  30. wellfleet says:

    I don’t want to be mean, but if the OP had:

    1. Given her cat some worm prevention, she would have saved $110 at least
    2. If she had kept her cat inside, she would have prevented ear mites, saving $50
    3. If she would feed her cat good food, a proper mix of wet and dry food, which is essential for felines, her cat wouldn’t have urinary issues, or would have much fewer, saving her more than $1000.
    4. If she would do her research and instead of feeding her cat the revolting, corn-filled scam that is Science Diet C/D or S/O, she would feed her cat a healthy, holistic diet not made from Chinese product, she would save $200-$300.

    I’m sure Kylstra loves her cat, but she’s not a very informed pet owner. It’s a huge responsibility, and if you can’t commit to doing it right, then don’t get pets!

    • kethryvis says:

      … for the record, my cat eats Meow Mix. Each time she goes to the vet for a checkup, the vet is amazed at her health. She’s going on 11, and she’s healthy as a cat half her age (weight aside, she’s getting a touch laxidazical in her elder years).

      i’m not saying that it’s because of her food, or that every cat will be fine on it. i’m saying that some cats can do just fine, thank you, on the non uber expensive “holistic” food. That being said, if your cat *is* having health problems, you can change a lot of that with their diet. But don’t change their diet just because someone poo-poos your choice. 1) if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and 2) cats actually have fairly sensitive systems, and a radical change in their diet can really upset things.

      • wellfleet says:

        Congrats, your cat is living on the dietary equivalent of McDonald’s. Your anecdata means nothing at all. Just FYI, this is the revolting crap you’re feeding your pet:

        Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, whole wheat, beef tallow (preserved with mixed tocopherols), animal digest, corn syrup, glycerin, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, salmon meal, titanium dioxide (color), salt, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, water sufficient for processing, L-lysine, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), carrageenan, dicalcium phosphate, yellow 6, taurine, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), yellow 5, red 40, natural and artificial white meat chicken flavor, DL methionine, BHA (used as a preservative), rosemary extract.

        • Jules Noctambule says:

          Holy crap — you mean that just like people, different animals can thrive on different foods, some of which are ‘unhealthy’? Who knew!

    • blueman says:

      Our cat is 16 years old, goes outdoors, and has always eaten dry food (with the occasional treat, like tuna). Made our first vet visit recently because of concern over a bald patch, which turned out to be minor.

      But yeah, go ahead and blame the OP for not being as smart as you.

      • wellfleet says:

        Your anecdata is just that. Outdoor cats live drastically shorter lives, have more health problems, and are a menace to birds. So congrats on having a special snowflake. You are not the rule.

    • dallas214 says:

      I found one of my cats and she had ear mites and worms already, so I had to treat both of those conditions.

      When I got her spayed, I took her to the SPCA and they did it for around $35 as opposed to $150. I took my cats for their vaccinations at the monthly mobile vet which charged 1/2 of what my regular vet did. A lot of pet medication can be purchased at a regular pharmacy (like Target) for 1/2 the price too. You can also order pet meds online for less than the vet. My vet will actually price-match pet meds.

      Also, always ask if the medicine or test is necessary or if there’s an alternative. You have to communicate with your vet.

      When 2 tests were ordered, I asked if both were necessary or if we could do one and then if we needed more info, then do the 2nd test. Turns out, only 1 of the tests was needed for the diagnosis.

      My cats eat high-quality wet and dry cat food. It doesn’t cost that much more than the “junk food” quality cat food. I believe it helps keep them healthy.

  31. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    My animal, when I get one, gets 1 emergency visit every 2 years. After that, he’s on his own. I simply couldn’t and wouldn’t spend that much on a pet, so matter how amazing he was. Just life.

    • sjackson12 says:

      what the hell is wrong with you

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        What the hell is wrong with him? What the hell is wrong with you? He realizes it is an animal and has set what he feels to be reasonable limits as to how much should be spent on the pet’s care. His pet, his choice. I mean really, where does it stop? If it costs $30,000 to keep the pet alive, is it okay to say no? Everyone has to draw a line somewhere, and back when I was a kid, people drew the line a lot lower than some people do now. No one was accused of being a irresponsible pet owner or a horrible person because they didn’t want to spent $2000 on a surgery for a cat. People would have been considered crazy if they did spend that kind of money on an animal. I think people need some perspective here. People deciding you should spend your life savings on saving an animal is a new thing. Not all of us are down on that idea, and we shouldn’t have to be just because a few holier than thou people have suddenly decided that everyone should be willing to spend their retirement on an animal.

        • sjackson12 says:

          if you set a quote on how many times you are willing to take an animal to a vet, you should not get a pet in the first place. I’m not talking about the monetary cost at all here.

          • Bremma says:

            Loias is talking about an emergency visit, which cost much much more than a normal visit, without even accounting for any procedures. I am certain Loias takes his animal in for routine checkups which would not count towards the total mentioned.

  32. energynotsaved says:

    I’m a crazy cat lady. My cat has problems that require special food ($2 can x 2 a day), medication, and frequent visits for infections and check ups. Being of sound mind, I never figure out what he costs me. That said, I’m still glad I have him. He is well worth the cost for his companionship. He was there through a nasty divorce, 4 moves, and 2 surgeries. So, yes, I will keep paying out the backside.

  33. Reading Rainbow says:

    I’m just a little under this total for my one cat. He had a few ear infections after I got him, and then started getting really bad mouth infections. Many a visits and seeing a specialist and 2 surgeries later he now has no teeth and I’m out $4500. It’s hard though – especially with microtransactions effectively. It’s not pay $4500 to heal cat. It’s pay $200 to maybe heal, pay $400 to heal. It’s the same way the f2p games can be more profitable than initial payment games.

  34. mobiuschic42 says:

    Ugh, my ridiculous chinchilla went and broke his stupid “arm” (front leg) by doing dumb things in his cage. Luckily, the vet spelled out to me that getting it fixed would likely cost $2000+ and the anesthesia might kill him, anyway (they don’t make ready-made dosages for animals that small). So, we skipped the xray and he healed on his own pretty well. But, the initial vet visit and the checkup, along with tiny animal pain killers totaled $250. Thankfully, he hasn’t had many other health problems, but my vet did warn me about how to handle his eye popping out of the socket, so we’ve got that to look forward to.

    Since he’s an “exotic” animal, pet stores don’t have much variety in food, and what they do have is mostly treat-filled crap, so I have to order fancy food online ($40 every 3 months or so).

    Also, his previous owners had him in a freaking bird cage, so of course I had to get him a nice new multi-tier cage ($200) which he’s peed all over so much that I think I might need to get him a new cage (I’ve scrubbed so much that the coating on the metal bars is coming off, and it still stinks). So there’s another $300 (because of course I want to get him an even nicer one that might avoid some of the problems we’ve had with this cage).

    Bedding – which is just recycled paper shreddings – is stupid-expensive: around $20/package (the largest package they make), and he goes through about a third of that a week.

    He was eating books (and the furniture itself) in the only room where it’s feasible for him to have out-of-cage time, so we needed to buy a bookcase with glass doors so he can’t get to the books – $250 (from Ikea!).

    The biggest one (that, thankfully, my boyfriend covers) is electricity to run the air-conditioner to keep his room under 80 degrees F – above which his soft, thick, luxurious fur will overheat him and make him stroke out and die.

    And then there’s the dust-bath dust, the hay, the “logs” to hide in and chew on, the countless wooden chew toys, and rose hips (his anti-drug)….all for an animal that won’t let us pick him up.

    The lesson of this story is that, even “small” animals that you might think would be less expensive since they just sit in a cage most of the time can still cost a bundle, even if you adopt them for free. Loving the fur ball makes denying him stuff tough – and he can live up to 15+ years!

  35. backstagebethy says:

    Seems like many of you are missing the point–I read it as a warning to people considering getting pets that there are expenses you don’t think of when you’re smitten with a kitten. You know, based on the line: “What I‚Äôm trying to say is, before you get a pet, it‚Äôs worth it to genuinely assess whether you can really, actually afford it.”

  36. Scamazon says:

    With my both of my adopted dogs there were all these shots the city required. Then there were the overpriced arthritis pills that required monthly doctor visits. Both of my buddies had issues as they got older and cost me a fortune and even though I was unemployed, I scraped by to make them comfortable without going overboard. All things said, I’d so it all again because they are totally worth it! On a side note – Quality pet food can make all the difference. The mass produced stuff is causing half of today’s pet health problems…

  37. chemmy says:

    Heck, mine stayed at UGA for 3 weeks and needed round the clock monitoring, an MRI and a cat scan and surgery in his inner ear to fix a massive infection that ruined his balance so bad he could not walk and appeared to be having constant seizures….

    Even that only ran me about $3500.

    He’s been fine ever since.

    As my husband would say “It’s still cheaper than kids!”

  38. elephantattack says:

    Is this an outdoor cat? how the heck is he catching all that trouble? Also, didn’t know you can catch ringworm from a cat. That’s nasty.

    Save yourself (and your cat) a whole lot of trouble and keep him in the house. I’ve got two indoor only cats and they are happy and healthy.

  39. Crymansqua says:

    “Now, the title of this post isn’t quite right.”

    Then why did you post it like that?

  40. Rusty Stanberry says:

    My cat cost 1200 dollars and I have had only food and grooming costs. Not saying I wouldn’t pay for those vet bills if they came up. Looks like I win.

  41. Jen says:

    Poor Hooligan:(

  42. Greggen says:

    Wonder if this is an outside cat. I know you roll the dice on medical issues with cats, but the bets seem safer when you have inside only cats..

  43. Jimmy37 says:

    Friend of mine dropped thousands on her cat because of kidney disease.

  44. bethanyboo says:

    My cat’s urinary blockage ended up costing me $1200. Thankfully it hasn’t happened again. His prescription food is equally expensive as OP’s, though.

  45. Not Given says:

    MIne started eating the mail as soon as it comes through the mail slot.

  46. quail says:

    All pets cost money above & beyond their initial purchase/adoption and their daily food. Our standard poodle ran us up a fortune with ear infections, not to mention the grooming costs.

    Want to save money? Don’t have a pet. (Then again, on those downer days there’s no price for having an animal show you their love.)

  47. GaijenSoft says:

    Personally, when I have a cat, I foster them for local cat shelters.

    It’s a great setup. I have a companion that likes to cuddle and is happy to get away from the shelter. The shelter drops off any food I need and litter. For any medical treatments/vet visits, they either do it themselves, or bring the cat to a vet thats affiliated with them, making my cost $0.

    The only bad part is if someone sees the cat on their facebook page or website, and wants it, I have to give it up or adopt it. But in reality that could take years if it happens at all just because they have so many cats in need of a home.

    So yeah, works out great. Kitty gets a home, all costs are paid for.

  48. FashionablyDoomed says:

    I still remember, at 18 years old, when the vet told me they had to keep our cat overnight, and asked for a 500$ deposit. I literally dropped to the floor and started crying. I had only 450$ to my name, and it was for rent. They allowed me to pay 200$.

    When I got my cat back, I was handed a bill for 1500$. Turns out she ate some thread, and it would pass in a few days. They also charged me 175$ to test for feline leukemia.

    I’ve tried 3 different vets since, and they all overcharge. It’s ridiculous. I feel her pain.

  49. pot_roast says:

    Urinary blockage? Probably caused by her feeding the cat the cheapest Wal-Mart brand food that she can buy. Sounds like her and her roommate are both a couple of morons that shouldn’t own pets. Oh, she’s in New York. Figures…. she’s being overcharged for pretty much everything.

  50. maxamus2 says:

    My cat costs $150 yearly for the one checkup and all shots then I spend maybe $8 a month on food. That’s it. Best thing is you can use freaking balled up aluminum foil for toys.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I crinkle up the Netflix envelope covers that normally get torn off and thrown away. My cats love them, and by the time I throw them away, they’re full of little cat toenail holes.

  51. HappyBigCar says:

    “‚Ä¢ Urinary blockage 1: $500 for catheterization
    • Urinary blockage 2: $500 for catheterization
    • Urinary blockage 3: $1500 for overnight stay and catheterization
    ‚Ä¢ Fancy dancy C/D or S/O prescription-only cat food to prevent future urinary blockages: $40/month x 16 months (and counting!) = $640 (and counting!)”

    Ugh. I had a cat with this problem. After the second catheterization, we had to have his little peepee removed!! Poor “guy”. Of course, after the surgery we were able to feed him normal cat food again.

    • Lendon85 says:

      That’s exactly what I did, after two bouts of blockage, he went in for the “P.U.” surgery, it was well worth the money not having to mess with the prescription food which he didn’t like anyway.

  52. Fight Back Against David Horowitz! says:

    Are “lemon laws” applicable here? I don’t think Hooligan is going to have much trade-in value.

  53. shufflemoomin says:

    Pet insurance doesn’t exist in the US?

  54. Kestris says:

    Been there, done that with one of my (now) three cats. Max, at 9 yrs old, had a urinary tract blockage and that was in the 1500.00 range when all said and done. Then my late Akita, Dante, had cancer, that was another 1,000.00 just to diagnose the tumor after it was removed. Then she cost another 500.00 3 years later when she passed on at the age of 14.5yrs.

    Then of course, Max, at 11yrs old, decided to develope fatty liver syndrome and we almost lost him. Close to 2,000.00 before he was back to full health again. He’s now just over 13yrs old

    Thank gods Aries, also 13yrs old and Morrigan, now just over 3 yrs old, are in near perfect health.

    My current Akita, Caena, costs roughly 130.00 every 6months when we do her biannual checkup. That covers heartworm preventative meds, vet visit, parasite exam, etc.

  55. who? says:

    I had male cats with the same problem. Switching to good quality wet food saved them from a long lifetime of science diet yuk. Not sure whether it saved me any money or not, I never tried to calculate. At that point, it was more about giving them something healthy that they liked, rather than saving a few cents a day on food.

  56. dks64 says:

    My dog cost me $5,000 in 24 hours. She broke her knee in 2 places and needed surgery from a specialist. Worth it, I love her to pieces. I still owe $2,000 on it, but it’s an interest free loan for 2 years. It’s been a year already and I’m hoping to pay it off in huge chunks in 2 months. That’s not even counting the cost of her expensive, high quality food or other necessities.

  57. HogwartsProfessor says:

    My neighbor’s cat Garfield (yes, a big yellow tom) just had to be put down yesterday. He got distemper and was so sick. Poor little skinny coughing old man. At least I got to say goodbye. I put some flowers on his little grave. :'(

    I called my vet to make sure my OC’s vaccination was up to date, and it is, so they said she should be okay. If she comes down with it, I’ll have to do the same thing. There is no way I can spend that kind of money trying to save her.

  58. yurei avalon says:

    One of the number one ways to keep an animal healthy and out of the vet’s office for non accidental things is to feed them a healthy diet. Pick the best kibble you can get your hands on, or go raw if you can. It costs more now, but it saves big $$$ when your animal doesn’t have diabetes or other diseases from eating grained up garbage filler all it’s life.

  59. brinks says:

    Apply for a CareCredit card. It’s only accepted at places like the vet or the dentist, so it’s not dangerous. Even when I had all my other plastic paid off and closed, I kept that one. It saved my ass when my dogs needed a couple of trips to the emergency vet and I was a few days away from payday.

  60. tooluser says:

    There’s lots of cats in my neighborhood. I could probably have one for nothing.

  61. D in Buffalo says:

    I have two cats…and they have both been relatively healthy..except for the male cat. He’s perfectly okay now..but about 2 year ago, we noticed he kept licking ‘down there’ and then growling when in the litter box. Looked it up online and called the vet – got him to the emergency clinic that night. He had the oh-so-wonderful crystals blockage. That was $885.

    2 weeks later – blockage again! (catheters to fix the problem causes scarring which leads to another blockage..). Another $885. Oy!

    He’s fine for about another month..and then it starts again. This time we bring him to the vet..and they perform what I call the ‘sex-change’ operation. Completely removed the male bits and made a small hole in his backside so he can pee. So a boy-cat that pees like a girl-cat.

    That was $2k. The vet office has this ‘pet emergency fund’ to help people out – they did a solid there – because I didn’t have enough left on my CareCredit card to pay for it all.

    But now he’s a perfectly healthy lil..angel (yeah, angel..). Still feed him the low ash food..but since his surgery he’s doing well.

    And to all those who say, “It’s just an animal..” – I used to think that. But not anymore. Boy-cat cuddles with me in bed and sits next to me on the couch – he even knows when I’m sick. It’s so much more than him just being an ‘animal’…

  62. TurdFerguson says:

    I believed everything until she said “my boyfriend”
    Perhaps Consumerist should verify these stories first…

  63. human_shield says:

    Same thing happened to my cat. UTI’s are common in cats and some of them can have chronic UTI’s. He had one, and we did a lot of work for $750. It came back 2 weeks later and the vet wanted to do a major surgery, overnight stay, and special medication for life…with no guarantee that it would work. We put the cat to sleep. It was hard, but I could not see spending $2,000+ for a cat. If you can afford it, go for it. If this $5k cat is hurting Carolyn financially, she needs to move on.

  64. hockey13 says:

    I had a cat that had the urinary condition this one has.. the c/d food kept him alive for 17 years. Although, that food also caused that cat and 2 others that were eating it, to have chronic kidney issues that eventually killed them (at 15 and 16). THAT was a serious expense.

    Other than that though- I used pet vaccine clinics, adopted the pets already neutered, and I worked with my vets intensely to understand what tests and procedures are “nice to haves” and which are life critical. Some vets are better at this than others- and don’t give you the “if you love your pet you would do this” line. I also research everything online, and then discuss that with my vet. He is awesome about that kind of interaction, and we make good choices together.

    It is possible to manage the costs to some extent, but ultimately, I understand that if I can’t afford the care of these critters, I should not have them. That isn’t just a hard line- I honestly would be mortified if I had to put a pet down because I couldn’t afford their care.

  65. slowrey says:

    Where the heck did you go to get your cat neutered? The price of $250 is outrageous. It shouldn’t be more than $40 at the outside.

  66. Larry says:

    Pet insurance isn’t worth it. (Google “Consumer Reports pet insurance” and you’ll see what I mean). You’re way better off with a vet discount program, like United Pet Care or Pet Assure (personally I have Pet Assure), which will admittedly only pay a small percentage of the bill, but will NOT give you stupid exclusions, deductibles, co-pays, etc. etc. etc. Trust me! Look into it.

  67. dush says:

    The take away? Cat’s are awful.

  68. Earth2Kim says:

    The fat orange cat pictured above is Murray, and he’s about 13 years old now. He’s also cost us quite a bit over the years, I’m sure around $3000-4000, if not more, although he is surprisingly healthy for an obese, “elderly” cat. The latest dent to the wallet was $700 in dental work, but as others have pointed out, we don’t care what it costs to keep him happy and healthy. I do shop around for vet costs and have changed vets a few times over the years based on cost & quality of service.